Charlotte (4-3) at Charleston Southern (7-1)
1 p.m., Buccaneer Field, Charleston
Radio: ESPN 730
49ers vs. Buccaneers in 100 words
The 49ers return after their first bye week of the season (they’re also off Nov. 16) … Charleston Southern is the sixth nationally ranked team on Charlotte’s schedule (four FCS, one Division II, one Division III) … This is the 49ers’ third road game (1-1 so far) … Charleston Southern received an NCAA waiver for a 13th game when they played at Colorado on Oct. 19 (agreeing to play when a Colorado-Fresno State game from earlier in the season couldn’t be rescheduled after damaging floods in Boulder) … It’s the first time an FCS team has played 13 regular-season games.
By the numbers
6 Games of at least 250 passing yards for 49ers QB Matt Johnson.
2 Charlotte’s FCS rank in takeaways (23), had been first for several weeks.
28.1 Third-down conversion rate by Charleston Southern, third nationally.
Scouting Charleston Southern
• The Buccaneers play a triple-option offense, with running back Christian Reyes averaging 96.5 yards per game and scoring six touchdowns. The Bucs’ average 229.5 yards rushing, tops in the Big South.
• Charleston Southern, which has a victory against Appalachian State, has had injury problems with its quarterbacks. Senior starter Malcolm Dixon (knee) is out for the season and backup David Croghan didn’t play last week against Colorado because of a concussion. Third-stringer Kyle Copeland played against the Buffalos and coach Jamey Chadwell said he won’t decide on a starter against Charlotte until Saturday.
• Leading receiver Kevin Glears has just 21 catches (3.0 per game), but five of them have been touchdowns. One of them went for 64 yards against The Citadel.
• Buccaneers defensive end Will Hunt has five sacks, which leads the Big South.
Matchup to watch
Charlotte WR Austin Duke vs. Charleston Southern S Corbin Jackson
Duke’s 41 catches for 504 yards and six touchdowns lead Charlotte. He’s one reason why Chadwell is worried about the 49ers’ big-play capability. Jackson, a sophomore, has two interceptions and will help the Buccaneers cornerbacks with Duke.
• Redshirt freshman inside freshman linebacker Daquan Lucas has worked himself into the starting lineup. Lucas began the season as a safety, but moved to linebacker when Kendal Parker went down with an injury.
• The key for Charlotte’s defense is to stay patient and wait for Charleston Southern’s quarterback – whomever it is – to pitch the ball or carry it out of the triple option. The 49ers’ coaches expect Croghan to start and respect his decision-making abiliity.
• The 49ers have established themselves as having an offense capable of making big plays. Eleven Charlotte touchdown drives have taken less than 90 seconds.
• Charleston Southern’s Buccaneer Field, which seats 4,000, is among the smallest stadiums in FCS. The School’s CSU Fieldhouse (capacity of 881) is the smallest in Division I basketball.
• Charleston Southern has helped the Big South dominate the Southern Conference this season, going 6-2 against a league of which it has historically lived in the shadows. Charleston Southern’s 27-24 victory against Appalachian State is one of the more notable victories (although the Mountaineers are struggling).
• The 49ers will have center Matt La Bianca back from a knee injury. Also, linebacker Tyler DeStefani, who hurt his finger in the preseason, should be back.
3 and out: With K Blake Brewer
Q. When and how did you become a kicker?
A. I was in ninth grade. I had been a soccer player through my middle-school career and the football coach (at Concord’s Cannon School) asked me to come out.
Q. When are you trying to kick the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs and when are you directionally kicking?
A. A lot of it is based on what (assistant) coach (James) Adams wants me to do. The main difference is if I want the ball to go up and far, I’m lower on the ball. Everything else is the same. It depends on where you contact the ball.
Q. What’s the longest field goal you’ve kicked, in practice or in a game?
A. I kicked a 64-yarder in practice in high school. At James Madison, I went for one that was 58 yards (in the rain). But I figured since it was a hurricane, it didn’t matter. I would try my best and do everything I could in that regard.
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