Wednesday, October 28, 2015

49ers Take on Thundering Herd on Halloween

Charlotte faces defending Conference USA champion Marshall, Saturday at 3:30 in a game that pits the team Phil Ratliff helped construct with his alma mater. Ratliff, the 49ers offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator since the program’s inception, passed away Aug. 9, 2015. Ratliff was an all-America at Marshall, where he played from 1989-92. He was part of the Herd’s 1992 NCAA National Championship team and coached at Marshall for six years (2006-11) before joining the 49ers in 2012. 49ers head coach Brad Lambert was a member of Marshall’s coaching staff when Ratliff played there and 49ers strength coach Jim Durning was one of Ratliff’s teammates. Marshall is unbeaten in Conference USA play and is tied atop the East Division with WKU with a 4-0 league mark. Charlotte, in its first-year as an FBS member, is looking for its first C-USA victory. Marshall ranks first in scoring defense and total defense while the 49ers rank 3rd in total defense and third-down defense.

49ERS GOLD RUSH: Jr. RB Kalif Phillips ranks 2nd in Conference USA in rushing (110.6/gm) and is one of only three C-USA rushers to average over 100 yards per game ... His 126.5 rushing average against C-USA schools also ranks 2nd in the league ... Phillips has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 of the last 4 games (159 vs. FAU; 125 vs. Temple; 204 at ODU) ... in each of those, his totals are the most allowed by that opponent, this year ... During the 49ers current five-game losing streak, Phillips is averaging 127.4 yards ... his 204 rushing yards at ODU are a new school record and the first over 200 yards ... he has 11 career 100-yard games ... with 774 rushing yards, this year and 2,926 in his career, he’s is closing in on his 2nd straight 1,000-yard season and a 3,000 over three seasons.

DEFENSE: Under first-year Defensive Coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, Charlotte ranks 3rd in C-USA in total defense (375.9 yds/gm), rushing defense (149.9) and third-down defense (30.1% conversion allowed) and 4th in passing defense (226.0) ... three opponents (Presby; FAU; Temple) have been held below their season average in total yards ... four opponents have been held below 125 yards rushing and three have been held below 150 yards passing ... the defense has set new record for fewest yards allowed (112, Presbyterian), fewest yards passing (9, Presby) and matched the record for takeaways (5 vs. FAU).

FBS DEBUT: In its third season, overall, Charlotte is enjoying its first season at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA. The 49ers posted their first FBS win in their first FBS game (W, 23-20 at Georgia State). Charlotte competed as an FCS Independent in its first two seasons (2013; 2014). The 49ers are looking for their first C-USA win. Two of the 49ers league losses have been by 10 points or less. The 49ers posted a season-high 536 yards of total offense in the three-point loss at ODU and the 34 points scored vs. ODU are a 49ers record vs. an FBS opponent.

GOLD NUGGETS: The 49ers have outgained their opponent (total offense) in 5 of 7 games, .. DL Larry Ogunjobi is T5th in C-USA with 8.5 TFL (1.21/gm), 3.0 shy of his own school record ... LB Nick Cook, who leads the 49ers with 46 tackles and S Branden Dozier, who is 3rd with 34, share the 49ers single-game season-high of 13 tackles, 4th-most in school history (Cook: 13 v. MT; Dozier: 13 vs. Temple) ... Ogunjobi and DB Tank Norman have broken the 49ers all-time career record with 123 tackles ... K Blake Brewer was the first 49er to earn a C-USA Player of the Week honor (Special Teams POW; 3-3 FG; 2-2 PAT in W at Georgia State).