The debut of Urbana University head football coach Tyler Haines was spoiled by Glenville State Saturday afternoon as the visiting Pioneers shut out the Blue Knights, 49-0, at UU Stadium.
UU (0-1) gave the ball away on its first two possessions, which led to two Glenville State (1-0) first quarter touchdowns. From there, the Pioneers rattled off three more scores in the second quarter to take a commanding 35-0 advantage at the half.
The Pioneers forced a total of four Blue Knight turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) and scored once in each of the third and fourth quarters to seal the game.
The Blue Knights were limited to just 204 yards of total offense and were outgained by GSC’s 481 yards.
With under a minute left until halftime, UU starting QB Cale Burdyshaw (3-10, 22 YDS, INT) exited after taking a blow to the upper body on a slide. Backup Eric Pelfrey filled in for the rest of the game.
Pelfrey, who made a position switch from wide receiver this season, had some bright spots after completing eight passes on 16 attempts for 147 yards. The junior looked good immediately after the break when he came out firing a 31-yard completion to WR Trevon Saunders. However, he made a costly error two plays later when his pass attempt in the red zone was picked off at the Pioneer five.
Saunders, a redshirt sophomore, led both teams with a career-high 101 yards receiving on four catches. The speedster from Columbus connected with Pelfrey on two long passes over 30 yards.
Junior WR Kelly Carter boasted a career-high 208 all-purpose yards in the return game, including a long run of 60 yards.
On defense, senior LB Bo Keener recorded a team-high 10 tackles, while senior LB D’Gary Wallace posted 7.5 tackles.
Sophomore DE Clayton Bullard collected two sacks for a career high.
Glenville State put constant pressure on the UU quarterbacks and recorded five sacks total.
“Obviously, we are disappointed with our performance,” said first-year UU Coach Tyler Haines said. “We will critique the film, learn from it, and move on to next week. I feel that both sides of the ball gave great effort. Our execution was lacking throughout the game and this shows us where we stand against a top-tier program in the MEC.
“Glenville is a good team and they will win a lot of football games,” he added. “I have no doubt we will bounce back with a better performance (this) week.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Blue Knight offense struggled to stay on the field, going 3-for-12 (25 percent) on third downs and 0-for-4 in the red zone.
In the first half, UU gained just 34 yards on 24 plays while allowing the Pioneers to rack up 342 yards on twice as many plays from scrimmage.
Glenville State took advantage of its red-zone opportunities, going 4-for-5 from inside the 20. The Pioneers also wore down the UU defense by converting 11 of 15 third downs.
UU travels to West Virginia State (1-0) for in another MEC showdown on Saturday with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. at Laken Field in Institute, W.Va.