WELLSBURG - University coach John Kelley says there's nothing more misleading in the buildup to Friday's game at Brooke than the two teams' mirror-opposite records.
The Hawks are unbeaten at 2-0 and have yet to surrender a single point. The Bruins are 0-2 and have given up more than 32 in both games.
''That's deceiving,'' Kelley said. ''If we played their schedule, we'd be 0-2, and if they played ours, they'd be 2-0.''
University has had little trouble with a pair of Marion County schools in East Fairmont and North Marion, while Brooke has dealt with Parkersburg and what looks like an unstoppable St. Clairsville team.
Kelley's overseeing a young team that still makes its share of mistakes, a combination that rarely leads to success for visitors at Brooke Memorial Stadium, where the Bruins haven't lost a game at home in more than two years.
''It's a pretty ominous thing to go into,'' Kelley said. ''It's their home opener. Looking at their schedule, they're probably looking at this as a must-win game. This will be a big test. Some of our kids have never played a team of this caliber or a tradition the caliber of Brooke.''
Making matters worse is the upper respiratory infection that has taken over the Morgantown area, forgetting no one, including some football players at WVU, and certainly some at University High.
''Everybody's sick,'' Kelley said.
Through their first two games, the Hawks have a couple of patterns going. 1. They've proved to be much better in the second half. 2. They haven't thrown it much.
With a quarterback like Travis Maraney and a receiver like Deion Cunningham, Kelley vowed to change at least the second part of that.
Maraney has attempted only 14 passes, completing six, and he's been sacked more than 10 times.
''We've got to get him cranked up,'' Kelley said of Maraney.
Cunningham has only one catch for zero yards.
''He's been quiet,'' Kelley said.
''He's pretty special in space.''
The leading rusher for UHS is Tim Kocher, who has 107 yards on 23 carries. Maraney has 65 yards on 17 carries.
Brooke quarterback Alec Buchmelter has completed 14 of 26 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in two games.
He's also the team's leading rusher with 143 yards on 29 attempts, with a long of 50. Tim Faulkner has rushed 23 times for 76 yards.
Gianni Fuscardo is the top receiver with five catches for 86 yards, with Mason Bates not far behind at four catches for 49 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.
''It's obvious to me they're not as strong as they were, and neither are we,'' Kelley said, adding that Brooke still has some big guys along both fronts, which is what has given his team fits in the last two meetings, both won by the Bruins.
On defense, the Hawks have recorded nine quarterback sacks, recovered two fumbles, and have already registered four interceptions.