Mistakes kept Charlotte out of reach as the 49ers tried to steal one on the road under the lights at Rynearson Stadium.
The game was closer than Eastern Michigan’s 24-7 victory would suggest.
Eleven penalties – most of which took the momentum out of solid drives – and three interceptions gave the Eagles an opportunity to pull away.
The 49ers’ defense played well early, allowing just 10 points through 2 1/2 quarters. Eastern Michigan held a 17-7 lead because of an interception return for a touchdown on Charlotte’s first drive.
A lack of sustained success on offense for the 49ers wore their defense down and Eastern Michigan put together a five-play, 76-yard drive to go up 24-7 late in the third.
Three who mattered
Trent Bostick: After starting his first three seasons, the 49ers’ senior receiver sat out last year with lingering concussion issues. He finished the game with three catches for 34 yards and the 49ers’ only touchdown, which came on a tough catch in coverage.
Hasaan Klugh: Charlotte’s junior quarterback had a rough day through the air, going 12-for-28 with 114 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. However, Klugh had an impressive day on the ground with 14 carries for 101 yards.
Charlotte defense: The defense kept the 49ers in the game for as long as it could. Charlotte forced three turnovers, with a fumble, an interception and a turnover-on-downs.
▪ On Charlotte’s first drive of the second quarter, in a 14-7 game, the 49ers drove it to the Eagles’ 33 and looked prepared to tie the game. However, two roughness penalties and an illegal formation derailed the drive.
The 49ers’ offensive line put together a solid performance, allowing just two sacks in the game.
▪ Sophomore linebacker Jeff Gemmell was all over the place, finishing with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss for Charlotte.
▪ Charlotte senior linebacker Karrington King finished with 10 tackles. He needs two more to tie the school record of 217.
▪ Charlotte outrushed Eastern Michigan 166-128. The Eagles finished with a 267-114 advantage in passing yards.
▪ Junior linebacker Juwan Foggie forced and recovered the 49ers’ only fumble.
▪ Junior safety Ed Rolle had the 49ers’ only interception.