As we prepare for Charlotte this Saturday, we’ll take a look at three players from each team that will have a major impact on this game.
A.J. Erdely – QB
If you’ve been following along this week, then you know I think UAB has a chance to throw the ball successfully against Charlotte. The 49ers have the worst pass defense in the conference giving up over 250 passing yards per game. First things first, UAB has to secure the win, so I won’t be surprised if the coaching staff comes out running the football. But at some point they need to open up the passing game and let Erdely sling the football around. I would love to see Erdely throw the football 25-plus times for 250-plus yards and a couple of touchdowns in this one.
Tevin Crews – LB
We haven’t mentioned the senior linebacker much lately, but he’s in the midst of a great season. He’s second on the team with 48 tackles, and second behind Shaq Jones with 7.5 tackles for a loss. He’ll have a big task this weekend trying to corral whichever quarterback Charlotte plays. I think the linebacker is in for a big game against the 49ers. Charlotte has given up 45.5 tackles for a loss this year, and I expect the UAB defense to be in the backfield all game.
Ronnie Turner – WR
We finally have a number one receiver in Andre Wilson, and now it looks like we have a number two in Ronnie Turner. The last two games Turner has caught 12 passes for 100 yards. He’s only averaging 8.6 yards per catch on the season, but he’s become a reliable target for Erdely. I clearly think UAB has a lot of success through the air this Saturday, and Turner should be a big part of that game plan.
Whether it’s Hasaan Klugh or Barden Brooks at quarterback, both will have a huge impact on this game. But it won’t be with their arm, but rather with their legs. Klugh leads the team with 5 rushing touchdowns and is second on the team with 301 rushing yards. However, he has 420 yards rushing before including sacks. Brooks has 92 yards rushing on just 5 attempts for an average of 18.4 yards per carry. So while he hasn’t ran as much, he’s been effective when doing so. If the UAB defense is going to shut down the Charlotte offense on Saturday, they have to prevent big running plays from the quarterback.
Karrington King – LB
King has been the best player on defense for Charlotte this year racking up 62 tackles in seven games. He’ll be in charge of making sure the UAB running game gets stopped, which means it will be up to the UAB offensive line to make sure he gets blocked on every play. King only has 2.5 tackles for a loss this season, so he isn’t getting in the backfield much. But once he gets his hands on you, that’s normally the end of the play.
Ben DeLuca – S
There is one player in the Charlotte secondary you have to be mindful of, and that’s safety Ben DeLuca. He’s second on the team with 58 total tackles, and he’s first with 5 pass break-ups. So not only is he great at tackling, but he’s very good in coverage as well. Erdely will need to be mindful of where DeLuca is lined up and try to avoid throwing the ball his way.
Check back with The Daily Dragon throughout the week as we continue to prepare you for this Saturday’s game against Charlotte.