Charleston Southern (4-0) at Charlotte (3-1)
Noon, Richardson Stadium
TV: WCCB (Ch. 18)
Radio: WFNZ (610-AM)
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Scouting Charleston Southern
The Buccaneers are ranked 25th in this week’s Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll ... Charleston Southern leads the nation in passing defense at 105.0 yards allowed and is third nationally in total defense (221.8 yards per game) ... Darius Hammond is sixth nationally in punt-return average (19.2 yards) ... The Buccaneers beat Charleston-rival The Citadel 20-18 last week ... Fullback Christian Reyes needs 332 yards to become the Big South’s leading career rusher.
Matchup to watch
Charlotte ILB Dustin Crouser vs. Charleston Southern QB Austin Brown: Freshman Crouser is getting his third career start and has led the 49ers in tackles over the past two games (nine against N.C. Central, 15 against Elon). He’ll be in the middle of a 49ers defense that will need to control Brown, who kick starts the Buccaneers’ option offense from the shotgun formation. Brown is first in the Big South and seventh in FCS with a 165.4 pass efficiency rating.
• The 49ers will be without one of their top big-play options in receiver Trent Bostick, who suffered a concussion last week against Elon. H-back Richard Murphy, who also had a concussion, has been cleared to play.
• The tough part of Charlotte’s schedule truly starts Saturday. After Charleston Southern, the 49ers have Gardner-Webb, The Citadel, James Madison and Coastal Carolina.
• 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson has had bad luck on his first pass attempt of two games. The ball slipped out of his hands for an incompletion against Campbell. Against Elon, running back Kalif Phillips ran too close to Johnson, whose arm hit Phillips as he was releasing the ball, resulting in a fumble.
• Charleston Southern’s option offense gets a lot of attention, but the Buccaneers defense has also been stout this season. But Charleston Southern – with victories against The Citadel, Newberry, Campbell and Point (Ga.) – probably hasn’t seen an offense like Charlotte’s.
Numbers to know
24 Rushing attempts against Elon by Kalif Phillips, a 49ers record.
531 More rushing yards by 49ers than opponents (853-322).
4 Turnovers by 49ers last week against Elon.
8 Seniors on Charlotte’s roster.