CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The University of Charleston proved it could play with the Mountain East Conference's best team last Saturday - at least for the first half.
In their homecoming game today, the Golden Eagles will be looking to put two strong halves together - and they'll also be looking for a little revenge.
Following last week's 28-9 loss to unbeaten Shepherd, a game in which UC led 9-7 until late in the third quarter, the Golden Eagles (2-3 overall, 2-1 MEC) take on Glenville State (2-3, 2-2 MEC) at 1 p.m. today at UC Stadium. The Golden Eagles need a win to keep their conference title hopes alive, but UC coach Pat Kirkland knows it won't be easy.
"Glenville is very athletic and they're very close to being 5-0 right now," Kirkland said. "They've got a lot of seniors playing and a very good running game."
That would be keyed by Glenville sophomore running back Rahmann Lee, who ranks second in the MEC with 119 rushing yards per game. In a 35-32 homecoming win over West Virginia Wesleyan last Saturday, Lee had 116 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.
"He's a bigger kid [6-foot, 184 pounds], runs very well, has very good vision," Kirkland said of Lee, who ran for 128 yard in Glenville's 14-10 win over UC last year - the Eagles' only other loss besides Shepherd in a 9-2 season. "We have to rally to the ball and make sure we've got a lot of hats on him."
Stopping the run proved difficult for UC against Shepherd last week. The Rams gained 274 yards on the ground last week, with both Allen Cross (156) and Jabre Lolley (104) topping 100 yards.
UC earned 17 first downs to the Rams' 22 in that game, but the Golden Eagles were unable to finish off drives.
"We moved the football but stalled in the red zone a couple times," Kirkland said. "We don't have a lot of depth, and we had some injuries and got worn down."
Red-zone failures were also UC's undoing in last year's loss to Glenville.