Bears Set to Take on Oklahoma State This Saturday in Stillwater
MISSOURI STATE BEARS (0-1)
vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0)
Saturday, September 13, 2008 - Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Okla. (60,000)
Television - Fox College Sports - Central
Radio - KTXR (101.3 FM) and Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network (LISTEN LIVE)
Live Stats - CLICK HERE on Game Day!
Alumni Event - CLICK HERE for information on the Missouri State Alumni event Friday in Tulsa
Game Notes - MISSOURI STATE - OKLAHOMA STATE
Tickets - CLICK HERE to get your discounted tickets for Saturday's game in Stillwater through MSU Tix
Game Overview: The Bears look to bounce back from a stunning opening-night loss to Division II Washburn when they travel to Oklahoma State on Saturday, September 13 to do battle with the Cowboys from the NCAA Division I FBS Big 12 Conference. The game will mark the sixth meeting between the two clubs and the third matchup this decade.
Last week, Missouri State fell inches short of a potential game-tying touchdown when a fourth-and-goal pass from Cody Kirby to Chris Geisz was spotted just inches shy of the goal line, turning the ball over on downs with 10 seconds to play in a 35-27 loss to Washburn at Plaster Field in Springfield. Kirby finished with 314 of the Bears’ 433 yards total offense.
This week’s contest will mark the 19th consecutive season the Bears have featured an NCAA Division I FBS team on their schedule. Missouri State is 1-21 in those games, having defeated UNLV in Las Vegas in 1990. The Bears also pushed Oklahoma State to overtime in 1996.
MSU is a member of the newly-branded Missouri Valley Football Conference, formerly the Gateway Football Conference, which now includes nine NCAA Division I FCS schools. North Dakota State and South Dakota State are the two new league members this season.
This week’s opponent, Oklahoma State is off to a 2-0 start under fourth-year head coach Mike Gundy. The Cowboys are coming off a 56-37 win over Houston in their home opener September 6. In that game, sophomore Dez Bryant had 236 receiving yards and four touchdowns to earn National Player of the Week laurels, while classmate Kendall Hunter rushed for 210 yards and a pair of scores. OSU rolled up 699 yards of total offense in the game, the second-best single-game total in school history.
The Bears are an even 426-426-40 (.500) in 97 seasons all-time, including a 192-135-11 (.584) record in 67 seasons at Plaster Field, 60-81-1 (.426) mark in MVFC play, and 141-142-3 (.498) record at the NCAA Division I FCS level. MSU is 1-21 all-time against teams in the FBS.
The Coaches: Missouri State head coach Terry Allen (Northern Iowa, 1976) is 103-74 (.582) overall in 16 years as a head coach and 8-15 (.348) in three seasons at Missouri State. Allen is 54-31 all-time in non-conference games, including a 5-5 mark at Missouri State. He is also 83-40 in Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly Gateway) games, including his tenure at Northern Iowa (1989-96). Allen’s Missouri State teams are 1-9 in road games.
Allen is 0-4 all-time against the Cowboys, including a 52-10 defeat in Stillwater his first season at MSU in 2006. He lost 33-23 in Stillwater in 1990 while head coach at Northern Iowa. He was also 0-2 against Oklahoma State during his tenure as head coach at Kansas with a 38-28 loss in Lawrence in 1998, a 45-13 loss in Stillwater in 1999. Allen is also 13-33 against members of the Big 12.
Coach Allen spent 10 years as an assistant coach at UNI (1979-88) before taking over the head coaching duties there in 1989 where he spent the next eight seasons (1989-96). He was 72-26 at UNI and five-time MVFC Coach of the Year, taking the Panthers to the NCAA FCS playoffs seven straight years. He took over the head coaching duties at Kansas in 1997 and was 20-33 in four years with the Big 12 Jayhawks (1997-2001). Prior to coming to MSU, he spent four seasons (2002-05) as associate head coach at Iowa State.
