Monday, November 16, 2015

49ers Taking on First SEC Foe in Kentucky

Charlotte steps out of Conference USA play to take on Kentucky, of the SEC, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network, alt.). This is the first of the 49ers final two road games. Charlotte plays at Rice, Nov. 28 in the 2015 season finale. Charlotte, in its first season at the FBS level, has dropped eight straight after opening the season with a pair of wins. Kentucky is the first SEC opponent and first Power 5 conference foe that Charlotte has faced. The 49ers are led by a rushing attack and a rushing defense that both rank third in Conference USA. Junior running back Kalif Phillips ranks third in C-USA with a 96.1 rushing average and is just 39 yards shy of his second straihght 1,000-yard season. The 49ers are coming off a 30-27 overtime loss to UTSA in which the 49ers set a school records for sack (5) and posted 13 tackles for loss. DL Larry Ogunjobi had 10 tackles, including a school-record 4.5 TFL. LB Daquan Lucas tied the school record with 2.0 sacks. Charlotte is 2-1 in non-con play; 1-3 on the road.

49ERS GOLD RUSH: Jr. RB Kalif Phillips ranks 3rd in Conference USA in rushing (96.1/gm) .. His 113.8 rushing average against C-USA schools ranks 4th in the league. Phillips has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 games (159 vs. FAU; 125 vs. Temple; 204 at ODU) with 99 (Marshall) in a fourth. 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 961 rushing yards, this year, he’s 39 shy of his 2nd straight 1,000-yard season. His 3,113 career yards are 12th among active FBS rushers and give him a career single-season average of 1037.7.

DEFENSE: Under first-year Defensive Coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, Charlotte ranks 6th in C-USA in total defense (405.1 yds/gm) and 3rd in rushing defense (155.8) and third-down defense (35.0% conversion allowed). three opponents (Presby; FAU; Temple) have been held below their season average in total yards. five opponents have been held below 140 yds rushing and three have been held below 150 yds passing. the defense has set new records 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 a win in their first FBS game against their first FBS opponent (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. Three 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 6 games. DL Larry Ogunjobi is 3rd in C-USA with a school-record 13.5 TFL (1.35/gm). Ogunjobi, LB Caleb ClaytonMolby and LB Nick Cook share the team-lead with 52 tackles. Cook and S Branden Dozier share the 49ers single-game season-high of 13 tackles, 4th-most in school history (Cook: 13 v. MT; Dozier: 13 vs. Temple). Ogunjobi now holds the 49ers career record with 142 tackles through three seasons. 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). He set a new 49ers record at FIU with a 56- yard field goal.