A roundup of previews for state college football games.
No. 25 Harding at UAM
MONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello returns home to Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium for the second time this Saturday, to host the No. 25 nationally-ranked Harding University Bisons at 6 p.m. The game can be heard online at UAMsports.com. Live streaming video and live statistics will be available as well and all live coverage information can be found at www.UAMsports.com/coverage.aspx. The Weevils and the Harding Bisons will meet for a 52nd time during each of these programs history, in a series that dates back to 1960. The Bisons hold a slight advantage over UAM all-time at 27-24 and have won five games in a row over the Weevils. Harding beat Arkansas-Monticello 47-21 last year in Searcy. The Bisons enter week four with a 3-0 record (3-0 GAC) and currently ranked number one overall in the Great American Conference in scoring offense, scoring defense, total defense, and rushing defense. Michael Latu is Harding’s number one rusher with 271 yards on the ground, four touchdowns and 90.3 yards per game. Quarterback Park Parish is also HU’s number two rusher entering week four with 194 total yards and five total rushing touchdowns.
A-State at University of Central Arkansas
CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas will get another shot at beating a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team on Saturday night, this time one from within the state of Arkansas. The Bears (2-1, 2-0), who compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro on ESPN3. The Red Wolves won the last meeting — the only one with both teams as NCAA Division I programs — 53-24 in 2011. FCS teams have eight victories over FBS teams so far this season, with one over a team ranked in the Top 25 (North Dakota State 23, No. 13 Iowa 21). UCA, coming off a workmanlike 24-10 Southland Conference victory over Northwestern State, faces an ASU team looking for its first victory of the season. The Bears lead the SLC in total defense (267.7 yards per game) and rushing defense (58.0 yards per game) and are second in total offense (498.0 yards per game) and scoring offense (36.3 points per game). UCA is also No. 1 in first downs (85, third in the nation) and third-down conversions (45.8 percent). UCA’s third-down conversions allowed (14.9 percent) also leads the nation.
Southern Nazarene at Southeastern Oklahoma State
The league’s two Storms open up week four as the Crimson Storm migrates south to face the Savage Storm. With a win, Southeastern would have its first 3-1 start since 2004. Savage Storm quarterback CB Cantwell ranks sixth in the nation in completion percentage at 72.0 percent. Southeastern’s defense ranks second in the nation having forced 11 turnovers, and the Savage Storm’s +8 turnover margin ranks third.
No. 8/No. 11 Henderson State at Southwestern Oklahoma State
Henderson State takes its 23-game road winning streak and its 24-0 road record against GAC opponents to Weatherford to face the Bulldogs. Last season, the Reddies forced five turnovers in a 33-0 win. In consecutive games, Henderson State quarterback Andrew Black has registered his first 100-yard rushing game and his first 300-yard passing game. SWOSU defeated the last Top 10 opponent to visit ASAP Energy Field, No. 9 Ouachita, by a 58-38 margin on September 19, 2015.
Arkansas Tech at Southern Arkansas
The Wonder Boys and Muleriders, both 2-1, square off for the 80th time. SAU has won the last four times the two have met in Magnolia. Last year, the Wonder Boys totaled 508 yards in a 44-21 win. SAU leads the conference in fewest penalty yards per game while Tech has tallied up the most penalty yards in the GAC. The Wonder Boys feature the GAC’s top punter, Matthew Shade, and the top punt returner, Braden Stringer.
Oklahoma Baptist at East Central
The Bison make their first trip to Ada since 1939 to face the Tigers. Bison running back Isaiah Mallory rushed for 152 yards last week against Southeastern, to join Ouachita’s Austin Warford as the only players in the GAC averaging at least 100 yards per game on the ground. Tiger running back Je’Qualon Wright carried 24 times for 131 yards in the win against Southern Nazarene after amassing just two yards on two carries total in the first two games of his career.
Ouachita at Northwestern Oklahoma State
The GAC’s top passer meets the top rusher as Reid Miller leads the Rangers and Austin Warford paces the Tigers. Miller ranks 11th in Division II, averaging 317 yard per game through the air and his 10 touchdown passes ranks eighth. In the last two weeks, Warford, has produced two of the five most prolific rushing games by a QB in GAC history. His 396 yards ranks 13th in Division II, and second among quarterbacks across the NCAA, trailing only Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.