By Brian Ramsey
OBU Sports Information
ARKADELPHIA — The 11th-ranked Ouachita Baptist University football team is on the road for a second straight weekend to face the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. this Saturday, October 16 at Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium in Monticello. The Ouachita Football Network will take the air at 1 p.m. for the pregame show. UAM will provide live video and live stats. All coverage links can be found at OBUTigers.com/coverage.
#11/11 OUACHITA TIGERS
Record: 5-1 (5-1 GAC)
National Rank: 11/11 (AFCA/D2FB)
Head Coach: Todd Knight
Knight Career: 156-129-2 (28th season)
Knight at OBU: 128-97 (22nd season)
Picked No. 1 in preseason GAC poll
UAM BOLL WEEVILS
Record: 4-2 (4-2 GAC)
National Rank: Not ranked
Head Coach: William “Hud” Jackson
Jackson Career: 38-67 (10th season)
Jackson at UAM: Same
Picked No. 7 in preseason GAC poll
4TH ROAD GAME COMING UP11th-ranked Ouachita hits the road for the fourth time this season, and for the second straight week, this Saturday to face Arkansas-Monticello. The Tigers are 5-1 overall this season and 2-1 in road games. UAM is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in games at home in Monticello. It is Homecoming for UAM, the first and only opponent to play Ouachita for the occasion this year.
THE LAST TIME VS. UAM
November 16, 2019 // @Ouachita 35, UAM 7 // Ouachita clinched its third straight Great American Conference championship with a big win over UAM in game 10 of the 2019 season. Brockton Brown had four rushing touchdowns in the first half, and Allie Freeman became the all-time receptions leader in the GAC in the win.
The Boll Weevils enter Saturday’s game with a 4-2 record, giving Ouachita its second game of the year against a team with a winning record. UAM’s wins have come against the teams in the bottom half of the GAC standings: a 30-23 win over Southern Nazarene; a 27-20 win over Arkansas Tech; an 18-16 win over Southwestern Okla.; and most recently, a 42-23 win over Northwestern Okla. this past Saturday on the road. UAM’s losses have come on the road to Oklahoma Baptist (45-20) and at home to Henderson State (58-18). UAM has a dual-threat quarterback in Demilon Brown, who leads the Weevils in both passing and rushing. He has 1,730 yards of total offense with 10 touchdown passes and seven rushing touchdowns.
80th MEETING WITH THE WEEVILS
Saturday marks the 80th all-time meeting between Ouachita and UAM on the football field. The series began in 1913, and the 79 previous meetings signifies Ouachita’s third longest football rivalry, trailing only Henderson State (93 games) and Arkansas Tech (85 games). Ouachita holds the all-time series advantage 45-33-1. With the exception of the late 90s when Ouachita competed in the Lone Star Conference, the two squads have played every year since the mid-1950s. Both institutions were members of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference and the Gulf South Conference. Since becoming charter members of the GAC in 2011, Ouachita is 8-1 against UAM and has won the last three meetings by combined margin of 125-38. The longest win streak for the Tigers in the series is 12 from 1968-79. UAM’s longest win streak was eight from 1955-60, when the school was known as Arkansas A&M. The two squads played twice during the 1956 and 1957 seasons.
RUN GAME STILL SHINES – RECORD WATCHOuachita’s running attack continues to shine as the Tigers hold tight to its No. 2 rank in the nation behind Harding in rush yards per game (293.7). TJ Cole had a career-high 193 rushing yards last Saturday against SWOSU. Kendel Givens also eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 109 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time this season that both had at least 100 yards in the same game. Givens’ three touchdown gives him 15 on the season. It was his fourth game of the year with three scores. Givens leads the nation in total touchdowns, and after his performance against SWOSU, the freshman from Little Rock now ranks seventh in Ouachita history in single-season rushing touchdowns. The record is 25 from Brockton Brown in 2019. He has also moved into the top 10 in scoring, now ranking eighth in school single-season history with 96 points scored this year, which also includes his three successful two-point conversion rushes this year.
TIGERS CLOSE IN ON TOP 10
Ouachita is back to where it began the 2021 season in the national rankings, moving up one spot to No. 11 in both major NCAA Division II polls this week. The Tigers rose to as high as No. 7 in one of the polls this year, but fell to No. 19 following the only loss of the year. Following that setback, which snapped a 30-game conference winning streak for the Tigers, Ouachita has two convincing victories and has found itself one spot away from breaking back in to the top 10. Henderson State is ranked No. 9 in this week’s AFCA top 25 poll, but Harding holds the No. 9 spot in the D2Football.com poll. HSU and HU play this Saturday in Arkadelphia.
OUACHITA KEY TEAM STAT RANKINGS
- 2nd in NCAA, 2nd in GAC in rushing offense (293.7 yard average)
- 2nd in NCAA, 1st in GAC in net punting (40.25 yard average)
- 3rd in NCAA, 1st in GAC in sacks allowed (0.5 per game)
- 4th in NCAA, 2nd in GAC in interceptions thrown (1 total)
- 7th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in punt returns (20 yard average)
- 13th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in kickoff returns (25.92 yard average)
- 14th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in passing yards allowed (145.8 average)
- 17th in NCAA, 2nd in GAC in scoring offense (38.7 points per game)
OUACHITA KEY INDIVIDUAL STAT RANKINGS
- TJ Cole – 21st in NCAA, 2nd in GAC in all-purpose yards (142.83 yard average)
- TJ Cole – 16th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in rush yards per carry (6.55 yard average)
- TJ Cole – 4th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in total rushing yards (779)
- TJ Cole – 7th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in rushing yards per game (129.8 yards per game)
- Xaylon Falls – One of three players in the nation with two kickoff returns for touchdowns
- Xaylon Falls – 4th in NCAA, 1st in GAC in kickoff returns (38.6 yard average)
- Kendel Givens – 1st in NCAA, 1st in GAC in total and rushing touchdowns (15 total)
- Kendel Givens – 1st in NCAA, 1st in GAC in scoring (16 points per game)
- Kendel Givens – 24th in NCAA, 2nd in GAC in rush yards per carry (6.2 yard average)