MONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team is set to host No. 4 Henderson State Saturday in the final home game of the 2013 season and the final home game in the careers of nine Weevil seniors.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Willis "Convoy" Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. The Senior Day ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. The game will be covered on the UAM Sports Network at KHBM-FM 93.7 in Monticello with live video and audio streaming available at uamsports.com. Live statistics will also be available at uamsports.com.
The Weevils enter Saturday’s game with a 5-3 overall record and a 4-3 record in Great American Conference games following a 22-19 win over Southern Nazarene at home, UAM’s fifth home victory of the season to remain unbeaten at Cotton Boll Stadium. The Reddies come to Monticello with an 8-0 overall record and a 7-0 record in GAC games following a 45-30 win over Harding last Saturday on theroad.
The Boll Weevils are at home for the final time this season this Saturday, putting the team’s unbeaten record at home to the test against nationally fourth-ranked Henderson State. This is Henderson State’s first trip to Monticello since the 2006 season. The Reddies have won the last three outings, all played at Carpenter Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia.
The last UAM win over HSU was a 51-48 outcome in Arkadelphia during the 2008 season in arecord-breaking performance by quarterback Scott Buisson, who passed for 424 yards and ran for 216 yards to lead the Weevils over the Reddies.
UAM enters Saturday’s game against Henderson State with a winning record of 5-3 overall and a 4-3 record in Great American Conference games following a 22-19 win over Southern Nazarene last Saturday at home. The Weevils rank seventh in the league in scoring at an average of 28.8 points per game, eighth in total offense at 352.6 yards per game and seventh in total defense at 401.4 yards allowed per game.
UAM went with just one quarterback for the first time this season in last Saturday’s win over SNU. Sophomore Cody Trimble completed 20-of-25 passes for 125 yards with one touchdown in that win, which was hisfirst start for the Weevils. Trimble has a season total of 877 passing yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. The Weevils lead the GAC in passing defense, giving up an average of just over 185 yards through the air per game. UAM has held four of its opponents to less than 200 passing yards and seven under 300.
Freshman kicker Jamie McGee leads all NCAA Division II kickers with an average of two made field goals per game. He also ranks third in the league in scoring, averaging 8.8 points per game this season. Sophomore Demarcus Robinson and junior Mike Early pace the UAM secondary with 11 passes defended each for an average of 1.38 per game. Robinson has eight pass breakups and three interceptions. Early has seven PBUs and a team-high four interceptions.
The Reddies enter Saturday’s game against UAM with a perfect 8-0 overall record and a 7-0 record in GAC games following a 45-30 victory over Hardinglast Saturday on the road. HSU comes to Monticello with a 20-game winning streak in regular season games. The Reddies have scored exactly 45 points in each of the past three weeks and lead the league with an average of 55.1 points per game. The high-powered HSU offense ranks first in passing at 427.1 yards per game and fourth in rushing at 149.6 yards per game.
HSU quarterback Kevin Rodgers has thrown for 3,112 yards this season and 27 touchdowns. Robert Jordan and Darius Davis have been the favorite targets through the first eight games. Jordan has 47 receptions for 724 yards with nine touchdowns, but suffered acareer-ending leg injury in last Saturday’s win over Harding. Davis is HSU’s yardage leader with 42 catches for 938 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Reddies rank 10th nationally and lead the Great American Conference with a total of 209 first downs this season, averaging just over 26 first downs per contest. On the flip side, the Reddies give up just over 18 first downs per game.
HSU senior Keaton Stigger ranks 19th in the nation and leads the GAC with an average of 11.1 tackles per game. He has also proven to be a productive offensive weapon for the Reddies, totaling 10 rushing touchdowns in goal line situations. Those 10 rushing scores ranks 23rd nationally and second in the conference.
The last time UAM faced the fourth-ranked team in the nation at home resulted in an upset-win for the Boll Weevils. UAM rattled off 20 fourth-quarter points to upset then-ranked No. 4 Valdosta State by a final score of 23-9 at home on Oct. 1, 2011. It was the third win of Hud Jackson’s first season at the helm of the program and gave Valdosta is first loss of that season.
The Weevils are on the road for the final two games of the 2013 season, starting Nov. 9 in Arkadelphia to face off against Ouachita Baptist. The Tigers take a 6-1 record with them to Magnolia this weekend to face Southern Arkansas.