Saturday's Storm: 16th-ranked Harding travels to SE Oklahoma

From Harding University

Harding Kickoff

The 16th-ranked Harding football team will play its final regular season road game Saturday against Southeastern Oklahoma State in Durant, Okla. Kickoff at Paul Laird Field is at 2 p.m

The game will air live in Searcy on KVHU 95.3-FM with Billy Morgan and Jerry Mote on the call. Links to live audio and live statistics will also be available on

The road has been kind to the Bisons this season. Harding has won all five of its games away from home. The Bisons opened the season with three straight road wins, added a neutral site win over Southern Arkansas, and won its first road game against an NCAA top-10 team in its victory over Ouachita Baptist. Harding has only gone undefeated away from home once in program history – in 1972, the Bisons were 5-0 on the road and won the Cowboy Bowl over Langston in Lawton, Okla.

Harding enters the game 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the Great American Conference. The Bisons are in second place in the conference standings, one game behind conference leader Henderson State, who do not play this week.

Southeastern Oklahoma State, while not a triple-option team like Harding, has a similar run-first philosophy. The Bisons lead the Great American Conference, rank sixth in Division II with 315.8 rushing yards per game, and rushed for a season-high 505 yards in its Homecoming victory over Arkansas Tech.

The Savage Storm (4-4, 2-4) is second in the conference in rushing with 245.1 yards per game. SOSU starting quarterback Jercolby Bradley is third in the GAC with 86.7 rushing yards per game.

The Savage Storm rushing attack will test Harding's rushing defense, ranked first in the GAC and sixth nationally, allowing only 86.1 yards per game. The Bisons have not allowed an opponent to rush for more than 100 yards in a school-record seven straight games. North Alabama, who rushed for 163 yards against Harding in the first game of the season, is the only team to eclipse 100 rushing yards.
Southeastern Oklahoma has shown the ability to put up big numbers against proven defenses this season. The Savage Storm had 573 total yards in its loss at Henderson State.

Harding and Southeastern Oklahoma will be playing for the 24th time with the Bisons holding a 16-7 lead. The series is tied 6-6 in matchups in Durant. Harding won last season's game 16-9 in Searcy. The Bisons scored the first 16 straight points with Kelvin Martin passing for one touchdown and rushing for another.

NOTES: Harding's No. 16 national ranking is its highest in its NCAA history. The Bisons' previous high was No. 18 during the 2002 season.

The Bisons are currently No. 3 in the NCAA Division II Super Region 3 Rankings. The top six teams in the super region qualify for the Division II playoffs.