Charlotte heads to FIU for a conference matchup
After a tough loss on the road against Illinois last week, the 49ers hit the road again this week to face conference opponent Florida International. With the 49ers being 0-2 on the road this season, this is a perfect opportunity for the team to turn the tables and get their first win in an opponent’s stadium.
This FIU team gives up over 35 points per game, and for a talented offense like the 49ers have, it could be trouble for the Panthers’ defense. Although they give up a lot of points, the head coach for the 49ers, Will Healy, does not want to discredit the Panthers’ defense at all.
“I really think that they (FIU) have played some really good offenses,” Healy said during the team’s mid-week press conference. “Some people have just made some plays on them in one-on-one situations when they put their corners on the islands. It is a talented defense.”
This is a game where the 49er running backs will be looking to get going quickly as the Panthers give up 188.4 yards per game on the ground. If the 49er offensive line is able to clear holes, this is a game with the potential for another 100-yard rushing performance for one of the Charlotte backs.
What the Panthers lack in defense they make up for on the offensive side of the ball. They have a receiving duo of Tyrese Chambers and Bryce Singleton who both are averaging over 80 yards receiving per game. What is arguably more impressive is the fact both of them average nearly 20 yards per reception.
“Great players,” Healy said with emphasis. “I love watching them play. They make a ton of plays in one-on-one situations where the ball is bobbling up and they are finding ways to catch it. They have great athletes and we respect that.”
It is definitely a matchup the 49ers should win if they “bring their own juice,” as coach likes to say and if they execute the game plan to the best of their ability.
Keys to the game for Charlotte
Two keys to the game this week. No big pass plays and stop the run. If the 49ers can do that, there is no reason their offense shouldn’t be able to put up points and come back to Charlotte with a 4-2 record.
Players to watch for Charlotte
Running back, Calvin Camp: Camp did not have his best performance against Illinois with only 29 yards of rushing. However, against a team like FIU who, as mentioned, gives up over 180 yards rushing per game, Camp could be poised for a big game on the ground.
Defensive Back, Geovonte’ Howard: Ever since Howard was banged up earlier in the season, he has come back and played at a high level. He will face arguably his toughest test yet as he will likely cover Tyrese Chambers or Bryce Singleton on Friday, but based on how Howard looked in Tuesday’s practice, he looks like he is ready for the challenge.
Looking to gameday
Charlotte will get things going on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. The Niners are currently favored by 3.5, over/under is at 59.5 or 60 depending on the book, and their monelyline is at -183. After this week’s game, the 49ers have a bye week to get much-needed rest before the remainder of their Conference USA slate.