Football-vs-NC A&T, 9/16, Chris Crews, DSC_6162

Players celebrate after scoring last season. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers released the 2018 football schedule Tuesday morning. The schedule features eight opponents that traveled to bowl games last season. The team opens at home for the first three game, and closes their schedule on the road for three of their last four games.

For the second time ever, the team will open their season at home against FCS opponent Fordham on Sept. 1. The team finished 4-7 overall last season, 3-3 in the Patriot League. The last time the Niners could be seen at home for an opener was the 52-7 victory against Campbell.

The following week, Sept. 8, Charlotte will take on in-state foe Appalachian State in the Rich. This will be the first time the two teams will compete against each other, but marks the beginning of a home-and-home series. The Mountaineers were the 2017 Sun Belt Champions and defeated Toledo, 34-0, in the Dollar General Bowl.

The Niners will open conference play on Sept. 15, hosting Old Dominion. Charlotte has yet to defeat the Monarchs, losing 6-0 last season in Norfolk. The 49ers have also yet to win a conference opener.

The following week the 49ers will travel up to Massachusetts to take on the Minutemen. Last season the team went 4-8 as an FBS Independent team which included a 17-13 loss at Tennessee and a 30-27 loss to Appalachain State in overtime.

Sept. 29 the 49ers resume conference play traveling to UAB. The Blazers were the 49ers lone win last season with a 25-24 overtime victory on homecoming. UAB touts C-USA’s Coach of the Year and Freshman of the Year with Bill Clark and running back Spencer Brown. The Blazers fell to Ohio, 41-6 in the Bahamas Bowl.

The team will get a breather on Oct. 6 as this will be the team’s bye week.

Charlotte returns to play Oct. 13 hosting WKU. The 49ers have only faced the Hilltoppers once before and lost 45-14 in Bowling Green. Last season Western Kentucky fell 27-17 to Georgia State in the Auto Nation Cure Bowl.

Next, the Niners hit the road and travel to face Middle Tennessee on Oct. 20. Charlotte is 0-3 against the Blue Raiders. The last time the two teams met was in MT’s 35-21 victory at Jerry Richardson last season. The Blue Raiders defeated Arkansas State 35-30 in the Raycom Camellia Bowl at the conclusion of the 2017 season.

Oct. 27 holds a home match for Charlotte against Southern Miss on Oct. 27. The Golden Eagles have lost to the 49ers once in their three matchups. The team finished 8-5 overall and 6-2 in conference. They lost to Florida State in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl, 42-13.

The first weekend of November the 49ers will travel to Rocky Top as they will play against the University of Tennessee. The Niners have only faced an SEC opponent once before in their 58-10 loss to Kentucky. The Volunteers were 4-0 in non-conference play last season and welcome new Alabama’s defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as their head coach this season.

Charlotte continues their road trip the next week at Marshall on Nov. 10. The last time the team traveled to Huntington they returned to the Queen City victorious, 27-24 in 2016. The Thundering Herd beat Colorado State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 31-28.

The Niners wil host FIU for their final game in Charlotte on Nov. 17. The 49ers are 0-3 all-time against the Panthers. FIU lost to Temple in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, 28-3 last season.

To finish the regular season, the 49es will travel to Florida Atlantic on Nov. 24 and face Lane Kiffin and the Owls. Charlotte recorded their first ever conference win two seasons ago in Boca Raton. Last season, the Owls were the C-USA Champions and they defeated Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Spring practices and the annual Spring game are looming overhead, meaning these games will be here in no time.

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