Harding Bisons vs. Ouachita Baptist Tigers
A.U. Williams Field, Arkadelphia, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Media: Available through a link on HardingSports.com
Harding and Ouachita Baptist are meeting for the 55th time with the Bisons leading 29-21-4 overall and 14-12-2 in Arkadelphia. Harding has scored 20 or more points in seven straight games against OBU. This is the fourth game in the last five seasons in Arkadelphia.
ABOUT THE TIGERS
• Ouachita Baptist leads D2 in 3rd Down Conversion Pct. (.577).
• The Tigers are strong in special teams, leading the conference in kickoff return defense (14.03) and net punting (39.57).
• GAC Offensive Rankings: 2nd in rushing (211.0), 6th in passing (230.8), 5th in total offense (441.8). GAC Defensive Rankings: 4th in rushing (114.4), 5th in passing (213.8), and 3rd in total defense (328.2).
• RB Chris Rycraw leads the GAC in rushing (103.4) and in scoring (9.6) … LB Antoine Patterson is the GAC leader in both sacks (1.4 per game) and tackles for loss (2.1 per game).
• Etauj Allen leads the GAC in punt returns with 11.1 yards per return.
LAST MEETING: The winning formula for the 25th-ranked Harding football team on Oct. 20, 2012, — run the ball and stop the run. It equaled a 34-14 road victory over 10th-ranked Ouachita Baptist in Great American Conference play at A.U. Williams Field.
Harding, the GAC leader in rushing yards, rolled up 250 rushing yards on 55 carries.
The Bisons completely shut down Ouachita Baptist’s rushing attack that featured the GAC’s leading rusher Chris Rycraw. Ouachita Baptist (6-1, 4-1) had only 39 rushing yards on 21 carries, and Rycraw carried for only eight times for 18 yards.
• Harding will go in search of its fifth straight victory Saturday and its second straight on the road as it takes on undefeated Ouachita Baptist on Saturday at A.U. Williams Field in Arkadelphia.
• Harding is coming off a 63-30 victory over Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday at First Security Stadium. The Bisons rushed for 474 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns in winning their fourth straight game.
• Ouachita Baptist defeated Northwestern Oklahoma 45-21 at home on Saturday. Chris Rycraw rushed 26 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
• Harding enters the game as D2’s leader in rushing yards per game (418.0), yards per rush (7.63), and rushing touchdowns (30). The Bisons are the only team in D2 averaging more than 400 yards per game and more than 7.0 yards per rush.
• Four D2 teams have scored eight rushing touchdowns in a game this season. Harding is the only team to do it twice (vs. Northwestern Okla., 9/14 & vs. Ark.-Monticello, 10/12).
• Harding junior fullback Romo Westbrook has rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games, reaching 171 yards on 21 carries at Southern Arkansas and 106 yards on six carries vs. Arkansas-Monticello. He could become the first Harding player since Chris Pierson in 1997 to rush for 100 or more yards in three consecutive games.
• Harding also leads D2 with 28.70 yards per pass completion. The Bisons and quarterback Keenan Kellett was 4-of-4 vs. Arkansas-Monticello for 108 yards, an average of 27.0 yards per completion.
• Harding and Ouachita Baptist are meeting for the 55th time with the Bisons leading the series 29-21-4 overall and 14-12-2 in Arkadelphia. This will be the fourth time in the last five meetings that the game was at A.U. Williams Field. The 55 meetings is the most contested rivalry for Harding and an opponent.
• Saturday’s game is the sixth 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.
• Harding head coach Ronnie Huckeba is in his seventh season as head coach of the Bisons.
IN THE LAST FOUR GAMES, HARDING HAS…
• Scored 223 points, the most ever in four consecutive games by the Bisons.
• Rushed for 1,858 yards and 27 touchdowns.
• Averaged 8.1 yards per rush and 464.5 yards per game.
• Completed 18 passes for 555 yards, an average of 30.8 yards per reception.
• Averaged 9.2 yards per play and 603.3 yards per game.
• Scored 32 touchdowns and punted 10 times. HU’s opponents have scored eight touchdowns and punted 27 times.
• Converted 61% of its third downs (20-of-33).
• Scored touchdowns on 20 of its 22 trips to the red zone.
• Outscored its opponents 139-27 in the first half.
• Harding leads Division II with 418.0 rushing yards per game, the most of any of the 649 NCAA football teams.
• Harding leads Division II with 8.54 yards per play, the only team with an average of over 8.00 yards per play.
• Harding leads Division II with 28.7 yards per completion. The Bisons have completed 23 passes this season, 14 of them have gone for 20 yards or more and four for 50 yards or more.
• Harding ranks second in the GAC and 4th in Division II with 49.2 points per game. The Bisons are looking to score 20 or more points in six consecutive games to start a season for the first time ever.
• Harding ranks fourth in NCAA II in three-point conversion percentage (53.3). The Bisons have converted 24-of-45 third downs, including a season-best 8-of-10 (80%) vs. Northwestern Okla.
• Junior All-American fullback Romo Westbrook is Harding’s rushing leader with 486 rushing yards. He is ranked fourth in the GAC with 97.2 rushing yards per game. Westbrook also has Harding’s three 100-yard rushing game this season, rushing for 109 yards on eight carries vs. Northwestern Oklahoma, 171 on 21 carries at Southern Arkansas, and 106 on six carries vs. Ark.-Monticello. Westbrook leads Harding in career yards per rush (6.9). He ranks 22nd at Harding with 1,302 rushing yards.
• Junior quarterback Keenan Kellett is expected to make his fourth career start against Ouachita Baptist. Kellett has completed 18 passes in his career for 383 yards, an average of 21.3 yards per completion.
• Harding’s top receiver is junior Donatella Luckett, who has seven receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown. Luckett, who moved from fullback to wide receiver after his freshman season, has scored eight career receiving touchdowns and is averaging 18.8 yards per reception.
• Harding’s slot backs (pitch-men) are averaging 11.4 yards per carry, with 660 yards on 58 carries.
• The Bisons’ starters on the offensive line have a combined 101 career starts. Leading the way is senior left tackle Jeremiah Vivio (36), followed by Dallon Hudson (29), Mike Thompson (16), Mike Gallaway (12), and Patrick Bingham (8).
• Harding ranks third in the GAC in scoring defense. The Bisons have allowed only eight touchdowns in the last four games.
• Harding ranks sixth in Division II in first downs allowed with 84.
• Eight different Harding players have at least one sack, led by B.J. Jones with 3.0 and Daniel Riley with 2.5.
• The Bisons have allowed only one touchdown in the first quarter of a game this season.
• Daylan Skidmore had a career-high 15 tackles vs. Arkansas-Monticello, the most by a Harding player since Josh Jones had 15 vs. Southwest Baptist in 2009. Skidmore leads Harding with 35 tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• The longest punt return against Harding this season has been eight yards.
• Harding’s opponents were 0-for-3 on field goals this season until Jamie McGee of UAM went 3-for-3.
• Harding returns all of its specialists from last season. Junior kicker John Gay is a preseason All-America honoree after making 10-of-14 field goals and 43-of-43 extra points in 2012. Gay has made 1-of-2 field goals and 31-of-34 extra points through five games.
• Senior punter Nathan Kadlecek ranked third in the GAC last season with 38.7 yards per punt, the fifth-best average in program history. He has only had to punt 13 times this season, has a 38.7-yard average, and landed five punts inside the 20.
• Sophomore Madison Firmin returns as the long snapper, and senior Alex Finley is the holder.
• Austin Kiel leads Harding with six special teams tackles, all on kickoffs.