Game 12: What I’ll be looking for

by Nov 23, 2023Football

Photo credit: Charlotte Athletics

Personal pride, that’s the carrot out in front of Charlotte Football as they head to Tampa Bay to take on USF in the season finale. USF, also in year 1 of a reboot, needs a win to secure bowl eligibility. When asked what they wanted to see out of their teams this week, both coordinators said a win. Biff said he “wants to see effort, enthusiasm, toughness, hard play, relentless play, and a win.”

While this game closes the door on a disappointing season, it opens the door for what I’m sure will be an adventurous offseason. We’ll see players leave the program starting as early as Sunday. Poggi and staff will meet at 2:30pm on Sunday, then (unsure on date/time) there will be player exit meetings. As interested in the transfer portal as we all are — players in games, afterall — we can’t overlook coaching staff turnover. Ryan Osborn has done a tremendous job leading this defense and I have no doubt he’ll be coveted, and in turn, those under him could be pursued as well. On the other side of the ball things never materialized and the offense sputtered throughout most of the season. We saw a couple outbursts against Tulsa and Memphis, but objectively speaking, they are two of the worst defenses in the AAC. South Florida is worse than both of those, so the opportunity for Mike Miller’s unit to end the season on a high note is there for the taking.

Injuries to note

While specifics were not mentioned, there’s plenty of them for CLT. Head Coach Biff Poggi touched on this in his weekly press conference and likened it to the Tulsa game where Charlotte was down several staters, though that was suspension related.

What I’ll be looking for from Charlotte

Points allowed

I promise I’m not mailing this in. USF has a prolific offense, and they are going to get yards, but this comes down to how well can we perform defensively inside the redzone. Bend, don’t break and we should be in the mix.

Put up some points

USF gives up the third most points in FBS vs FBS games in the country at 38.1 points per game, and over their last 3, has allowed 43.7 points per game.

Quarterback play

I’m assuming that Jones is out due to his concussion last week, and we will primarily see Ivey. Shoffner certainly seems to be the #2 behind Ivey, with Bowens out of the mix. That said, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Bowens to see what he can do. We have plenty of tape/data on Ivey, almost no game reps for Bowens.


With so many injuries, I’m curious to see what players may emerge in this one. With Portal Combat nearly here, realistically we’re looking at players competing for spot on the roster. Some might not like it, but that’s how things have evolved, it’s full on free agency and scholarships are one year obligations.

Projections from around the internet

via @statsowar on Twitter

Underdogs, again. Per Action, Charlotte opened +5.5, and currently sits at +6. ESPN’s SP+ predicts USF to defeat Charlotte by a score of 33-22 and gives Charlotte a 28% chance to win the season finale.

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