2019 09 20 BELLSTORY 900

Sep 20, 2019

Panhandle State Communications

It’s OPSU vs. Langston: “Battle of the Bell” has a familiar ring to it

LANGSTON, Okla. – After a nearly two week hiatus, the Oklahoma Panhandle State University football team will jump back into action in a big way on Saturday (Sept. 21/6 p.m.), traveling to face longtime rival and No. 19-ranked Langston University, in what has become the “Battle of the Bell” game between the schools. It will also be the Sooner Athletic Conference opener – as well as rematch of the 2018 SAC title game – for the Aggies (0-2, 0-0 SAC) and Lions (1-1, 0-0 SAC), in this, the 49th meeting between the schools.

For Panhandle State’s new Head Coach Bob Majeski, this will be his first exposure to the rivalry, as it will be for many members of the young Aggie squad.

“We are excited about it,” Majeski said. “We are looking forward to playing (Langston). Hopefully, after the week off, we’ve improved and shored up some deficiencies that we’ve had, and gotten some mistakes corrected that we’ve been making.

“Langston is big, strong, fast and an athletic team. They’re a good team and are well-coached. We are going to have to control the ball and win the turnover battle. It’s ‘coaching clichés that everybody says you need to do, is what we need to do: we need to score more than they do; we need to not give up explosive plays – they have good players who can go the distance at any time – so we have to minimize the damage they do on defense, and; on offense we have to put it in the end zone.”


SCOUTING THE LIONS: Langston University is 1-1 overall. Last week, the then No. 14-ranked Lions took a 53-15 loss at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Saturday night. LU did not record their first touchdown until the second quarter of the game. LU also has a win 21-20 win over McPherson College in its opener. Currently, Langston is ranked No. 19 in the latest NAIA poll.

AGGIES AT-A-GLANCE: Panhandle enters the game 0-2 and has not played since Sept. 7, when it lost to NCAA Division I and #23 FCS-ranked Sam Houston State on the road, 77-0.

THE BATTLE OF THE BELL: The “Bell” was instituted in 2017 to serve as the “trophy” for the winner of the rivalry game. The Bell itself weighs approximately 80 pounds and is made of brass. The winner not only gets to ring it at the end of the game, but also retains possession until the next season’s meeting. LU won the “Bell” games in both 2017 and 2018.

PRESIDENTS JUMP INTO RIVALRY, FEET FIRST: Panhandle State President Dr. Tim Faltyn and Langston President Dr. Kent Smith Jr. have a non-monetary “wager” on the Battle of the Bell game. Since LU and OPSU are sister schools under the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, the two leaders decided that the president of the losing school would have to wear socks from the winning school to all of that year’s Board of Regents meetings.

THE SERIES: This will be the 49th meeting between the Aggies and the Lions. LU leads the series, 28-20 and has won the past two meetings.
First Meeting: 1960 (LU 13, OPSU 0)
Last Meeting: 2018 (LU 33, OPSU 9)
Largest Margin: 47 pts. (1996, LU 54, OPSU 7)
Consecutive Wins: LU- 8 (2007-14), OPSU- 5 (1962-65)
Longest Uninterrupted Meetings: 1960-78 (20 games)*
*includes a second meeting in 1961 in the All-Sports Bowl game, won by OPSU, 28-14

WHEN LAST THEY MET: In the 2018 regular season finale – in what was the de facto Sooner Athletic Conference championship game – the Lions defeated OPSU, 33-9, in Langston. LU out-gained the Aggies in total offense, 548-171. The OPSU defense was led by D’Darin Primes (7 tackles) and Braden Price (6 tackles).

ROAD WARRIORS: The game at Langston will be the third of four consecutive games on the road to begin 2019 for OPSU. The Aggies will not see Anchor D Stadium until October 5.

GOOD BEHAVIOR: OPSU is the least-penalized team in the SAC at an average of 46.5 yards per game and 5.0 penalties per game.

OPSU SAC INDIVIDUAL TOP-5: Total Offense: Tony Brown (#3/173.5 ypg); Rushing: Tony Brown (#2/80.5 ypg), George Dominguez (#5/49.5 ypg); Tackles per Game: Diamante Pounds (#2/11.0 tpg); Tackles for Loss: D’Darin Primes (#3/2.0 pg).

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