Saturday, November 9, 2019

Charlotte Wins Third Straight; Rallies at UTEP

EL PASO, Texas - R-So. QB Chris Reynolds threw for a school FBS record 354 yards, four shy of the overall record, and two touchdowns to lead the 49ers to a thrilling second-half comeback in their 28-21 victory over UTEP, Saturday in the Sun Bowl.

"The resiliency of our football team showed once again," said 49ers head coach Will Healy, whose 49ers improved to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in C-USA play. "We made some huge plays down the stretch.  Our defense pitched a shut out in the second half.  Crucial interception to end the game when they're driving and a lot of fun to celebrate with these guys because they've worked really, really hard at establishing a culture and at the day-to-day process it takes to be a special football program."

The win, Charlotte's third straight, is the 49ers first road win of the season. In two of those wins, Charlotte rallied from 14 points down in the second half.

Charlotte trailed 21-7 at the half but posted three scores in a dominant third quarter to tie the game at 21-21. The 49ers put up 192 yards of offense and scored 14 points while holding the Miners to just 19 yards and no points in the frame. So. K Jonathan Cruz kicked a pair of field goals in the third and Ishod Finger added a three-yard touchdown run to help Charlotte knot the score.

In the fourth quarter, DT Timmy Horne had a huge stop on fourth and one from the Charlotte four to stifle a potential go-ahead scoring drive for the Miners in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense did that in the entire second half," Healy said. "That's a big play.  Fourth and one and they're going in to score and we're able to get some penetration and get a huge stop on fourth and one.  Big momentum shift there. Really proud of the way our defense played in the second half."

Charlotte followed that stop with the game-winning 95-yard drive, capped by Reynolds 18-yard TD pass to Jacob Hunt. UTEP's final drive was clipped by Henry Segura's interception with 1:03 to play at the Charlotte 16-yard line.

"It goes to speak of our fight," said Reynolds. "Our defense played incredible today.  We didn't control the controllables in the first half and made some mistakes but we turned the switch in the second half. This team doesn't quit."

Reynolds also threw a TD pass to Tyler Ringwood in the first half. He finished the day with 445 yards of total offense (354 passing; 91 rushing) to break his own school record for total offense.

UTEP scored a pair of first-quarter TDs on its first two drives and added one with 42 seconds left in the first half to take a 21-7 lead into the break. Charlotte shut them out in the second half, however.  Charlotte had 483 yards of total offense while UTEP finished with 389 (262 in the first half). R-Sr. Jeff Gemmell led the 49ers defensive efforts with 10 tackles, a blocked pass, and a forced fumble.

Up Next
Charlotte will head into its second bye week of the year before hosting Marshall, Nov. 23 at 3:30 (Stadium).

Story courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information