Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Charlotte Seeks First C-USA Win at Florida International

Charlotte travels to FIU, Saturday at 12:00 to start a stretch that sends the 49ers on the road for three of their final four games. The 49ers, who are in their first season at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA, picked up their first FBS win in the season-opener at Georgia State, 23-20. Charlotte, however, is looking for its first Conference USA win. The 49ers have lost their last six, including five C-USA games and a non-conference battle with Temple.

FIU has split its last four games, beating UTEP (W, 52-12) and Old Dominion (W, 41-12) at home and falling to Middle Tennessee (L, 42-34) and FAU (L, 31-17) on the road. The Panthers are unbeaten at home this year (3-0). FIU ranks 3rd in C-USA in scoring defense and pass defense behind the 49ers’ previous two opponents: Marshall (1st) and Southern Miss (2nd). FIU is 4th in total defense behind Marshall (1st), southern Miss (2nd) and Louisiana Tech (3rd). FIU ranks first in red-zone offense (90.6%) and red-zone defense (65.6%).

49ERS GOLD RUSH: Jr. RB Kalif Phillips ranks 2nd in Conference USA in rushing (109.1/gm) and is one of only four C-USA rushers to average over 100 yards per game ... His 121.0 rushing average against C-USA schools also ranks 5th in the league ... Phillips has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 of the last 5 games (159 vs. FAU; 125 vs. Temple; 204 at ODU) with 99 (Marshall) in a fourth ... in each of those, his totals are the most allowed by that opponent, this year ... During the 49ers current six-game losing streak, Phillips is averaging 122.7 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 873 rushing yards, this year he’s is closing in on his 2nd straight 1,000-yard season and his 3,025 career yards give him a single-season average of 1008.3 over each of his three playing seasons.

DEFENSE: Under first-year Defensive Coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, Charlotte ranks 6th in C-USA in total defense (407.6 yds/gm) and 3rd in rushing defense (148.1) and third-down defense (34.9% 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 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 8 games, .. DL Larry Ogunjobi is 6th in C-USA with 9.0 TFL (1.12/gm), 2.5 shy of his own school record ... LB Nick Cook, who leads the 49ers with 52 tackles 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 and DB Tank Norman have broken the 49ers all-time career record with 129 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).