UC cracks the Division II Top 25 - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

UC cracks the Division II Top 25

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. - For the first time since 2009 and just the second time in program history the University of Charleston football team has landed a spot in the national top-25 poll, as announced by the AFCA Monday morning.

Charleston (7-1) has become a sort of a road-warrior as they have not dropped an away contest in over a year (Oct. 1, 2011 vs Fairmont State 19-14). That stat proves to be important for the Golden Eagles as they continue their four-game road swing for the next two contests before wrapping up the season at home against Kanawha Valley rival West Virginia State on Nov. 10.

The Golden Eagles have a lesson they hope has been learned from the team's last venture into the national spotlight. In 2009 UC slid just outside of the top-10 before falling in back-to-back games in the next to last games of the season which led to Charleston being left out of the Division II playoff picture despite their 9-2 overall record.

This season the University of Charleston holds the cards for a playoff effort as they sit atop the WVIAC standings with just three contests remaining, all against conference opponents.

On the field, UC is led by the nations third-best all-purpose rusher in Jordan Roberts (Madison, WV) who has proved to be lethal in every phase of the game. He has run, caught and thrown for touchdowns this season, while also booking two blocked kicks and a safety on the other side of the ball. Roberts' 133.5 yards per game on the ground is ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, while he is third nationally with 33.8 yard per kickoff return average. The 10.0 points per game he is responsible for also is ranked among the top-10 nationally, as well.

Puma Nuredini (Naples, FL) has also given the Golden Eagles scoring attack an added dimension this season as he leads the conference and is among the top nationally with 1.25 field goals per game. Nuredini leads the West Virginia Conference with a perfect 24-for-24 effort on extra point attempts and hitting 10-of-14 field goals that includes a long of 49 yards. He follows only Roberts in the conference standings for points per game at 7.1.

Charleston's defensive line boasts four players in the national rankings for sacks and tackles for loss. Jeff Green (Johnson City, TN) leads the group at No. 6 defensively with 1.21 sacks per game, while also sitting in the top-15 nationally at 1.79 tackles for loss per contest. Jeff Bryant (Cleveland, OH), Rockford Stone (Charlotte, NC) and Justin Avery (Charlotte, NC) all find themselves among the national rankings as well for their efforts. As a unit the University of Charleston is ranked No. 8 nationally in total defense with the fourth-best passing defense and 16th best rush defense in NCAA Division II.

UC gets their next shot on the field at Glenville State on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 1:00 pm.

2012 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches' Poll

Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev. Week Eight Next Game
1. Colorado St.-Pueblo (24) 8-0 743 1 D. Black Hills St. (S.D.), 45-13 Oct. 27 at Colorado Mesa
2. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) (6) 8-0 720 2 D. Livingstone (N.C.), 58-0 Oct. 27 at Shaw (N.C.)
3. New Haven (Conn.) 7-0 679 3 D. Stonehill (Mass.), 45-41 Oct. 27 vs. Southern Connecticut St.
4. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 8-0 629 4 D. Cheyney (Pa.), 27-13 Oct. 27 at No. 10 Shippensburg (Pa.)
5. Northwest Missouri St. 7-1 623 5 D. Missouri Southern St., 38-14 Oct. 27 at No. 16t Washburn (Kan.)
6. Ashland (Ohio) 8-0 589 6 D. Malone (Ohio), 31-7 Oct. 27 vs. Findlay (Ohio)
7. Minnesota St.-Mankato 8-0 544 9 D. Winona St. (Minn.), 30-20 Oct. 27 at Wayne St. (Neb.)
8. Minnesota-Duluth 7-1 537 7t D. Bemidji St. (Minn.), 30-0 Oct. 27 at Minnesota-Crookston
9. Henderson St. (Ark.) 8-0 484 11 D. East Central (Okla.), 49-14 Oct. 27 at Southern Arkansas
10. Shippensburg (Pa.) 8-0 457 13 D. West Chester (Pa.), 42-24 Oct. 27 vs. No. 4 Bloomsburg (Pa.)
11. Midwestern St. (Texas) 6-1 453 12 D. Abilene Christian (Texas), 35-31 Oct. 27 vs. Eastern New Mexico
12. Missouri Western St. 7-1 421 16 D. No. 7t Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 63-14 Oct. 25 at No. 15 Emporia St. (Kan.)
13. California (Pa.) 7-1 390 14 D. Gannon (Pa.), 41-0 Oct. 27 vs. Slippery Rock (Pa.)
14. West Texas A&M 7-1 365 17 D. Eastern New Mexico, 44-21 Oct. 27 at West Georgia
15. Emporia St. (Kan.) 8-0 354 18t D. Truman St. (Mo.), 52-26 Oct. 25 vs. No. 12 Missouri Western St.
16t. Indiana (Pa.) 7-1 274 20 D. Mercyhurst (Pa.), 31-13 Oct. 27 vs. Clarion (Pa.)
16t. Washburn (Kan.) 7-1 274 18t D. Lindenwood (Mo.), 19-16 Oct. 27 vs. No. 5 Northwest Missouri St.
18. Miles (Ala.) 7-1 209 21 D. Lane (Tenn.), 38-20 Oct. 25 vs. Stillman (Ala.)
19. Harding (Ark.) 6-1 164 25 D. No. 10 Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 34-14 Oct. 27 vs. Arkansas Tech
20. Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 6-1 162 10 Lost to No. 25 Harding (Ark.), 34-14 Oct. 27 at East Central (Okla.)
21. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 7-1 145 23 D. Augustana (S.D.), 32-31 2OT Oct. 27 vs. Upper Iowa
22. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 5-2 119 7t Lost to No. 16 Missouri Western St., 63-14 Oct. 27 at Truman St. (Mo.)
23. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 6-2 71 24 D. Northwood (Mich.), 42-28 Oct. 27 at No. 24 Hillsdale (Mich.)
24. Hillsdale (Mich.) 6-2 62 NR D. No. 15 Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 34-17 Oct. 27 vs. No. 23 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)
25. Charleston (W.Va.) 7-1 59 NR D. West Liberty (W.Va.), 27-14 Oct. 27 at Glenville St. (W.Va.)