Middle Tennessee vs Charlotte: Postgame PFF Insights

by Sep 28, 2021Football

Charlotte wins a shootout, 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 them.


Charlotte posted their worst offensive performance of the season on the road at Georgia State, scoring the lone TD on a short rout over the middle where Elijah Spencer worked his magic to take it to the house. That was the first TD catch for the true Freshman out of Dutch Fork HS (SC). Charlotte’s offense posted a 53.4 overall grade: 37.0 for passing, 31.9 for pass blocking, 62.4 receiving, 59.8 running and 58.0 for run blocking. All grades were the worst of the season except for receiving (58.6 posted vs GWU).

Going off of PFF Insights team grades, this will be the best defense we’ve faced so far this season. Middle is 77th over (Duke is 87 & GSU is 91). Do we see Reynolds look more like his usual self? Perhaps the rain was a bigger factor than you would have wanted to see in his performace at GSU, where he clearly missed open WRs. PFF now has Chris Reynolds at 2-15 on deep balls (20+ yards), for our offense to by dynamic, he has to hit more on those balls, otherwise our running backs will keep facing stacked boxes.

Assessment: Reynolds was a flat out dude, as Will Healy would say. He posted his top offensive grade (84.7) and passing grade (86.8) on the season. On the night Reynolds was 25 for 36, totaling 337 yards and 4 touchdowns via the air. He also ran for 32 yards and the touchdown. Also, there was plenty of angst out there for Offensive Coordinator Mark Carney after the poor offensive performance at Georgia State. It’s safe to say he called phenomenal game.

PFF Insights


Middle has REALLY struggled on the ground so far this year, amassing 96 yards vs Monmouth, 66 yards vs Virginia Tech, and 8 vs UTSA. On the season they’ve had 95 carries for 170 yards, that’s a 1.8 YPC clip… If there was ever a game to get on track with our run defense, this is it.

I’ll be watching to see how/who we line up on the defensive line. Through 3 games starting DT Bryan Wallace is the lowest graded performer on defense posting a 35.8 overall while playing just over 70% of the snaps. Josh Bailey (65.5 overall, but only 32 snaps), Josiah S’ao (62.1 overall in 57 snaps), and Isaac Hampton (58.0 overall in 83 snaps). New addition Jalar Holley did not line up on the interior of the DL in any of his 15 snaps at Georgia State.

Assessment: Good news, we only gave up 123 yards on the ground. Bad news, that was at 5.3 yards per carry. This was Charlotte’s top run defense grade by PFF on the season (63.3). Two worrisome pieces here, we posted our worst tackling (49.9) and coverage (51.3) grades this year. Bryan Wallace posted his best grade of the season at 65.3, all 3 earlier games he was in the low 40’s, hopefully a great sign moving forward.

PFF Insights


Sticking with this one as a key again, is Charlotte able to get on track here vs an FBS foe? As I mentioned, in my first key, Middle is the highest rated defense we’ve faced this year per PFF. That holds true for their run defense grade as well: Middle 74.9 (42), GSU 74.5 (43), and Duke 66.7 (81).

Can the offensive line create some holes here? 2 things I’d like to see are: using Tucker/Mack in the WR sweep role again, and for Reynolds to be assertive on the ground in the read-option.

Assessment: Charlotte posted their top run and run blocking grades of the year vs an FBS foe (65.9 and 73.3). The run blocking grade eclipsed that from the GW game as well. The offense toted the ball at a 5.5 yards per carry clip for a total of 220 yards. Shoutout to Grand Dubose for his team-high grade of 83.6 for run blocking.

