The Urbana University football team will play a televised road game against Mountain East Conference foe Concord on Saturday with kickoff set for noon at Callaghan Stadium in Athens, West Virginia.
West Central Ohio viewers will be able to catch the broadcast aired by the local partner of the Mountain Lions, WVVA-TV out of Bluefield, West Virginia, by visiting the station’s website at WVVA.com/LIVE.
UU (0-2, 0-2 MEC) is searching for its first win of the season heading into Saturday’s contest after falling 37-24 to West Virginia State at home last week. Concord (1-1, 1-1 MEC) also aims to rebound after getting blanked for the first time in eight years in a 28-0 road loss to Fairmont State.
A positive sign for the Blue Knights in the early portion of the season has been the ability to find the end zone while posting 24 points in each of the first two games. That total is one point shy of the team’s combined scoring through the first five games in 2015. However, those points have all followed early deficits, forcing UU to play from behind. The youthful Blue Knights have been outscored 24-3 in the first quarter through two games, and another early hole is something head coach Tyler Haines hopes to avoid on Saturday.
UU’s production and efficiency in the red zone have been key in the team’s early scoring success. The Blue Knights have scored on 5 of 6 trips inside the 20, displaying sound execution and discipline in the short-field situations.
On offense, the Blue Knights have played three quarterbacks behind center for the third straight year. Starter Tajuan Green missed last week due to injury and opened the door for seniors Marcus Graham and Cale Burdyshaw. Burdyshaw took advantage of his playing time, tossing a pair of touchdowns and rushing for another. He will be penciled in as this week’s starter, if Green is unable to go.
Wide receiver Trevon Saunders continues to dominate, despite the change in quarterbacks. The junior captain has caught a touchdown in four straight games and averages over 100 yards of all-purpose yardage, ranking him sixth in the league.
Defensively, UU is led by senior safety Andre Cliff who has 16 total tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery on the year. Junior linebacker Josh Dillard leads the squad with 2.0 tackles for loss.
UU is averaging 291.5 yards of total offense while surrendering over 400 yards per game. In the high octane MEC, the Blue and Grey will need to improve its production, which also starts with preventing turnovers. UU currently stands at minus-three in the turnover margin category.
Last season, Concord defeated UU 23-7 at UU Stadium in a defensive battle. UU was limited to just 202 yards offensively and scored its lone touchdown on a fumble scoop and score. The Mountain Lions also claimed the last meeting in Athens, 50-20, in 2014, while the Blue Knights won the 2013 matchup in Urbana by a final score of 22-10.
Concord is led by its all-time leader in touchdowns and passing yards in senior quarterback Brian Novak. In two games, CU ranks eighth in the conference rankings with 321.5 offensive yards per game and sits ninth while allowing 430 yards per contest.