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UC-Fairmont

University of Charleston quarterback Guy Myers tries to escape the grasp of Fairmont’s State’s Brocton Blair.

For the second week in a row, the University of Charleston’s football team will suit up in the middle of the week, this time on the road against a strong Frostburg State team.

The Golden Eagles and the Bobcats are set to face off at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bobcat Stadium in Frostburg, Maryland. UC is coming off a commanding 27-6 win over Fairmont State to open its season a week ago.

UC quarterback Guy Myers completed 15 of his 22 pass attempts for 155 yards in the game, but the Golden Eagles’ defense highlighted the win. The Golden Eagles held the Falcons to 36 rushing yards while sacking quarterback Connor Neal five times. Keon Freeman, Eliah Goodman and Lucky Oyovwi had 11/2 sacks each.

“The defense is playing well and [defensive coordinator Zack] Johnson has been doing a good job game planning to our personnel and our strengths,” UC coach Pat Kirkland said. “I was excited with the way the front six, front seven guys played. They really were physical. If there was ever a week to test that it’s this week.”

UC (1-0) combined to rush for 165 yards, scoring all three of its touchdowns on the ground. Josh Brown led the way, gaining 45 yards off 11 attempts with two touchdowns. Myers rushed for 25 yards and a touchdown and Tyreik McAllister gained 32 yards on the ground.

Kirkland thinks his team needs to show more consistency in its ground game and offensive line.

“We’ve gotta do a better job of running the football with some consistency,” he said. “And not just on the running back. It starts up front. In their defense, they’ve been a little bit beat up. We got some guys injured who are going to be out for a duration so some younger guys are playing with not as much experience.”

Frostburg (2-0) defeated Kentucky Wesleyan 20-13 to start the season before defeating West Virginia State 34-21 on Sept. 11.

Running back Gavin Lavat is a player to watch for the Bobcats. He’s gained 175 yards on 36 carries (4.9 average). Wide receiver Zae Giles is coming off a game in which he pulled in three passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

“They’re talented top to bottom, on both sides of the ball” Kirkland said. “They really upgraded at the receiver position, they brought in two Division I transfers and both those guys have kinda added to that dynamic that they didn’t have since we saw them in 2019.”

UC and Frostburg did not play during the COVID-shortened spring schedule, and the teams haven’t faced off since the Bobcats defeated the Golden Eagles 42-7 on Oct. 17, 2019.

“[They were] a run-oriented offense,” Kirkland said. “Now, they’re balanced and have some threats on the perimeter. Defensively, they are big up front.”

Bobcat quarterback Graham Walker got off to a rough start in the season opener, completing just six of his 19 pass attempts for 139 yards. He was sacked five times.

He fared better last week against WVSU as he completed 9 of 14 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

“It wasn’t that he was throwing bad balls, Kirkland said. “He just had some early-game woes. He’s a good player.”

Kirkland thinks his team is in for a challenge on the road against the Bobcats.

“I think they’re definitely one of the better teams in the Mountain East Conference right now,” Kirkland said. “We’re definitely going to have to play our best to put ourselves in a position to win.”