CHARLOTTE 49ER NOTES:
Charlotte (2-1) hits the road for its first road game of the year, visiting James Madison (2-1), Saturday at 6 p.m. The 49ers are 2-1 following their season-opening three-game homestand. They are coming off a 40-13 loss at the hands of North Carolina Central in which the 49ers put up over 500 yards of total offense but committed 7 turnovers.
James Madison is 2-0 at home with wins over Central Connecticut (W, 38-14) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (W, 24-20). Their loss came on the road at Akron, 35-33. The 6 pm kick will be the 49ers’ latest start this season and constitutes the lone night game.
Charlotte ranks first in the FCS in fumbles recovered (7) and turnovers forced (12), third in tackles for loss (9.7/gm) and 8th in total offense (497.0).Charlotte has outscored its opponents 112-54.
Charlotte has started 14 (Chowan; NCCU) or 15 (Campbell) freshmen or red-shirt freshmen, in its three games this year. Opponents are averaging 2.7 freshmen/redshirt freshmen starters.
The 49ers uptempo offense produced season highs of 106 plays, 533 total yards and 31 first downs vs. NCCU. Charlotte is averaging 82.7 players per game. QB Matt Johnson, a red-shirt freshman, ranks 8th in the nation with 25.67 completions per game.
The 49ers have scored TD’s in each facet of the game: offense passing (8), offense rushing (4), defense (1), special teams (1).
In wins, Charlotte has scored touchdowns in each of the eight quarters and scored on its first possession.
Passing: Matt Johnson 873 yds (77-111; 291.0/gm; 8 TD; 5 Int)
Rushing: Kalif Phillips 172 yds (34 att.; 5.1 avg.; 1 TD)
Receiving: Austin Duke 246 yds (19 catches; 12.9 avg.; 3 TD)
Touchdowns: Austin Duke 3 TDs
Tackles: Micah Bryan; Terry Caldwell (21 each)
Tackles for loss: Terry Caldwell 6.5 TFL
QB Sacks: 6 players with 1.0 each
QB Hurries: Larry Ogunjobi; Devon Johnson (3 each)
Fumble recoveries: Terry Caldwell 2
Interceptions: Mark Hogan 2
#49 (Players honored with uniform #49 on Game Day):
Campbell: Larry Ogunjobi, NT
Chowan: Caleb Clayton-Molby, LB
NCCU: Mikel Hunter, WR
Inaugural game:Charlotte scored its first touchdown just 46 seconds into the Campbell game on LB Mark Hogan’s 32-yard interception return and the 49ers scored on their first eight possessions and raced to a 32-0 lead. QB Matt Johnson connected on his first eight passes, two of which went for TDs and finished with 282 yards and 3 TD’s on 19-of-29 passing.
LB Mark Hogan scored the 49ers historic first TD on an interception return on the second play from scrimmage at 14:14.
Head coach Brad Lambert recorded a victory in his college head coaching debut with a starting lineup that included 14 red-shirt freshmen and one true freshman.
Perfect:In their two wins, the 49ers are a perfect 9-of-9 on red zone conversions (5-5 vs. Campbell; 4-4 vs. Chowan), scoring 6 touchdowns and 3 field goals.
Defense:In each of the two wins, the 49ers defense put points on the board (interception return for TD vs. Campbell; safety vs. Chowan) and created 9 turnovers.
Gold Rush:Charlotte has scored a rushing touchdown in each of its three games. The team’s 4 rushing TD’s have come from four different players: Kalif Phillips (vs. Campbell), Corey Nesmith Jr. (vs. Chowan), Alan Barnwell and Lee McNeill (vs. NCCU).
Charlotte has outscored opponents 41-6 in the first quarter and 27-7 in the 4th quarter ... Charlotte owns a +3 turnover margin and ranks 1st in the FCS in turnovers forced (12) ... Charlotte ranks third in the FCS in tackles for loss (9.7/gm)and 15 different 49ers have figured in a tackle for loss ... Mikel Hunter leads the 49ers with 383 all-purpose yards, including 200 on kick-off returns.
Scoring Spread:Charlotte has scored 14 touchdowns. Eight have come on passes, four on rushes, one from the defense and one on a kickoff return.
History Maker:LB Mark Hogan, a grad student who transferred from Georgia State, etched his name in 49ers record books by intercepting a pass on the 2nd play from scrimmage and returning it 32 yards for the first touchdown in 49ers history just 46 seconds into the inaugural game. Hogan also made history at Georgia State, where he was that start-up program’s first scholarship player and the school’s all-time leading tackler.
Perfect Start:On the 49ers first two offensive possessions, QB Matt Johnson connected on each of his first eight passes and led the 49ers to a pair of touchdowns. He was 5-of-5 in the first drive and hit Justin Bolus on a one-yard pass for the touchdown. The second drive, which started on his own 4-yard line, covered 96 yards in four plays and took just 45 seconds. He hit Mikel Hunter for 44 yards on the first play to get out of trouble and found Austin Duke for a 19-yard strike for the touchdown. Johnson finished the first quarter 8-8 on pass attempts for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He hit four different receivers.
