Catawba secured its first winning season since 2017 last week with a 31-28 South Atlantic Conference win over Tusculum.
On Saturday, Virginia-Wise goes to Catawba looking to take another step toward its first winning football season since 2016.
The SAC game is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Shuford Stadium in Salisbury, North Carolina.
UVA Wise (4-5, 3-4) can move above .500 with a win Saturday followed by a victory over Barton at home in its regular- season finale on Nov. 13. The Cavaliers ended a three-game losing streak last weekend with a 28-24 SAC win over Limestone.
The Cavs have fielded one of the more opportunistic defenses in NCAA Division II this season.
They lead the conference and rank ninth nationally in interceptions with 13. They also average a SAC-leading 3.56 sacks per game, which ranks 10th in DII.
Catawba’s offense has performed in stark contrast to the Cavs’ defense. The Indians (5-2, 2-2) have allowed the second-fewest sacks in the league, 1.29 per game, and committed 10 turnovers.
Punter Clayton Crile provides another weapon for the Indians. The sophomore leads DII with an average of 48 yards per punt and has pinned opponents inside the 20 eight times this season.
He recorded a 71-yard punt against Winston-Salem State earlier this year and has had at least one of 50 yards or more in each game.
The Cavs are looking to build off the momentum of last week’s running attack. They rushed for 130 yards, their second-highest total this season. The unit is averaging only 84 yards on the ground.
Catawba allows an average of 155.6 rushing yards, and opponents have gained at least 100 in six consecutive games.
This will be just the second meeting between the schools on the gridiron. In 2019, the Cavs took advantage of three Indians turnovers in a 21-14 win in Wise.