Fourth-year head coach Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State, 1990) is 20-19 (.513) as the Cowboys’ mentor and overall. He is 1-0 against Missouri State and 12-7 at home during his tenure. He has coached the Cowboys to back-to-back 7-6 seasons, both culminating in bowl victories -- a 34-31 Independence Bowl win over Alabama in 2006 and a 49-33 victory against Indiana in the 2007 Insight Bowl.
The Series: OSU has won all five previous meetings between the two schools, all of which have been played in Stillwater. The Bears, who moved to the NCAA Division I FCS level in 1982, have been a member of the MVFC for all five previous meetings.
The Bears lost the inaugural game between the two teams on September 11, 1993 with a 45-7 result. The Bears’ defense held OSU to 324 yards, but Missouri State had six turnovers and just 29 rushing yards in the game to fall well short of their larger opponents. CB Adrion Smith’s 34-yard interception return in the second quarter was MSU’s only score of the game.
On September 16, 1995, OSU led 13-7 at the half, but MSU managed just three first downs in the second half in a 35-7 loss. The Cowboys scored three touchdowns in the second half, and the Bears had 11 penalties in the game. Kyle Geller’s 56-yard pass to Michael Cosey was the Bears’ only score.
The highlight of the series for MSU was a 23-20 overtime loss in 1996 -- the first-ever regular season overtime game in NCAA Division I football history. After falling behind 10-0, the Bears got an interception return for a touchdown by Travis Richardson, a 52-yard field goal by Wayne Boyer and a 14-yard score by Cosey to take a 17-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Bears gave up a fourth-and-15 conversion to the Cowboys late in the fourth that led to the tying score, and despite Boyer’s 47-yard field goal in overtime, OSU found the endzone in extra time to get the win. Jeremy Hoog passed for 193 yards and Cosey rushed for 130 yards in the narrow defeat.
On September 13, 2003, the Bears dropped a 42-3 decision in Stillwater. Jon Scifres’ 22-yard field goal in the second quarter cut the deficit to 21-3 at the break, but the Bears finished with just 219 total yards. Kailan Williams posted 10 tackles and an interception for the MSU defense.
The most-recent meeting of the series saw OSU score a 52-10 victory on September 2, 2006 in Terry Allen’s MSU debut. The Cowboys returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and eventually built a 45-0 lead before Nathan Stokes’ 29-yard field goal got the Bears on the board in the fourth quarter. Bears’ freshman Jonathan Davis scored on a one-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left. MSU was held to 68 rushing yards, but rolled up 266 yards through the air behind starter Matt Krapfl’s 126 yards and juco transfer Garrett Congdon’s 140 yards. OSU had 453 yards total offense, not including 277 yards on punt and kick returns. Mike Hamilton led OSU with 155 rushing yards.
Current Bears Clay Harbor (31 yards) and Chris Geisz (27) each caught a pass in the 2006 game. Chris Farrar returned three kickoffs for a total of 62 yards, including a long return of 38, in addition to a one-yard punt return. Matt Hottelman kicked off three times for an average of 51 yards. On the defensive side, Jeremy Dawson had two tackles, Chris Farrar had one tackle and one pass break-up, and Chris Brehmer recorded one stop.
Television: The game will be shown live on FOX College Sports - Central via cable and satellite. The telecast will be MSU’s first-ever national football broadcast. The announcers for the game will be Kevin Eschenfelder (play-by-play) and Richard Baldinger (color). The game will be available on Direct TV live on Channel 617. In addition, the following cable companies in Missouri will have the game available of FCS -- AT&T U-Verse, Avenue Broadband, Boycom Cablevision, Buford Media Group, Cable America, Cable One, Charter, City Of Poplar Bluff Municipal, Comcast, Houston Cable, New Wave Communications, ws-Press & Gazette Co, Phelps County Cable, Rapid Communications, Semo Communications, Suddenlink, Surewest, Time Warner.
Radio: All Missouri State Bears games can be heard on KTXR, Springfield (101.3 FM), the flagship station of the Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network. Play-by-play man Art Hains will provide the game description along with second-year color commentator Scott Opfer . Hains first began calling Bears’ action in 1977 and is in his second stint and 29th season overall as the Voice of the Bears. He called Bears games from 1977-81 and returned to that post in 1985. The Oklahoma State game is Art’s 300th MSU football broadcast.
