Saturday, August 31, 2013

Final: Charlotte 49ers 52, Campbell 7

The Charlotte 49ers opened their new era of college football by pounding Campbell 52-7 Saturday before a sold-out crowd at Richardson Stadium.

Playing the first game in school history, the 49ers made sure there was never any doubt in the outcome, with linebacker Mark Hogan intercepting a pass and returning it 32 yards for a touchdown on the Camels' second play of the game.

Charlotte, playing as NCAA Football Championship Subdivision independent this season, then scored on its first offensive possession when redshirt freshman Justin Bolus caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johnson.

Charlotte rolled up 488 yards in total offense (211 rushing, 277 passing).

The non-scholarship Camels (who play in the FCS Pioneer League) had four turnovers.

Johnson, who was spelled in the second half by backups Lee McNeill and Patrick O'Brien, completed 19 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns.

A crowd of standing-room-only crowd of 16,660 watched the game in Charlotte's new stadium, which has a listed capacity of 15,314 seats.

The 49ers are home again next week against Chowan, an NCAA Division II team that plays in the CIAA. It will be the Hawks' first game of the season.

End of 3rd: Charlotte 49ers 45, Campbell 7

The 49ers outscored Campbell 10-0 in the third quarter to take a 45-7 lead.

Blake Brewer's third field goal of the day, a 40-yarder with 13:35 left in the quarter, gave the 49ers a 38-7 lead. Then Trent Bostick caught a 47-yard TD pass from Matt Johnson and it was 45-7 with 11:36 remaining in the quarter.

Charlotte had 428 yards in total offense through the first three quarters.

Halftime: Charlotte 49ers 35, Campbell 7

The 49ers got a 21-yard field goal from Blake Brewer as time expired in the second quarter and lead Campbell 35-7 at halftime.

Brewer opened the quarter with a 36-yarder to make it 25-0 and the 49ers increased their lead to 32-0 on a 25-yard run Kalif Phillips.

Campbell scored its only touchdown of the half on a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Dakota Wolf.

The 49ers have outgained the Camels 309-163. Phillips leads Charlotte's rushing attack with 42 yards on four attempts with the touchdown. Quarterback Matt Johnson is 16 of 24 for 223 yards and a touchdown. Johnson's numbers would be better, but he's had a couple of drops by his receivers. Charlotte doesn't have a turnover, while Campbell has two.

1st quarter: Charlotte 49ers 22, Campbell 0

The Charlotte 49ers have jumped to a 22-0 lead against Campbell after one quarter.

The 49ers scored quickly when linebacker Mark Hogan intercepted a Brian Hudson pass on the game's second play and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with 14:14 left in the first quarter.

Charlotte scored again, going 66 yards on 10 plays with Justin Bolus catching a 1-yard TD pass from quarterback Matt Johnson. CJ Crawford ran in the two-point conversion.

Charlotte got its third touchdown of the quarter when Independence High product Austin Duke caught a 19-yard scoring pass from Johnson.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Big recruiting day/opportunity for Charlotte 49ers

Saturday's Charlotte-Campbell football game will be a big recruiting opportunity for the 49ers. Several players from the class of 2014 who have already committed, as well others who have been offered by the 49ers will be on hand:

QB Brooks Barden; OL Chris Brown; OL Jean-Luc Cerza-Laneaux; OL Nathaniel Davis; WR Juwan Foggie; WR Kofa Wokpeh; WR Mark Quattlebaum; S Najee Tyler; TE R.J. Tyler.

OL Brian Chaffin, Charlotte Christian; OL/DL Ryan Matson, Cox Mill; QB, Chris Montgomery, Burns; RB/WR Nate Mullen, Hickory Ridge; OT James Passmore, North Gaston; RB Rocky Reid, Concord; DT, Rodney Zeek, Rock Hill South Pointe; DB Jerome Smith, Mays, Ga.

There will be a total of 45 high school players there.

