CHARLOTTE — Chris Reynolds punched the ball four straight times up the middle to score the insurance touchdown with a leap over the pile from the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter and Charlotte fended off Middle Tennessee 42-39 in a Conference USA slugfest Friday night.
The touchdown with four minutes left, on top of four passing touchdowns, made for a career scoring night for Reynolds, who passed for 339 yards. Grant DuBose caught 9 passes for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Calvin Camp broke off a 44-yard scoring run to end the third quarter and racked up 101 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Chase Cunningham threw for 379 yards and five touchdowns to five different receivers for the Blue Raiders (1-3, 0-2) in his first career start. The junior had entered with five career scoring passes and a 150-yard single-game best effort.
After four lead changes through the second and third quarters, Charlotte wrapped two touchdowns around a Middle Tennessee three-and-out to grab a 35-24 lead with 10:27 remaining, breaking the pattern of the two teams trading scores.
The scoring drives on consecutive possessions, plus Reynolds’ winner from the 1, swung momentum to the 49ers (3-1, 1-0).
Reed Blankenship was credited with 13 tackles, six solo, to become the all-time leading tackler for Middle Tennessee with 348 career tackles. He entered the game needing 10 to claim the 35-year old mark from Roosevelt Colvard (344, 1983-86).