WVWC Football
Wesleyan quarterback Matt Vinson.

MEC Week 9 Football Preview

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Week nine in the Mountain East Conference features five games on Saturday, including four kicking off at noon.

No. 14 Notre Dame will try and clinch the MEC title at home against Charleston in a game that features two of the top rushing offenses and defenses. West Liberty will try to snap a nine-game road losing streak, while Concord will be looking to get back in the win column for the first time since the opening week of the season. Urbana heads to Glenville State for a noon kickoff, and West Virginia Wesleyan will travel to Shepherd to take on the Rams. Two of the hotter teams in the league will meet in the final game of the day as Fairmont State (winners of three of the last four) and West Virginia State (winners of four of its last five) at 1 p.m. in Institute.

• Takwan Crews-Naylor (FSU), Cliff Clark (WLU) and Marvelle Ross (NDC) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the eighth week of the season.
• MEC teams that scored 30 points were 5-0 last week.
• Jaleel McLaughlin’s 1,427 yards already ranks second in a single season in MEC history. The single-season mark is held by Concord’s Calvinaugh Jones with 1,736 in 2014.
• Teams with a 100-yard rusher went 5-0 last week and are 9-0 in the last two weeks.
• Week eight was the first week that saw no games decided by 10 points or less. The smallest margin of victory was 12 points.


SATURDAY, Oct. 27 

W.Va. Wesleyan (1-7, 1-6) at Shepherd (5-2, 5-2) | Noon | Shepherdstown, W.Va. (Ram Field)
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Series: The Rams are unbeaten against WVWC since joining the MEC … the Rams have scored over 40 points in four of those five games, including a 45-14 win last season.
Notes: Antwan Squire had his first career 100-yard rushing game last week … Shepherd is 0-2 when rushing for less than 100 yards in a game … the Rams have five interceptions in the last three games … the Bobcats were shutout in last week’s game vs. Notre Dame … WVWC has been held to negative yards rushing twice this season … Shepherd’s Ryan Feiss ranks first in the league with 62 receptions, while WVWC’s Jujuan Linzy is fourth with 40 this year

Charleston (5-3, 5-2) at #14 Notre Dame (8-0, 8-0) | Noon | South Euclid, Ohio (Mueller Field)
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Series: UC won the first three meetings, but Notre Dame has won the last two … the Falcons edged Charleston, 17-12, in last season’s game.
Notes: Two of the top rushing offenses and defenses meet up on Saturday … Notre Dame leads the MEC in rushing yards (300.0 per game) and rushing defense (76.4) … Charleston is fourth in the conference with 172.0 rushing yards per game, and is giving up just 86.4 on the ground … NDC has allowed just one rushing TD in the last four games … Notre Dame has had more than 300 yards rushing than its opponent five times under head coach Mike Jacobs, including three times this year … UC’s Jimmy Wheeler had a program-record 35 carries last week vs. UVa-Wise … last week’s win over the Cavs was the 50th for head coach Pat Kirkland.

Urbana (4-4, 3-4) at Glenville State (3-5, 3-4) | Noon |  Glenville, W.Va. (I.L & Sue Morris Stadium)
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Series: Urbana picked up a win in 2013, but Glenville State has won each of the last four matchups … the Pioneers have put up at least 30 points in each of those four games.
Notes: Urbana is -10 in turnovers during its three-game losing streak … the Blue Knights have just two sacks on the road this year … a win for UU would equal the most conference wins in a season under Tyler Haines … GSC has struggled on third down this year converting just 32-of-112 (28.6 percent) … Dom Cizauskas is averaging 12.1 tackles per game and has forced three fumbles this year.

West Liberty (3-5, 3-5) at Concord (1-7, 1-6) | Noon | Athens, W.Va. (Callaghan Stadium)
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Series: Concord has won three of the last five, but West Liberty triumphed last year, 44-14.
Notes: West Liberty is in the midst of a nine-game losing streak that dates back to 2016 … WLU has had fewer penalties than its opponent in each of the last 11 games … Cliff Clark leads the country in solo tackles (65) … Josh Ojo’s six picks this year rank second nationally … Concord’s Brandon Plyler now has five career games of multiple touchdown catches … the Mountain Lions had a season-high 459 yards of offense last week vs. UNC Pembroke … Concord has just three sacks this year.

Fairmont State (6-2, 5-2) at W.Va. State (4-4, 3-4) 1 p.m. Institute, W.Va. (Lakin Field)
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Series: Fairmont State has won three of the last four meetings since 2014 … WVSU led 24-7 at halftime last year, but the Falcons rallied for the 34-27 win at home.
Notes: Fairmont State’s Takwan Crews-Naylor is ranked 25th or higher in the country in five different statistical categories … his 17 touchdown passes are 10th-most in a single season at FSU … Khalik Hamlin needs 59 yards to be the first Fairmont State player to rush for 1,000 yards since Doug Brazill in 2007 … WVSU saw its four-game winning streak snapped last week at West Liberty … WVSU has had at least two rushing TDs in each of the last five games … the Yellow Jackets have won the turnover battle in just three games this year … last week’s 17 penalties vs. West Liberty were a season-high.

Story courtesy the Mountain East Conference.

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