PFF Insights

Charlotte top graded players



WRGrant Dubose

Overall grade: 86.1
Snap count: 62
Pass grade: 83.0
Run block grade: 83.6


QBChris Reynolds

Overall grade: 84.7
Snap count: 78
Pass grade: 86.8
Run grade: 61.8


RTTJ Moore

Overall grade: 76.6
Snap count: 75
Pass block grade: 74.8
Run block grade: 74.0


LGD'Mitri Emmanuel

Overall grade: 74.6
Snap count: 78
Pass block grade: 73.2
Run block grade: 74.6


RBShadrick Byrd

Overall grade: 68.4
Snap count: 40
Pass grade: 80.3
Pass block grade: 72.7
Run grade: 66.1
Run block grade: 51.8



EDGEMiguel Jackson

Overall grade: 79.6
Snap count: 22
Run defense: 66.6
Tackling: –
Pass rush: 67.6
Coverage: 62.6


CBLance McMillan

Overall grade: 72.9
Snap count: 41
Run defense: 60.3
Tackling: 64.1
Pass rush: 45.4
Coverage: 76.3


SJon Alexander

Overall grade: 69.3
Snap count: 68
Run defense: 70.8
Tackling: 70.2
Pass rush: 60.0
Coverage: 67.1


MLBLuke Martin

Overall grade: 67.2
Snap count: 60
Run defense: 73.9
Tackling: 80.0
Pass rush: 58.9
Coverage: 61.4


DTBryan Wallace

Overall grade: 65.3
Snap count: 44
Run defense: 65.6
Tackling: 70.2
Pass rush: 62.1
Coverage: 59.8

Middle Tennessee top graded players



QBChase Cunningham

Overall grade: 91.9
Snap count: 68
Pass grade: 92.7
Run grade: 63.2


WRJarrin Pierce

Overall grade: 77.9
Snap count: 56
Pass grade: 76.9
Run grade: 61.2


WRJimmy Marshall

Overall grade: 75.5
Snap count: 40
Pass grade: 89.3
Run grade: 46.5


WRJaylin Lane

Overall grade: 71.7
Snap count: 35
Pass grade: 70.7
Run grade: 44.3


WRYusef Ali

Overall grade: 67.6
Snap count: 28
Pass grade: 66.7
Run grade: 61.0



SGregory Grate Jr.

Overall grade: 69.6
Snap count: 78
Run defense: 64.1
Tackling: 64.5
Pass rush: 59.2
Coverage: 70.7


STra Fluellen

Overall grade: 68.8
Snap count: 22
Run defense: 65.6
Tackling: 77.8
Coverage: 67.1


SREed Blankenship

Overall grade: 68.4
Snap count: 76
Run defense: 74.0
Tackling: 66.6
Pass rush: 59.5
Coverage: 64.4


CBQuincy Riley

Overall grade: 66.3
Snap count: 64
Run defense: 53.5
Tackling: 83.5
Coverage: 69.3


DEJordan Ferguson

Overall grade: 65.9
Snap count: 68
Run defense: 57.6
Tackling: 42.9
Pass rush: 64.1
Coverage: 60.0

Charlotte team grades on the season

Overall: 95th (75.1)
Offense: 52nd (74.0)
Defense: 116th (58.3) – NOT GREAT
Special Teams: 30th (82.8) – Nick Hancock looks like a great hire so far for ST’s.

Offensive breakdown

Passing: 45th overall (74.5)
Pass Blocking: 83rd overall (53.7)
Running: 88th overall (72.7)
Run blocking: 58th overall (64.4)
Receiving: 31st (73.5)

 DEFENSIVE breakdown

Run: 116th overall (52.3)
Tackling: 100th overall (55.6)
Pass Rush: 103rd overall (66.6)
Coverage: 106th overall (58.5)

Niner nuggets

Grant Dubose is a Top 15 WR in the country (overall offensive grade). Click the image to expand.

Chris Reynolds is approx the 65th highest rated QB in the country. Fuzzy math due to having to remove quite a few guys with minimal snaps/attempts that are rated higher than him at the moment.

Shadrick Byrd is rated 16th overall RB when looking at receiving grades. He’s been dynamite when we’ve used him out of the backfield.

Come discuss these numbers, and more, on discord

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