CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Even with a completely new backfield, it didn't take long for George Washington coach Steve Edwards, Jr., to get a good read on his team.
Despite losing two-time Kennedy Award winning running back Ryan Switzer and quarterback Trevor Bell to graduation, the Patriots featured three 100-yard rushers in GW's 34-27 victory over South Charleston at home in the season opener last Thursday.
As impressive as the Patriots were against the Black Eagles in a battle of top ranked teams in week one, Edwards will see just how his newcomers respond to their first road game of the season.
GW (1-0) doesn't have an easy road ahead of them when they travel to Kentucky to play Ashland Paul Blazer (1-1) on Friday at Putnam Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
This will be the third straight season the two teams have played, with each team winning a game on the other's home field. The Patriots won at Paul Blazer in 2011 and the Tomcats returned the favor, winning last year at GW 21-14.
Paul Blazer finished the regular season 8-2 last year, and won their first game in the playoffs, defeating Covington Holmes, 41-14, at home. The Tomcats, though, lost in the second round, dropping a 52-13 decision to Highlands on the road.
"We know they are a fine program with a lot of tradition," Edwards said. "They have a new coach (Tony Love) and are traditionally a playoff team. It's a great place to play. It will be packed. The people love their Tomcats."
Edwards knows his Patriots will have their hands full, especially playing on the road in a tough environment with so many new players.
"It will be a big challenge for us," Edwards said. "We have got a lot of new kids, and not a lot of them played very much up there a couple years ago, if at all.