The Charlotte 49ers took their talents to South Beach on Friday night with a solid chance at changing the narrative for their presence in 2021 as a threat in Conference USA. After dropping a heartbreaker in Champaign a week prior, Charlotte scored a decisive 45-33 victory for their first win over the Panthers in program history.
It seems as if every passing week we’re rambling on and on about the performance of Chris Reynolds, but to be fair that constant rambling has been warranted all season. Logging 203 yards through the air with 4 scores on a 78% completion rate, it’s hard not to smile with a mischievous grin when announcers use his name in the same conversation as Doug Flutie.
Behind a Calvin Camp rushing score and a 5-yard pass to the back of the endzone to tight end Taylor Thompson, Charlotte took a 17-6 lead into the half feeling pretty good about their intensity level chasing their first win over Butch Davis’ unit.
“The cool part about it for me is that we still have so much to do in order to get better. I’m proud of their fight, I’m proud of their resiliency, but the question is, what’s our sense of urgency to find ways to get better?” said coach Will Healy.
A second-half explosion that saw a combined 55 points scored, both teams were able to do things offensively that overshadowed bonehead penalties and blown coverages.
Max Bortenschlager set a new career-high in passing yards with 466 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Panthers, marking his best statistical performance of his college career in his 24th career appearance.
Wide receiver Tyrese Chambers was a college football fantasy nightmare, logging 201 yards receiving on just THREE catches, two of which went for scores of over 50+ yards a piece.
Despite their big-play ability, FIU still wasn’t able to harness their performance into a win, dropping to 1-5 on the year, their worst start through six games since 2013. The ability for the Panthers to exploit Charlotte’s awful run defense just wasn’t there tonight, logging a mere 72 yards rushing on the ground.
Both squads enter a bye week to regroup and reload, with the 49ers welcoming Florida Atlantic to the Queen City on Thursday night, October 21st on CBS Sports Network.
FIU stays home and prepares for Western Kentucky on Saturday, October 23rd, currently scheduled for a 7:00 PM EST kickoff on ESPN3.