After picking up two key victories in front of its home crowd, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will hit the road looking to keep the hot streak going in a rare Friday game. UMHB will make the trip to Brownwood to take on Howard Payne University in a game that has moved up to a 5 pm start on Friday at Gordon Wood Stadium. The game was moved up from a Saturday afternoon kick due to the threat of heavy rain and lightning in Brownwood over the weekend.
UMHB (5-0, 4-0 ASC) is coming off a 26-0 victory over 6th-ranked Hardin-Simmons University last Saturday in Belton. The Cru handed the Cowboys their first shut out in 25 years and snapped HSU’s streak of 256 consecutive games with a touchdown scored. UMHB rolled up 465 yards of total offense and posted 283 of those on the ground while holding the nation’s top-ranked offense to just 222 total yards. While those are certainly things to celebrate, the Cru also committed three red zone turnovers, missed a field goal and failed to convert two extra points in the game. The players are coaches may be happy to be the only undefeated team left in the ASC, UMHB also understands there is still work to do and room for improvement.
“You can look at the Hardin-Simmons game and think to yourself, ‘Wow, what a win!’” Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said. “But there are a lot of areas we are going to get better in. We have to realize that our goal as a program is not just to beat Hardin-Simmons. To get to where we want to end up, we really have to improve as a team and we have to focus on being a better team this week than we were last week.”
Howard Payne is 1-4 overall and 1-3 in ASC play after falling to East Texas Baptist 54-28 last Saturday in Marshall. The Yellow Jackets are under the direction of UMHB graduate and former Cru quarterback and assistant coach Braxton Harris. This will be just the second time in Fredenburg’s distinguished coaching career he has gone head-to-head coaching against a former UMHB player.
UMHB leads the all-time series between the two teams 18-2 but both of HPU’s victories have come in Brownwood. The Yellow Jackets’ last win over UMHB came in a 24-20 decision at Gordon Wood Stadium in 2005. The Cru was also ranked #2 in the country that season and was coming off a national runner-up finish. UMHB enters Saturday’s game ranked #2 in the country by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com.
The Cru will now be playing on a Friday for just the fourth time in program history. UMHB’s 2008 season opener against Southern Nazarene was moved to Friday night due to the threat of heavy rains from Hurricane Ike. The 2016 and 2017 Stagg Bowls were also played on Friday night. The Cru has a 2-1 record all-time in Friday games.
Friday’s game will also be broadcast live on K101.7 FM and through the station’s web site with the pre-game show starting at 4:30 PM. UMHB will provide free live video streaming and Howard Payne will offer live statistics for the game with access to both available at the following link: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/umhb/.