Despite facing a Kentucky team stuck in the midst of a five-game losing streak, Charlotte underwhelmed Saturday during a 58-10 loss in its first program appearance against a “Power 5” opponent.
With the loss, the 49ers fall to 2-9 and have now lost nine straight games.
Playing in front of a sparse crowd in a snowy Commonwealth Stadium, Charlotte’s defense buckled under Kentucky’s rushing attack. The Wildcats finished the game with a season-high 415 rushing yards. Stanley “Boom” Williams rushed for a career-high 140 yards while Jojo Kemp added 165 yards and three touchdowns.
Kentucky initiated the scoring on its second possession after going three-and-out on its opening drive. The Wildcats then proceeded to score on four straight drives, building a 27-3 lead after Charlotte cut the deficit to 10-3 early in the second quarter.
The 49ers were unable to respond behind a neutered offense attack. Leading rusher Khalif Phillips rushed just once and Charlotte was held to 233 yards of total offense. The 49ers punted nine times.
Three who mattered
Kentucky running backs
Stanley “Boom” Williams, Jojo Kemp and Sihiem King combined for 415 rushing yards and six touchdowns as Kentucky’s run game decimated the 49ers.
The defensive end for Kentucky finished the game with six tackles, three for a loss, 1.5 sacks with two quarterback hurries.
He rushed just once and never returned to the game after a lingering knee injury. Charlotte missed its leading rusher after rushing for just 146 yards.
▪ Charlotte allowed Kentucky to rush for a season-high 415 yards in the game. The 49ers have held five opponents this season to 140 rushing yards or fewer.
▪ Charlotte’s first play in Kentucky territory came on the last play of the first quarter.
▪ After a three and out on its first possession, Kentucky scored on four-straight drives.
▪ Charlotte scored its first points in program history against a Southeastern Conference team after Blake Brewer knocked in a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.
▪ The 49ers’ quarterback issues continue as Brooks Barden passed for just 87 yards in the game. His longest pass was a 31-yard strike to Kyle Hoffman.
▪ Kentucky’s C.J. Johnson had a beautiful one-handed diving interception late in the third quarter.
▪ Kentucky is now one win away from becoming bowl eligible for the first time under coach Mark Stoops.
▪ Both teams combined for just four penalties.