Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Charlotte season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Charlotte 49ers Preview
Head Coach: Will Healy, 4th year at Charlotte, 14-17
6th year overall, 27-38, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 5-7, Conference: 3-5
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Charlotte Top 10 Players | Charlotte Schedule

Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022

The 49ers are still trying to find the consistency needed to be a bigger factor in Conference USA.

The breakthrough bowl season in 2019 was fun, the 2-4 season in 2020 was because of 2020 – there weren’t any bad losses among the four – and last year a bowl game was well within each, but the defense went bye-bye over a three game losing streak to close out the year.

The experience is there to be better after a decent season, but it’ll be all about the improvement on the other side of the ball.

The new-look Conference USA schedule just got a lot easier, but it’s still going to be a fight to get close to six wins if the D isn’t far, far better. But first …

Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Offense

Again, overall the offense wasn’t all that bad. It would’ve been nice to get more out of the ground game, but the attack blew a tire during the middle of the season. Even so, there were enough times when the offense did the job and the other side didn’t keep up its end of the bargain.

Eight starters are expected back to the spread attack that keeps things moving and does a great job of controlling the time of possession. It starts with …

Veteran quarterback Chris Reynolds returns for yet another year. He’s not all that big, but he’s a good runner, knows what he’s doing with the passing game, and he doesn’t turn the ball over enough to matter.

The tip three receivers are back with a good-sized group – the 49ers recruit to a receiver type that can get down the field. The work gets spread out among Grant DuBose, Victor Tucker, and Elijah Spencer – they’re all 6-2.

All of the top rushers are back. Calvin Camp and former Iowa transfer Shadrick Byrd for a good rotation – they combined for close to 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns – to go along with Reynolds’ ability to get on the move. They all get to work behind a smallish line that gets four starters back and isn’t bad at keeping defenses out of the backfield.

Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Defense

The defense had a few problems. It was among the worst in the country in pass efficiency defense, allowed 465 yards per game overall, was the worst in Conference USA at getting into the backfield, and it allowed 34 points per game. Other than that, everything was great.

At least the 49ers have enough experience to build around, but overall this group has to be far better considering the time it gets to rest thanks to the offense. Making matters worse …

Three of the top four tacklers are done with the linebacking corps needing to all but start over. This is a smallish group that can move, which is fine as long as there’s production in the backfield. Top sacker Markees Watts is back on the defensive front, but he can’t do it alone.

There’s decent size in the interior line for the rotation. Watts is just 218 pounds and Michael Kelly is 225 pounds on the other side – again, the smallish size is fine as long as everyone is disruptive. Central Michigan transfer Amir Siddiq will play a big role in the rotation.

It wasn’t just that the 49ers allowed teams to bomb away too easily. It’s that there were too many big downfield plays without enough takeaways or key stops. However, the secondary should be an early strength if it’s helped by any sort of a pass rush. The veteran safeties will make a whole lot of plays

Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Charlotte Top 10 Players | Charlotte Schedule

Charlotte 49ers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Charlotte 49ers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Charlotte 49ers: Key To The 2022 Offense

Consistency

There wasn’t any.

The 49ers need something they can rely on every game no matter what, and that might come with the eight returning starters to work around.

The O as a whole was fine, had moments of explosion, and was good enough to push through against the bad defenses on the slate. There just wasn’t the same production from one game to the next.

The bowl team in 2019 was able to run for 200 yards enough to rely on the ground attack to take over, and the big downfield plays were there for the passing game when needed. The 2021 O did what it could – now it has to dictate the tempo.

Charlotte 49ers: Key To The 2022 Defense

Start with the run defense

There are a whole slew of things the 49ers have to do better on defense, but the lack of steady production against the run was the problem on a regular basis.

They were able to beat Duke and Rice even though they were ripped up against the run, but that was a strange coincidence. Teams ran well, and then the bombs came – the D allowed almost ten yards per attempt.

That’s why …

Charlotte 49ers: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DT Jalar Holley, Soph.
The improvement on the D starts with getting more inside, and Holley is one of the more experienced options.

The former Miami transfer found work right away on the defensive interior as one of the better options in the rotation. He only made 13 tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss, but he’s got the combination of strength and quickness to be more of a factor.

Charlotte 49ers: Key Transfer

DE Amir Siddiq, Sr.
A true hybrid, the 6-2, 245-pounder started to find a groove last year in the Central Michigan defense with 33 tackles, four sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss. He hadn’t played much in his previous three seasons, but he wasn’t bad when he got his shot. Now he needs to find a spot somewhere in the mix to add more to the pass rush.

Charlotte Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Florida Atlantic, Aug. 27
It’s a Week 0 game that should be a big deal in the Conference USA race right away – it was a 38-9 blowout loss last year at home to the Owls.

Florida Atlantic is seeing it as a chance to kick off its rebound season at home, and Charlotte can steal one to have a shot at a 2-0 start with William & Mary to follow. After the way 2021 ended, Charlotte needs a hot start.

Charlotte 49ers: 2021 Fun Stats

– Time of Possession: Charlotte 32:14 – Opponents 27:46
– Penalties: Opponents 91 for 793 yards – Charlotte 78 for 641 yards
– 1st Quarter Points Allowed: 58. 4th Quarter Points Allowed: 125

O.D Breakdown | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Charlotte Top 10 Players | Charlotte Schedule

Charlotte 49ers Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Charlotte 49ers Season Prediction, What Will Happen

The offense exploded on Duke, but couldn’t do anything against Georgia State. The team battled hard in a good-fight loss to Illinois, and got obliterated by Florida Atlantic.

It was able to push through to a 4-2 start, and it couldn’t do much of anything right the rest of the way. This year, though, the overall experience and good offensive skill parts should be enough to make a bigger push for the second bowl appearance in four years.

Set The Charlotte 49ers Regular Season Win Total At … 5.5

Now the 49ers have to get to six wins.

William & Mary, UTEP, and FIU should be three if all goes well, and there should be a win out of the home games against Louisiana Tech and WKU. But none of that is a given with the way this team might be so up-and-down.

It’ll be at least a five-win season with this slate, but can it start to do more on the road after going 1-5 last year? Two road wins might be enough to go bowling.

Charlotte Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Charlotte Top 10 Players | Charlotte Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams