After another win over another school in the Sooner State, the Oklahoma Baptist Bison return home for their final home contest of 2019 as they welcome in the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs with a kick-off time of 1 p.m. The game will be featured on obubison.com with the trio of Todd Miller, Scott Wanish and John Brooks.
OBU comes off one of their more complete games of the season as they traveled to Alva and returned home with a 34-25 win over the Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers thanks in part to a big first half.
IT'S SENIOR DAY
It is Senior Day at Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Complex as the Bison will honor 16 seniors prior to Saturday's kickoff with the Bulldogs. The Senior Class has been instrumental in OBU building a football program on Bison Hill as their win total has increased every season including two in 2017, five in 2018 and currently at five with two games to go in 2019.
THIS IS OUR STATE
With the win over Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon, the Bison have now won nine straight games over Oklahoma teams and could potentially "Take State" again by sweeping the state of Oklahoma for the second consecutive season. They are currently 3-0 against Oklahoma teams this season with road wins over Southeastern Oklahoma State and Northwestern Oklahoma State and a home win over East Central University.
OBU's last loss to an Oklahoma school came on November 4, 2017 in Alva as the Bison were defeated by the Rangers 31-24. OBU has also won five straight home games over Oklahoma schools with their last loss coming to ECU, 55-34, on Sept. 2, 2017.
The Bison also look to make it three straight wins over an opponent for the first time since joining the GAC.
START ME UP
The Bison finally found a way to get off to a quick start in the win over Northwestern. OBU was being outscored 70-14 in the first quarter going into the contest, and had not taken the lead to start a game yet. However, OBU jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and push that lead to 28-10 at the break en route to the win. Prior to Northwestern, OBU trailed 21-0 to Henderson State (lost 35-28), 14-0 to Southern Arkansas (lost 30-28), 14-0 to Southeastern (won 34-31), 7-0 to East Central (won 50-41), 21-0 to Arkansas Tech (won 43-31) in the first half, 14-0 to Harding (lost 33-50), 28-0 to Ouachita (lost 14-42), and 7-0 to Arkansas-Monticello (won 33-31).
A key to the tremendous start was sophomore running back Tyler Stuever, who ran through the Northwestern defense especially in the first half. Stuever rushed for 173 yards in the first half alone including five runs of 20 or more. Stuever had 121 yards in the first quarter alone and scored on a pair of touchdowns to get OBU off to that fast start they've been looking for all year.
Stuever finished with 184 yards on 19 carries and three scores on the day. His tremendous game earned his Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the first time he has earned that honor in his young career and the sixth honor for OBU this season.
The OBU defense got thrown into some tough situations, but were able to put together one of their best outings of the year in the win. One reason for that was the play of their secondary, forcing a pair of turnovers in the game. For the second straight week, Felipe Alvear came away with an interception.
Sophomore Trajan Lands has had a breakout year defensively, piling up 74 tackles, good for second on the team, as well as 1.5 tackles for loss. He got his first career interception against the Rangers on Saturday, stepping in front of an out-route and setting up an OBU score.
PRESTON THE GOAT
Preston Haire will more than likely go over 8,000 passing yards in his career as he currently sits at 7,968. He also reached 70 career touchdown passes after his passing score to Shae Garner last Saturday. Haire's biggest improvement in 2019 has been his touchdown-to-interception ratio with 23 TDs to only five interceptions.
Haire continues to represent well nationally as he is fifth in completions per game (23.44), sixth in points responsible for (182), sixth in total offense (341.3), 10th in passing yards (2,554) and 10th in touchdown passes (23).
CORNELL EYES 1K
Josh Cornell is still 53 yards away from becoming the first 1,000-yard receiver in one season at OBU. He has already reached over 1,000 yards for his young career. Cornell is still seventh nationally is receiving yards (947), ninth in receiving yards per game (105.2), eighth in receptions per game (7.4), and 13th in receiving touchdowns (10).
LAST TIME OUT
Stuever had a career-high 184 rushing yards and three scores on 19 carries as his huge first half led the Oklahoma Baptist football team to their ninth straight win over Oklahoma school opponents, defeating Northwestern Oklahoma State, 34-25.
Oklahoma Baptist got off to a hot start behind a pair of Stuever rushing scores to take a 14-0 lead. Northwestern cut it to 14-10, but OBU got the passing game going with touchdown throws to Cornell and Garner to extend the lead to 28-10 at the break. OBU held strong and finished the game out for the 34-25 win on the road in Alva.
OBU had 476 total yards on the afternoon including 286 through the air and 22 first downs. The Bison defense held the Rangers to 346 total yards of offense and 241 yards passing. The Rangers had the advantage in time of possession at 33:02 to 26:58, but the Bison were able to force a pair of turnovers.
Haire finished 21 of 35 for 286 yards and two scores while Stuever was unreal averaging nearly 10 yards a carry. Noah McGraw caught three passes for 59 yards while Josh Cornell caught 54 yards and a score.
Defensively, Alvear had 10 tackles and an interception in the game while Josh Arnold had nine tackles and half a sack. Lands added five tackles and an interception while Landon Rowlett had five tackles and a tackle for loss.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
The Bulldogs rushed for a season-high 207 yards on Saturday in a 28-7 victory over Southern Nazarene, their highest rushing total since totaling 227 rush yards against Oklahoma Baptist in their last trip to Shawnee (Oct. 28, 2017).
Donnell Hawkins became the first SWOSU running back to break the 100-yard mark this season after totaling 103 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against SNU.
Hawkins was one of three Bulldogs with a rushing touchdown against SNU as Jermaine Mask and Kenny Graham also reached the end zone for the first time in a SWOSU uniform.
SWOSU limited Southern Nazarene to 245 yards of total offense on Saturday, marking the best defensive performance by the Bulldogs in two seasons under head coach Chet Pobolish. Jalen Carr is ranked second on the team with 42 tackles and leads the conference with five interceptions this season while sitting tied for first in the league with 14 passes defended.
Last season was a wild one in Weatherford with the Bison claiming a 47-39 road win. The game came down to a play in which Matthew Tigert stripped a Southwestern receiver of the ball deep in Bison territory with Alvear recovering.
OBU rushed for 165 yards and Haire passed for 271. Haire was 32-of-50 passing with Noah McGraw and Josh Pettijohn catching seven passes each. McGraw led with 75 yards receiving. Haire led the ground attack with 74 yards.
Casey Freeman of SWOSU completed 33-of-56 passes for a single-season school record 476 yards and four touchdowns, throwing two scores apiece to JR Omigie and Jared Rayburn.