"Was idly curious so I started perusing…Charlotte isn’t terrible. In fact by the numbers they’re quite a bit better than Georgia Tech is.
When my son did the recruiting circuit awhile back he came back burbling about Charlotte’s facilities, which surprised me, but they were obviously making a massive push to upgrade their program. The money they’ve put into their program shows, whatever - they’ve elevated themselves to Conference USA status, arguably the top conference in the so-called “Group of 5”, and they’re 2-1 right now. They beat Gardner-Webb (49-28), dropped a shootout to an unbeaten App State team (56-41) - outgaining the Mountaineers 526 yards of total O to 458, losing owing mostly to two turnovers - and then thumped UMass 52-17 this past week.
Their offense is shockingly good, nationally, just four places behind Clemson, ranking 17th overall in yards per game (522.3 per game) out of 130 FBS team. If you’ve read my prior posts you’ve probably seen I use the NCAA stats site as a natural “bell curve”…that means, like Clemson, the 49ers are an A-level offense in college football. Their scoring offense has been better than ours…47.3 points per game, good for 14th overall, whereas we’ve averaged 39.0ppg (28th overall.)
Their D has also performed well. The 49ers rank 42nd out of 130 FBS teams, good for a solid “B” on that aforementioned bell curve. They allow just 313.0 yards per game, though their scoring D hasn’t been as good; they’ve allowed 33.7 points per game, which puts them at 106th nationally.
What jumps off that stats sheet is this: this is not a bodybag game. These guys have absolutely zero name recognition because they’re so new to FBS, but they are assuredly not Furman or El Cid or even Coastal Carolina. I doubt they’re quite as good as their stats indicate, but they didn’t get those numbers in a vacuum, and they certainly indicate this Charlotte team probably ranks anywhere from the 30’s to 50’s nationally in reality and are substantially better than a lot of bottom-end Power-5 teams. Like I said, I think they’d thump Georgia Tech good and proper right now.
Clemson’s coaches do a good job prepping so I doubt any of this will be a surprise, but Clemson fans expecting a casual 70-point stroll next week are likely in for a surprise. Charlotte can and likely will fight back some - this could be a statement game for them - and this is not an automatic “W” if Clemson sleepwalks in.