Charlotte stumbled in Atlanta, what do the numbers show us?
In the pregame piece, which can be found here, I talked about my 3 keys to the game. Let’s assess how Charlotte did against those.
Does Watts and company take advantage of the poor pass blocking? How will Jalar Holley’s debut impact things? Lastly, how well does Charlotte contain Brown when he tucks and runs?
Assessment: Brown is an easy one, as he didn’t play except when Darren Grainger’s helmet popped off. Grainger carried for 17 times for a total of 50 yards, and a long of 13. Markees Watts was Charlotte’s highest rated defensive player in this one, posting 81.6 overall. PFF credits Watts with 10 tackles, 1 sack and 2 hurries. How’d Holley do in his debut? He posted an overall 50.8 (which is meh), but did have the teams 3rd best grade for pass rush (64.7) behind Watts and Tyler Murray. Charlotte will certainly need Holley to bolster his performance when facing the run if they want to turn the tide and better stop our opponents ground attack.
Charlotte’s Overall Defense grads out at 117th in the country as of now, Run Defense ranks 115th overall, Pass Rush is 123rd, Coverage at 83rd and Tackling is 95th. To counter act that, Charlotte’s offense is going to have to get on track if Charlotte wishes to bowl this season.
Georgia State has graded out extremely poor in pass coverage, team grades of 29.6 (Army) and 43.3 (UNC Chapel Hill). Conversely, Charlotte has posted 81.2 (Duke) and 58.6 (GW) receiving grades leading up to this one. If the offensive line can give Reynolds enough time, I look for Tucker, Dubose and company to have a big day. Just noting that at some point Elijah Spencer is going to make some big things happen, similar to Jairus “Nono” Mack last week. Spencer has been the best WR in the run blocking game per PFF, with a 73.4 grade.
Assessment: I hit the nail on the head with Elijah Spencer, he scored Charlotte’s lone TD on a 36 yard strike from Reynolds, with 27 of those yards coming after the catch. Anyone that watched the game knows that Chris Reynolds struggled, whether it was the rain or something else, he wasn’t his normal self.
Is Charlotte able to get on track here vs an FBS foe? The run game success or lack thereof in this one could tell us more than the earlier games.
Assessment: No, Charlotte posted their season low grades on offense (60.0), including run (59.8) and run blocking (58.0).