Several high school coaches will also be at the game, including Independence's Joe Evans, Providence Day's Bruce Hardin, Morganton Freedom's Blair Hardin, A.L. Brown's Mike Newsome, South Mecklenburg's Rocky White, Porter Ridge's Greg Nuendorf, East Meck's Chris Williams, Rocky River's Jason Fowler, Mike Byus of East Lincoln, Victory Christian's Dee Brown and York's Bobby Carroll.

Charlotte 49ers' Gibson preseason All-American

Charlotte 49ers' senior midfielder Tyler Gibson has been named to Soccer America magazine's preseason All-American team.

Gibson, who is from Knoxville, Tenn., is also on the Hermann Trophy watch list, along with teammate Giuseppe Gentile, a junior forward from Charlotte.

Other area players on the Soccer America team include North Carolina defender Boyd Okwunou and Duke defender Sebastien Ibeagha.

The 49ers, ranked 18th by Soccer America, open their season Friday at 9 p.m. at Denver. Charlotte's home opener is Tuesday against UNC Greensboro.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charlotte 49ers' football depth chart

Here's the 49ers' football 2-deep depth chart:

WR: Mikel Hunter, Will Thomas
WR: Trent Bostick, E.J. Rhinehart
LT: Jamal Covington, Eugene German
LG: Mason Sledge, Casey Perry
C: Thomas La Bianca, Jarred Barr
RG: Daniel Blitch, Zach Thomas
RT: Danny Book, Wolfgang Zacherl
H: Justin Bolus, C.J. Crawford
Y: C.J. Crawford, Mark Montini
Slot: Austin Duke, Corey Nesmith Jr.
RB: Alan Barnwell, Kalif Phillips
QB: Matt Johnson, Lee McNeill or Patrick O'Brien

DE: Brandon Banks, Devin Clegg
NT: Larry Ogunjobi, Tanner Fleming
DE: James Middleton, Devon Johnson
OLB: Nico Alcalde, Mark Hogan
ILB: Terry Caldwell, Kendal Parker
ILB: Micah Bryan, Caleb Clayton-Molby
OLB: Mark Pettit, Mark Hogan or Justin  Bridges-Thompson
CB: Terrance Winchester, Greg Cunningham Jr.
S: Desmond Cooper, Ardy Holmes
S: Martay Mattox, Daquan Lucas
CB: Tank Norman, Cortezz Nixon or Devin Pearson

K: Blake Brewer or Stephen Muscarello
P: Brandon Strupp
LS: Keaston Sinicki
KR: Mikel Hunter, Martay Mattox
PR: Mikel Hunter,
HLD: Patrick O'Brien

A few thoughts:

-- Trent Bostick, a former Richmond Senior High star, is the only true freshman listed as a starter (aside from kicker Blake Brewer). After Jamel Ross (knee) went out for the season, Bostick emerged in August to grab the first-team spot from E.J. Rhinehart (Northwest Cabarrus).

-- Expect senior outside linebacker Mark Hogan to get a lot of snaps and to possibly break into the starting lineup soon. Hogan has been battling a hamstring injury for the past few weeks.

-- The backup quarterback spot competition is still too close to call between Lee McNeill and Patrick O'Brien.

-- The 49ers' spread offense will feature different formations that will feature an H back and a Y back (hybrids of tight end/running back/fullback). That's why there are 12 positions listed on offense (with no tight end).

-- Coach Brad Lambert says he expects to redshirt these true freshmen: slot receiver Emmit Afam, defensive end Nick Carroll, linebacker Dustin Crouser, cornerback Nicholas Halmon, offensive guard Tevin Lawshe, linebacker Jordan Starnes and H back Jachin Watkins. He's hopeful he can redshirt offensive lineman Eugene German and Wolfgang Zacherl, but they're listed as second teamers and might be called on to play.

-- Keaston Sinicki (Charlotte Catholic) won the starting long-snapper job.

Charlotte 49ers release men's basketball schedule

The 49ers' men's basketball schedule will be released later this morning. A few highlights:

-- The season opens Nov. 8 at Halton Arena against East Tennessee.

-- Charlotte will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 21-24, with a first-round game against Kansas State.

