Football

49ers’ Gameday

Charlotte football coach Brad Lambert will lead his 49ers in their season opener Friday at Georgia State.
Charlotte football coach Brad Lambert will lead his 49ers in their season opener Friday at Georgia State. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte (0-0) at Georgia State (0-0)

3:30 p.m., Georgia Dome

TV: ESPNU

Radio: WBCN, 1660. Pregame show at 2:30 p.m.

SCOUTING GEORGIA STATE

The Panthers are on an 11-game losing streak. They beat Abilene Christian 38-37 in last year’s opener but lost their other games … Coach Trent Miles has tried to bolster the ground game by recruiting a pair of California junior college running backs, Taz Bateman and Kendrick Dorn … Quarterback Nick Arbuckle threw for 23 touchdowns in 2014 but had 17 interceptions.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Charlotte running back Kalif Phillips (and backup Andrew Buie) against the Georgia State front seven. The Panthers’ coaching staff spent much of the offseason trying to bolster a rushing defense that surrendered an average of 300 yards a game in 2014. If the 49ers can run on Georgia State, they can control the tempo.

OBSERVATIONS

▪ This, of course, is Charlotte’s first game against a Football Bowl Subdivision foe. Georgia State’s first game against an FBS team was in the Panthers’ inaugural season – a 63-7 loss at Alabama.

▪ Charlotte is 2-0 in season openers, but those victories were against Campbell, a Football Championship Subdivision team.

▪ This also is the first time Georgia State has opened against an FBS foe. The Panthers are 3-2 in season openers.

▪ Georgia State coach Trent Miles worked with Charlotte coach Brad Lambert as assistants on the Oklahoma staff in 1990.

▪ Georgia State plays its home games at the Georgia Dome, but university officials are working to build their own stadium somewhere near the downtown Atlanta area.

BY THE NUMBERS

0: Number of national TV appearances before Friday for the 49ers. The game is on ESPNU.

3: Number of football games at the Georgia Dome over a 48-hour period. The Falcons played Baltimore in an NFL preseason game Thursday night, and Louisville meets Auburn on Saturday afternoon.

149: Number of career starts combined by the Charlotte offense, for an average of more than 13 a player.

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