Bears Continue Road Swing Saturday at High-Powered Murray State
Sep 9, 2013
Missouri State Bears (0-2) at Murray State Racers (1-1)
FIRST AND TEN
The Bears and Racers will meet for the ninth time, with Murray holding a decisive 7-1 advantage in the series. Saturday’s game could be the third shootout in four seasons between the clubs. The last time Missouri State played at Roy Stewart Stadium (Oct. 9, 2010), it rolled up 607 yards of total offense, including 436 on the ground, in an NCAA record-setting 72-59 loss. MSU quarterback Cody Kirby rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two more, while Chris Douglas ran for 191 yards to lead the Bears.
ABOUT THE RACERS
After sustaining a 58-13 loss at Missouri (Aug. 31) to christen the new season, Murray State wore out Racer I again this past weekend, shattering its own single-game scoring record from the 2010 contest against the Bears with an 83-point explosion against NAIA foe Campbellsville in its 2013 home opener.
COACH Terry Allen
Missouri State head coach Terry Allen (UNI, 1979) is 123-110 (.528) in his 21st year as a head coach and 28-51 (.354) in his eighth year at Missouri State. Allen is 2-2 vs. Murray State (1-1 on the road) and has a 41-71 road record (10-31 at MSU). Allen is a five-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at UNI (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).
Despite a strong effort from its defense and a valiant fourth-quarter comeback, Missouri State came up on the short end of a 28-14 decision in its non-conference contest against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeye defense limited the Bears to 197 total yards and 12 first downs, while the UI offense rushed for 296 yards to send MSU to its third-consecutive 0-2 start to a season.
Junior running back Mark Weisman, who rushed for a game-high 180 yards, keyed a third-quarter UI outburst with a pair of touchdown runs that turned a seven-point game into a 21-0 Hawkeye advantage.
Sparked by Kierra Harris’ first touchdown pass of the season, the Bears scored twice in a span of just 10 seconds to claw their way back to within seven early in the fourth quarter. Harris hooked up with Julian Burton on a 27-yard scoring strike 35 seconds into the final period to put MSU on the board and snap a 54-minute scoring drought for the Bears’ offense. On Iowa’s next play from scrimmage, freshman linebacker Rique Bentley stepped in front of a Jake Rudock pass and returned the interception 28 yards for a touchdown to make it a 21-14 contest with 14:15 left on the clock.
Iowa would respond with a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive of its own, capped by Rudock’s two-yard run at the 9:57 mark, to push the lead back to 14 points.
Aided by a 28-yard kickoff return by freshman LeMarcus Stewart and a personal foul penalty, the Bears moved the ball to the Iowa 14 on their next possession. But on second down, UI’s Tanner Miller picked off Harris’s pass attempt in the endzone, all but ending MSU’s bid for a comeback victory in its first-ever game against a Big Ten foe.
After the Bears’ defense forced a three-and-out on Iowa’s first possession of the game, the Hawkeyes dictated play from there, controlling the ball for over 10 minutes in the first quarter while holding MSU to just 19 yards of total offense. Rudock directed the home team on a 69-yard drive that was highlighted by Weisman’s 21-yard run. Rudock connected with CJ Fiedorowicz on a key third-down completion deep in Bears’ territory to keep the drive alive, then scampered in from six yards out to give the Hawkeyes a 7-0 advantage midway through the first quarter.
In the second half, After a Kevonte Martin-Manley 10-yard punt return handed Iowa the ball at the MSU 32, a pair of Damon Bullock carries moved the chains, and an eight-yard completion to Don Shumpert gave UI a first-and-goal at the 10. From there, Weisman punched it home to open up a double-digit lead for the Hawkeyes, topping the century mark in rushing yardage for the second straight week in the process.
Weisman would add another score on Iowa’s next possession, stretching the UI lead to 21-0 with a three-yard run with 2:12 to play in the third. The junior back completed his season-best rushing day on a career-high 30 carries, while Rudock completed 19-of-28 passes for 193 yards through the air for the Hawkeyes.