Offense is about being bigger, stronger, faster, and executing a coordinated plan to take full advantage of that size, strength, and speed.
UMass is not a particularly good defense, but that does not matter. There are plenty of talented offenses that cannot take advantage of superior physical matchups.
Charlotte has talent. Benny LeMay could start on any of this league’s 14 teams and also a handful of P5 squads. He was a part of the Niner team that won five games last year. That team, however, only sporadically showed offensive spark. There were only four games where those Niners put up more than 400 yards and of those only two where they surpassed 6-yards per play.
This season they have averaged 522 yards per game and the lowest was the 508 against Gardner-Webb. That was also the lowest yards-per-play at 6.86. This week’s game against Clemson will likely end this little streak but we should stand up and take notice of Charlotte’s nice start.
The Gardner-Webb win was easily dismissible as it did not look much different than last year’s Fordham game. They followed that up by getting shut down by App State. This year? Well there was that point-fest that finished 56-41.
Much credit can be placed in the account of QB Chris Reynolds. The sophomore QB has put up numbers that equal last year’s total (in part time): 44/63 587 9.3 yards per attempt, 7 TDs 2 Int 178 rating in three games.
Last year in six games: 100/154 1173, 7.6 yards per attempt, 6 TDs 2 Int 139.1 rating.
He has brought some dynamism in the run game, holding on the to the ball and becoming a threat on the ground which opens up the pass game and keeps the pressure off of Benny LeMay. The senior running back’s load has been lightened — averaging just a hair over 15 totes per game while surpassing 100 in each. He’s averaging a nice 7.63 yards per carry and has totalled 4 scores thus far.
Three Niners have caught at lest 10 passes and three different guys have caught at least 2 scores. Five different players have at least a score out of the nine total receiving TDs.
Yes, a couple of those tosses were in garbage time but that is part of the point: this team got up 15+ points and allowed the backup (senior Brett Kean) to step in and pad the stats a bit.
This will all change as the nation’s number one team removes all joy from next week but after that? Well, the rest of the league will still have to figure out how to stop Will Healy’s crew without the aid of a stable of future NFL defenders.
Again, Healy’s staff is putting his talent to the best use — there are multiple shifts before a play. The RB lining up directly behind the QB, then shifting to the right or left often before one more man comes in motion across the formation.
The numbers say that Charlotte runs 62% of the time — 126 of 201 offensive plays — but if you do not know where the run is going to hit, then you cannot be as well prepared. That is putting talent in positions to succeed. Defenses know they will be getting a dose of Benny LeMay, but having to tackle him when you did not expect him? Well that just makes it all the more tough.