091319 FSU-WU-SP

Fairmont State’s Brandon Ruffin (2) carries the ball up the field while Alec Solano (48) blocks for him during the Falcons’ home opener against Wheeling on Thursday. Fairmont State defeated the Cardinals 53-10. 

Despite mixed success in the win-loss column, there hasn’t been a challenge too tough for the explosive Fairmont State football offense to handle this season. The Falcons will look to keep that the same as they hit the road for another round of MEC Thursday night football.

This week, Fairmont will travel to Ohio to face-off against Urbana, who are currently in the midst of their most successful season in five years and off to the best start in program history.

The Blue Knights enter tied for second in the Mountain East Conference and have won four-consecutive games — a win tonight would be the program’s first five-game winning streak since 2013.

Fairmont’s dominant offense is currently ninth in the nation in total yardage, but Urbana is — on paper — the toughest defense the Falcons might see all season. Urbana’s defense is first in the MEC and 36th nationally in total yardage allowed, and they allow just 22.6 points per game. Only two opponents have managed to record 30 or more points against the Blue Knights this year — Fairmont enters averaging over 39 per game.

“We know we’re going to be against a really good defense — they have two of the best linebackers we might see all year. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. They’re coached very well and it’s going to be tough,” head coach Jason Woodman said.

Coach Woodman said success against the Blue Knights’ defense will depend on how consistently his offense is able to move the ball. Luckily, that is a facet of the game Fairmont has excelled in so far this season — the Falcons are fifth in the nation and first in the MEC in third-down percentage.

“We need to be efficient in everything we do. We need to try and stay ahead of the sticks, convert third-downs, and make big plays whenever possible,” he said.

“It starts up front. We focus a lot on first and second down offensively. You want to put yourself in a manageable third-down position, so you have a better chance at converting them.”

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