The Urbana University football team will take on UVa-Wise in a road league game this Saturday, as the Blue Knights make their first trip to Carl Smith Stadium. Kickoff for the second matchup ever between the two schools is set for 1 p.m. in Wise, Virginia. UU won the first meeting last season 24-13 at UU Stadium. Live game coverage, including video and audio, will be available through the UVa-Wise Athletic website.
The Blue Knights and Cavaliers are both desperate for a win, and with three games remaining, both teams are searching to close out the season with momentum.
UU (2-6, 1-6 MEC) is coming off a 37-12 loss to Charleston at home, a game that saw the Blue Knights score their first offensive points at UU Stadium. Backup quarterback Eric Pelfrey scored once through the air and once on the ground in his best start statistically this season, while senior captain D’Gary Wallace recorded his second game with 20 tackles this season on defense.
Wallace has put together another banner year for the Blue Knights, averaging 14.8 tackles per game which leads the Mountain East Conference and puts him fourth nationally. With the nation’s fifth-most tackles among active players, he needs only seven more to break the UU all-time career record.
Joining Wallace, fellow linebacker Kevin Chapple creates a dominant one-two punch for the UU defense. Chapple currently ranks fifth in the country among active career leaders in tackles for loss per game with 1.53. The junior, who was selected D2Football.com’s National Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season, leads UU with 15.5 TFL.
Defensively, the Blue Knights have been solid this year while giving up 28.8 points per game … a major feat given the amount of time the unit has spent on the field.
Through eight games, UU is averaging 262.2 yards on offense and 12.6 points per contest which is the lowest since it averaged 13.3 points per game during the 2008 season. Injuries and key losses due to a coaching change are to blame, but UU will certainly look to raise that number. The Blue Knights have scored 30 points or more twice this season – which led to their only wins.
UVa-Wise (0-8, 0-7 MEC) is coming off a nine-point loss to Fairmont State and is looking to put a stop to the program’s longest losing streak of eight games.
The Cavaliers also feature a dominant linebacker in Zachary Blair, a junior who leads NCAA Division II with 23.5 tackles for loss. His 92 total tackles is second in the league to Wallace. On offense, quarterback Daniel Lewis will look to carry over a career-best performance that included four touchdowns.
As a team, the Cavaliers are scoring 20.4 points per game and gaining 310 yards per game on offense. On the other side of the ball, UVa-Wise has struggled by allowing nearly 450 yards and 44 points per game to opponents.