Charlotte/Rice FB preview

Charlotte redshirt sophomore running back ChaVon McEachern (6) carries the ball during a football game against FIU on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.

It has been a long week for the Charlotte football program after the firing of Head Coach Will Healy. The 49ers will return to basics as they travel to Houston, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 28, to take on the Rice Owls.  

The team is looking for their first Conference USA (C-USA) win in 2022. The 49ers will turn to Offensive Line Coach Pete Rossomando for the rest of the season. 

Rossomando said the 49ers are ready to get back out there. 

"It has been an interesting week around here," said Rossomando. "The guys have done a great job of rallying around each other. I appreciate everybody on the staff for getting our guys ready to play."

Scouting Charlotte

The 49ers are 1-7 overall and 0-4 in C-USA play so far this season. Their only win came against Georgia State on Saturday, Sept. 17. The team is coming off a 34-15 loss to Florida International University (FIU) last week. 

The 49ers' offense seemingly hit a wall last week against Florida International, only scoring 15 points, all in the fourth quarter. The unit looks to rebound on Saturday afternoon; talent-wise, Charlotte has everything they need to perform well on the road. 

Six-year senior, Chris Reynolds, has dealt with a lot this season. Reynolds got banged up in the team's week one matchup against rival Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and missed the next two games. 

Since returning, Reynolds has been up and down, throwing 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. 

His two worst games of the season have unfortunately come in the last two weeks, where he has thrown only one touchdown to 5 interceptions. 

Reynolds will have to do a better job of taking care of the ball if the 49er offense wants to get into a groove against the Owls' No. 30 pass defense. 

After the best season performance two weeks ago against the University of Alabama Birmingham, the 49er defense struggled last week against FIU. 

They allowed 453 yards, including 147 on the ground and 34 points. 

The Panthers practically did whatever they wanted on offense, and the Charlotte defense will have another chance at redemption this week. 

Scouting Rice

This season, Rice is 4-3 overall and 2-1 in C-USA play. The Owls are coming off a 42-41 overtime victory against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Oct. 22. 

The Owls rank No. 65 in the nation with 30 points per game using a well-balanced offense. 

Rice quarterback, TJ McMahon, has thrown for 13 touchdowns on the year and averages 212 passing yards per game.

On the ground, Ari Broussard leads the way for the Owls with 262 yards and nine touchdowns on the year. 

Rice has four running backs who've run the ball over 20 times this season, so it is likely the 49ers will see multiple players out of the backfield. 

On the defensive end, the Owls allowed 30.43 points per game, which is good for No. 98 in the nation. 

They are led by defensive linemen Josh Pearcy, who has 4.5 sacks on the year, the most on the team. 

Charlotte will need to pay special attention to Pearcy, or he could make it a long day for Reynolds. 

In the secondary, Gabriel Taylor has two interceptions and two pass breakups on the year and will likely be a significant chess piece as the Owls attempt to stop the 49ers' arsenal of weapons. 

Keys to winning

The 49ers will need to get things going on the ground in the contest. 

Shadrick Byrd and Chavon McEachern combined for 65 rushing yards against the Panthers last week. The run opens the passing game for any offense, so the team must improve in this category.

The second key to a win is stepping up on defense. The 49ers are giving up 43.3 points per game and 243.3 rushing yards per game. The team needs to fix these issues against the Owls today. 

Where to watch 

The game will kick off at 2 p.m. inside Rice Stadium and will be available to stream on ESPN3, or you can listen in on 730 The Game.