The Urbana University football team (1-3) is looking to revive its offense in Saturday’s 2 p.m. matchup against Fairmont State (4-0) at Duvall-Rosier Field. It’ll be Homecoming Weekend in Fairmont, West Virginia, as the Blue Knights travel for their third road game of the season in Week 5. Fans can follow the game live with video and audio links posted at UUBlueKnights.com.
It’ll be tough sledding for UU as the undefeated Falcons boast the top-scoring defense in the Mountain East Conference surrendering just 10.8 points per contest. The Blue Knights are coming off a 21-8 loss to West Liberty and will need improved performances across the lineup. Behind center, UU is hoping for a similar effort out of senior Cale Burdyshaw as the last time he played against the Falcons two years ago.
In 2014, Burdyshaw started against FSU as a sophomore, and although UU lost by a close margin (35-31), the 6-foot-4 signal caller threw for his career-high 338 yards and three touchdowns. That still stands as his best statistical game in a Blue Knight uniform.
Fairmont State is coming off a 16-3 triumph over Alderson-Broaddus in a non-conference affair, and will be taking the field after eight days of rest. The Falcons and Battlers played last Thursday on ESPN3.
* UU is looking to get back to its winning ways. From 2011 through 2013, UU posted an overall record of 23-10. The Blue Knights are 6-20 since the start of the 2014 campaign.
* Under Haines, UU has averaged 69 rushing yards in losses and 151 rushing yards in wins.
* FSU escaped Urbana with a 6-0 win last season on two field goals, while limiting UU to minus-three yards of total offense.
* UU won the first meeting 41-5 in 2013 on five TD passes by former star QB DJ Mendenhall.
* During the UU-FSU series, the winning team has outscored the losing team 52-5 in the second half.
* Burdyshaw entered the season at third-string QB and made his first appearance in Week 2. He has completed 55 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns (5 pass, 2 rush) since.
* UU has been penalized for the second-fewest yards in the MEC with only 67.5 yds/game, while UU opponents lead the MEC with 129.8 yds/game.
* UU has scored on 9 of 11 (82 percent) red-zone opportunities, and is tied with FSU for the top red-zone defense in the MEC (60 percent scoring allowed).
* Trevon Saunders is tied for sixth in UU history with 13 career TD receptions. Two more will put him in sole possession of fifth place.
* Three Blue Knights rank among the MEC leaders in tackles/game, including Duray Hall (8.8 – 2nd), Carlton Rematt (8.8 – 2nd) and Josh Dillard (7.5 – 10th).
* Mechanicsburg graduate Brandon Purk ranks 11th in the country in punting with 43.2 yards per kick. He was named the Week 3 MEC Special Teams Player of the Week following UU’s win at Concord.
* Ross Snodgrass is 2 for 2 on field goal attempts this season (43 & 34 yards).
*Freshman RB Ja’Vahri Portis is 1 of 8 MEC players to rush for at least two TDs in a game. He scored twice in his collegiate debut before suffering an injury.
* Sophomore RB Trey McFadden leads UU with 3.1 yards/rush. McFadden posted a career-high 82 yards and 22 carries in the Concord win.
* The 2016 campaign marks the 30th full season of varsity football at Urbana University. UU started football in 1985 with one varsity game, a 30-7 victory over Tiffin.