Charleston (W. Va.) earns spot in AFCA poll for first time since 2009
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- For the first time since 2009 and just the second time in program history Charleston (W. Va.) has landed a spot in the national top-25 poll, as announced by the AFCA on Monday.
Charleston (7-1) has 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 before wrapping up the season at home against Kanawha Valley rival West Virginia State.
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This season 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 nation's third-best all-purpose rusher in Jordan Roberts who has proved to be helpful in every phase of the game. Roberts' 133.5 yards per game on the ground are ranked 12th in Division II, while he is third nationally with 33.8 yard per kickoff return average. His 10.0 points per game are also ranked among the top 10 nationally.
Puma Nuredini has also added a dimension to the offense this season as he 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. 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 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. As a unit, Charleston is ranked eighth nationally in total defense with the fourth-best passing defense and 16th-best rush defense in Division II.