Victory-starved football players at Baker and Haskell Indian Nations universities have reason for optimism today.
Both the Wildcats (2-5) and Fightin' Indians (1-6) will be meeting teams that on paper appear beatable.
Haskell is in Waxahachie, Texas, to tangle with Southwestern Assemblies of God U. The Indians have won five of the previous seven meetings with SAGU, including a 36-0 thumping last year in Lawrence. The Lions' lone victory in six outings this season is a 23-3 triumph over McPherson College.
Game time will be 2 p.m. at Waxahachie's Lumpkin Stadium.
Baker, meanwhile, will be playing host to Avila, and the 'Cats are 5-0 in their previous meetings with the Eagles. Kickoff will be 6 p.m. at Liston Stadium in Baldwin.
Baker won two of its first three games, but the 'Cats have dropped four in a row since, mainly because of stockpiling injuries.
"We started by beating two top-25 teams," BU coach Mike Grossner said, "and then the injury bug really smacked us in the face. We have 38 guys injured at this point."
Some of those injured players are expected to return tonight when the Wildcats will try to post their first home win. BU is 0-3 on the new artificial turf at Liston Stadium, including shutouts in their last two contests.
A check of this week's Heart of America Athletic Conference charts shows Baker ranks last in six categories, including total offense, total defense and scoring defense. Avila (2-5) also has low marks in those categories.
The Eagles are coming off a 21-13 victory over Haskell on Saturday in Lawrence and boast the NAIA's leading receiver in Doug Wendell, who has caught 51 passes for 508 yards and five touchdowns.
Haskell also has a couple of players who rank high in NAIA stats. Running back Bubba Wills is fourth in rushing at 122.0 yards per game, and wide receiver Hunter Smith is fourth in receptions with 43 for 577 yards and four touchdowns.
Haskell will be on the road again Saturday when it meets Peru (Neb.) State. Baker has an open date next weekend.