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story.lead_photo.caption Thousands of Southern Arkansas Mulerider football fans have been crowding into Wilkins Stadium this season and a huge turnout is expected Saturday at Memorial Stadium in El Dorado when SAU squares off against fifth-ranked and unbeaten Ouachita Baptist. The key GAC matchup is set for 2 p.m. A victory by the Muleriders (7-1) would moved them into a tie for first place in the league standings with two games remaining. - Photo by Mike Jones

Southern Arkansas’ biggest Great American Conference battles each season seems takes place in El Dorado.

That will be the case Saturday afternoon when the Muleriders (7-1) put their five-game winning streak on the line against fifth-ranked and unbeaten Ouachita Baptist (8-0).

The 11th Annual Murphy USA Classic will kickoff at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

“Though we haven’t always came out on the winning side, I love playing in that event,” Mulerider head coach Bill Keopple said back in July when it was announced his team would be facing defending GAC champion OBU.

“We are honored to be in this game once more,” he said. “We view ourselves as south Arkansas’ university and football team, and we love to bring our team over to El Dorado. We are looking forward to putting on another great college football game.”

Considering what has happened when the two teams met in the classic in past years, Saturday’s event has the makings of being another good one. SAU and OBU have only met twice in the classic.

In 2017, the Tigers managed to beat the Muleriders 45-42 in the final seconds but it was the Muleriders who won a thrilling 32-28 in 2015.

In that 2017 game, SAU’s heart-breaking loss came late as the Tigers scored the go-ahead and game-wining touchdown with 33 seconds remaining.

SAU has played six other times in the event, including last year’s 34-14 win over Henderson State.

This week, the Muleriders are coming off a 24-23 come-from-behind win at East Central.

The Tigers were leading 23-14 in the fourth quarter when quarterback Hayden Mallory threw a 67-yard pass to receive Micah Small.

With 5:24 to play, Austin Wilkerson nailed a 35-yard field goal that proved to be the winner. Freshman Kor’Davion Washington finished with 140 yards on 27 carries.

OBU, who played Southern Nazarene on a Thursday night, trailed 13-0 before rallying for a 20-13 victory over the Crimson Storm.

OBU’s Brockton Brown carried the ball 20 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns.

GAC Standings

Ouachita Baptist........................................8-0

Harding.....................................................7-1

Henderson State.......................................7-1

Southern Arkansas....................................7-1

Arkansas-Monticello..................................5-3

Oklahoma Baptist......................................4-4

Arkansas Tech..........................................2-6

Northwestern Oklahoma...........................2-6

Southern Nazarene...................................2-6

Southwestern Oklahoma...........................2-6

East Central...............................................1-7

Southeastern Oklahoma...........................1-7

Games Saturday

East Central at Harding, 2 pm.

SE Oklahoma at Arkansas Tech, 2 p.m.

Oklahoma Baptist at NW Oklahoma, 2 p.m.

Henderson at Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

Southern Nazarene at SW Oklahoma, 5 p.m.

Games, Nov. 9

Arkansas-Monticello at Ouachita, 1 p.m.

SW Oklahoma at Oklahoma Baptist, 1 p.m.

Harding at SE Oklahoma, 2 p.m.

Southern Arkansas at Henderson, 2 p.m.

Arkansas Tech at East Central, 3 p.m.

NW Oklahoma at Southern Nazarene, 3 p.m.

Games, Nov. 16

Henderson State at Ouachita Baptist, 1 p.m.

Okla. Baptist at Southern Nazarene, 1 p.m.

East Central at SE Oklahoma, 2 p.m.

UAM at Southern Arkansas, 2 p.m.

Harding at Arkansas Tech, 2 p.m.

SW Oklahoma at NW Oklahoma, 3 p.m.

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