The Oklahoma Baptist University Bison look to close the regular season with their fourth straight win as they travel to Bethany for their season finale against Southern Nazarene with a 1 p.m. kickoff.
OBU comes off a Senior Day victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Bison got off to a great start and took a 28-21 lead at the break and then shut out the Bulldogs in the second half en route to the 35-21 win on Saturday afternoon in Shawnee.
RAISING THE BAR
•For the first time since joining the Great American Conference and beginning the NCAA Division II process in 2015, the Oklahoma Baptist Bison will finish the year with a winning record as they won their sixth game of 2019 over Southwestern Oklahoma State. OBU eyes win No. 7 and another undefeated season against Oklahoma schools including their 11th straight win over the Sooner State on Saturday afternoon against Southern Nazarene.
• For OBU, this marks their second most wins since the program returned in 2013. In 2014, the Bison went 8-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference of the NAIA. It is their second winning season, all coming under Chris Jensen. Since becoming full NCAA Division II members in 2017, OBU has increased their win total from two to five to six, possibly seven, in a short span.
• Along with the team’s tremendous improvement on the eld, the Bison have gathered some attention for a potential bowl appearance. With the potential of three teams from the Great American Conference making the NCAA postseason, the Bison may have the opportunity to represent the GAC in an upcoming bowl game in early December with a win over the Crimson Storm. The Live United Bowl, the Corsicana Bowl, and the Heart of Texas Bowl all have some sort of GAC tie in.
• In his last two outings, sophomore Tyler Stuever has exploded onto the scene with 28 carries for 303 yards rushing and six touchdowns in a pair of wins over Northwestern and Southwestern, averaging an incredible 10.8 yards per carry. Stuever set a new Bison Division II record with 13 touchdowns in a single season and can set the school record with a big performance this weekend. Dawson Myers set the previous mark with 15 in the 2014 season. Stuever’s 13 rushing touchdowns is currently 13th in NCAA Division II.
HAIRE EYES MARK
• Quarterback Preston Haire is just 130 passing yards away from becoming the first QB in OBU history to surpass 3,000 passing yards in a single season. Haire is certainly a top candidate for GAC Offensive Player of the Year with 2,870 yards passing including 24 touchdown passes to seven interceptions. He also had as impressive completion percentage of 63% including 241 completions on the season
• Haire surpassed 8,000 career passing yards on Saturday and has brought his number up 8,248 total yards to go with 71 career touchdown passes. Haire is third in the country in completions per game (24.10), fifth in total offense (341.0), eighth in passing yards (2,870) and 10th in passing touchdowns (24).
• The OBU defense has had some struggles this season, but may have found some success this last two weeks of play, holding both Northwestern and Southwestern under 400 yards in the pair of wins. OBU put together a complete game against the Rangers which saw Northwestern add some late scores to bolster their numbers at 346 total yards while the Bison got off to a slow start defensively against the Bulldogs, but then proceeded to shutout SWOSU in the second half while holding them to only 362 yards.
• Josh Arnold leads the defense with 98 tackles, matching his total from a season ago with one game to play. Arnold will look to get into triple digit tackles this weekend and has the potential to reach 300 career tackles with 282 total tackles. Arnold has six tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles on the year.
• For the first time in school history, a wide receiver has over 1,000 receiving yards in a single season as Josh Cornell accomplished that feat in the win over Southwestern Oklahoma State. Cornell has 72 catches for 1,001 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
• Despite his numbers slowing up a tad, Cornell is still ninth in the country in receptions per game (7.2), 11th in receiving yards (1,001) and 16th in touchdowns (10). Cornell’s attention has opened up the passing game to Noah McGraw, Keilahn Harris and Jacques Henderson in the last few weeks of play.
TAKE STATE X2
• For the second straight season, OBU looks to complete an undefeated season against Sooner State opponents. OBU has won 11 straight dating back to Nov. 2, 2017 when the Bison fell to Northwestern, 31-24. OBU earned its first three-game winning streak in Division II over SWOSU on Senior Day last weekend and can make it three straight wins over Southern Nazarene with a win on the road this Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT
• The Bison snagged the early lead and never looked back as they held off the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs for a 35-21 win on Saturday afternoon in their home finale at Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Complex. The win is the 10th straight over teams from the state of Oklahoma.
• Oklahoma Baptist took the early lead at 7-0 and it would be back-and-forth early on as the teams found themselves tied at 14 each. OBU added back-to-back touchdowns, including an 87-yard run from Tyler Stuever, to lead 28-14 and took a 28-21 lead into half.
The defense shut out the Bulldogs in the second half while Stuever ran for his third score in the 35-21 win.
• OBU racked it up on the offensive end, going for 494 yards of total offense including 316 through the air. The Bison had 26 first downs and were not in third down situations very often, finishing 2 of 6 on the day. On the other side, SWOSU went for 362 yards of total offense including 218 through the air. The OBU defense held SWOSU to 2 of 9 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth down.
• Haire was 30 of 37 for 316 yards and a touchdown pass while also adding 22 yards on the ground. Tyler Stuever ran nine times for 119 yards and three scores while Rueben Thompson added three carries for 26 yards. Keilahn Harris led all receivers with eight catches for 93 yards while Henderson caught six passes for 73 yards. Josh Cornell caught five for 54 yards and became the first OBU receiver in school history with over 1,000 yards receiving in a single season.
• Defensively, Josh Arnold finished with nine tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Trajan Lands added seven tackles and two quarterback hurries while Felipe Alvear had three tackles and a fumble recovery. Joshua Redmond had a sack on the afternoon.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON STORM
• It was a tale of two halves for Southern Nazarene’s football team last Saturday afternoon as they were ousted 35-21 by Northwestern Oklahoma State on Homecoming at the SNU Football Stadium.
• All 56 points scored in the game came in the first half as both defenses flexed their muscles in the final 30 minutes in a beautiful afternoon on 50th Street. The Crimson Storm (2-8, 2-8 GAC) scored all 21 of their points in the first quarter and as they couldn’t reach the end zone after that. The Rangers (3-7, 3-7 GAC) went for 291 yards in the game, 149 on the ground and 142 in the air as they forced SNU into three fumbles in the game, which turned out to be the deciding factor for the Storm.
• SNU finished with 243 total yards, 147 on the ground and 96 in the air. NWOSU controlled the tempo all game as the Rangers had 17 first downs compared to 13 for the Storm. Gage Porter had his most efficient passing game of the 2019 season as he went 13-for-15 for 96 yards. He also carried the ball 21 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Nate Walker battled through an injury and finished with 51 rushing yards and 13 receiving yards on 16 total touches in the game.
• Last season, The Bison completed the season sweep of the fellow Oklahoma members of the Great American Conference, defeating Southern Nazarene, 30-24, on Senior Day.
• Haire threw for three touchdowns, and was the team’s leading rusher with 66 yards on the ground. Seniors receivers Cagney Roberson and Josh Pettijohn each had scoring grabs in their final games on Bison Hill. Linebacker Lane Martin led the way for the OBU defense with nine total tackles and safety Landon Rowlett picked off his third pass in two games.