After a successful 2019 season, Charlotte looked to follow it up in 2020, but disappointing results ensued. Not only did Charlotte not win enough to again be bowl eligible, but they only managed to grab two wins due to multiple Covid-19 cancellations.
With all that in the review mirror, the 49ers hope their season goes smoother and with less delay.
The 49ers will have big names returning, such as redshirt senior quarterback Chris Reynolds. Just a week ago, Reynolds was named the 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List presented by A. O. Smith. This award recognizes the top senior or upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class. Reynolds is entering his 3rd year as the 49ers QB.
The 49ers will also be losing notable names like Tyriq Harris, who was named to the 2020-21 Academic All-America® Division I football second team two weeks ago.
Head coach Will Healy will enter his third year and has to help his team find a way to win with Covid impacting his squad. The Covid-19 pandemic may not be as extreme as it was during last year's season, but it's still a factor, and something Healy and the rest of the squad will have to be wary of and find a way not to let it impact the results of the team.
Charlotte will play 12 games this season. Six will be at home, and the other six will be away games. Below is a breakdown of each game for the 49ers.
Sep. 3 vs. Duke (7 p.m.)
The 49ers kick their season off with a home game against Duke. Charlotte had only played against Duke once before when they lost to the Blue Devils 53-19 less than a year ago. Charlotte will search for a different result for their Green Out home game, and it will be the first time the Niners host an ACC or Power Five team at home.
Sep. 11 vs.Gardner-Webb (6 p.m.)
Charlotte will remain home to face Gardner-Webb, who they have beaten in their previous home games. The last time these two faced off, Charlotte wiped the floor with them, 49-28 in 2019.
Sep. 18 @ Georgia State, 7 p.m.
For the 49ers' first away game of the season, they will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to face off against Georgia State. They haven't played Georgia State since 2017. Charlotte took a 0-28 loss in the two team's last meeting.. It won't be an easy game for the 49ers as Georgia went 6-4 last season and won the LendingTree Bowl 39-21 over WKU.
Sep. 24 vs. Middle Tennessee (6:30 p.m.)
Charlotte returns home to face Middle Tennessee, who beat Charlotte in their first four meetings, but the Niners were able to turn it around and finally beat them in late 2019, 34-20. Charlotte will look for a repeat performance this season.
Oct. 2 @ Illinois, TBD
The Niners travel to Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, to face an unfamiliar foe. This will be the first time the 49ers will face Illinois, a team that went a poor 2-6 last season. Illinois is already 1-0 this season, beating Nebraska 30-22. The team also has a new head coach in Bret Bielema, a veteran college football coaching space.
Oct. 8 @ FIU (7 p.m.)
After their match with Illinois, Charlotte will travel down to Miami to face off against FIU. Charlotte hasn't had much luck playing FIU, losing all five of their matchups. Their last matchup came in late 2019 when FIU took down the 49ers at home 48-23.
Oct. 21 vs. Florida Atlantic (7:30 p.m.)
Charlotte returns home to face FAU, a team they played back in October of last year. Unfortunately, that game did not go Charlotte's way, losing the close contest 21-17 in the debut game for FAU's new head coach. Charlotte also lost to the Owls at home in 2019.
Oct. 30 @ WKU (4 p.m.)
The 49ers hit the road for Bowling Green, Kentucky, to face WKU for the fifth straight year. Whenever the two meet, the game has been a blowout. The closest game was in 2019 when Charlotte lost 30-14. Unfortunately for the Niners, they have only beat WKU once before.
Nov. 6 vs. Rice, (3:30 p.m.)
Rice and the 49ers have just faced off twice before, the last game coming in 2016. That 2016 battle was close as the Niners took a one-point 22-21 loss after allowing Rice to score 22 unanswered points. With this game coming towards the end of the season, it could be a must-win for the 49ers.
Nov. 13 @ Louisiana Tech (3:30 p.m.)
Louisiana Tech and Charlotte have never faced off against each other, but there's a first time for everything. Louisiana Tech went an even 5-5 last season, finishing it out in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl against Georgia Southern, where Louisiana got blown out 38-3. Given the 49ers are facing a new brand team and have trouble on the road, this game will be tough.
Nov. 20 vs. Marshall (3:30 p.m.)
Charlotte's last home game comes against Marshall. When these two last faced, which was back in late 2019, Charlotte grabbed a 24-13 victory over Marshall to extend their winning streak that season to four and give them a bowl-eligible sixth win. After not being able to play in 2020 due to Covid-19, there's a high chance another classic can take place.
Nov. 27 @ Old Dominion (2 p.m.)
Charlotte will close off the season with an away game season finale against Old Dominion. While Old Dominion won their first three games against the 49ers, Charlotte has turned it around and won the last two. Charlotte will look to even the record and close out their season strong on the road.