Madness FCS Independent Awards:
Week 2:Micah Bryan, Defensive Player of the Week (6 tackles, 2 TFL, one sack, one fumble recovery, one INT)
Mark Hogan, Defensive Player of the Week (One INT, returned 32 yards for TD; 49ers first-ever TD; 6 tackles)
College Football Performance Awards:
Week 3: Terry Caldwell, Hon. Ment. Def. of Week (7 tkl, 3 tfl, 1 fum rec.)
Week 2: Mikel Hunter, National Kickoff Returner of the Week
(96 yard Kickoff return for Touchdown)
Matt Johnson, Honorable Mention QB of Week (5 TD’s)
Week 1: Blake Brewer, Honorable Mention K of Week (3-3 FG; 5-5 PAT)
• Perfect Symmetry(credit Matt Crossman, Charlotte Magazine):
In its first game, Charlotte scored on the 2nd play from scrimmage, on an interception return by LB Mark Hogan on the first pass thrown his way.
In his first game as a player, 49ers head coach Brad Lambert scored on an interception return. Entering the game in the second half, the interception return was on the third snap, but a previous play was negated by penalty, so it, too, was the 2nd official play, on the first pass thrown his way.
* First True Freshmen: In the inaugural game, Trent Bostic (WR, Rockingham, N.C./Richmond Senior) became the first true freshman to start a game as a position player. True freshman Blake Brewer (K, Concord, N.C./Cannon School) was the first 49er to touch the game ball, putting it in play on the opening kick at 12:08 p.m. He also became the first true freshman to put points on the board with his extra point after the opening TD and he kicked the 49ers first field goal, a 35-yarder at 14:49 of the 2nd quarter. True freshman Kalif Phillips (RB; Kannapolis, N.C./AL Brown) scored the first rushing touchdown in 49ers history on a 15-yard run at 9:32 of the 2nd quarter.
TRUE FRESHMEN INAUGURAL GAME IMPACT:
Trent Bostic: 1st freshman to start as a position player
Blake Brewer: 1st 49er to touch game ball (opening kick)
1st freshman to score a point (extra point)
1st 49er to kick a field goal (35-yarder)
Kalif Phillips: 1st 49ers rushing TD (15-yard run, 2nd quarter)
True Freshmen In Action:Seven different true freshmen have seen action this season for the 49ers, including Trent Bostick, who has started all three games, Kalif Phillips, who is the team’s leading rusher and Blake Brewer, who handles kicking duties:
Justin Bridges-Thompson, LB Played in all 3 games
Trent Bostick, WR Started all 3 games
Blake Brewer, K 4-5 FG; 12-13 PAT
Devin Pearson, CB Played in 1 game (NCCU)
Kalif Phillips, RB Played in all 3 games
Keaston Sinicki, LS Played in all 3 games
Wolfgang Zacherl, OL Played in all 3 games
Game 3 (NCCU) Notes/Stats:
49ers amassed season-high 533 yards on season-high 106 offensive plays
49ers committed a season-high 7 turnovers (5 interceptions; 2 fumbles)
49ers first loss of the season and first game in which they trailed
Single game records for rushing (Kalif Phillips, 85) and receiving (Austin Duke, 97)
QB Matt Johnson season-high 31 completions for season-high 335 yards
P Brandon Strupp avg. 40.5 per kick, with season-long of 55
14 49ers starters were freshmen or red-shirt freshmen (NCCU 5)
Game 2 (Chowan) Notes/Stats:
3 touchdowns following Chowan turnovers.
Season-high 4 sacks against Chowan (Bryan; Ogunjobi; Fleming; Thomson)
Linebacker Micah Bryan vs. Chowan (6 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 int, 1 FF, 1 FR)
KR Mikel Hunter posted 49ers first kickoff return for TD with a 96 yard return.
QB Matt Johnson set a school record with 5 touchdown passes vs. Chowan.
P Brandon Strupp pinned 3-of-5 punts inside the 20
14 49ers starters were freshmen or red-shirt freshmen (Chowan 2)
Inaugural Game Notes:
Charlotte scored on each of its first 8 offensive possessions
Charlotte scored in each of the four quarters
Charlotte scored a touchdown in each of the four quarters
Charlotte did not punt in the first half.
Charlotte was 5-for-5 in red zone possessions (3 TD; 2 FG)
15 49ers starters were freshmen or red-shirt freshmen (Campbell 1)
Game One Notable Stats:
QB Matt Johnson: 19-of-29, 282 yds, 3 TD’s, 0 int, long pass of 47 yds
RB Kalif Phillips: 9 rushes, 66 yards, 1 TD, long of 18
RB Alan Barnwell: 9 rushes, 55 yards, long of 23
WR Mikel Hunter: 148 all-purpose yards (80 rcv; 6 rush; 42 KR; 20 PR)
WR Austin Duke: 5 catches; 66 yards, 1 TD, long of 23
WR Trent Bostick: 4 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD, long of 47
K Blake Brewer: 5-5 Extra Points; 3-3 FG (35, 20, 40)
LB Micah Bryan: 8 tackles, 6 solo, a break-up
LB Mark Hogan: 6 tackles, 5 solo, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception
LB Terry Caldwell: 6 tackles
CB Terrance Winchester, 4 tackles, 3 solo, 1 interception
P Blake Strupp, 5 punts, 184 yards (36.8 avg), 2 inside 20; long of 42
Turnovers forced: 4 (Interceptions: Hogan, Winchester; Fumble recoveries: Clayton-Molby, Little)