Photo credit: Sam Roberts, Freeze Frame
Charlotte’s undisciplined performance leads to suspensions by Poggi
Let’s jump into that headline first, following Friday’s contest Charlotte announced multiple players will be suspended and not travel to Tulsa next week. I think it’s safe to assume Eyabi Okie-Anoma will be one of the players in the unnamed group. We’ll just have to reverse engineer who is missing come Saturday at Tulsa at 4pm ET on ESPN+.
I failed to mention the national recognition that Jasper Parks, Charlotte’s starting right tackle received after his performance versus FAU. Pro Football Focus named him to there Week 9 College Football Team of the week. Parks has graded out as the 2nd best OL prospect in the AAC so far this season, quite the debut for the Sioux Falls transfer.
PFF’s Week 9 College Football Team of the Week: Offense♨️ pic.twitter.com/L8A70xiVEO— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 30, 2023
If you were to tell anyone that Charlotte before the game that Charlotte would:
- have similar first downs to FAU
- have similar total yardage
- have no turnovers, and force FAU into one
- dominate time of possession 38:29 to 21:31
There’s no chance in hell anyone would have thought Charlotte loses that game by 20-plus points. It’d really be unfathomable, but the self-inflicted issues are something Charlotte just hasn’t been able to overcome. More on that below.
Penalties and an overall lack of discipline
Unfortunately, those are recurring issues after 8 games into the Poggi era. Charlotte is near the bottom of FBS, averaging 7.6 penalties per game for an average of 63.9 yards (in FBS competition). The more troublesome part is that these figures are trending in the wrong direction, over the course of the last 3 games CLT has averaged 8.7 penalties per game for an average of 73.7 yards per game. Not all penalties are created equal, a hustle penalty where someone snags a facemask is one thing, but personal fouls are simply inexcusable, and Charlotte’s had too many of them this year. Friday night Charlotte had 12 penalties for 106 yards, no need to really elaborate any further, the number speaks for itself.
“Generally, way too many penalties. Obviously, they say statistics are for losers, and they’re probably right, but the only statistic that matters is 38-16.”Head Coach, Biff Poggi
Injuries are stacking up
Charlotte lost both Jalon Jones and Trexler Ivey on Friday, Poggi’s comments post-game did not sound promising, but Niner Nation is still waiting for a detailed update on both players. Two more offensive starters went down, Center Jonny King (started every game this season) and running back Shadrick Byrd. On top of that, Jalar Holley, Julius Welschof and Kendall Stanley are all done for the season as well.
With uncertainty around Ivey and Jones, all eyes turn to Dom Shoffner and Micah Bowens. Bowens was given 1 snap last week, a 4th and forever, that didn’t go very well. Then Shoffner came in and moved the ball down the field, but the Niners were unable to score before the clock expired.
Given how things went earlier in the season, and the rotation of QB’s, I’d fully expect to see both Shoffner and Bowen’s at Tulsa, unless Jones and/or Ivey are healthy.
This season certainly hasn’t gone the way Charlotte’s staff thought, especially with all the bravado leading up to the start of the campaign. Charlotte is currently 2-6 (1-3), and with only 4 games left, a shot at a bowl game is all but gone. Given the lack of discipline versus FAU, and this week’s trip to Tulsa with some key players likely missing, this will be a test to see how well the staff can pull the players in together and perform. I’ll have more on the Tulsa matchup later this week.