Haven't really posted much about Charlotte lately because I always forget to, but we are now halfway through our inaugural season and I have to say it has been a lot of fun.
In my opinion, things have gone exceedingly well. We hit a rough patch when we played our first FCS level opponents, losing big against NCCU and JMU. We bounced back though with wins against Presbyterian (which played Wake tough for a little while) and Gardner Webb (who was ranked in the top 25 of the FCS level).
Last week's game against Gardner Webb was an amazing game with the Niners scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 21 point deficit. If only the Panthers could put together fourth quarter performances like that. Unfortunately students were on fall break, so their side had a few empty sections (we give way too many tickets to students, so we decided to pull three sections away from their allotment after last week), but the alumni side was full and rocking.
Interest in the program has remained very high, I was expecting it to taper off some after the first couple of games, but we're holding strong in TV viewership with 25-39,000 tuning in for every game this season (NCCU was the highest so far with just over 39,000 viewers). The season average is 33,000 viewers, which exceeds all of the ACC schools that have also played in the 12PM time slot on the ACC network so far this year. Obviously I'm not saying we have more fans than the big in-state ACC programs, but it does show that there is interest in the program, which was always something the naysayers said didn't exist.
Our freshman QB was just added to the Jerry Rice watch list, which is an award for the best new player in FCS. He's had an exceptionally good year. He played poorly in the NCCU game with 5 INT's, but he's done pretty well in other games. Right now he has 16 TDs and 7 INTs. I've been very pleased with his play considering he's never played college ball before and he played in a small HS in Maiden against competition that was not all that great.
Tomorrow marks our first ever fall homecoming and it should be a great day. Mid 70s, sold out, and the school has done a great job organizing events around it for tonight and tomorrow.
Looking forward to the second half of the season, which will likely turn out harder than the first half with games against a top 10 Coastal Carolina and a 1 loss Charleston Southern.