-- Davidson comes to Halton Arena on Dec. 4. Charlotte will host Georgia Tech at Halton on Dec. 29. Two late nonconference additions are home games against USC Upstate (Dec. 21) and N.C. A&T (Jan. 4).

-- The Conference USA schedule begins with road games against Texas-El Paso (Jan. 9) and Texas-San Antonio (Jan. 11). The first home league game is against Tulsa on Jan. 16.

-- The C-USA tournament is March 11-15.

2013-14 Charlotte men's basketball schedule

Nov. 2, Wingate (exh.), 8, East Tennessee; 12, at College of Charleston; 15, Elon, 21-24, Puerto Rico Tip-Off (vs. Kansas State, 1st round).

Dec. 1, UNC Asheville; 4, Davidson; 8, at Appalachian State; 17, at Florida State; 21, USC Upstate;  29, Georgia Tech.

Jan. 4, N.C. A&T; 9, at UTEP; 11, at UTSA; 16, Tulsa; 18, North Texas; 23, at Louisiana Tech; 25, at Rice; 30, Florida Atlantic.

Feb. 1, Florida International; 6, at Tulane, 8, at Southern Miss; 15, Marshall, 20, Middle Tennessee; 22, UAB; 27, at East Carolina.

March 2, ODU; 6, at Marshall. 11-15, CUSA tournament, El Paso, Tex.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Charlotte 49ers soccer updates; golf team heading to Japan

-- The unbeaten 49ers women's soccer team finishes a three-game season-opening homestand Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Gardner-Webb at Transamerica Field. The 49ers (2-0) won their first two games by identical 1-0 scores against Liberty and UNC Wilmington, with Amanda Jones scoring both goals and goalkeeper Alex Kubrick recording both shutouts.

Kubrick won Conference USA defensive player of the week honors for the clean sheets.

Gardner-Webb is 0-1-1, tying North Florida 1-1 on Friday.

Charlotte plays its first road game Sunday at Elon.

-- The 49ers men's soccer team, ranked in the top 25 in most polls in the preseason, wrapped up the exhibition season with a 4-1 victory against Davidson on Saturday at Transamerica Field. Giussi Gentile had two goals, with Will Mayhew and Kyle Parker also scoring.

The 49ers open their regular season Friday at Denver. That's not the only long trip the 49ers will take this season: They play Conference USA games at New Mexico (Oct. 4) and Tulsa (Oct. 13), the two teams ranked above the 49ers in the league's preseason poll.

-- Other sports' season openers have cross-country at the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia on Friday; volleyball plays Cal State-Bakersfield and Davidson on Friday in a tournament at Davidson, with a match against Charleston Southern on Saturday.

-- But the longest trip this fall belongs to the 49ers' golf team, which will play in the Topy Cup in Tanagura, Japan, Sept. 10-12. The 49ers will be in Japan for a week, joining Texas Christian, Alabama-Birmingham and Washington in the field facing four Japanese teams at the Tanagura Country Club.

Charlotte 49ers basketball players Williams, Lester arrested

49ers basketball players Terrence Williams and Shawn Lester were arrested in Charlotte on Friday on charges of second-degree trespassing.

Williams and Lester were released and have trials dates in October.

49ers coach Alan Major said Williams and Lester will be disciplined for violating team rules, but declined further comment.

Williams, a junior guard who played at West Mecklenburg High, started 24 games for Charlotte last season and averaged 7.6 points.

Lester is a sophomore guard from Mooresville High who didn't play last season because he was academically ineligible.

Second-degree trespassing is defined as an  unauthorized person knowingly entering a  premises without the intent to commit a crime.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Charlotte 49ers land Florida DB

The Charlotte 49ers got a verbal commitment late Saturday from Denzel Irvin, a cornerback who is entering his senior season at Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, Fla.

