Kentucky Wesleyan College finishes a three-game homestand to open its football season Saturday.

The Panthers will host Southwest Baptist for their homecoming game at Steele Stadium at 3 p.m.

KWC will look to continue boosting its offensive production after struggling overall in the first two games of the season. The Panthers played well for a half before falling 34-16 to Quincy last week on Independence Bank Field.

KWC freshman Wiley Cain earned his first collegiate start against Quincy, throwing for 277 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The Panther offense tallied 322 yards on the day, a nearly 200-yard improvement from week one.

"We thought we might as well just throw him in there and give him a chance to play," KWC coach Craig Yeast said earlier this week. "The best way to learn how to play this game at this level is to actually get out there and play. He made a lot of mistakes, but we went back and watched the film, and he did a lot of really good things. We've got a lot to build on. I told him it would never be this bad again as a starter. What hurt us is we turned the ball over. Learn from it and move on. We felt like he gives us a really good chance to win."

Running the football has been a focus for the Panthers, and Yeast knows getting a ground game going is the only way to make the offense more productive.

Corey Johnson is KWC's leading rusher with 88 yards on the season.

"We've got to be disciplined, focused, we've got to be tough," Yeast said of the team's approach to getting the ground game going. "This week we're all about we've got to go out and give complete and total effort and win every single snap. That's really the focus this week, to try and run the football, our emphasis is to really line up and run the football.

"The mindset is continue to work, get better. I told them on Sunday we're going to push you, we're going to push you to the point you can't go, then try to get the rest of it out of you. We want you to be champions, in order to be champions you've got to put the effort in, you've got to be focused, got to be tough, got to outwork your teammates, your opponents.

"We really have to have an emphasis on running the football. We have to get our backs started."

Southwest Baptist beat Central State 38-3 last week after losing its opener.

Quarterback Dylan Mountain rushed for 155 yards while throwing for 167 yards and three touchdowns against Central State. Slowing Mountain will be a key for the Panthers defense, which has performed well in the first two weeks of the season.

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