Top 10 Tigers host Arkansas Tech

ARKADELPHIA — The 8th-ranked Ouachita football team seeks its 30th consecutive conference victory this Saturday, September 18 when it hosts Arkansas Tech for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Cliff Harris Stadium.

The game will be broadcast live on the Ouachita Football Radio Network and on the Ouachita Sports Digital Network. There will also be live stats available. All coverage links can be found at Ticket information can be found at under the Fan Zone tab.

Record: 2-0 (2-0 GAC)
National Rank: 8/9 (D2FB/AFCA)
Head Coach: Todd Knight
Knight Career: 153-128-2 (28th season)
Knight at OBU: 125-96 (22nd season)
Picked No. 1 in preseason GAC poll

Record: 0-2 (0-2 GAC)
National Rank: None
Head Coach: Kyle Shipp
Shipp Career: 3-10 (3rd season)
Shipp at ATU: 3-10 (3rd season)
Picked No. 8 in preseason GAC poll

After a long, but successful trip to the Oklahoma City metro last weekend, the Tigers are back at home this Saturday hosting Arkansas Tech for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Cliff Harris Stadium. Ouachita opened the season at home on September 2 in front of one of the more spirited crowds (not counting Battle of the Ravine games) in Tiger football history. The official attendance for the win over Oklahoma Baptist was 4,682.

The Wonder Boys have started the season 0-2 with losses at home to Southeastern Oklahoma State (38-20) on September 2 and on the road to East Central (13-10) this past Saturday. Tech was limited to 232 yards of total offense in the loss to ECU (68 yards passing and 164 yards rushing). The Wonder Boys are led by head coach Kyle Shipp, who played football and began his coaching career at Tech. Shipp also has coaching stops at Arkansas State (two years) and GAC member UAM (five years).

ATU leads the all-time series 44-33-7. Ouachita has won seven of the last 10
matchups, including three in a row. Most recently, the Tigers beat the Wonder Boys 42-13 in 2019 in Russellville. The series dates back to 1924. The Tigers’ longest win streak in the series is five from 1972-76. The Wonder Boys won eight in a row from 1949-60.

Ouachita football is back in the top 10 following a convincing win over Southern Nazarene on the road last Saturday. The Tigers are ranked as high as No. 8 by and come in at No. 9 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll. Also this week, the Tigers cracked the Division II Power 10 at No. 9. Recently, Ouachita has been ranked as high as No. 4 in one of the national polls. That ranking came at the end of an undefeated regular season in 2019.

For the first time since a 70-0 win over Texas College in the 2010 season opener, the Tigers limited their opponent to less than 100 yards of total offense. Texas College could only muster 61 yards on that day, and the Ouachita defense bested that effort by allowing only 35 yards to the Crimson Storm this past Saturday. The Tigers forced six three-and-outs and also forced two turnovers, one of which leading to the first defensive touchdown for the Tigers since Keandre Evans’ 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 24-7 win over Arkansas Tech at home on September 29, 2018. This past Saturday against SNU, the Tigers lost possession on a fumble going in at the SNU one-yard line, but gained it back in a big way on the next play. Terrell Gibson forced the fumble, and Rovell Carter recovered it in the endzone for Ouachita’s first score of the game.

After only leading 13-3 at halftime, Ouachita came out on fire in the second half with 21 points in the third quarter and one final touchdown in the fourth. Kendel Givens had a big day for the Tigers with 16 carries for 114 rushing yards, and for the second straight game to start his career, three rushing touchdowns. TJ Cole added 22 carries for 107 yards with one score. As a team, the Tigers went to the run game 63 times for 317 yards.

Last Saturday’s win over Southern Nazarene was the 125th victory for Ouachita
football since Todd Knight became head coach in 1999. Knight has turned OBU into a perennial winner and one of the top football programs in all of NCAA Division II. He has led the Tigers to five Great American Conference championships and four NCAA playoff appearances. At Ouachita, Knight is a five-time conference coach of the year and a three-time AFCA region coach of the year. He and the Tigers are currently on a 12-year run with a winning record in each season, including hitting double digits in victories in three of those seasons.

Ouachita’s 41-3 win over SNU gave the Tigers their 29th consecutive conference victory. The last conference loss for OBU was a 31-28 setback to Harding on October 7, 2017 to spoil Homecoming that season. Since then, of those 29 consecutive conference wins, 20 of them have been by a margin of 14 points or more.