Saturday, November 11, 2017

Charlotte Falls to Middle Tennessee in CUSA Action

CHARLOTTE – The air was brisk at Charlotte's Jerry Richardson Stadium as the Forty-Niners hosted Middle Tennessee State in Conference USA action. The Blue Raiders had been Charlotte's first-ever opponent in Conference USA play when the Niners joined in 2015 and the Charlotte faithful was hoping for the 49ers' first victory in three tries against Middle Tennessee, but it was the Blue Raiders who moved to 3-0 in the overall series as the Blue Raiders defeated the Charlotte 49ers, 35-21.

Charlotte came into the game off a tough defensive battle at Old Dominion in which the 49ers lost 6-0 and was looking to find the same spark as in Charlotte's previous home game, a memorable 25-24 win over UAB in overtime.

Charlotte started off the game well, forcing a three-and-out on the first drive of the game. After taking possession, the Charlotte offense marched down the field, scoring on a 16-yard Benny LeMay run, giving the home team a 7-0 lead.

MTSU RB Tavares Thomas ran for 195 yards
(Photo Credit: Ed Conway)
From there, it was all Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raider scored 28 unanswered points with two touchdown runs from Tavares Thomas (who finished with 195 yards on the day) and two passes from Brandon Stockstill. Stockstill finished the game with 255 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Charlotte tried to get back in the game with a Mark Quattlebaum touchdown reception in the third quarter and a Trent Bostick touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough for the 49ers as they fell to 1-5 in conference play.

Worth Noting

With the 49ers and the college football community celebrating Veterans' Day, it is worth noting that Charlotte offensive lineman Jean Eason is a three-year Army veteran who served from 2009 to 2012 and served a tour in Afghanistan. At 27, he is the oldest member of the 49ers roster.

Notable North Carolinians

Benny LeMay (So., Butler) scored the opening touchdown of the game on a 16-yard run.

Jeff Gemmell (R-So., Heritage) led the defense in total tackles with 10, including 4 solo.

Hasaan Klugh (R-Jr., Central Cabarrus) passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

Next Week

Charlotte (1-9, 1-5) travels to Hattiesburg, Mississippi next Saturday to take on Southern Miss (5-4, 3-2) while Middle Tennessee (5-5, 3-3) will face Western Kentucky (5-4, 3-2) on Friday night in a bid to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season.