UC's Matt Kelly returns an interception against Shepherd earlier this season. The Golden Eagles defense has allowed just two opponents to score more than two touchdowns in a game.
CHARLESTON -- After four straight wins following its only loss of the season, the University of Charleston must have finally shown something to the American Football Coaches Association, which included UC in its top 25 poll.The No. 25 Golden Eagles (7-1, 4-1 West Virginia Conference) find themselves ranked for only the second time in school history and the first time since 2009.Fresh off a grueling 27-14 win at West Liberty on Saturday, UC is putting itself in solid position for a postseason berth and at least a share of a WVC title.That door was opened when Shepherd (6-2, 5-1) dropped a 17-16 decision to that same West Liberty team on Oct. 13.Shepherd still owns the tiebreaker over UC via a 16-10 win over the Golden Eagles earlier in the season, but truth be told, it's doubtful either team is looking at league titles just yet.Charleston is just halfway through its four-game road tour, and the highway won't get any smoother this week when it travels to Glenville State for a 1 p.m. game.The Pioneers are the wild card in the race for conference supremacy, standing at 4-1 in the league and tied with UC for second. However, Glenville is at 4-4 overall after dropping all three of its nonconference tilts.
Meanwhile, Shepherd will get a week off before hosting the Pioneers on Nov. 3.Needless to say a muddied top of the conference should clear up greatly over the next two weeks.While Charleston is driving toward a league crown, West Virginia State is just trying to find footing after dropping three in a row to West Liberty, Glenville and Shepherd.West Virginia Wesleyan will come calling at Institute Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff in a matchup of teams with equal records (2-6 overall, 1-4 WVC).In other conference games on Saturday, Fairmont State visits Concord at 1 p.m. and the Hilltoppers travel to Seton Hill for a 3 p.m. kickoff.Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org
, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.