WVC: UC hopes to bounce back today at Wesleyan
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The University of Charleston will attempt to get back in the win column Saturday after losing on the road at Glenville State a week ago.
The Golden Eagles (7-2, 4-2 West Virginia Conference) are on the road again today when they visit Buckhannon for a 1 p.m. game against quarterback Nate Montana and his West Virginia Wesleyan team.
Against Glenville, UC could not get out of its own way. The Golden Eagles outgained the Pioneers by more than 80 yards and received a 142-yard, one-touchdown effort from senior running back Jordan Roberts, but quarterback John Knox's three interceptions doomed the team in the 14-10 loss.
Wesleyan (3-6, 2-4 WVC) enters today's contest coming off a 42-14 win at Lakin Field against West Virginia State last Saturday. Montana threw for 414 yards on 28 of 54 passing and four touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets, earning conference Player of the Week honors. For the season, Montana has passed for 1,994 yards and 15 touchdowns with only three interceptions.
There should be plenty of offense in the game with Montana, the league's leading passer, and Roberts, the league's leading runner, figuring to play large roles in their respective team's game plans, but the Golden Eagles and Bobcats also feature solid defensive units.
UC ranks at the the top of the league in total defense, allowing 272.3 yards per game while Wesleyan is fourth in the WVC in that category, allowing an average 340.6 yards.
Last week's loss likely knocked UC out of the WVC championship and Division 2 playoff picture, although the Golden Eagles are still mathematically alive. But the two teams that defeated UC, Glenville State and Shepherd, are tied for the league lead with one loss each in the conference and are playing each other today in Shepherdstown.
West Virginia State also is on the road today, traveling to Duvall-Rosier Field to play Fairmont State.
The Yellow Jackets (2-7, 1-5 WVC) led Fairmont 31-21 late in the third quarter in last year's contest before the Falcons (3-5, 3-3 WVC) scored the game's final 14 points in a 35-31 win at Lakin Field.
This year, quarterback Bobby Vega leads Fairmont State's offensive attack. A transfer from the College of Dupage, the junior signal caller has thrown for 1,635 yards and 14 touchdowns this season while completing 50.8 percent of his passing attempts (130 of 256) with eight interceptions.
Sophomore Daniel Monroe, who transferred to Fairmont prior to last season from Florida State, leads the FSU ground game.
Though his numbers are down from his breakout freshman season with the Falcons, Monroe has run for 569 yards this season and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
State is in the unenviable position of owning the WVC's worst scoring offense (managing just 16.7 points per game) and the worst scoring defense (allowing 39.6 per game). Fairmont State is fourth in the WVC in scoring offense with 23.2 points per game and seventh in scoring defense, allowing 30.2 points per game.
Kickoff between the Yellow Jackets and Falcons is at 1 p.m.
Reach Tom Bragg at email@example.com.