49ers hold off South­ern Miss., path to bowl el­i­gi­bil­ity in sight

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DAVID SCOTT dscott@char­lot­teob­server.com

Foot­ball is fun these days for the Char­lotte 49ers.

Char­lotte beat Con­fer­ence USA foe South­ern Mis­sis­sippi 20-17 Satur­day at Richard­son Sta­dium, im­prov­ing its record to 4-4, 3-2 in Con­fer­ence USA. With four games re­main­ing, the 49ers con­tinue to show steady and sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment over last sea­son’s one-vic­tory mark. The 49ers, in fact, are two vic­to­ries away from be­ing bowl el­i­gi­ble. And it feels good.

“I don’t even like to think about last year; this year feels brand new,” said ju­nior line­backer Jeff Gem­mell, who had 10 tack­les and a sack against the Golden Ea­gles (3-4, 2-2). “It’s like back in the high school days, win­ning games and hav­ing fun. The whole at­mos­phere of this fa­cil­ity - the train­ers, the weight­train­ing staff - ev­ery­one’s happy.

“Ev­ery­one who works in this build­ing right here. Ev­ery­one who works in this build­ing right here wants us to be suc­cess­ful.”

The 49ers have never had a win­ning sea­son in their five-plus sea­sons of ex­is­tence. With four games re­main­ing (in-

BEN­JAMIN ROBSON

Char­lotte line­backer Juwan Fog­gie in­ter­cepts his sec­ond pass of the game and his sixth of the sea­son against South­ern Miss on Satur­day. Fog­gie leads the na­tion in picks.

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