Henderson State at Southeastern Oklahoma State 6 p.m.; Thursday; Paul Laird Field
• A pair of teams that garnered votes in the AFCA Preseason Top 25 poll square off in Durant when the Reddies take on the Savage Storm. Last season, the two shared the national television stage with Henderson State winning 60-17 on the CBS Sports Network. The Savage Storm return quarterback Ryan Polite and running back Devlon Wortham while the Reddies must replace the All-American quarterback-wide receiver combo of Kevin Rodgers and Darius Davis on offense.
(12/18) Ouachita at East Central 6 p.m.; Thursday; Koi Ishto Stadium
• The GAC’s two Tigers face off in Ada. Both teams issue in new starting quarterbacks as Kiehl Frazier graduated from Ouachita and ECU’s Spencer Bond moved to defense to play safety. Both teams qualified for postseason play in 2014 as Ouachita advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the first time and ECU played in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl. Ouachita has won three of the four meetings since the formation of the GAC. ECU’s lone win came in 2012, at home.
Arkansas Tech at Southern Nazarene 7 p.m.; Thursday; SNU Football Stadium
• The Wonder Boys and Crimson Storm meet for the third time with Tech having won the two prior encounters. In last season’s 34-14 triumph, the Wonder Boys scored four different ways — via rush, pass, kickoff return and interception return. Tech linebacker Logan Genz, who scored on that interception, garnered a placed on the Preseason All-American Team by D2Football.com. SNU’s Craig Hubbard takes over as the Crimson Storm head coach after serving as defensive coordinator since 2006.
Northwestern Oklahoma State at Arkansas-Monticello 7 p.m.; Thursday; Cotton Boll Stadium
• The lone Thursday game to emanate from Arkansas features the Weevils hosting the Rangers. Northwestern brought in an alum, Matt Walter to take over the program. Walter started at fullback on the 1999 NAIA national championship squad. The three previous meetings between the Rangers and Weevils have all resulted in one-score decisions. A streak will end as Northwestern has dropped its last five season openers while UAM last opened with a victory in 2012.
(21/19) Harding at Oklahoma Baptist 11 a.m.; Saturday; Hurt Field
• The Bisons and Bison battle in Shawnee as Oklahoma Baptist hosts the first GAC game in program history. Harding, off of its second trip to the Division II Playoffs in program history, must replace its quarterback (Keenan Kellett), leading rusher (Romo Westbrook) and leading receiver (Donatella Luckett). In the NAIA, Oklahoma Baptist ranked third in scoring, averaging 43.5 points per game and fourth in total offense, averaging 479.0 yards per game.
Southwestern Oklahoma State at Southern Arkansas 6 p.m.; Saturday; Wilkins Stadium
• The final week one matchup takes place in Magnolia when the Bulldogs challenge the Muleriders. The last three meetings have all been decided by a field goal or less. In 2014, the Bulldogs picked up its first win in the four-game history of the series as they overcame and 11-point deficit with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. SAU returns five offensive linemen with starting experience, highlighted by two-time All-GAC performer John Miller.