Gridiron Weevils Back In Action On The Road In Oklahoma

Courtesy of
UAM Sports Information

MONTICELLO – The University of Arkansas-Monticello’s football team returns to action this week following the first off week for the program since 2002 with a road trip to Bethany, Oklahoma to face off against Southern Nazarene this Saturday, Oct. 25.

tv Sports reflection 10dbKickoff is set for 4 p.m. at SNU Stadium. The game can be heard live on the UAM Sports Network at KHBM-FM 93.7 in Monticello and online at uamsports.com. SNU is also providing live stats and live streaming video of Saturday’s game. All links to live coverage can be found at http://www.uamsports.com/coverage.aspx.

FINAL TRIP TO OKLAHOMA
The Boll Weevils make their final road trip to the state of Oklahoma this Saturday to face off against Southern Nazarene at 4 p.m. It is the first time ever UAM has faced the Crimson Storm in Bethany, Oklahoma, and just the second time in program history the two teams have met. The first time was last year’s 22-19 win over SNU at home for Homecoming. This Saturday against SNU, the Weevils will be seeking their first road win since joining the GAC in 2011.

FIRST WEEK OFF SINCE 2002
The Weevils are returning to action this Saturday following the program’s first off week during the regular season since the second week of the 2002 season. UAM has played a full 11 game-schedule in each of the past 11 seasons. The off week marked just the second time UAM was idle during the regular season since joining the NCAA Division II in 1995. In addition to the 2002 Weevils, the 1997 Weevils also only played 10 games during the season. For the foreseeable future, the Weevils will not have an off week any time soon. With the addition of Oklahoma Baptist to the Great American Conference, all GAC squads will play a full 11-game GAC schedule from here out, unless league administrators ever decide to split the conference into divisions.

SCOUTING THE WEEVILS
The Weevils enter Saturday’s game against Southern Nazarene with a 1-5 overall record and the same mark in GAC games following its most recent game, a 55-15 homecoming loss to then-ranked No. 14 Harding two Saturdays ago at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. It was UAM’s first lop-sided loss of the season following four losses by less than seven points prior to that contest. UAM’s lone win of the season is a 33-14 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State at home on September 27. The Weevils are on the road this Saturday at SNU and next Saturday at No. 4 Henderson State before returning home for the final two games of the regular season against Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas. After holding Harding to negative yards on only five pass attempts two weeks ago, the Weevils now hold the GAC’s best passing defense at 161.2 yards given up per game. However, UAM now ranks last in the league in rushing defense, giving up on average almost 263 yards per outing. On offense, UAM ranks fourth in the league in passing offense (253.7 per game) and ninth in rushing offense (92.5 per game). Individually, quarterback Hunter Leppert eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in passing for the first time in his career in the loss to Harding, currently having 1,180 yards on 110 completions. The Minden, Louisiana has not thrown an interception so far this season, countered by seven touchdown passes. Running back Rod Smith, who left the Harding game with a knee injury, currently leads the Weevils with 395 rushing yards on 113 carries, including seven rushing touchdowns. Deadrien Terry has taken over the top spot on the receiving yards chart with 29 catches for 356 yards. Defensively, safety Anthony Hughes leads the Weevils with 39 tackles so far. Defensive end Louis Curry leads the team with 4.5 quarterback sacks. Hughes picked off a Harding pass two weeks ago to tie cornerback Mike Early for the team-high with two interceptions this year.

SCOUTING THE CRIMSON STORM
Southern Nazarene is 0-7 overall and 0-7 in the GAC entering Saturday’s game against UAM following a 62-7 loss at Southern Arkansas last Saturday. The Crimson Storm have had lop-sided losses in six of its seven games so far this season, the only close game coming in a 31-26 loss to East Central at home on October 4. SNU has lost 18 straight contests dating back to an 0-11 record in the 2013 season. The last time SNU posted a victory came against College of Faith in the 2012 finale, a 42-0 win at home. This season, SNU ranks near the bottom in almost all GAC statistical categories, including last in scoring offense, last in total offense, and last in turnover margin… Focusing on Southern Nazarene as a whole, the University is beginning its first year as a full-fledged member of the NCAA Division II following three provisional years. The Crimson Storm athletic teams are now eligible to compete for GAC postseason championships and are eligible for the league’s automatic qualifier in all sports.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
– UAM and SNU are two of 85 teams in D2 to not have allowed a blocked punt this year.
– UAM ranks 16th in D2 and 3rd in the GAC in fumbles recovered (9).
– UAM ranks 4th in D2 and leads the GAC in thrown interceptions (2).
– UAM ranks 27th in D2 and 3rd in the GAC in fewest turnovers (10).
– UAM’s Mike Early is one of just 3 players in D2 with two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
– UAM’s Mike Early ranks 12th in D2 and leads the GAC in kickoff returns (29.7 yard avg.).
– UAM’s Hunter Leppert ranks 28th in D2 and 2nd in the GAC in pass completions per game.
-SNU’s Matthew Gregg ranks 17th in D2 and leads the GAC in solo tackles (6.2 per game).
– SNU’s Matthew Gregg ranks second in the GAC in total tackles (10.5 per game).
– SNU ranks 21st in D2 and 3rd in the GAC in net punting (36.37 yards per punt).
– SNU’s Malcolm Davis ranks 3rd in the GAC in punting (38.9 yards per punt).
– SNU’s Jonathan Martin ranks 3rd in the GAC in kickoff return yardage (363).
– SNU’s Michael Hicks ranks 25th in D2 and 2nd in the GAC in forced fumbles.

UP NEXT: AT NO. 4 HENDERSON STATE
Following this Saturday’s game at Southern Nazarene, the Weevils make their final road trip of the 2014 season on November 1 to face off against No. 4 Henderson State. The Reddies moved into the top five in this week’s AFCA Top 25 Poll for the first time ever with an overall record of 7-0 and a 6-0 mark in GAC games. The Reddies host No. 23 Harding this Saturday. Last year, UAM fell to Henderson State 37-21 at home. Next Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH DECALS
In addition to the Jack and Judy Lassiter decal on the back of UAM’s helmets, the Weevils are also sporting a pink ribbon decal during the month of October to promote breast cancer awareness. This is the fourth straight season the Weevils have participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information, visit http://www.nbcam.org.

HUD JACKSON SHOW, WEEKLY LUNCHEONS
The Hud Jackson Show airs each Monday night from 6-7 p.m. at La Terraza Restaurant in Monticello. The show is broadcast live at KHBM-FM 93.7 and online at uamsports.com. The weekly UAM football luncheon is each Tuesday at noon at the Monticello Country Club. The public is invited to attend both sessions. La Terraza’s full menu is available during the show, and there is a buffet lunch available at the Monticello Country Club for $10 per person.

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