CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The University of Charleston football team lost only two times in 11 games last fall.
Not coincidentally, it was in those defeats the Golden Eagles scored their fewest points.
That's an issue for UC Coach Pat Kirkland, who completed his third spring practice on Thursday with plenty of optimism for an offense that - last season - averaged 30.3 points per game but averaged 10 in defeats to Shepherd and Glenville State.
"I'd think the offense on a daily basis got the best of the defense (during the spring)," said Kirkland, who is 14-3 since beginning his head coaching career with five consecutive losses in 2011. "I know they did in the spring game. That's a defense that was No. 2 in the country in total defense. From a head coaching standpoint, that was good to see."
The Golden Eagles leaned heavily on Jordan Roberts, the 2007 Kennedy Award winner from Scott High School who is hoping to be selected in this week's NFL Draft.
He accounted for 1,611 yards for the Golden Eagles, giving Kirkland a security blanket in the backfield and on kick returns, where Roberts had 389 yards.
The Golden Eagles also will be without 2012 leading receiver Shaquille Williams, who was kicked off the team after a January arrest.
Those losses alone will lead to different twists for the UC offense, Kirkland said, but nothing drastic.
"We changed some things in the passing game," Kirkland said. "There will definitely be more competition at specific positions, which is one of the reasons we'll see the offense really compete."
Perhaps a few more downfield throws could be in the offing for the 2013 Golden Eagles?
"That's a goal," Kirkland said. "You always have to do what your personnel dictates. I was pleased we took four or five shots in the spring game within about 40 plays deep. We had some opportunities there. We have to get better."
The Golden Eagles transition to the Mountain East Conference on Saturday, Sept. 21 when they visit the University of Virginia at Wise.