Irvin (6-1, 180) had 82 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions as a junior and is ranked 48th in the Orlando Sentinel's Florida "Super 60" prospects list. He's the 13th commitment in the class of '14 for the 49ers.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moore, Rose in Charlotte 49ers TV booth

Kenny Moore, a former Butler High star who returned to his hometown to play for the Carolina Panthers, will be the color commentator on the Charlotte 49ers'  games on WCCB (channel 18) this season.

Moore will join play-by-play announcer Ryan Rose in the booth, with WCCB's Brandon Davidow the sideline reporter and Kelli Bartik and Jon Wilson providing features.
After graduating from Butler, Moore played at Wake Forest, where he was an all-ACC wide receiver in 2007. He played in a limited role for the Panthers from 2008-10 and was the first Charlottean to play for the team.
Rose has done play-by-play for ACC and Big East football and basketball games for seven years on ESPN3 and has also called arena football, U.S. Olympic diving trials, the Shrine Bowl and other high school and college sports. Rose also is an assistant sports information director for the 49ers.
Davidow and Bartik are sports anchors at WCCB, while Wilson has had several on-air roles at the station since. 2004.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Charlotte 49ers men's soccer: 5 things to know

Here's five things to know about the 49ers' men's soccer team, which opened practice Monday:

-- The 49ers (15-4-3 last season) are already showing up in preseason national rankings. Charlotte is 21st in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's poll and 24th in the College Soccer News poll.

-- Charlotte returns seven starters from last season's team that won the Atlantic 10 regular-season championship and lost to Georgetown in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Leading the way are forward Giussi Gentile (nine goals last season), midfielder Tyler Gibson and defender Thomas Allen, who all were chosen to the preseason All-Conference USA team.

-- The 49ers face a rugged time in their new league. Tulsa and New Mexico are both among the nation's best, and Old Dominion and Kentucky also are expecting to have strong seasons. Charlotte was chosen third in the league's preseason poll behind the Golden Hurricane and Lobos.

-- The season begins Aug. 30 at Denver, with the home opener Sept. 3 against UNC Greensboro. The 49ers begin conference play Sept. 13 at UAB. Charlotte hosts the Conference USA tournament Nov. 13-17.

-- Coach Kevin Langan visited ex-49ers coach Jeremy Gunn (now at Stanford) this summer in California. While he was there, Langan also got a chance to work with the coaching staff of Italian soccer giant Juventus and visit with coach Antonio Conte.


Aug. 30, at Denver.

Sept. 3, UNC Greensboro; 6, at Coastal Carolina; 13, at Ala.-Birmingham; 15, Memphis (at Birmingham, Ala.); 21, Campbell; 24, Central Florida; 27, South Carolina.

Oct. 1, Wake Forest; 4, at New Mexico; 9, Old Dominion; 13, at Tulsa; 19,  Kentucky; 22, Clemson; 30, at Florida Atlantic.

Nov. 2, Marshall; 8, at Florida International; 13-17, Conference USA tournament (at Charlotte.)

Read more here:

Charlotte 49ers football notes

-- 49ers linebacker Mark Hogan has been slowed by a sore hamstring. Offensive lineman Danny Book missed another practice Tuesday due to a head injury. Receiver Will Thomas was back after tweaking an ankle Monday.
-- Best catch of  Tuesday's practice was a one-hander by H-back Peter Fields. Fields, a 6-foot-6, 235 redshirt sophomore from Advance, started his college career at Division II Findlay (Ohio).
-- Sometimes things can get tight on the practice fields, as they did when the defensive backs and linebackers were in interception drills next to each other. When two players nearly collided going for two different balls, free safety Des Cooper visibly cringed.
Defensive backs coach James Adams wanted more space between the two units.
“I told you I need 30 yards, coach!” Adams shouted to assistant secondary coach John Russell, who was working with the linebackers.
-- Two of Charlotte’s potential starting linebackers are pretty good college baseball players, too. Junior Micah Bryan pitched for two seasons for the 49ers, not allowing an earned run in eight of his 13 appearances as a freshman. Senior Mark Hogan, a transfer from Georgia State, hit .313 and had four homers in two seasons with the Panthers. Neither intends to play baseball again: Hogan doesn’t have any eligibility left and Bryan will focus only on football for the next two seasons.

