Just three games into the season and only two squads are sporting unblemished records — seventh-ranked Pittsburg State (3-0, 1-0 MIAA) and Emporia State (3-0, 1-0 MIAA).

The Gorillas will play the first of their three home conference games — they are the home team this season for the Fall Classic at Arrowhead — Saturday afternoon (Sept. 22) when Missouri Western (2-1, 0-1 MIAA) comes calling for Family Day.

Pitt State lost last season’s meeting with the Griffons, 48-35, and it was likely a factor in allowing Western and not the Gorillas to make the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2006.

The Hornets will be on the road to take on Fort Hays State (2-1, 0-1 MIAA) Saturday night. Emporia State won last year’s clash, 48-10 — the first conference game with FHSU since the 1990 season.

Emporia State is seeking to go 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 2003.

The 10th-ranked Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (1-1, 1-0 MIAA) will be hosting Truman (2-1, 0-1 MIAA) for the annual battle for the Old Hickory Stick.

The Bearcats retained the green tip on the stick by handing the Bulldogs a 31-10 setback last season — the fifth consecutive win in the series for Northwest.

Washburn (2-1, 1-0 MIAA) entertains Central Missouri (2-1, 1-0 MIAA) in the only game between teams that won their league opener last week.

The Ichabods handed the Mules their first loss of the 2006 season in their last meeting — a 14-10 decision in Warrensburg. UCM is allowing only 18.7 rushing yards per game — fourth-lowest average in Division II this week.

The conference’s top rushing offense and leading passing offense will do battle in Bolivar, as Missouri Southern (2-1, 0-1 MIAA) takes on the host Southwest Baptist Bearcats (0-3, 0-1 MIAA).

The Lions average 314 yards on the ground per game (third in NCAA Division II), while SBU throws for 299 yards per game (10th in D-II).

The Bearcats, playing their home opener after three straight road games to start the campaign, will be facing the MIAA’s top passing defense (83.4 Rating).