Kevin Olsen’s first pass in a Charlotte 49ers’ uniform went for a long interception.
He did a lot better the rest of Saturday night’s Green-White Spring Game.
Olsen, named Charlotte’s starting quarterback for the 2016 season Thursday, threw for 163 yards as the Green team took a 14-7 victory over the White in the fourth-annual scrimmage at Richardson Stadium.
Olsen had a memorable start for the 49ers. His first pass – a deep ball over the middle to Austin Duke – went bad, with Alex Duncan picking it off after matching Duke stride for stride.
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After that, however, Olsen settled down. Playing three quarters of Saturday’s scrimmage, he completed 14 of 18 attempts with two interceptions.
“It was a little bit of miscommunication – a little bit of bad on both sides there,” Olsen said. “But after that, we settled down as an offense and got into a rhythm. We played pretty well, except for two or three plays.”
Three who mattered
Kevin Olsen: Showed why he was a four-star prospect out of high school, showing poise in the pocket that was lacking by the 49ers in 2015.
Matt Johnson: The quarterback turned running back showed signs of progress. He ran for one touchdown, and ran several plays out of the wildcat.
Hasaan Klugh: Olsen’s nominal No. 2 had his problems throwing the ball (4 of 16, 104 yards), but two of those went for touchdowns. He also had five carries for 44 yards; three of which would have been TDs in a real game.
▪ Duncan, who transferred to Charlotte from Navy, was the defensive star of Saturday’s game. In addition to his game-opening interception, he also recovered Green running back Alex Barrow’s end zone fumble.
▪ Klugh had the game’s two longest pass completions, both for touchdowns – a 49-yarder to Mark Quattlebaum in the third quarter for the White team, and a 38-yarder to Trent Bostick in the fourth quarter for the Green team.
▪ One area that showed improvement from last year was the 49ers’ punt team. Junior Arthur Hart, who averaged 38.6 yards per kick last year, averaged 47.7 per kick Saturday, with two kicks of 50 or more yards.
▪ However, the 49ers field goal unit still needs work. Kicker Blake Brewer, who made just 14 of 27 attempts last season, clanged a 34-yard attempt off the left goal post late in the first quarter.
▪ Eight players pulled double duty in Saturday’s game, playing for both the Green and White teams: Klugh, Barrow, wide receiver Nate Mullen, tight end R.J. Tyler, offensive lineman Wolfgang Zacherl, defensive back Devin Pearson, linebacker Jarett Schott and defensive lineman Randy Suydam.
▪ Olsen’s parents, Chris and Sue Olsen, were in the grandstands at Richardson Stadium, as was his famous older brother – Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
▪ Quarterback Cody Keith, a grad student transfer from East Carolina who played high school ball at Myers Park and South Mecklenburg, has left the 49ers’ program with intentions of transferring to another school.
They said it
▪ “We had a good, productive spring, and the guys capped it off by doing good things on both sides of the ball. We got a chance to develop a lot of depth … and I feel we found our quarterback.” – Charlotte coach Brad Lambert.
▪ “When it’s the first play of the game, you want to look out for the deep ball. When I saw Austin Duke go past eight yards, I figured he was running a post or a seam, so I just started running. It just happened to be there.” – Duncan on his opening interception.
▪ “Three weeks ago, if you had asked me how I was going to do, I had no confidence in myself. But I worked with the most encouraging group of guys on the planet helping me make that transition.” – Johnson, on the move from quarterback to running back.