Behind Enemy Lines: Charlotte

In week two of the 2022 season, the Terps head down to the queen city to take on the UNC Charlotte 49ers. The 49ers start the season 0-2 after losing to FAU and William and Mary. Today I asked “Agent 49”, who is close with the 49ers some questions about the team to help Terps fans know what to expect and look forward to on Saturday.

Inisde the Black and Gold: What do you think has led to the team’s struggles so far this season?

Agent 49: Charlotte made multiple changes to the defensive staff, bringing in a new DC, DL coach and DB coach, in an effort to reinvent their defense. So far the changes haven’t materialized into results. Charlotte also dipped into the transfer portal adding Central Michigan defensive end transfer Amir Siddiq—and others—but much like the staff changes, Siddiq’s impact has yet to be felt. Siddiq’s counterpart, Markees Watts is on the cusp of breaking Charlotte’s all-time sack record, but he too has struggled to get to the quarterback through 2 games.

IBG: What would you like to see the team do to turn their season around and pull off the upset?

A49: Simply put they have to find answers on the defensive end. Secondary has to cover better, and the defensive line has to find a way to create havoc in the backfield.

IBG: Who are two players on both sides of the ball Terps fans should look out for?

A49: Offensively look no further than the WR room. Grant DuBose is a star, NFL Draft Bible has him with a 2nd Round grade. Beyond DuBose is Redshirt Senior Vic Tucker who is reliable and steady, but capable of game changing plays as well. Then you have Sophomore Elijah Spencer, who reeled in 6 TD’s as a Freshman, and is coming off of a 5 catch, 107 yard performance in the loss versus William & Mary. I’ve already mentioned the defensive ends, who have to improve. Beyond Watts and Siddiq, Linebacker Derek Boykins is a player to keep an eye on, he’s likely the most talented defensive player on the roster.

IBG: What is QB Chris Reynolds status for the game and how much should we expect to see him play after missing last week?

A49: Head Coach Will Healy did not announce Chris Reynolds status, and hasn’t named a starter for this one. My guess is they play it close to the vest all week and we don’t know until pregame. That said, I think it’ll take hiding Reynolds pads and helmet to keep him out for 2 games in a row.

IBG: On a scale of 1-10, how fun and exciting would you say the Charlotte gameday experience is and why?

A49: Everyone will look at the stadium size and think it’s ho-hum, and I get that. However with the field being sunken below the bleachers, it traps noise really well. Throughout last season and our home opener versus William & Mary, Charlotte’s averaged around 5k students in attendance. They are loud and help bring a true collegiate atmosphere.

IBG: How do you predict the game to go?

A49: Unfortunately, not great from a Charlotte 49ers fan perspective. While Charlotte may be about to counter the Terps well from an offensive perspective (if Reynolds is healthy), I feel the defense won’t be ready to quite make changes necessary to slow down an offense as talented as what Maryland will bring to Jerry Richardson Stadium. Score Prediction Terps 49, 49ers 31.

The Terps will look to start the season 2-0 once again down in Charlotte. Make sure to tune in at 3:30 PM on Saturday and watch the Terps handle business.

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Unit Grades: Maryland 31, Buffalo 10