Charlotte Football Game 2: What I’ll be looking for

by Sep 7, 2023Football

Photo credit: Chris Carlson, Associated Press

With the trek to College Park, Maryland starting soon, it’s time to talk about the game versus Maryland, what I’ll be looking for from Charlotte, and how this game could have a ripple effect for Charlotte on the trail. While this game is a homecoming for Biff Poggi and many of his players, the focus can’t be on that. Starting offensive tackle Kevin Williams said it best during the weekly press conference. “This is a business trip at the end of the day. And it is about us, its not who we play, it’s how we play.”

ICYMI, I collaborated with Maryland Sports Blog on a Behind Enemy Lines piece to discuss Saturday’s game.

What I’ll be looking for from CLT

Charlotte has to win the turnover battle if they are looking to bring a victory back to the Queen City. Jalon Jones had 2 interceptions in the opener β€” and Biff Poggi discussed how the offense put the defense in “horrendous positions” on ESPN 730 yesterday during an interview. On top of Jones valuing the ball in this one, Charlotte will need to stretch the field vertically in this one, while potentially being without Jaden Bradley again (Twitter report he’s out again).

The Maryland offensive line is a question mark for the Terps this season, and they gave up double-digit pressures last week to Towson. They were without starting right tackle Gottlieb Ayedze, and reports on Twitter show he’s been in pads this week and Mike Locksley hopes he could be available for Saturday. The front seven has been much discussed for Charlotte, and this is their chance to prove it on a national stage. All eyes on Eyabi Okie, Julius Welschof, Demon Clowney and company here.

Charlotte had 4 running backs get carries in the opener, with former four-star prospect Durell Robinson leading the way with 11, and QB Jalon Jones with 10. We all know that Biff and team want a run-heavy, downhill rushing approach to the offense, but will they continue to ration out carries as equitably as they did in the opener? Or will we see RB1 emerge and take over a larger share of the carries. Robinson certainly flashed, but I came away impressed with redshirt freshman Terron Kellman.

It goes without saying that this team is completely different than last year’s squad that lost 56-21 at home to Maryland. That defensive unit allowed over 600 yards and what seemed like an endless number of explosive plays. I don’t think the Charlotte staff and players will be happy unless they come back with a win, but this is a measuring stick for Charlotte to show just how improved they are on that side of the ball.

Ripple effect

Biff Poggi and his staff have prioritized recruiting in the DMV, with numerous former DMV area transfers already on the roster, a handful of high school signees 2023, and two commits for 2024 already in the fold. Maryland will undoubtedly be hosting a group of recruits for unofficials for this weekend’s game. This affords Charlotte a unique opportunity on the road at a power five opponent, to showcase the program they are building in front of recruits they likely engaged with as well. Truthfully, a good showing here can raise an eyebrow, and a win is a statement from Biff and program in front of a national audience and prospective recruits.

Mining for Greatness

The much-anticipated ESPN+ series starts tonight at 7pm ET. Episode one has been titled, “Meet Coach Biff.” Charlotte Football social channels have released a trailer for the series, and you can access it below. Bookmark this link to watch the show tonight.

Join us on discord to talk all things Charlotte Football