MEC football: State plays first home game under new coach
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia State University football team has scored 16 points in two weeks under first-year coach Jon Anderson.
The Yellow Jackets (0-2) hope to remedy their offensive woes at 1 p.m. Saturday when they face Mountain East Conference foe West Liberty (1-1) in Anderson's first game at Lakin Field.
In games against Lock Haven (31-13 loss) and Concord (36-3 loss), State managed just 569 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets (0-2, 0-1 MEC) have fared better, sitting at fifth in the MEC, giving up 322.5 yards per game and only 168 yards rushing. Spearheading State's defense last week was sophomore defensive back William Merritt, who had 11 solo tackles, two assists, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
State is led by running back LeFloyd Phillips, who is tied for the lead league in rushing attempts (48) and has 141 yards.
Quarterback Tyler Seals is 37 of 66 for 344 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.
West Liberty (1-1) answered its disappointing season-opening loss to Catawba with a 16-13 victory over visiting Glenville last week. In two games, the Hilltoppers have surrendered just six more points (22) than State has scored (16).
West Liberty is led on the ground by Kenjay Trueblood, who has 31 carries for 124 yards. Quarterback Dylan LaGarde is 34-of-68 for 316 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
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CHARLESTON SEEKS its first victory of the season when the Golden Eagles (0-2, 0-0 MEC) opens its MEC portion of the season against UVa-Wise on the road.
Coach Pat Kirkland's Golden Eagles dropped a disappointing decision at Shaw to open the season before losing to Football Championship Subdivision member Southern Illinois 31-10 last week.
Charleston has struggled to muster any offense the first two weeks of the season, averaging a league-low 3 yards per play. The Golden Eagles are 10th in the league in rushing offense and 10th in the league in rushing defense.
UC's leading rusher is sophomore John Knox, listed as a quarterback but who has also played running back. He has 26 carries for 74 yards in two games.