MEC week 10 football preview

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Week 10 in the Mountain East Conference has all 11 teams in action on Saturday.

The week begins in Charleston as the Golden Eagles play host to Shepherd. UC has lost four of five, while Shepherd has won two-straight and averaged 50 points in its last two wins. Local rivals Glenville State and West Virginia Wesleyan will meet in Buckhannon at noon, and 13th-ranked Notre Dame travels to UVa-Wise for a noon kick. The Falcons clinched the MEC regular season title last week, but are still playing for position in the NCAA Super Region 1 rankings.

Concord snapped its seven-game losing streak last week, but will face a tough test at Fairmont State at 1 p.m.. The Falcons, ranked 10th in the Super Region 1 rankings, are coming off a season-best 333 yards rushing last week. West Virginia State travels to Urbana for a 1 p.m. kick as each team will be looking to get back in the win column. West Liberty will take on Bloomsburg out of the PSAC on its Senior Day in a 1 p.m. kick on the hilltop.

Notebook
• Tyson Bagent (SU), Zach Malone (CU) and Chaudlier Shepherd (CU) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the ninth week of the season.
• Scoring 30 points could be the key figure in MEC play in 2018. Teams are 30-10 this year when reaching the 30-point mark in a game. West Virginia Wesleyan has lost four times when scoring 30 points.
• Notre Dame’s Jaleel McLaughlin has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this season, and Fairmont State’s Khalik Hamlin joined him last week. There are several others in the league are poised to do so as well. With two games left, there are three other players nearing the 1,000-yard mark in West Virginia State’s Calil Wilkins (902), Charleston’s Jimmy Wheeler (901) and Glenville State’s Mario Pender (956). The most 1,000-yard rushers in a season in MEC history was six in 2015.
• Teams with a 100-yard rusher are 13-1 in the last three weeks.
• Notre Dame owns the longest winning streak in the league at nine. The next longest winning streak is Fairmont State with three. Concord snapped its seven-game losing streak last week with a win at home over West Liberty.

SATURDAY, Nov. 3 

Glenville State (4-5, 4-4) at W.Va. Wesleyan (1-8, 1-7) | Noon | Buckhannon, W.Va. (Cebe Ross Field)
Coverage: 
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Series: Glenville State is 3-2 since the teams joined the MEC … WVWC won last year’s meeting, 27-20.
Notes: GSC had over 400 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers in a win last week … Mario Pender ranks 14th in the country in yards per carry, 15th in rushing yards and 12th in yards per game … WVWC managed 35 points but lost to Shepherd last week … teams are outscoring the Bobcats 188-71 in the first half this season … Wesleyan is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry.

Shepherd (6-2, 6-2) at Charleston (5-4, 5-3) | Noon | Charleston, W.Va. (UC Stadium)
Coverage: 
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Series: Shepherd is 5-0 against Charleston since the teams joined the MEC, including a 49-12 win last season.
Notes: Tyson Bagent’s 25 touchdowns this season leads the league by seven … Shepherd has had three games of 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing this season … the Rams have scored touchdowns in 13 of their last 15 trips to the red zone … UC was held to a season-low 10 points last week at Notre Dame … the Golden Eagles managed just 37 yards on the ground … UC has committed 14 of its 18 turnovers this season in the last five games.

#13 Notre Dame (9-0, 9-0) at UVa-Wise (3-5, 3-5) | Noon | Wise, Va. (Carl Smith Stadium)
Coverage: 
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Series: Notre Dame has not lost to UVa-Wise (5-0) … however, the last two meetings have been decided by just nine points.
Notes: Notre Dame is the top-ranked team in Super Region 1 … the Falcons are third in the country against the run allowing just 72 yards per game … NDC is also 13th in the country in sacks with 3.41 per game … NDC is looking to have double-digit wins for the first time in school history … UVa-Wise is coming off a bye for the first time since 2002 … the Cavs have never defeated a nationally ranked team … UVa-Wise is second in the league in total defense allowing 283.8 yards per game.

Concord (2-7, 2-6) at Fairmont State (7-2, 6-2) | 1 p.m. | Fairmont, W.Va. (Duvall-Rosier Field)
Coverage: 
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Series: After losing seven-straight to the Mountain Lions, Fairmont State has won the last two … the Fighting Falcons have posted a shutout in each of those two wins.
Notes: Concord snapped a seven-game losing streak last week … CU’s 11 recovered fumbles this year are most in NCAA Division II … Kyle Akin’s 80-yard touchdown pass last week was the longest passing play in five years … the 46 points scored vs. WLU were the most under Coach Price since the 2016 season … the game features two of the best punt returners in the country in Lyrics Klugh (25.7) and Chaudlier Shepherd (18.4) … FSU is ranked 10th in the Super Region 1 rankings … Khalik Hamlin’s 1,124 rushing yards this season are ninth-best in Fairmont State history … the Falcons had a season-best 333 rushing yards last week.

W.Va. State (4-5, 3-5) at Urbana (4-5, 3-5) | 1 p.m. | Urbana, Ohio (UU Stadium)
Coverage: 
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Series: Urbana holds a slight 3-2 lead in the series after edging WVSU 36-35 last season … Urbana overcame 28-6 fourth quarter deficit by outscoring WVSU 30-7 in the final 15 minutes.
Notes: After winning four-straight, WVSU has now lost two in a row … the Yellow Jackets have lost some momentum offensively having scored 36 points in the last two games after averging 35 in the previous seven … Urbana has lost four-straight … the Blue Knighs have 10 TD passes in the last four games … UU is averaging 14.5 yards per catch on the season.

Bloomsburg (5-4) at West Liberty (3-6) 1 p.m. West Liberty, W.Va. (West Family Stadium)
Coverage: 
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Series: First meeting between the two schools.
Notes: Zach Phillips’ 437 yards of total offense last week were the most by a WLU player since Dakota Conwell back in 2015 … two of his TD passes last week went to his younger brother, Nate … WLU will honor its 16 seniors prior to the game … Josh Ojo’s seven interceptions rank second in the country … three of BU’s four losses have come by a combined 12 points … the Huskies have not had a 300-yard passing game this season … the Huskies are +9 in turnover margin.

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