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.
Missouri State Football

opponents

    returning starters

    Caleb Schaffitzel
    34 Position: Safety
    height/weight: 6-0/214
    Information: One of the top defensive backs at the FCS level, Schaffitzel is coming off an All-America season as a sophomore and will once again push for postseason honors ... Did not participate in spring 2013 drills while rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
    Dorian Buford
    15 Position: Wide Receiver
    height/weight: -/184
    Information: All-MVFC receiver who snagged 59 receptions a year ago, Buford should push for national honors as a senior.
    Kierra Harris
    10 Position: Quarterback
    height/weight: 6-0/195
    Information: After finishing the 2012 season as the Bears' starting QB, Harris looks to pick up where he left off and resume starting duties this fall ... Was 13-for-22 passing with 100 yards of total offense in Maroon and White Game (4/20/13) ... In three spring scrimmages, he combined for 519 yards of total offense, including 462 passing yards on 42-of-74 attempts.
    Sybhrian Berry
    25 Position: Cornerback
    height/weight: 5-9/174
    Information: Two-year starter and three-year letterman who brings solid experience and speed to the MSU secondary this fall ... Had 6 tackles, a tackle for loss and a blocked kick in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).
    Zack Cooley
    72 Position: Left Tackle
    height/weight: 6-5/293
    Information: Cooley looks to return to his post at left tackle this fall where he has started all 22 games of his college career entering his junior season.
    Richard Galbierz
    57 Position: Right Guard
    height/weight: 6-3/295
    Information: Returning starter at right guard, Galbierz is a key piece to the Bears' success up front as he enters his fourth season in the program in 2013.
    Kurt Kutter
    68 Position: Left Guard
    height/weight: 6-3/297
    Information: Returning starter at left guard who brings a wealth of experience as a fifth-year squad member ... After a solid spring, he is the favorite to once again earn the starting job at LG.
    Julian Burton
    3 Position: Wide Receiver
    height/weight: 5-10/185
    Information: Fourth-year standout is the favorite to start at X wide receiver ... Had team-best 7 catches for 113 yards and a 71-yard touchdown reception in Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).
    Vernon Scott
    7 Position: Running Back
    height/weight: 6-0/179
    Information: A speedy back with great pass-blocking skills, Scott will vie to keep his starting role at running back for his senior season after starting all 11 games as a junior ... Posted 49 rushing yards on 10 carries in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13) and averaged 4.3 yards per carry in three spring scrimmages.
    Anthony Grady
    25 Position: Defensive End
    height/weight: 6-7/289
    Information: A returning all-conference player with pro size and potential, Grady has the ability to impact games with speed and determination from his spot at left defensive end.
    Eric Pearce
    61 Position: Nose Tackle
    height/weight: 6-2/306
    Information: Solid presence on the defensive line, fourth-year standout Eric Pearce looks to solidify his place as the Bears' starting nose tackle again this fall ... Posted 3 tackles in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).
    Martin Montgomery
    91 Position: Defensive End
    height/weight: 6-3/267
    Information: A fourth-year veteran and a prolific pass rusher, Montgomery will push for the Bears' starting job at right end this fall ... Had 5 total tackles in Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).
    Andrew Beisel
    52 Position: Inside Linebacker
    height/weight: 6-2/238
    Information: MSU's projected starter at Buck linebacker, Beisel is a force up the middle and will push for league honors during his fourth season in Springfield.
    Nick Canavan
    44 Position: Outside Linebacker
    height/weight: 6-0/211
    Information: A three-year starter with a nose for the football, Canavan will likely hold down the Will linebacker post this fall ... Had 4 tackles and a sack in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).
    Christian Hoffmann
    45 Position: Inside Linebacker
    height/weight: 6-1/227
    Information: Solid third-year player who will make a strong push for starting duties this fall ... Registered 7 total tackles in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13), including a tackle for loss.
    Mike Crutcher
    20 Position: Safety
    height/weight: 6-2/210
    Information: Along with classmate Caleb Schaffitzel, Crutcher helps make up a solid 1-2 punch at safety for the Bears ... Impressive free safety who should contend for postseason honors ... Did not participate in spring drills while rehabing from off-season shoulder surgery.
    Howard Scarborough
    2 Position: Cornerback
    height/weight: 5-9/172
    Information: Three-year starter who is expected to regain his role as starter at right cornerback this fall ... Had 3 tackles, a pick and a break-up in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).

    2012 stats

    rushing
    name att net yds avg long td
    R. Heaston 84 424 5.0 37 0
    V. Scott 87 343 3.9 25 1
    Cooper-Falls 73 318 4.4 339 3
    K. Harris 68 155 2.3 24 3
    Team Total 375 1385 3.7 39 12
    passing
    name comp att pct yds td
    K. Harris 99 163 60.7 997 7
    A. Glaser 116 210 55.2 1221 2
    Team Total 215 376 57.2 2218 9
    receiving
    name rec yds avg td long
    Dorian Buford 59 642 10.9 2 69
    Matt Thayer 38 294 7.7 1 22
    Cadarriu Dotson 29 374 12.9 2 48
    Julian Burton 25 368 14.7 2 60
    Team Total 215 2218 10.3 9 69