Photo credit: Sam Roberts, Freeze Frame
Simply put, today was embarrassing
Will Healy and his Charlotte 49ers—who came in as 14 point favorites—fumbled on the second play from scrimmage, which led to an early FIU touch down. The Panthers never looked back, taking a 27-0 lead into halftime. FIU ultimately stretched the lead out to 34-0 by the end of the third quarter, which Charlotte adding 2 touchdowns in the fourth, with the game well in hand for the Panthers. With the win today, FIU took home their first road conference win since November 2018 (credit to Eric Henry for this nugget).
At this point there really isn’t much of a story to tell. Things just have not worked, offensively or defensively, and that’s landed Charlotte at 1-7, along with a huge cloud of uncertainty around the status of Head Coach Will Healy. Earlier this week on WFNZ Healy mentioned that he talks frequently with Director of Athletics Mike Hill.
“Mike and I talk all the time and there is zero question that both he and I are not happy with starting 1-6. I understand I have a job to do and it is based on results and I haven’t lost any confidence about what this place can become.”Will Healy
You can stream that interview in its entirety here
Hearing that interview live didn’t have me excited for this matchup, or for the rest of the season. You can hear his tone has changed, and no doubt the season is wearing on him and the staff, just like I’m sure it has the players and fans. Today’s attendance for homecoming really caught my eye, 10,576. This game is usually packed with a great atmosphere, but that wasn’t the story today, and I’m sure Mike Hill and team are keenly aware of the drop.
Back to the game, today marked 2 consecutive games giving up less than 40 points, but also another game where the offense turned it over multiple times. No one wins when you turn it over 5 times, and that’s what happened today. After only 1 turnover in the first 3 games, Charlotte has proceeded to have 16 in the next 5 games. It’s not winning football and unfortunately the scores have followed suit.
It’s going to be an incredibly long week for everyone involved with the program until 2pm ET next week when Charlotte takes on the improving 4-3 (2-1) Rice Owls down in Houston. This one will be aired on ESPN3 as well, and those the lines are available yet, I think we’ll see Charlotte around 14 point underdogs when this opens, those most of Rice’s games this season have been closely contested..