Charlotte 49ers’ defense baffles Tennessee in loss
Charlotte’s offense may owe its defense an apology during the next team meeting.
The 49ers held SEC opponent Tennessee (4-5) to 14 points, all in the first half, during their 14-3 loss at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, but their offense never seemed to get going. Charlotte (4-5)also didn’t score after the first half.
Tennessee receiver Marquez Callaway ran a punt back 82 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, putting the 49ers behind 7-0. A 16-yard passing touchdown from Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano to Josh Palmer deepened Charlotte’s deficit to 14-0.
Jonathan Cruz hit a 20-yard field goal to give the 49ers three points before the half, but Charlotte found even less offensive success in the second half. The 49ers were stopped on fourthand-1 at the Vols’ 28-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the game, sealing the defeat..
THREE WHO MATTERED
nessee: The Vols’ quarterback was 16-of-21 passing for 172 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He helped pace a Tennessee offense that struggled in the running game. Callaway, Tennessee: Callaway’s 82-yard punt return touchdown marked the game’s first points and gave the Vols an early lead in the first quarter. He finished with three receptions for 30 yards. Ben DeLuca, Charlotte: The 49ers’ junior safety had nine tackles and one pass breakup against Tennessee, pushing his total in the last two games to 24.
Evan Shirreffs protected the ball against the Vols for most of the game, but threw an interception in the game’s final minute. The 49ers’ passing game was limited, as the redshirt junior was 13-of-25 passing.
junior defensive end Alex Highsmith found success in getting through Tennessee’s offensive line. He recorded 1.5 sacks on Guarantano and had seven total tackles.
defensive back Alontae Taylor was ejected from Saturday’s game because of a targeting call. Taylor hit Shirreffs as he was sliding at the end of a run.
The 49ers held Ten
nessee to zero total rushing yards in the first half. Three Vols had negative yardage on the ground during the first two quarters and finished the game with 20 rushing yards on 26 carries.
Kyle Corbett broke
Charlotte’s punting record with a 75-yard boot in the fourth quarter that was downed at the Tennessee’s 3. The previous record was 74 yards.
Charlotte had never
visited Neyland Stadium before Saturday. The game was the first between the programs.
Charlotte is 1-3 in
non-conference play this season. The 49ers beat Fordham and lost to Appalachian State and UMass.
Tennessee tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson (4) is knocked out of bounds by Charlotte defensive back Ben DeLuca (28) and a teammate during Saturday’s game. The Charlotte 49ers lost to the Tennessee Volunteers 14-3.
Charlotte's Nafees Lyon (8) is tackled by Tennessee linebacker Daniel Bituli (35)during Saturday’s game in Knoxville, Tenn.