A week removed from the thrilling overtime comeback game against Rice, the 49ers found themselves in a familiar situation as of late, down by a few scores late in the game needing a miracle.
This time, no miracle was to be found as LA Tech was able to hand the 49ers their fifth loss of the season, ending their own five-game losing streak by a score of 42-32 despite a 15-point fourth quarter from the 49ers.
"You can't give teams gifts," said Charlotte head coach Will Healy. "We can't miss opportunities. We've got to play well to win football games, and we did not do that tonight. We had way too many self-inflicted (wounds)."
Despite the excellent effort by veteran Chris Reynolds, the 49ers could not find a way to slow down the rushing attack of their opponent.
Even though it has been noted throughout the season, the problem remains the same.
"A lot of missed opportunities," was Head Coach Will Healy's remark following the loss. "We didn't get off the field on third down at all, and that is disappointing."
Despite the team's defensive woes, Reynolds had an excellent game trying to will his team back into the game late.
Reynolds had over 440 yards passing with two touchdowns to accompany the yardage. This was his first career game with more than 400 yards passing. It wasn't until the second half where he got going, but did and finished with a great individual game.
"Incredible competitor Chris Reynolds (is)," Healy said. "Getting banged up, but he just keeps competing."
LA Tech running back Marcus Williams II was on top of his game. Unfortunately, many of the running backs the 49ers have faced have seemed to be this way. Mateo Durant, Chase Brown, Ari Broussard to name a few.
This is something that, if the 49ers hope to be bowling in December again this year, they will have to sure this up and do it quickly. Much easier said than done, but the season's end is rapidly approaching and something has to change.
The Charlotte passing defense gave up 324 yards, two touchdowns, 131 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Player of the game
—Chris Reynolds, Quarterback: What is left to say about the veteran signal caller. He is the heart and soul of what it means to be a 49er. He never folds and never gives up when the deck is stacked against him. This corny cliche is applicable to Reynolds' work ethic, and he is the one guy on the team who his team can rally behind. This game against LA Tech came on Reynolds's 23rd birthday, a timely game able to put up a career-high.
Looking to the latter part of the season
This was the 49ers' 99th game in program history. They fall to 5-5 on the season with a chance to clinch bowl eligibility next week at home, on senior day, against Marshall. The 49ers last hosted Marshall in 2019, when they clinched their first-ever bowl game in school history. The Thundering Herd are 6-4 this season and 4-2 in conference play.
The real challenge and the real character of our football team will be how we respond," said Healy as the team looks ahead. "We need to find a way to get one so we can continue to play. It'd be big for our program. It'd be big for our seniors. I would love them to earn that opportunity."
You can tune in next Saturday on Nov. 20, at 3:30 p.m. on the Stadium streaming service or WCCB-TV. The game can also be heard on the radio at 730 The Game.