Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#337 Charlotte vs.
#338 Appalachian State
Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone
Written by Chris Kubala

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#337 University of North Carolina at Charlotte
#338 Appalachian State University
1-0
1-0
-1
1-0
1-0
0-1
48
41
27
6

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A pair of mid-major programs take the field in the Tar Heel State when Conference USA take the field against the Sun Belt. The Charlotte 49ers make the in-state trip as they travel to face the Appalachian State Mountaineers Saturday afternoon. Charlotte comes in off a 49-28 home victory over Gardner-Webb last Thursday in their series opener. Appalachian State delivered an emphatic 42-7 destruction of East Tennessee State last Saturday at home. The Mountaineers rolled to a 45-9 triumph on the road in the only previous meeting, which took place September 8, 2018.

Charlotte 49ers Seek 2-0 Start

Charlotte picked up a win in their season opener as they beat up on an overmatched Gardner-Webb squad for the first win in the Will Healy era. The 49ers led just 7-0 after the opening quarter but broke the game open with a 28-14 advantage in the second quarter to take a three-touchdown lead to the locker room. Charlotte didn’t let Gardner-Webb closer than 14 the rest of the way. The 49ers rolled up a 508-219 edge in total offense, a 27-11 advantage in first downs and controlled the clock by a 37:39 to 22:21 margin. Charlotte overcame three turnovers while forcing just one: they gave up a kick return for a score while tallying on a blocked punt return.

Chris Reynolds completed 14 of 20 passes for 136 yards with one touchdown and one interception while adding seven carries for 72 yards plus two scores. Brett Kean completed four of eight for 50 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions while adding two carries for nine yards. Benny LeMay led the way on the ground as he had 16 carries for 120 yards plus two scores. Ishod Finger (nine carries, 69 yards), Terrick Smalls Jr. (seven carries, 32 yards) and Aaron McAllister (five carries, 20 yards) helped the 49ers rack up 322 yards and four scores on the ground. Cameron Dollar (58 yards) and Noah Henderson (49 yards) each had five receptions to lead the team. Micaleous Elder (two receptions, 37 yards) and McAllister (one catch, three yards) each caught touchdown passes. Jonathan Cruz did not attempt a field goal but hit all seven of his extra points in the game.

Appalachian State Mountaineers Try to Not Miss a Beat

Appalachian State had to start with a new coach as Scott Satterfield took the Louisville job at the end of last season. The Mountaineers rolled over East Tennessee State in the first game of the Eli Drinkwitz era to start things on a positive note. Appalachian State held a narrow 14-0 advantage at the half but pulled away after intermission to get the victory. The Mountaineers will shoot for a better start than they had against the Buccaneers. Appalachian State held a 444-292 advantage in total offense, racked up 25 first downs while allowing 17 and overcame a 33:38 to 26:22 disadvantage in time of possession. The Mountaineers forced the game’s lone turnover in the contest.

Zac Thomas hit 16 of 24 passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns and added five carries for 32 yards plus a score. Jacob Huesman hit his lone pass attempt for a 17-yard score. In the run game, Darrynton Evans led the Mountaineers with 14 carries for 99 yards plus a score. Daetrich Harrington (six carries, 48 yards) and Marcus Williams Jr. (seven carries, 41 yards) were effective on the ground as well. Thomas Hennigan led the team as he reeled in seven passes for 79 yards plus a score: no other player had more than two receptions as the team spread the ball around. Christian Wells (one catch, 17 yards) had the other touchdown catch for Appalachian State. Chandler Staton booted all six of his extra point attempts but did not try a field goal in the contest.

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Both teams come in off a win in their season opener but the fact remains that Charlotte still has a long way to go in order to prove that they are competitive. The 49ers haven’t had a winning season in their first four years as a FBS program: their best mark came last season when they were 5-7. Appalachian State looked to be the same team they were a year ago, even with Satterfield gone to greener pastures. The Mountaineers have the veteran presence at quarterback with Thomas and his ability to create plays, both with his feet and his arm, give the hosts the upper hand in this one. Appalachian State beats their in-state rivals to improve to 2-0.

Prediction: Appalachian State Mountaineers -21.5

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We saw how Appalachian State didn’t miss a beat despite the fact that Scott Satterfield is now the coach at Louisville. The Mountaineers rolled past East Tennessee State and will look to run over Charlotte as they did in their meeting last season in the Queen City. Charlotte started the Will Healy era on a positive note as they earned the win over Gardner-Webb. Facing an FBS program is going to be a challenge given the way the team has performed in recent years: can the 49ers find a way to earn a victory on the road in this contest?

The over is 5-2 in the 49ers’ last seven games on fieldturf and 9-4 in their last 13 against teams with a winning record. Appalachian State has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four in September and 4-1 in their last five non-conference games. Seeing how the Mountaineers were barely slowed in their season opener without Satterfield calling the shots, this one ends up over the total as they continue on with their successful start of the year.

Prediction: Over 53

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Charlotte had their struggles at times against Gardner-Webb, a FCS program that went just 3-8 last season. The 49ers are going to have to be better as they were sloppy against the Bulldogs. Charlotte turned the ball over three times and gave up a kick return for a score. While they did score on a blocked punt return, the fact remains that there is work to be done. Appalachian State cruised to an easy win in the opener though they held just a 14-0 lead at the half. The Mountaineers should be able to keep the Charlotte run game in check and that gives them the upper hand at the half.

Prediction: Appalachian State Mountaineers -11.5

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Appalachian State put up only 14 points in the opening half of their win over East Tennessee State but they started clicking in the second half. That’s likely due to the fact that they knocked the rust off and got rolling en route to the victory. Charlotte has their work to do here as they were up and down in the opening game of the season. The 49ers racked up a 35-14 lead on the strength of four second-quarter touchdowns. That’s not likely to be the case here but this one ends up over the number at the half as both teams put some points on the board.

Prediction: Over 27
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.