James Madison (4-3) at Charlotte (3-4)
Noon, Richardson Stadium
TV: WCCB (Ch. 18)
Radio: WFNZ (610-AM)
Scouting James Madison
Like the 49ers, the Dukes are coming off a bye week. ... James Madison’s most recent game was a 62-7 victory against Towson. ... Quarterback Vad Lee is a transfer from Georgia Tech who has already thrown for 1,662 yards and leads the team in rushing with 562 yards. ... Coach Everett Withers is a Charlotte native (West Charlotte High), who played at Appalachian State and later served as North Carolina’s interim head coach in 2011. ... The Dukes will be without safety Dean Marlowe in the first half. He was penalized for targeting against Towson. ... The Dukes have several FBS transfers, including receiver Sean Tapley (North Carolina) and nose guard Xavier Gates (Kansas State).
Matchup to watch
49ers S Branden Dozier vs. Dukes WR Deane Cheatham: Dozier is emerging as one of Charlotte’s best defenders, leading the team with 52 tackles, as well as having an interception (for a touchdown), nine pass breakups and two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown). Cheatham leads James Madison with 26 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but the Dukes spread it around in their passing game with seven players having at least 12 catches.
• Charlotte’s big-play tendencies on offense have masked a season-long problem. The 49ers have a third-down conversion rate of just 30 percent (29 of 96).
• The 49ers are in an odd portion of their schedule. They had last week off and, after Saturday’s homecoming game, then have another bye next week before finishing the season with consecutive home games against Coastal Carolina, Wesley (Del.) and Morehead State.
• Members of punter Arthur Hart’s high school team from Washington, D.C., will be at the game. Hart attended Model School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He’s averaging 37.2 yards per punt this season.
• For 49ers fans heading to the game from Cabarrus County: N.C. 29 southbound is closed near the Mallard Creek bridge.
• 49ers running back Kalif Phillips has rushed for 749 yards, an average of 107.0 per game. Both would rank in the top 20 nationally in FCS (the 49ers aren’t included in the statistics as they transition to FBS).
Numbers to watch
3 Consecutive games 49ers WR Austin Duke has broken school record for longest touchdown catch (74, 80 and 84).
102 Career tackles by LB Nico Alcalde, the first 49ers player to pass the 100-tackle mark.
10 Touchdown plays of 25 or more yards in the past three games for Charlotte.
2 Interceptions returned for a touchdown by James Madison’s Jimmy Morehead.