Brad Lambert is going through a tough time. Since joining the 49ers and putting up two 5-win seasons in FCS, he has produced zero winning season in the league. This past season, his 49ers were one anomalous win at UAB from going winless.
What is more disappointing about this past season was the fact that Lambert had won three games the year previous, and looked close to competing for relevance in the league.
Instead, Charlotte had trouble with FCS North Carolina A&T.
Lambert’s squad was held without a TD twice — once against Marshall and the other time against ODU in a 0-6 loss. The results were understandable to an extent. FAU and FIU both made tremendous leaps in the last year — Charlotte had beaten FAU and loss by only one to FIU in 2016 — and Marshall got things corrected on their own bounce-back story.
That reading of the season is mighty generous, however. Seeing the rest of the division improve really just highlights how far behind Charlotte is falling in the league race.
WKU, Middle, and ODU all had down years relative to 2016 and yet all beat Charlotte handily (ODU handled the 9ers defensively so we shall call that ‘handily’).
Hasaan Klugh was the brightest spot for the inept Charlotte offense and even then his numbers are not amazing by league, let alone national, standards. The offense could do little when he was not making everything happen, though, and that did little to help the porous defense.
By the end of the year the fan base rightly demanded change but then-AD Judy Rose likened the program to a 5-year old while other programs in similar stages were much further along.
Rose’s retirement announcement does not bode well for Lambert’s future. This upcoming season is a make-or-break time for he and his new staff. In all likelihood the new Athletic Director will want his own man for the job. Barring a miracle turn-around in 2018, the 49ers are simply a zombie program.