Charlotte (2-1, 0-0 C-USA) at No. 1 Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium (81,500), Clemson
TV: ACC Network
Line: Clemson by 41
1. Charlotte is a relatively new program, having played its first game in 2013, but it hasn’t taken the 49ers long to start having some success. Charlotte went 5-7 a year ago and is off to a 2-1 start in 2019 in its first season under head coach Will Healy. Charlotte destroyed UMass 52-17 last week.
2. Speaking of Healy, he has the 49ers headed in the right direction. Charlotte lost to UMass by nearly three touchdowns in 2018, before beating them this year. And the 49ers didn’t belong on the same field as Appalachian State a season ago, falling at home 45-9. The 49ers hung tough at App. St. in Week 2 before falling 56-41.
3. App. St. has established itself as one of the top non Power 5 programs in the country. The Mountaineers went 11-2 last season, including an overtime loss at Penn State. Tigers co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott described Charlotte as being similar to App. St. from a personnel standpoint, and Scott wouldn’t be surprised to see the 49ers join App. St. as a top non Power 5 program soon.
Three Charlotte players to watch
1. Running back Benny LeMay is off to a great start in 2019 and is averaging 7.6 yards per carry and 117 yards per carry. LeMay, who has four rushing touchdowns, is 5-foo-9, 215 pounds. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables compared him to Maurice Jones-Drew.
2. Quarterback Chris Reynolds can make plays with his arm and his legs. The sophomore is averaging 196 passing yards per game and has throw for seven touchdowns, with two interceptions. Reynolds has also rushed for 141 yards and two scores this season.
3. Scott singled out Alex Highsmith as a player on the Charlotte defense the Tigers will have to account for. Highsmith already has 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks in three games.