No. 7 Harding Bisons (7-0, 7-0) vs. East Central Tigers (1-6, 1-6) Oct. 20, 2016 6 p.m. Ada, Okla. Koi Ishto Stadium
Game Story Harding will take the No. 1-ranked rushing offense in the GAC into Ada, Oklahoma, to meet East Central with the No. 2-ranked passing offense on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Koi Ishto Stadium.
Harding enters the game ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II in rushing offense (355.7), second in scoring defense (10.7), second in turnover margin (+2.00), and third in total defense (240.0) and kickoff returns (28.75).
In the latest AFCA poll, Harding moved up one spot to No. 7. It is the second straight poll that the Bisons have been in the AFCA Top 10. The Bisons appear in the poll for the 36th time since 2002. Harding is ranked 12th in the D2football.com poll, eighth on MasseyRatings.com and 17th on HeroSports.com. East Central is No. 132 on Massey and No. 127 on Hero.
Harding has opened the season 7-0 for the first time.
Two stats to watch: Harding leads the GAC in turnover margin (+14) with East Central last (-9). East Central is second in the GAC in passing offense (301.0) and Harding is second in passind defense (154.1).
Up Next Harding will host Southwestern Oklahoma for Homecoming 2016. Kickoff at First Security Stadium is at 2 p.m. Harding leads the series 6-5 and has won the last three meetings in Searcy.
The Coaches Harding's Ronnie Huckeba is in his 10th season as head coach and 31st on the Bison staff. He has a 63-39 career record, including 54-30 in GAC games. Huckeba has announded that 2016 will be his final season. Defensive coordinator Paul Simmons will be the head coach beginning in 2017.
Tim McCarty is in his 10th season at East Central with a 46-57 record.
Series History Harding holds an 11-3 series lead against East Central, has won the last four, and has won 10 of the last 11. Harding has won three of the last four in Ada, including 41-14 in 2014.
Home/Road Records Thursday's game against East Central is the fourth of five road games. The Bisons are 26-24 on the road under coach Ronnie Huckeba and have won 20 of their last 26 road games. Harding has outscored its opponents 155-17 in road games. The Bisons are averaging 356.7 rushing yards and allowing only 36.3.
Last Meeting Harding rushed for 557 yards and nine touchdowns in a 62-20 victory over East Central last season in Searcy. The Bison defense forced four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles).
Streaks, Trends and Records Harding has 36 rushing TD, seven more than any other team in Division II. The Bisons also lead Division II with 2,490 rushing yards.
Harding is one of only four teams in Division II that have yielded fewer than 10 touchdowns. The Bisons have allowed nine (five rushing, four passing).
Harding's defense ranks fourth NCAA Division II, allowing only 3.90 yards per play. The Bisons are third with 4.95 yards allowed per pass.
Harding is tied for fourth in DII with 21 turnovers gained and tied for 12th with only seven turnovers lost. HU leads NCAA Division II with a +14 turnover margin.
Harding has 27 rushes of 20 yards or longer this season and has allowed only three.
Harding has 122 rushing first downs and allowed only 104 total first downs.
Harding has outscored its opponents 135-24 in the second quarter, 73-7 in the fourth quarter, and 86-21 off turnovers.
Park Parish ranks ninth at HU in career rushing yards (1,829), 47 yards behind Chris Gilliam (1994-97) ... he has a school-record 36 rushing TD ... Parish (218 points) ranks fourth at Harding in career scoring.
Senior Daylan Skidmore (252 tackles) is only the third Harding player since 2000 with 250 career tackles (Tim Polk, 2000-03, 330 tackles & Scott Dutile, 2001-05, 280 tackles).
Trevon Biglow has 20 career sacks and is tied with Josh Aldridge (2009-12) for the most in Harding's NCAA era (since '97).
A Quick Look at East Central East Central has one of the top passing offenses in the GAC, averaging 301.0 passing yards per game.
Senior wide receiver David Moore ranks second in the GAC with nine receiving touchdowns.