Monday, August 12, 2013

49ers basketball gets late commitment

The 49ers have gotten a late commitment for this men's basketball season from Marcus Bryan, a 6-8 power forward from Raleigh Ravenscroft, a source confirmed this afternoon.

Bryan reportedly also had offers from American, Gardner-Webb, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Drexel, and had interest from Missouri and Virginia Tech. He committed to Appalachian State last year, but apparently changed his mind.

Bryan is the second high school recruit for the 49ers, who got off to a late start in their 2013 recruiting after being caught by surprise when Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson announced they would transfer last spring.

Charlotte also signed forward Cameron Blakely in May. Other new additions this season are Tulane transfer Ben Cherry (shooting guard) and guard Shawn Lester, who was academically ineligible last season.

Observations from Monday's Charlotte 49ers football practice

--The 49ers' best options at the receiver and slotback positions stand at 5-foot-9 (Austin Duke) and 5-10 (Mikel Hunter).

And while the playmaking potential of Duke and Hunter will be significant factors in Charlotte’s spread offense this season, finding a bigger, more physical possession receiver is a high priority.

There are candidates for that role, but when freshman receiver Jamel Ross (6-3, 215 pounds) was lost for the season in July with a knee injury, the list became shorter.

Ross was a likely starter who caught four passes for 47 yards in Charlotte’s spring game.

“We’ve got some guys who are stepping up to take that spot for Jamel,” said coach Brad Lambert.

Candidates include redshirt freshman E.J. Rhinehart (6-4, 2-5), true freshman Trent Bostick (6-1, 195) and junior college transfer Dmarjai Devine (6-3, 210).

The 49ers will also use the H back (a tight end-slot receiver hybrid) in the passing game. C.J. Crawford, a transfer from Marshall, and redshirt freshman Justin Bolus have been splitting reps with the first team in preseason practice. Bolus has been impressive in camp, especially going for high passes over the middle.

-- Receiver Will Thomas injured his right ankle during a passing drill and spent the rest of practice walking around with an ice wrap. Also, offensive lineman Danny Book was held out of practice with a head injury.

-- The competition for long snapper involves two inexperienced players – true freshman Keaston Sinicki (Charlotte Catholic) and redshirt freshman Zach Bumgarner (Hickory St. Stephens).

Sinicki’s only position is long snapper, while Bumgarner is a backup offensive lineman.

They’re going for a job that is perhaps the most anonymous in football. The only time a long snapper gets attention is when he fails to do his job properly.

“We’re trying to put pressure on them, but we might not make a decision until the day before our first game,” said Lambert. “And long snapper is the kind of position where you don’t want anybody to know who you are. If your name shows up in the paper, it’s not good.”

--  The 49ers practiced twice Monday and will have another double session Wednesday, with the first practice beginning at 8:30 a.m. When fall classes start next Monday, they will practice weekdays at 4 p.m.

-- A student drum line has been practicing for 49ers home games. Charlotte won’t have a marching band until 2015 (it will start at 150 members). The game day experience will be different that season from 2013: Richardson Stadium also will have Conference USA-mandated lights and will likely be expanded by then (either temporarily or on a permanent basis).


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Charlotte 49ers open women's soccer practice

The Charlotte 49ers' women's soccer team began practice on Thursday. Here's five things to know about coach John Cullen's club:

-- The 49ers have eight starters back, including junior midfielder/forward Amanda Jones, who will be one of Conference USA's top players. She had seven goals and five assists last season.

-- Goalkeeper Alex Kubrick, who started 12 games last season, had a .76 GAA and had three shutouts. She's back for her senior year.

-- Senior Brooke Mulloy (Charlotte Catholic) was the team's MVP last season and returns in the midfield. The defense is anchored by SarahAnn Waugh.

-- The 49ers open their season with a three-game home stand against against Liberty (Aug. 23), UNC Wilmington (Aug. 25) and Gardner-Webb (Aug. 27).

