The Boll Weevils are back in Monticello for their final two games of the 2014 season, starting this Saturday against the Great American Conference’s only remaining undefeated team, the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
UAM has not played a home game for nearly a month, the last coming on October 11 in a 55-15 loss to then-ranked No. 14 Harding on Homecoming. The Weevils played their final road game of the year last Saturday in a 49-7 loss to then-ranked No. 14 Henderson State on the road in Arkadelphia. Saturday’s game marks the third time this season UAM has faced an opponent ranked in the top 15 in the latest AFCA Division II Top 25 Poll. UAM concludes the season next Saturday, November 15 at home against Southern Arkansas for Senior Day. The annual Battle of the Timberlands traveling trophy is on the line next Saturday as a part of a league-wide rivalry day.
74TH ALL-TIME MEETING AGAINST OUACHITA
Saturday’s game marks the 74th all-time meeting between UAM and Ouachita Baptist on the football field. Ouachita currently holds a 40-32-1 all-time advantage in the series, and the Tigers have won the last three meetings. The Weevils are looking for their first win over the Tigers in the Hud Jackson era. UAM beat Ouachita in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, including a 34-32 outcome in 2009 when OBU was ranked 14th in the nation and previously undefeated. The all-time series dates back to the 1914 season. The Tigers won 11 of the first 12 meetings. UAM dominated the series in the 1950s and the 1990s, picking up 15 of the program’s 32 all-time wins during those spans. Ouachita controlled the series in the 1930s, 1940s and the 1970s. UAM is 18-14-1 all-time against Ouachita in games played at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
SCOUTING THE WEEVILS
The Boll Weevils enter Saturday’s game with an overall record of 2-6 with the same mark in Great American Conference games following a 49-7 loss at Henderson State last Saturday. The Weevils come into Saturday’s game ranked seventh in the GAC in total offense, ninth in total defense. UAM’s highest team rankings come in passing offense at fourth with an average of 253.5 passing yards per game, and passing defense at third with an average of 185.1 yards given up per game through the air. The Weevils have converted on just over 85 percent of red zone scoring chances to rank first in the GAC and 32nd in the nation. UAM ranks in the top 50 in the nation in passing offense, passing defense, fumbles recovered, defensive touchdowns, blocked punts, third down conversions and turnover margin. Individually, quarterback Hunter Leppert paces the UAM offense with an average of 233.6 passing yards per game and an average of 255.4 yards of total offense per outing. His favorite target this season has been senior Deadrien Terry, who averages four receptions and 53 yards per game. Defensively, UAM has three players with at least 40 tackles this season, led by senior Anthony Hughes at 50. Senior end Louis Curry has 43 tackles, including team-highs in tackles for loss (9) and sacks (4.5). Senior Mike Early has hauled in four interceptions this year and also is one of just four players in the nation to have more than one kickoff return for a touchdown. He leads the GAC with an average of nearly 26 yards per kickoff return.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Ouachita Baptist enters Saturday’s game with an unblemished 8-0 record, all GAC contests, most recently posting a 38-28 win over Southern Arkansas last Saturday at home. Ouachita was down 21-17 after three quarters, but exploded for 21 points in the final 15 minutes to remain unbeaten on the season. The week before, OBU beat Harding 31-28 on the road in overtime. The Tigers rank in the top half of most GAC statistical categories, ranking third in scoring, third in scoring defense, third in rush offense and second in turnover margin, among others. Ouachita’s offense features quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who transferred to the Tigers after playing at Auburn University. Frazier is one-yard shy of reaching 2,000 in total offense. He has 1494 passing yards and just over 500 rushing yards. The Tigers average 231.4 rushing yards per game in comparison to 192 through the air. Ouachita has wins over Southern Nazarene at home (28-7), East Central at home (41-20), Southeastern Oklahoma on the road (35-29), Southwestern Oklahoma at home (54-21), Northwestern Oklahoma on the road (41-10), Harding on the road in overtime (31-28), Arkansas Tech at home (14-9) and Southern Arkansas at home (38-28). Ouachita, ranked 9th in the nation and 2nd in the region, closes out its regular season next Saturday with a short walk to Henderson State for the annual Battle of the Ravine.
UP NEXT: SEASON FINALE, BATTLE OF THE TIMBERLANDS
The Weevils close out the 2014 season next Saturday, November 15 at home against Great American Conference rival Southern Arkansas. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. Titled the “Battle of the the Timberlands”, the winner of next Saturday’s game will possess a traveling trophy for bragging rights in the 90-year old rivalry. SAU has won each of the last two meetings, the only two since the trophy was created.