Date/Time: Saturday, November 19, 3:30 PM ET
TV: ESPN3 (Play-By-Play: Bobby Rosinski/Analyst: Reginald Walker Jr./Sideline: Hannah Bradey)
Radio: Learfield/Charlotte Sports Network (Play-By-Play: Matt Swierad/Analyst: Al Wallace)
Location: Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Betting Line: LA Tech -3, O/U 64.5
All-Time Series Record: 49ers trail, 0-1 (LA Tech won lone meeting 42-32 on November 13, 2021)
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&C’s apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
Charlotte looks to end their season on a good note, as they take on the Bulldogs at home. Emotions will run high, with senior captains potentially suiting up one last time for a collegiate game.
Here are Senior Captains Chris Reynolds and DE Markees Watts reflecting on their time at Charlotte, and what they’ll miss most.
Chris Reynolds: “This wasn’t supposed to happen. I got here and the only thing promised was a locker spot…I’m really going to remember those moments in the locker room. I’m lucky to have gone through this road, and I’m excited to do it one more time”
Markees Watts: “I’m excited to see life after college football. I’m so proud of playing here. I take pride in playing here, I take pride in Charlotte…but this has been a normal week for me. I’m going to enjoy the game as usual”
Charlotte enters this game following a loss to Middle Tennessee. The Niners seemed to be clicking on all cylinders in the first half. Most importantly, Charlotte’s defensive line was able to generate consistent pressure by only rushing four.
Charlotte’s linebackers and secondary benefited greatly by this, as it allowed them to focus on their defensive assignments without having to worry about executing blitz packages. The results were good. The Niners were able to hold the Blue Raiders to just 7 points at halftime.
Interim HC Pete Rossomando trusts his defensive line to make plays, stating that they’ve been doing it all season.
“We’ve always had confidence in our D Line. The confidence in our guys was high. With the exception of one drive, our defense played almost a flawless game”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Niners didn’t seem to miss a beat. In the first half, Chris Reynolds found wide receivers Elijah Spencer and Grant DuBose for touchdowns in the end zone. Everything seemed to be going right for the Niners.
However, this game was a tale of two halves.
Charlotte’s unforced errors and mistakes on special teams allowed MTSU to quickly tie the game out of the half. The Blue Raiders never looked back.
Middle Tennessee running back Frank Peasant found the end zone twice in this game, making the Blue Raiders 5-0 on the season when [Peasant] scored a touchdown.
Charlotte has faced similar offensive playing styles the past couple weeks, the same can be said for Saturday’s matchup.
Here’s Interim HC Pete Rossomando discussing how they’ve been preparing for LA Tech.
“They have three explosive receivers, they make plays with the ball in the air. We need to make sure we keep those guys in front of us, and make them run the ball more than they would like to”
LA Tech is not a run heavy offense, they have been out gained in rushing yards this season by over 1,000 yards (1,410 to 2,530).
If Charlotte can stifle the Bulldogs’ offense on early downs, they’ll have success getting off the field. LA Tech only coverts on 36% of their 3rd downs, compared to 67% for their opponents.
Louisiana Tech Preview
LA Tech’s week to week performances are unpredictable as they come. The Bulldogs average 30 points per game (6th in C-USA), but give up an average of 39.2 ppg (10th in C-USA).
LA Tech is a team accustomed to high scoring shoot-outs, scoring at least 40 points in each win this season. After coming off a 51-7 loss to UTSA, LA Tech looks to knock off the Niners before going home for the last game of the 2022 season.
The Bulldogs should be able to find success through their aerial attack, whether it be in the slot or on the outside.
On the defensive side of the ball, Charlotte will need to contain the Bulldogs’ defensive line. #20 Kershawn Fisher has the ability to get off the ball and rush the quarterback, along with their linebackers and transfers in the secondary.
LA Tech’s secondary likes to get up on the receivers with their long DBs and play man-to-man coverage. If Charlotte’s offensive line can hold up, it will allow Chris to take shots down the field.
The same could be said for the Bulldogs. LA Tech QB Parker McNeil has built a great rapport with his receivers, scoring 24 touchdowns through the air, compared to their opponents 19. LA Tech wins games when they score more than 40, so getting off to a fast start will be the Bulldogs’ main focus going into this matchup.
This Saturday will serve as the lost home game for the Niners in the 2022 season. Although the season may not have gone the way Charlotte expected, they come into this matchup fully prepared to send off the senior captains on a good note.
The Niners had every chance to get back in the game against MTSU, but fell short. After a week of practice and film, the team seems set on bouncing back and giving their fans their first home win of the season.
This game will fall on the shoulders of Charlotte’s secondary and defensive line, as they look to put pressure on Parker McNeil, forcing him to make errant throws. Pete Rossomando looks to make the most of his last two home games as Interim HC, before the Biff Poggi era begins in Charlotte.
Final Score: LA Tech 31, Charlotte 34