DURHAM, N.C. - The University of Charleston football season got off to a rough start as the Golden Eagles lost in their season opener 44-14 to the Shaw Bears Saturday.
UC (0-1) mishandled the opening kick that resulted in a turnover, giving Shaw (1-0) a short field to take a 7-0 lead on a 19-yard pass from Quinshon Odom to Kowaski Kitchens.
Charleston evened up the score two plays into the second quarter on a 17-yard touchdown run by John Knox. Shaw responded with touchdowns on its next three possessions, two coming on runs by Marquise Grizzle to take a 27-7 lead at halftime.
The Bears maintained their momentum from the second quarter and scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the third quarter. Shaw extended its lead to 44-7 before Charleston added a late touchdown run by Leighton Settle from 7 yards out to make the final score 44-14.
Shaw converted on 11 of 16 third-down opportunities, keeping the UC defense on the field for much of the game.
Odom who finished the day 23-for-30 passing for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Grizzle ran for 147 yards on 26 attempts and two touchdowns.
The Bears defense only gave up 148 net yards on the day to the Golden Eagles. Maurice Leak and Knox combined the finish the day 7 for 16 for 59 yards and an interception. Knox led the Charleston ground attack, rushing for 39 yards and one touchdown on 11 attempts.
The Charleston defense was led by Justin Avery, who finished with 10 tackles, followed by Kenneth Ridley and Isaiah Gibson who both finished with nine tackles. UC picked up two sacks on the day but didn't force any Bear turnovers.