-- Charlotte, which was 10-8-2 in its final season in the Atlantic 10 in 2012, opens Conference USA play Sept. 27 at Florida International.

Observations from Charlotte 49ers football practice No. 7

Observations from Thursday practice, the 49ers' seventh of the preseason:

-- Coach Brad Lambert surprised the team by scheduling several controlled, full-sided plays at the end of practice. Contact was allowed, but no tackling.

That still meant there was plenty of hitting, and the defense probably came out on top.

The biggest hit of the day was put on receiver Austin Duke by walk-on strong safety Alex Petzke as a pass fell incomplete. Duke popped right up and patted Petzke on the head. Maybe some high school memories came back for both of them: Duke played at Independence; Petzke at Ardrey Kell.

 -- There were at least three fumbles from running backs Alan Barnwell and Kalif Phillips, both missing connections with quarterback Matt Johnson (much to the displeasure of offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen). Cornerback Terrance Winchester had an interception and 6-foot-3 defensive lineman Payton Thomson batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage.

-- There were no new injuries Thursday, although Lambert said freshman defensive end Nick Caroll has tendinitis in his Achilles. Slot receiver Emmitt Afam (hamstring) and defensive end Fletcher O'Neil (separated shoulder) didn't practice.

-- With summer school over, the practice schedule will be ratcheted up until fall classes start. The 49ers go to two-a-days Friday, then again next Monday and Wednesday. They will probably scrimmage during closed practices in the stadium the next two Saturdays, at least, Lambert said.

-- Thursday's best piece of coaching advice: "Don't watch the quarterback's eyes, they'll lie to you every time." -- Secondary coach James Adams to his DBs.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Charlotte 49ers practice report: Tuesday

-- So here’s what happens when it rains at Charlotte 49ers football practice: the team works out on the artificial turf in Richardson Stadium instead of on the two natural grass practice fields.

That’s what happened Tuesday morning when the 49ers practiced for the fifth time this preseason. It rained on-an-off during the two-hour session, as the 49ers also went to full pads for the first time.

“When all the pads go on, it makes things more intense,” said cornerback Tank Norman. “You feel like you’ve really got to out and make plays.”

Coach Brad Lambert said Wednesday’s practice will be the team’s first featuring real contact. Tuesday ended a five-day period that featured no pads the first two days, shoulder pads in Days 3 and 4 and full pads Tuesday.

 “They want to hit each other,” said Lambert. “At the end of the five-day period, we now can ramp it up a little more physically. The kids really want to bang into each other. It’s going to be more physical now, and we’ll start throwing live plays in there.”
The 49ers will have their first two-a-day practices on Friday. That won't happen much in the preseason, however.
-- Lambert said the injury report is still minimal, with cornerback Greg Cunningham working his way back from a sore back. The 49ers’ only injury of note is a knee injury suffered by wide receiver Jamel Ross before before preseason practice began. Ross is out for the season.

-- The 49ers have seven “H-backs" on the roster, a position that is a hybrid of a tight end and slot receiver in Charlotte’s spread offense (the H-back lines up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage). They don’t have any players listed as a tight end, although there is a tight ends coach (Johnson Richardson) but no H-back coach. That’s just roster/position semantics, though.

Look for senior C.J. Crawford (a transfer from Marshall), redshirt freshman Justin Bolus and junior-college transfer Dmarjai Devine to see most of the snaps at H back. Bolus is back on the field after a scary time late last year during which he suffered a twisted bowel, a condition that nearly cost him his life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Charlotte 49ers women's basketball schedule finalized

The 49ers' women's basketball schedule was finalized Monday when Conference USA announced the league schedule. Charlotte will play a 16-game C-USA schedule, facing 14 teams once and its designated "travel" partner Marshall in a home-and-home series.

Charlotte's season opens Nov. 8 against Liberty at Halton Arena; the league season begins at home against Old Dominion on Jan. 8, followed by another game at Halton on Jan. 11 against North Texas.

