2019 Murphy USA Classic set to make impact on visitors, players and local students

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (11/1/19) It’s that time of the year again for the Murphy USA Classic. The Ouachita Baptist University Tigers and the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders will hit the field for their third match-up in the classic.

“It’s always an exciting time,” Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer said.

Both teams have a win each. Below is the score history for teams that have played in the classic.

Murphy USA Classic All-Time History
2009 | Arkansas-Monticello def. Southern Arkansas (17-6)
2010 | Arkansas-Monticello def. Southern Arkansas (28-23)
2011 | Ouachita def. Arkansas-Monticello (38-20)
2012 | Harding def. Southern Arkansas (23-20)
2013 | Henderson State def. Arkansas Tech (45-14)
2014 | Henderson State def. Southern Arkansas (55-41)
*2015 Southern Arkansas def. Ouachita (32-28)
2016 | Southern Arkansas def. Henderson State (50-24) *2017 Ouachita def. Southern Arkansas (45-42)
2018 | Southern Arkansas def. Henderson State (34-14)

Despite the undefeated Tigers coming into town, many locals are rooting for the Muleriders, who are 7-1 on the season.

“I’m not picking favorites but my daughter is an alumni of SAU so if there’s a side,” Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer said. “I have to pick one.”

One football fanatic said he’s going for the Muleriders too. He expects them to win the game as long as they can hang on to the ball.

“Well if they don’t turn the ball over and stuff and play perfect football I believe they have a chance to upset Ouachita,” Brian Welch said.

With two outside teams coming to the city of El Dorado, game coordinators expect for big bucks to roll in. The game has gained attention from many people since its announcement.

“I’ve had calls from people out of state who are coming,” Game Coordinator, John Thomas Shepherd said. “I’ve had people from Northwest Arkansas, Central Arkansas that are coming.”

Ever year, the game has always been a great way to showcase the town to visitors and it gives the winning team bragging rights on a grand trophy.

However, the benefit goes beyond just that. It gives residents especially students an opportunity to experience college football in their own town.

“They can see the bands, cheer squads and everything that goes along with that,” Shepherd said. “We’ve also had several local students offered scholarships by the band programs when they come to these games.”

The game will begin at 2 p.m at Memorial Stadium. Tickets are $7. Prior to the game, there will be tailgate activities that will begin at 11 a.m. Bands from each team will battle around 1:15 and just before kickoff, there will be a military flyover.

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