3 Hurricane Takeaways: What Happened Against Charlotte?

The Golden Hurricane was on the path to a second conference win on Saturday when it all fell apart against the Charlotte 49ers.

Monday, November 6th 2023, 10:45 am

By: David Prock


The Golden Hurricane was on the path to a second conference win on Saturday when it all fell apart against the Charlotte 49ers.

Charlotte Coach Biff Poggi had suspended some of the team's players for conduct issues during their loss to Florida Atlantic in Week 9 which seemed like a big advantage for TU coming in. At first, that seemed to be the case as TU led by 17 in the first half, but slowly that lead dwindled to to a two-point lead and then an overtime finish.

What happened to Tulsa that caused them to give up the lead? I'm afraid it's the same thing that has hampered them all season.

First Takeaway: A Costly Injury For Williams

Freshman Cardell Williams finally started to look comfortable this week. He got the start on Saturday and looked in control for those first three drives leading the TU offense to an early 17-0 lead. Williams was 6/11 for 61 yards through the air and added 51 yards and TU's first two touchdowns on the ground.

Things were starting to look out of hand for the 49ers until Williams suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half. Former starter Braylon Braxton did not impress, coming in for Williams. Braxton went 1/4 for just 4 yards. Braxton was benched after his only pass completion was fumbled by the receiver.

At that point, fellow freshman Kirk Francis took over and performed better than most might expect. Despite the steady offense from Charlotte Francis helped to keep TU in the game leading the Golden Hurriance on a 14-play touchdown drive in the 4th and then a second drive to score the game-tying field goal. Unfortunately, for Francis, it all came to an end with an overtime interception to give Charlotte the win.

As has been the case for the Golden Hurricane all year, injuries and inconsistency at the QB spot allowed Charlotte to get back into it. All three of these players, Williams, Braxton, and Francis have the potential. They have shown their talent. But they need the time and they need to stay healthy.

Second Takeaway: Penalties Can Make The Difference

TU came into Week 10 averaging a little less than five penalties per game but on Saturday things weren't clicking as they had 10 penalties that cost them 89 yards in field position and helped to give Charlotte more chances to creep back in. Hopefully, this is just a bad week that can be put behind them.

Third Takeaway: Give Credit To The Walk-On

Walk-on quarterback Trexler Ivey was one of the key reasons that Charlotte won this game. Down 17 points early, Ivey and the 49er offense kept grinding. Their first five drives ended with four punts and a missed field goal but the offense didn't give up. After Williams went down the TU side, Charlotte started to chip away at that 17-point lead and Ivey was a big part of that going 20/36 for 277 yards. He only found the endzone one time but it was when it mattered most, in OT.


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