CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After sailing through its neighboring rival West Virginia State 31-9 on Saturday, Charleston finds itself in a three-team jumbled mess of a second-place tie in the Mountain East Conference, one game behind undefeated Shepherd.
The Golden Eagles (4-3 overall, 4-1 MEC), Urbana (5-2, 5-1) and Concord (5-2, 4-1) all need some help but are still clinging to conference title hopes.
That muddled second-place picture will become a little clearer this week when Charleston hosts the Mountain Lions in a pivotal matchup with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. at UC Stadium.
Having already dropped a 28-9 decision to Shepherd, the Eagles can nary afford another loss. The Mountain Lions' season could very well rest on Saturday's game considering Concord's one league blemish came in a 22-10 defeat to fellow second-place team Urbana on Oct. 12.
Urbana, meanwhile, fell to Shepherd in a close 28-21 game on Sept. 21 but has since reeled off four conference wins in a row.
If all hold serve, it would set up a very interesting final Saturday as Charleston will travel to Urbana and Shepherd will travel to Concord.
The Mountain Lions (172.6 rushing yards per game) and the Golden Eagles (169.7 per game) bring with them the No. 2 and No. 3 ground attacks in the league, and Concord racked up over 400 yards on the ground in a 49-21 win Saturday over West Virginia Wesleyan.
Meanwhile, Shepherd (7-0, 6-0) is off this week.
UC quarterback Maurice Leak was named the conference's offensive player of the week on Monday.