Northwestern Okla. at Harding
First Security Stadium, Searcy, 6 p.m.
Live Stats, Audio, Video: HardingSports.com
Two teams looking for their first wins of the season will meet Saturday. Harding fell 27-23 at Southwestern Oklahoma, and Northwestern Oklahoma lost 38-10 at home to Arkansas Tech. Both games were played on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Harding and Northwestern Okla. are meeting for the seventh time with the Bisons leading the series 4-2 overall. This will be the first meeting since a 27-14 Harding victory in Searcy in 1988.
Saturday’s game is the second of 10 GAC games for the Bisons. The 2013 season will be the first in program history that every game of the regular season is a conference game.
About the Rangers
• Northwestern Oklahoma (0-1, 0-1) is a provisional member of the GAC and is located in Alva, Okla.
• Northwestern Oklahoma opened its season with a 38-10 loss to Arkansas Tech in Alva, Okla. The Rangers took an early 3-0 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Kevin Ditch but trailed 24-10 at halftime and surrendered two more touchdowns in the third quarter.
• Quarterback Reid Miller led the team with 46 rushing yards, including a 26-yard touchdown run. He completed 10-of-32 passes for 83 yards.
• The Rangers did not force any turnovers but had three sacks by Jeremy Gutierrez, Kevin Price, and Donavon Guidry.
• Sophomore linebacker Rontez Smith led the Rangers with 11 tackles. Smith is a former teammate of Harding defensive end Trevon Biglow at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City.
RONNIE HUCKEBA: Harding is in its seventh season under head coach Ronnie Huckeba. Now in his 28th season as a coach at Harding, Huckeba has a 31-32 overall record as head coach. Under Coach Huck, the Bisons are 23-24 in conference games and 19-12 at home.
PRESEASON GAC POLL: Harding (0-1, 0-1) was picked to finish third of 11 teams in the GAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Northwestern Okla. was not eligible for the poll as a provisional member of the GAC. Henderson State is the preseason favorite.
THE SERIES: Harding and Northwestern Oklahoma have met six times with the Bisons leading the series 4-2 overall and 3-0 in games played in Searcy.
The series began in 1965 with a 16-13 Harding victory in Alva. The teams played each season from 1974-77 with Northwestern Oklahoma winning both games in Alva (20-16 in 1974 and 24-21 in 1976) and Harding winning both games in Searcy (27-0 in 1975 and 10-7 in 1977). The last time the teams played was in 1988 with Harding winning 27-14 in Searcy.
LAST MEETING: Harding used a grinding running game, rushing for 230 yards on 61 carries and two touchdowns, in a 27-14 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma on Oct. 1, 1988.
Anthony Lowery led the Harding rushing attack with 82 yards on 17 carries, and Chris Hill rushed 22 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. Greg Cox started for Harding at quarterback and completed 5-of-14 passes for 82 yards and rushed 14 times for 32 yards.
The fathers of three current Bisons had outstanding games on defense in the game. Brooks Davis, the father of redshirt freshman linebacker Jace Davis, had 10 tackles; Lance Rodgers, the father of freshman wide receiver Lane Rodgers, had eight tackles; and Bubba Alsup, the father of sophomore offensive lineman Bentley Alsup, had eight tackles and a fumble recovery.