FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- Fairmont State looks to stay on the winning track with a difficult road test at Charleston on Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium at noon.
Fans can follow the game via the GameCenter powered by the Fairmont State Alumni Association on fightingfalcons.com. Fans can listen to the game live on 93.1 WFGM or 920 AM WMMN.
Fairmont State (1-3, 1-1 WVIAC) is coming off its first win of the season, a 25-20 victory over West Liberty. Bobby Vega paced the Falcons with 361 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including the game-winning 83-yard TD pass in the third quarter. Charleston (3-1, 1-1 WVIAC) was dealt its first setback of the season last week against perennial league contender Shepherd. The Rams edged the Golden Eagles 16-10.
UC is one of two teams on FSU’s schedule to own the lead in the all-time series. The Golden Eagles are 7-5-1 all-time against the Falcons.
Fairmont State snapped a four-game losing streak against UC last season with a 19-14 win at Duvall-Rosier Field. That dropped Charleston to 0-5 on the year, but the Golden Eagles regrouped and lost just one game the rest of the way to finish 5-6.
• Pat Kirkland is 8-7 as the head coach at the University of Charleston. Kirkland came to UC after five successful seasons as an assistant at West Virginia University. Former FSU All-America defensive lineman David Hill and former offensive lineman Chadd Albright are on the coaching staff at UC.
• Charleston leads the conference averaging 209 rushing yards per game this season. They are also second in the conference in total offense (379) and third in scoring (26).
• The Golden Eagles are in the top 25 in the country in the following defensive categories: pass defense (11th), total defense (17th), and scoring defense (21st).
• Charleston is outscoring its opponents 27-7 in the first quarter this season. In addition, the Golden Eagles have only given up eight points in the 4th quarter this season.
• Ricky Steele is leading the conference in punt return average, averaging 12.82 yards per return.
• UC has utilized two quarterbacks so far this season. Maurice Leak has been the Golden Eagle starter when healthy, but John Knox has seen plenty of time under center as well. Leak has tallied 299 yards passing with three touchdowns and an interception in three games. Knox has played in all four games and leads the team wtih 307 yards passing with two touchdowns against one interception. Knox also has contributed 155 yards on the ground.
• Jordan Roberts has carried the load for the UC offense, tallying 391 yards and three touchdowns on the ground this season.
• Shaq Williams has led the UC receivers with 11 catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns this season. Roberts has also contributed to the passing game with 11 catches for 152 yards and a score.
• Williams and Knox hooked up for a 99-yard passing play for a touchdown against St. Joseph’s. It’s the longest play in NCAA Division II this season.
• Ahmed Shakoor and Matt Duncan lead the Charleston defense with 23 tackles on the season. Jeff Green has also made an impact with 22 tackles and five sacks this season.
• Puma Nuredini is 6-of-7 on field goal attempts this season and has a long of 49 yards. Nuredini is also averaging 41.17 yards per punt this season.
Airing It Out
• Fairmont State has turned to junior college transfer Bobby Vega to lead the team this year, and Vega has responded.
• Vega has two 300-yard passing games in just four games this year. He is the first FSU quarterback to have multiple 300-yard passing games in a season since Bryan Harman (2001) and the first FSU QB to have multiple 300-yard passing games in a career since Bryan Harman (1998-01).
• Vega’s game vs. West Liberty was record-setting in a variety of ways. Vega set the school record for passing attemps with 67, surpassing the previous record by nine attempts. His 361 yards passing against the Hilltoppers were tied for the seventh-most in a single game by a FSU quarterback, and were the most passing yards by a Falcon quarterback not named “Harman” or “Furgason.” His 83-yard pass TD completion to C.J. Goodwin was tied for the third-longest passing play in school histry. Vega’s 34 completions in the game were just three shy of the FSU single-game mark.
• Vega is second in the WVIAC in total offense (217.8) and passing yards (233.8).
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