Charlotte travels to face newly ranked Gators

Florida upset No. 11 Tennessee last week

Charlotte coach Biff Poggi had harsh words for his coaching staff after the 49ers’ loss Saturday to visiting Georgia State. (Nick Wass / AP Photo)

CHARLOTTE — After two straight lopsided losses, the 49ers won’t get a reprieve when they make a trip to Gainsville for the school’s first with 25th-ranked Florida.

While Charlotte (1-2) is navigating an identity crisis on offense as they try to utilize quarterbacks Jalon Jones and Trexler Ivey, the Gators (2-1) are coming off a 29-16 upset over No. 11 Tennessee in which their running backs — led by Trevor Etienne — amassed three touchdowns and nearly 200 yards.


Florida’s 10th straight home win over the Volunteers has ramped up the expectations for the Gators after they started their season with a 24-11 loss to Utah, which is currently ranked 11th in the country.

Charlotte first-year coach Biff Poggi told reporters after Saturday’s 41-25 home loss to Georgia State that his vision for the team’s offense is not translating to the field, implying that he’d even be willing to take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Mike Miller if necessary.

“If I have to go up in the booth and call them myself, I will,” Poggi said. “I’m telling you right now, I’m on the warpath. I just met with our coaches, and we’re either going to get it done the way I want it done, or I’m not going to be here, or they’re not going to be here. I am not doing this for the rest of the season.”

Poggi has said he favors a run-oriented attack, but he and his staff still want to utilize the talents of their two quarterbacks — Jones’ rushing ability and Ivey’s pocket presence. Charlotte’s defense hasn’t fared much better that the offense, allowing a total of 1,093 total yards and 79 points in the past two games.

Poggi admitted he is going back to the drawing board this week as he evaluates his players and staff while coming up with a game plan that could knock off Florida.

“They beat Tennessee, which put a bunch of life back in them,” he said. “So how do we do it? I don’t know yet, but we’re going to try.”