It’s a new era of football for the Charlotte 49ers under Biff Poggi. Will the legendary coach bring the 49ers back to life in the new-look American Athletic Conference or do the Charlotte season predictions forwarn of necessary patience for the 49er faithful?
Charlotte Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the American Athletic Conference and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, how do the Charlotte predictions look for 2023?
Week 1 – Charlotte vs. South Carolina State: Win, 30-19
The 49ers get a “cupcake” game to start their 2023 season and first under Poggi. South Carolina State is no joke but the 49ers have the luxury of a larger roster and a lot of talent from the transfer portal.
Charlotte figures out their quarterback situation and likely starter Jalon Jones atones for a lackluster performance against the Bulldogs a year ago.
Week 2 – Charlotte @ Maryland: Loss, 15-38
Flying right into the buzzsaw in the DMV, Charlotte heads to College Park for a matchup with the Terrapins for their first road game of the season. Poggi will surely have his team ready to go, but this Maryland passing attack should be no joke in 2023.
Taulia Tagovailoa and Tyrese Chambers have the chance to be one of the best QB-WR combinations in America, and the question remains: Can Charlotte keep up for all four quarters? Our odds are on no.
Week 3 – Charlotte vs. Georgia State: Loss, 24-27
One of the teams vying for the top of the Sun Belt rankings after the big favorites, Georgia State has one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country in Darren Grainger back for them. Healthy, Grainger is one of the best pure athletes at the position and he’s taken a leap in each year with the Panthers as a passer.
Charlotte can absolutely keep this one close with their pass-rushing and front seven keeping Grainger in check, but the odds are stacked against them back at home in Week 3.
Week 4 – Charlotte @ Florida: Loss, 14-26
Getting their out-of-conference schedule out of the way here, the Florida Gators are not the team they once were just a handful of seasons ago. While an SEC will always be double-digit favorites over a team like Charlotte at this stage, the Gators must play a full four quarters to avoid tripping here.
What do the Gators do at quarterback will ultimately dictate how this game goes. Charlotte’s incoming transfer talent should keep up in Gainesville, or better yet, just simply limit their disenchanted offense long enough to make a game of it.
Week 5 – Charlotte @ SMU: Loss, 21-28
The first AAC game on the calendar doesn’t get any easier than their non-conference schedule as they travel to Dallas to face SMU. Charlotte will surely have their kinks ironed out at this time, but so will the Mustangs.
SMU’s speed should be on full display and Charlotte’s passing defense will be tested.
Week 7 – Charlotte vs. Navy: Loss, 21-23
This is the turning point for the 49ers’ season in 2023. Can they outlast the Navy offense? Will they play sound, assignment football and keep the triple-option in check?
Their bye week comes at the right time to prepare for this offensive attack. Ultimately, we were torn on the outcome of this game and can see both results happening for the 49ers.
Week 8 – Charlotte @ ECU: Loss, 19-23
ECU will have a lot of questions regarding what they do on offense this season after substantial losses. By the midseason point, however, you can bet Mike Houston has this team firing on all cylinders. Charlotte’s close calls continue in this squeaking loss to the Pirates.
Week 9 – Charlotte vs. FAU: Win, 26-22
Finally, the 49ers get back to the win column, albeit narrowly. FAU’s got some interesting talent and a surprising pickup in Casey Thompson at quarterback. But as we’ve seen in college athletics so often, one player can’t make up for what appears to still be a depleted roster in South Florida.
The 49ers come out on top as the Owls head to town still reeling from a date with UTSA the week prior.
Week 10 – Charlotte @ Tulsa: Loss, 18-24
Heading to Tulsa, the 49ers must bring their A-game on defense to contain the Golden Hurrican. Braylon Braxton is a much different quarterback than Davis Brin was set to be for Tulsa and gives them a different element to contain defensively.
The concern in our staff picks here was that Charlotte doesn’t have the depth to deal with a true, mobile threat at the quarterback position at this stage of the season.
Week 11 – Charlotte vs. Memphis: Loss, 21-31
Memphis is as high-flying and talented as ever, and it starts up front with Seth Henigan at quarterback. The 49ers’ secondary can keep up with the Tigers in our predictions, but the Memphis onslaught is too much too late.
Week 12 – Charlotte vs. Rice: Loss, 19-25
JT Daniels instantly made the Rice offense better. Bradley Rozner is as tough a puzzle to figure out defensively. Ultimately, those two are the difference as they bring a high pedigree and size that few have in the American this season.
MORE: AAC RB Rankings, 2023
Week 13 – Charlotte @ USF: Win, 28-23
Ending the start of the Biff Poggi era on the right foot will be essential for Charlotte and the 49ers fanbase. Good thing they get a depleted USF team to close out the season.
There are no truly redeeming qualities of the USF starting 22 at this stage of the offseason and Charlotte should be able to get ahead early on and end the season on a high note.