UU hosts unbeaten Shepherd


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Urbana University offensive lineman Devan Pankey (57) waits for the snap during a recent game at UU. The Blue Knights (3-7) close out the season on Saturday by hosting Shepherd (9-0).


The Urbana University football team will host 2015 national runner-up and third-ranked Shepherd (9-0) on Saturday in the season finale for the Blue Knights. The opening kickoff inside UU Stadium is set for 1 p.m. with a live web broadcast on UUBlueKnights.com. UU will also honor its senior class during the pre-game schedule.

UU enters the game at 3-7 overall and can double its win total from a year ago with a victory. Junior wide receiver Trevon Saunders leads the way for UU on offense with 14 touchdowns, which is tied with Shepherd’s Billy Brown for most receiving TD’s in the Mountain East Conference and sixth most in the nation. Saunders can add to his record-breaking year by recording 132 receiving yards to become the fifth Blue Knight to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season.

On defense, the Blue Knights face a stiff test against the high-powered Rams. Linebackers Carlton Rematt and Duray Hall will look to slow down a Shepherd squad averaging 40 points per game. Rematt leads UU with 100 total tackles on the year while Hall has 84 in his first season on the field.

Shepherd comes to Urbana with at least a share of the league title for the third time in four years. The Rams are ranked in the top 25 nationally in both total offense and total defense. With the ball, SU is led by senior quarterback Jeff Ziemba, who has thrown for over 2,000 yards with 18 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. Defensively, Shepherd leans on defensive end Myles Humphrey and inside linebacker Octavius Thomas.

The Blue Knights are looking for their first win over Shepherd as the Rams hold a 3-0 series lead. UU fell 52-20 on the road in last year’s meeting and 42-7 the last matchup in Urbana in 2014. The closest game happened in 2013 when the Blue Knights came up short by a touchdown, 28-21.

Urbana University offensive lineman Devan Pankey (57) waits for the snap during a recent game at UU. The Blue Knights (3-7) close out the season on Saturday by hosting Shepherd (9-0).
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2016/11/web1_uupreview.jpegUrbana University offensive lineman Devan Pankey (57) waits for the snap during a recent game at UU. The Blue Knights (3-7) close out the season on Saturday by hosting Shepherd (9-0).

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