Photo credit: Charlotte Athletics
Charlotte Football and Biff Poggi now have won two out of their last three AAC games but are still looking for their first home conference win. Saturday will certainly be a challenge, Memphis comes into this one with a 7-2 (4-1) record, scoring 37.1ppg in FBS games, including 49.7ppg over their last 3 contests. The Tigers have also given up their fair share of points as well, 37.7ppg over their last 3, and 29.6 on the season. Conversely Charlotte gives up 27.5 ppg, and just 23.7 over their last 3. The biggest disparity is Charlotte’s offense, which puts up 15.9ppg, but has seen an uptick and is averaging 19.7 over their last 3.
Injuries to note
The biggest question here for Charlotte is the status of Jalon Jones. Will he be healthy enough to see the field? If he is, how does Mike Miller and Biff Poggi handle the rotation here with Trexler Ivey.
There are two big question marks for Memphis, which could be why we’ve seen as the line fall so far. The Tigers starting Quarterback Seth Hennigan and Running Back Blake Watson are both day-to-day per HC Ryan Silverfield. If Hennigan can’t go, Memphis will turn to Redshirt Freshman Tevin Carter, a 6’3 230 prospect that has attempted just 4 passes so far.
What I’ll be looking for from Charlotte
Can Charlotte slow down Memphis?
Memphis is 22nd in the nation with an average of 6.3 yards per play. During their offensive surge over the past 3 games, they are at 7.1 yards per play, top 5 during that stretch. Charlotte needs Ryan Osborn’s group to be at full strength and will need Eyabi Okie-Anoma and Stone Handy to play big in their return from suspension.
This is pretty much an evergreen item at this point in the season. Who plays? What’s the rotation like? Can they generate enough offense to keep up with Memphis?
After a pretty clean game at Tulsa in this category, can they replicate it at home? On the season CLT has averaged 7.1 penalties per game (18th most in FBS), good for 60.3 penalty yards per game, 26th most in FBS. Charlotte needs another clean game to position themselves for an opportunity to upset Memphis. on the season Memphis is averaging 4.6 penalties for 45.1 yards per game.
Game changing plays
Last week Charlotte blocked a punt for a safety, had a game-ending interception, and one big punt return. Charlotte has create big plays like this again to position themselves for the upset. Henry Rutledge can change field position in the blink of an eye for CLT in the return game. With the defense being at full strength again, can Osborn’s unit get to the Memphis QB to create turnovers? Memphis has a solid offensive line, only allowing 2 sacks per game (20th best in FBS), while being just outside of the top third of offenses in percentage of pass plays (52.48%).
Projections from around the internet
via @statsowar on Twitter
Underdogs once again. Per Action, Charlotte opened +11, with the line reaching a high of +12 before falling to +9.5. ESPN’s SP+ predicts Memphis will win 38-19 and gives Charlotte just a 13% chance to win.