Special to The Sun
The Bronchos will trek up the turnpike this weekend to continue its brutal season-opening Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association schedule when the University of Central Oklahoma footballers travel to Maryville, Mo. to challenge third-ranked Northwest Missouri. Kickoff at Bearcat Stadium is 1 p.m.
UCO is 0-5 on the season and in league play, while the Bearcats are 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAA. The Bearcats will be the fourth ranked opponent in six games for the Bronchos, whose first six foes are a combined 29-1.
Central Oklahoma was picked 10th by the coaches and 11th by the media in the pre-season conference poll. Northwest Missouri was tabbed first by the media and tied for first with Missouri Western in the coaches poll.
Northwest Missouri has a 3-2 lead in a short series, with the visiting team having won all five games between the two. The Bearcats have earned 28-16 (1984), 38-14 (1991) and 70-7 (2012)
wins in Edmond, while UCO has won 33-27 (1985) and 27-9 (1992) in Maryville, Mo.
The Bronchos have lost 17 of their last 18 road games and UCO ended a 15-game road losing streak that dated back to 2009 in its final away contest last season, routing Lincoln 56-25. The Bronchos are 0-2 away from home this season.
Last week Central Oklahoma rolled up 516 total yards, but it wasn’t enough against sixth-ranked Missouri Western as the Bronchos dropped a 63-30 home decision. The Griffons rushed for 319 of their 522 total yards and overcame an early 7-0 deficit to take a 35-17 halftime lead en route to the win.
Northwest Missouri jumped out to a 24-0 lead and rolled to a 40-12 road win over Northeastern State. The Bearcats passed for 346 of their 538 total yards and limited the RiverHawks to 244 yards.
Next week the Bronchos return home to host Central Missouri in its first afternoon game at Wantland Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m..
In his second year as head coach at Central Oklahoma is Nick Bobeck, who returned to his alma mater in January 2012 after a phenomenal four-year stint at Navarro (Texas) College.
A four-year standout at fullback for Central Oklahoma from 1999-02, Bobeck went 42-5 at Navarro and led the Bulldogs to the 2010 junior college national title. He is 2-13 with the Bronchos.
UCO freshman quarterback T.J. Eckert saw his first significant action of the season last week, going the entire second half in place of injured starter Adrian Nelson. Eckert completed 8-of-22 passes for 124 yards and added 37 yards rushing in nine attempts.