Football schedule

The Charlotte 49ers football schedule for the 2023 season has officially been released, outlining the 49ers' inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference (AAC).

The Charlotte 49ers football schedule for the 2023 season has officially been released, outlining the 49ers' inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). 

The 12 opponents the team faces in 2023 had a combined 63-86 record in the 2022 season, featuring fellow ex-Conference USA teams Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Rice University.

Six of the 12 opponents (East Carolina University, Southern Methodist University, University of Maryland, University of Memphis, University of Florida and Rice) played in bowl games in 2022. They combined for a 3-3 bowl record, with Memphis, Maryland and ECU walking away with wins.

Conference games

In their first season in the AAC, the 49ers will face eight conference opponents, starting with SMU in Dallas on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. The 49ers will also play ECU, the University of Tulsa and the University of South Florida (USF) on the road while welcoming the United States Navel Acadamy, FAU, Memphis and Rice to Jerry Richardson stadium in the 2023 season.

Charlotte's non-conference games will occur before the bout against SMU, allowing for eight consecutive conference matches to close out the season. 

Home games

The 49ers' season opener will be a first in many aspects. Biff Poggi's first game as head coach for Charlotte, the first game for Charlotte as a member of the AAC and the first game in program history against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs finished 2022 with only three wins, one of which was a conference win. Charlotte is 4-0 in season-openers at home and should be favored against a weaker conference team to kick off Poggi's tenure at Charlotte. 

Charlotte's second home game is against Georgia State University, the only team a 2022 Will Healy-led team beat. 

Following the Georgia State matchup, the 49ers face four conference teams at home, starting with the Navy Midshipmen before welcoming two familiar faces in FAU and Rice, with the Memphis Tigers sandwiched between the two. 

Navy struggled in the AAC in 2022 with a 4-4 conference record to pair with their 0-4 non-conference record. In contrast, Memphis finished with a worse ACC record at 3-5 but beat their non-conference competition with a 4-1 record, winning a bowl game to close out their 2022 season. 

Coming out of their bye week after the week five matchup against SMU, the Navy game on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, will be a big test to determine who the 49ers are as a team and how well they can compete in the AAC in 2023. 

Road games

The 49ers have six away games in the 2023 season, three of which come in the first five games. Starting with Maryland, the Big 10 team defeated Charlotte at Jerry Richardson stadium in 2022, adding a 56-point beatdown to Charlotte's second-ever game against a Big 10 opponent. 

Week two of the 2023 season has a Poggi-led team poised to take revenge, this time with insider knowledge. Four ex-Maryland players transferred to Charlotte this year, and with Poggi's impressively tenured stay as a coach in Maryland high school football (1988-2015, 2017-2020), this matchup is far from impersonal. 

Charlotte will face AAC opponents SMU, ECU, USF and Tulsa on the road in the back half of the 2022 season. ECU will be Charlotte's third in-state opponent, with the 49ers sporting a 0-3 record against the Sun-Belt conference's Appalachian State University and a 1-1 record against the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) Duke University. 

Where to watch

Charlotte games will no longer be exclusively on ESPN+. At least 40 conference-controlled regular-season games will be on ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ABC. 

While a selection of games will be available on ESPN+, the goal is to make the AAC as accessible as possible. The AAC will also have a primetime game slot in seven weeks of the 2023 season. 

The American Athletic Conference Football Championship game will be broadcasted on either ABC or ESPN on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.