Bears Look to Rebound Against No. 23 Louisville
Missouri State Bears (0-1) at No. 23 Louisville Cardinals (1-0)
First and Ten
♦ Punter Chris Sullens (Fr., Camdenton, Mo.) enjoyed a strong MSU debut at K-State as well. The Camdenton, Mo., product turned in three punts of 50 yards or more and ranks fifth in NCAA FCS in punting average (47.2). MSU kicker Austin Witmer (Jr., Grand Island, Neb.) currently shares the national lead in field goals after matching a career high with conversions in all three of his attempts to account for all of the Bears' scoring against the Wildcats.
♦ Since moving to Division I status in 1982, Missouri State is 1-27 all-time against FBS programs, including a 51-9 setback last weekend at Kansas State in its 2012 debut. The Bears' sole FBS win came at UNLV (31-24) in 1990.
♦ On the strength of their 323 yards passing against Kansas State, the Bears lead the Missouri Valley Football Conference and rank eighth nationally in passing offense. They rank 10th, however, in scoring offense (9.0 ppg.).
♦ MSU will earn a $500,000 guarantee from Saturday's game.
♦ Cadarrius Dotson (Sr., WR, Memphis, Tenn.) has caught at least one pass in 30 of his first 34 career games as a Bear and became the 17th MSU player to top the 1,000 receiving yardage mark for his career last Saturday at Kansas State. Additionally, Dotson needs just six more receptions to reach 100 career receptions.
♦ Matt Thayer (Sr., TE, Bellevue, Neb.) brings a string of 13 consecutive starts at tight end into Saturday's game. Five additional Bears have started 12 straight games, including Mike Crutcher (So., S, Wentzville, Mo.) on the defensive side of the ball, and Zack Cooley (So., OL, Lee's Summit, Mo.), Kurt Kutter (Jr., OL, O'Fallon, Mo.), Harrison Menke (Sr., OL, Joplin, Mo.) and Randy Richards (Sr., OL, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) on the offensive side.
♦ The last Missouri State player to rush for 100 yards against an FBS opponent was Maurice Daniels at Arkansas State on 9/19/98. His 162 yards in that game is the highest total of any of the Bears' seven 100-yard efforts against FBS clubs.
♦ The Bears and Cardinals have never met on the football field; Saturday's meeting will also be the first for Missouri State against a Big East foe.
♦ Missouri State shares the NCAA FCS national lead in sacks allowed after holding K-State without a sack last Saturday.
LAST TIME AROUND
The Wildcat defense and special teams fueled the second-half rally as well. KSU got a lift from a pair of big punt returns that led to touchdowns, while its defensive unit held MSU scoreless after a game-tying field goal at the end of the Bears' opening drive of the second half.
The Bears' offense did enjoy success moving the football, as Ashton Glaser (Jr., QB, Springdale, Ark.) paced the Missouri State offense, throwing for 257 yards on 22-of-44 passing. Dorian Buford (Jr., WR, Florissant, Mo.) turned in a career game of 114 yards on seven catches to lead the receiving corps, and Cadarrius Dotson (Sr., WR, Memphis, Tenn.) grabbed six receptions for 82 yards to top the 1,000 career receiving yardage mark, moving to 15th on the Bears' all-time list.
CENTURY MARK FOR BUFORD
SNAP TO 1,000
A FINE HOW DO YOU DO
HEAD COACH Terry Allen
THE VALLEY AGAINST FBS TEAMS
Since 2000, the MVFC has notched 10 victories, including wins over BCS league members Iowa State (UNI), Kansas (NDSU), Minnesota (NDSU) and Indiana (SIU). Last year, North Dakota State defeated Minnesota (37-24) before ultimately claiming the FCS national title, and Indiana State knocked off former league foe Western Kentucky by a decisive 44-16 score in Bowling Green. MVFC schools have won games against FBS opponents in back-to-back seasons on seven different occasions, including each of the last two years.
Missouri State is 1-26 all-time against FBS programs, coming up winless in each of its last 25 such contests. This year marks the second straight year in which MSU will play more than one FBS team in the same season. The Bears dropped games against nationally-ranked Arkansas and Oregon squads last fall, and split contests at Tulsa and UNLV in 1990.