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It’s a matchup of teams from the East Division of Conference USA down on Tobacco Road in week 12 action on the college football gridiron. The Florida International Golden Panthers are on the road as they travel to face the Charlotte 49ers Saturday afternoon. Florida International drubbed UTSA 45-7 on the road last Saturday in their previous contest. Charlotte was defeated 30-13 on the road at Marshall in their last game last Saturday. The Golden Panthers have taken each of the three previous meetings, including a 30-29 home win in the last matchup on September 30, 2017.
Florida International Golden Panthers Trying to Stay in East Division Race
Florida International cruised past an overmatched UTSA team as they bounced back from a whipping at the hands of Florida Atlantic. The Golden Panthers improved to 5-1 in conference play, leaving them half a game behind Middle Tennessee in the East Division. If Florida International wins here and against Marshall next week, they would win the division thanks to beating the Blue Raiders earlier this season. The Golden Panthers were up 17-0 at the half and poured it on in the second half, giving up their only points on a touchdown with 22 seconds to play. Florida International racked up a 453-245 edge in total offense, a 21-15 advantage in first downs and a 33:11 to 26:49 lead in time of possession. The Golden Panthers also forced four takeaways, including a pick-six, while not committing any in the contest. Florida International is 7-3 ATS this season while the over is 5-5 in their contests.
— FIU Football (@FIUFootball) November 12, 2018
The Golden Panthers enter this contest 53rd in the FBS in passing offense with 247.6 yards per game and 70th in rushing offense with 165.4 yards per contest. Florida International is 30th in the country in scoring offense with 34.8 points per game and 46th in scoring defense by allowing 23.3 points per contest. Bowling Green transfer James Morgan has completed 168 of 262 passes for 2,282 yards with a school-record 24 touchdowns against five interceptions this season. Christian Alexander is 15 of 24 for 192 yards and an interception while rushing for 83 yards plus a score. Napoleon Maxwell is the leading ground gainer as he has run the ball 105 times for 475 yards plus four touchdowns. D’Vonte Price (75 attempts, 472 yards, five scores) and Shawndarrius Phillips (89 carries, 375 yards, four TD) are next in line. In the passing game, CJ Worton leads the team with 29 receptions for 546 yards and six touchdowns. Maurice Alexander (25 grabs, 380 yards, five TD), Bryce Singleton (23 catches, 288 yards, two TD) and Austin Maloney (22 receptions, 419 yards, five TD) are also good targets. Jose Borregales has booted 43 of 44 extra point attempts and 11 of 14 field goal tries this season with a long of 53.
Charlotte 49ers Try to Get Back in Win Column
Charlotte dropped their second straight and fifth in the last seven games as they were defeated on the road by Marshall last week. The 49ers need to win here and then next week at Florida Atlantic to get to .500 and bowl eligible. Charlotte trailed 13-10 at the half and tied the game at 13 in the opening 90 seconds of the second half before things fell apart. The 49ers gave up 17 points in the rest of the third quarter and that told the tale. Charlotte was shut down offensively as they were outgained 325-185 and allowed 16 first downs to their 13. That negated a 31:42 to 28:18 edge in time of possession and the fact that the 49ers forced the game’s lone turnover. Charlotte is 6-4 ATS and the over is 5-5 in their games this season.
The Ratliff Legacy: This weekend the late Phil Ratliff's two teams, @CharlotteFTBL and @HerdFB square off. Reporter Sydney Blue takes a look at the impact Ratliff left behind in the 49er football program #RockSolid #RememberingRatliff
(Full video on Youtube) pic.twitter.com/oRAU30PU72
— Niner Times (@niner_times) November 9, 2018
The 49ers are 108th in the FBS in passing offense as they average 181 yards per game through the air. Charlotte stands 107th in rushing offense as they are putting up an average of 134.9 yards per contest. The 49ers stand 123rd in scoring offense with an average of 19.8 points per game and 53rd in scoring defense by allowing 25.3 points per contest. Chris Reynolds has hit 101 of 155 passes for 1,181 yards with six touchdowns against two interceptions. Evan Shirreffs is 54 of 104 passing for 631 yards with two touchdowns and four picks. Benny LeMay is the leading ground gainer with 178 carries for 896 yards plus six scores. Aaron McAllister is next in line with 72 carries for 290 yards and two touchdowns. In the passing game, Victor Tucker leads the team with 47 receptions for 570 yards plus two scores. Workpeh Kofa (27 grabs, 284 yards), Rico Arnold (22 grabs, 299 yards, TD) and LeMay (17 receptions, 232 yards) are solid secondary options. Jonathan Cruz has hit all 19 extra point attempts and 15 of 20 field goals this season with a long of 54.
- 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- Golden Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games
- Golden Panthers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game
- Golden Panthers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Florida International has been solid this season as Butch Davis’s team is bowl eligible for the second straight year. The addition of Morgan has been a sound acquisition as he has stepped right in for the departed Alex McGough. Charlotte has struggled offensively and Shirreffs hasn’t been as good as Reynolds was under center. Reynolds was lost for the season last month after surgery on his ankle. That proves to hurt the 49ers here as the Golden Panthers follow their momentum and get the win here to set up next week’s showdown with Marshall.
Prediction: Florida International Golden Panthers -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Charlotte’s biggest problem has been offense as they have struggled not only to put points on the board, but to move the sticks in general. The 49ers have had a rough time scoring and that’s a major reason they are a sub-.500 team. They held Tennessee to 14 points and still lost by double digits as they only managed a field goal. Florida International is playing well and they know that two wins would give them a berth in the Conference USA title game. Can the Golden Panthers maintain their momentum and deliver a win on the road in this contest?
The over is 5-0 in the Golden Panthers’ last 5 games in November, 4-0 in their last 4 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game and 6-1 in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Charlotte has seen the over go 8-3 in their last 11 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game and 7-3 in their last 10 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game. This one, even if it is like Florida International’s game last week that was one-sided, finds a way over the number.
Prediction: Over 47.5