"We're really looking forward to our first year in Conference USA," coach Cara Consuegra, who is expected to give birth to her first child Tuesday, in a statement. "It's going to be very challenging learning all these new teams, including teams that have been very successful. And, also, with all of us that are also new. It will be a challenge but certainly one we are looking forward to. We get to host some great teams but we're also on the road at some very challenging venues. This team is going to be challenged and hopefully get prepared for postseason play."

The 49ers return two starters from last season's team that went 26-6 and made it to the third round of the WNIT.

2013-14 schedule

Nov. 8, Liberty; 10, at Kansas State; 13, at Minnesota; 20, at Florida Gulf Coast; 23, Central Florida; 26, Winthrop; 30, Cincinnati (at Las Vegas).

Dec. 1, Nevada-Las Vegas or Fordham (at Las Vegas); 8, South Carolina; 17, at Stetson; 21, at Davidson; 29, Furman.

Jan. 3, UNC Wilmington; 8, Old Dominion; 11, North Texas; 15, at Texas-San Antonio; 18, at Texas-El Paso; 22, Tulane, 25, Rice; 29, at Ala.-Birmingham.

Feb. 1, at East Carolina; 8, Southern Mississippi; 12, at Louisiana Tech; 15, at Marshall; 19, Florida Atlantic; 22, at Middle Tennessee; 26, Florida International.

March 1, Marshall; 5, at Tulsa. 11-15, Conference USA tournament, El Paso. 

Observations from Monday practice

-- The 49ers practiced in shoulder pads for a second day Monday (the first time was Saturday; they took Sunday off). No contact was allowed, but the offense and defense went at it for an extended time. Running backs Alan Barnwell and Kalif Phillips showed some quickness and moves coming out of the backfield in the 49ers’ spread offense. Tight end/H back Jason Eury also had a nice catch on the sidelines.

“This was our first day of really going against each other,” said coach Brad Lambert. “So there was a little juice to it. There was good energy and a good attitude.”

The 49ers will practice in full gear for the first time Tuesday.

“It’s about getting guys used to carrying everything (full pads),” said Lambert. “Right now, they’re learning about fast reads, learning how to go at a fast tempo and pace. We don’t want guys on the ground yet. We want to play fast without being on the ground.”

-- Lambert said practice has been largely injury free so far. Cornerback Greg Cunningham has been nursing a sore back.

-- A series of emails obtained by the Observer confirm what both schools have already said: Charlotte and Appalachian State are trying to schedule a football series.

In June, Mountaineers athletics director Charlie Cobb proposed a four-game series beginning in 2018 to Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose.

“I think it would be great for football on this side of the state without (North) Carolina or N.C. State involved,” Cobb wrote. “I also think it would be great for future fundraising, tickets sales and (public relations) for both of us.”

49ers assistant athletics director Chris Thomasson responded, saying Charlotte is interested, but suggested waiting a year to sign a contract, or until Conference USA decides whether it will increase the number of league games from eight to nine.

The 49ers reached out to Appalachian State as early as September 2010, proposing games in 2014 and 2015 that never came about.
Charlotte's 2014 schedule is full and has one open date in 2015 (when the 49ers join C-USA). But that date is taken by a game that will probably be an FBS opponent (likely SEC). Charlotte's 2016 schedule is full, and includes a game at Kansas State.
-- The 49ers picked up two verbal commitments Monday: wide receivers Mark Quattlebaum of Cartersville, Ga., and Juwan Foggie of High Point Central.

Quattlebaum (5-9, 165) is a teammate of Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden, who committed to Charlotte last week. He caught 24 passes for 404 6]yards and six touchdowns last season.

Foggie (6-0, 206) told he also had interest from North Carolina, Wake Forest, Appalachian State and East Carolina. He caught 56 passes for 833 yards and five TDs.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday football observations

Offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen is satisfied with how things have gone the first two days of practice:

"I'm really impressed with the recall," said Mullen. "Last year in the fall, it was figuring out who we are. In the spring, it was to do what we are. Now it's all repeat. We didn't get all crazy and go to football in the summertime and put in a bunch of new stuff."

