Charlotte/GW preview

A group of Charlotte players celebrate after a scoring drive

The Charlotte 49ers will host the Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb inside Jerry Richardson Stadium Saturday, Sep. 11 at 6 p.m.. The 49ers are coming off a historic win against the Duke Blue Devils and will look to keep the momentum going. 

The 49ers are coming off a 31-28 victory in a thriller against the Duke Blue Devils on Friday, Sept. 3, while the Bulldogs will look to get back on track after a hard-fought loss against the Eagles of Georgia Southern by a score of 30-25. This will be the fourth meeting between the squads, with Charlotte leading the series 2-1. 

The 49ers are excited to get back on the field and continue to improve as a whole. The team is locked in and looking to win their second game in a row. Head Coach Will Healy feels that the team won't miss a beat this weekend. 

"The team has done a good job of staying locked in because they are hungry for more," said Healy. "We know that we will fight every week, and the players have done a great job preparing for that so far."

The Bulldogs have improved from their 2020 spring campaign, which saw the team go 2-2. Playing Charlotte is a perfect way to measure how competitive the team can be. Healy feels that this will be a test for the 49ers, and they are ready for it. 

"Gardner Webb has improved majorly since the spring season," said Healy. "It will be a great matchup, but we have to stay consistent to have success on Saturday."

Fun Facts:

Gardner Webb Head Coach Tre Lamb (31) and Charlotte's Will Healy (36) are believed to be the youngest coaching dual in college football this season.

Charlotte is 7-2 at home under Healy and will look to add to that this weekend.

If Charlotte starts the season 2-0, it will be the first time they have done so since 2015. 

Keys to a 49er Victory 

The first key to a 49er victory has to be the continued passing success of the offense. Fifth-year senior quarterback Chris Reynolds tore apart the Duke defense with 324 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, which earned him C-USA offensive player of the week honors. A solid passing game opens up multiple aspects of the offense and will be critical if the 49ers hope to come out on top. 

"He [Reynolds] put the ball in the right spots, which was huge," said Healy. "Chris did his part, and he will look to do it again."

Another key for the 49ers to come out on top over the Bulldogs is cutting down on penalties. Charlotte had nine penalties for a total of 65 yards against Duke. The team will look to improve this trend on Saturday. 

"Part of the discipline when it comes to penalties is how do you handle your business daily," said Healy. "We've got to continue to hone in on those things and get our players to understand that penalties can get you beat."

Prediction: Charlotte will combine for over 200 yards on the ground

The 49ers used a plethora of backs last week, which was huge for the run game. The team combined for 178 rushing yards last week, and they will exceed that against the Bulldogs. Expect Calvin Camp and Shadrick Byrd to break off some big runs as well.  

How to Watch

The game will get underway Saturday, Sep. 11 at 6 p.m. at Jerry Richardson Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3, and you can also listen to the game on ESPN 730.

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