Defense Hopes to Set Tone for 2013 Season
Paced by a defense that features 10 returning starters, the Missouri State Bears head into the 2013 season with a lot of momentum on their side. Eighth-year head coach Terry Allen led MSU to victories in three of the clubís final five games to close out the 2012 campaign. That stretch also included a narrow four-point loss to eventual Division I FCS national champion North Dakota State. The Bearsí defense kept them in the hunt in 2012 as they gave up less than 21 points per game in Valley play with 12 interceptions against conference foes. Led by All-America safety Caleb Schaffitzel who registered 109 tackles and 5 interceptions as a sophomore, the MSU defenders had the second- best red zone defense in the MVFC and have all the pieces in place this fall to improve on that standard. The offense will count on wideout Dorian Buford and speedy sophomore running back Ryan Heaston for leadership, along with junior quarterback Kierra Harris. Buford had 59 catches for 642 yards a year ago to earn All-MVFC first-team honors, while Heaston was on the Valley All-Newcomer Team after leading the Bears in rushing yards and turning heads around the league.