-- The 49ers will go to shoulder pads for Saturday's practice, then go to full pads beginning Monday.

"We're at the start of a five-day acclimatization period," said coach Brad Lambert. "It's mostly about getting used to being in those pads in the heat."

-- For what it's worth, the 49ers have already picked up some preseason honors: Making's preseason FCS independence all conference first team is safety Desmond Cooper, with defensive lineman Brandon Banks, linebacker Mark Hogan making second team and offensive lineman Daniel Blitch third team.

Cooper and Hogan were also first-teamers on's preseason all-conference list.

The 49ers are one of six programs playing as an FCS independent this season, along with Old Dominion, Houston Baptist, Monmouth, Abilene Christian and University of Incarnate Word.

-- Charlotte's secondary has a slogan: Accountability TCB.

TCB stands for Taking Care of Business, or Taking Care of the Ball, or Taking Care of your Brother, secondary coach James Adams said, whatever works at the time.

The secondary also has a small wooden ground sled that players push along the grass for conditioning purposes. Accountability TCB is painted on it.

-- Linebacker Mark Hogan is an interesting story. He was Georgia State's first football scholarship player when the Panthers started football in 2010. He played three seasons there and graduated as the program's all-time leading tackler (157). He had a big game at Tennessee last season, with nine tackles and a forced fumble. He also had seven tackles against Alabama in 2010. His best game came against ODU in 2010, when he had 14 tackles. He's a good baseball player, too, hitting .313 with four homers and 15 doubles in two seasons as an outfielder at Georgia State.

Hogan grew up in Massachusetts, where he played high school ball at Lincoln-Sudbury. His family moved to Matthews while he was at Georgia State and still lives there.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Observations from Charlotte 49ers' first football practice

Observations from the 49ers' first day of football practice Thursday:

-- Practice began precisely at 7 a.m. under gray skies. The weather stayed relatively un-hot until the practice ended at 8:45 a.m., when the team's true freshmen left to attend an orientation session. The upperclassmen stayed behind for several minutes to finish working on other drills.

-- Most of the practice -- which was without pads -- focused on conditioning and fundamentals. There was a five-on-five passing drill midway through the session. Best catch of the day probably was by Austin Duke, who went up high over the middle to snag a pass from Matt Johnson.

-- From appearances, the most intense group appeared to be the offensive linemen, who received plenty of loud encouragement (and constructive criticism) from coach Phil Ratliff.

-- Two of the team's most recent additions were there: junior college transfer tight end Dmarjai Devine and returner/receiver Emmitt Afam.

-- A few quotes from coach Brad Lambert:

"I really liked the energy and the effort. We looked good. I liked seeing the new guys come in, that makes it kind of a fun day for us, like Dmarjai, (defensive end) Devon (Johnson), (linebacker) Mark  Hogan, getting them involved. Seeing (freshman) Justin Bridges-Thompson running around."

"We see the light at the end of the tunnel now. We're getting ready for something. The guys know it and they're focused."

"I've said all along, since the calendar turned to '13, we're on a normal schedule. But it's nice to have August practice. Now it's for real. We're like everybody else."

"We're way ahead (of schedule). We're in good shape. (Strength coach Jim) Durning did a good job with them this summer in the weight room preparing them."

"The big issue for us is what's enough and what's too much. We've got to get them to the 31st, so our focus is keeping guys healthy. That's what I worry about most."

--The last guys to leave were  Duke, who had did some extra conditioning with position coach Joe Tereshinski, and backup quarterback Patrick O'Brien, who threw to receivers Darius Smalls and E.J. Rhinehart. Ratliff also ran a few laps around the practice field.

-- Not only are the 49ers using a JUGS football passing machine, but they also have one that whips tennis balls at them, which is excellent for hand-eye coordination and all that goes with that. The football team is sharing the machine with the tennis teams.

-- There were a surprisingly few number of fans at the practice, which was open to the public. That might have had something to do with the early start time. The 49ers practice again at 7 a.m. Friday (also open to the public) and at 9 a.m. Saturday (closed).