MSU football can also be heard on the nine-station, two-state Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network on the following affiliates: Ava - KKOZ (92.1 FM/1430 AM); El Dorado Springs - KESM (105.5 FM); Kansas City - KCWJ (1030 AM); Monett - KKBL (95.9 FM); Poplar Bluff - KLID (1340 AM); St. Louis - KSLG (1380 AM); Sparta, Ill. - WHC) (1230 AM); Springfield - KTXR (101.3 FM) (flagship); Willow Springs - KUKU (100.3 FM).
Last Week: Last week, the Bears rolled up 433 yards total offense in their 35-27 home loss to Washburn on opening night. After falling behind 14-0 and having an interception return for a touchdown called back on a penalty, the Bears battled back to tie the game 21-21 at the half. However, Washburn posted two second-half scoring drives to expand its lead to 11 in the fourth quarter. Despite the self-destructive pattern of ill-timed penalties, seven dropped passes and poor special teams, the Bears had a first-and-goal at the Washburn 7 with less than a minute to play for a chance to tie the game. Cody Kirby’s fourth-down completion to Chris Geisz was ruled inches short of the endzone, and the ball went back to Washburn on downs with 10 seconds to go. Kirby finished with career-highs in total offense (314), rushing yards (53) and passing attempts (42), while posting his second-best career efforts in completions (21) and passing yards (261). Senior kicker Matt Hottelman scored nine points and accounted for all of the Bears’ scoring in the second half with field goals of 31 and 38 yards to keep the Bears in the game.
2008 Rules Changes: The NCAA has approved several rules changes to be in effect for the 2008 season as follows:
* A 40/25-second play clock system will be used in 2008 in an effort to standardize the pace of play. Unless the game is stopped for administrative reasons (for example, change of possession, injury, etc.), the offensive team will have 40 seconds to snap the ball after it is declared dead.
* Additionally, there will be a change in the way the game is timed when a runner goes out of bounds. The game clock will initially stop, as is the case currently. However, except in the last two minutes of each half, the game clock will now start on a signal from the referee, rather than on the snap.
* Also approved were changes regarding helmet contact, players who target a defenseless opponent, horse-collar tackling, and enhanced rules dealing with dangerous chop blocks.
* When a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team may accept the ball at the 40-yard line instead of the 35.
* The incidental 5-yard face mask foul was removed. All face mask fouls (pulling, twisting or turning) will be a 15-yard penalty.
* A yardage penalty (5 yards for first and second offense, 15 yards thereafter) for sideline control will be instituted.
Honors and Accolades: Despite a roster that features 70-percent freshmen and sophomores, the Bears are loaded with well-documented individual talent. Below is a summary of league and national awards given to current Missouri State personnel:
2008 MVFC Players of the Week: Kevaughn Brown (Sr., Port Arthur, Texas) was named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week on September 8 for his performance against Washburn in MSU’s season opener.
2008 Preseason All-American: Clay Harbor (Jr., TE, Dwight, Ill.) was named second-team preseason All-American by the College Sporting News.
2008 Preseason All-MVFC: Earning preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors this fall were Clay Harbor (Jr., TE, Dwight, Ill.), Cody Kirby (So., QB, Rogers, Ark.), and David Arkin (So., OG, Wichita, Kan.).
All-America: Then-sophomore tight end Clay Harbor (Dwight, Ill.) was named Associated Press third-team All-America and Sports Network honorable mention All-American in 2007.
2007 All-Conference: Returning players who earned postseason awards from the Missouri Valley Football Conference a year ago are: Clay Harbor (first-team All-MVFC tight end), David Arkin (second-team All-MVFC offensive lineman), Roger Wright (honorable mention All-MVFC safety).
2007 MVFC Newcomer Team: Six current Bears were on the 23-member MVFC All-Newcomer Team a year ago: David Arkin (OG), Kevaughn Brown (OT), Cody Kirby (QB), Kingjack Washington (TB), Clayton Dickehut (DE), Derek Miller (CB).
2007 MVFC Academic Team: Three current MSU players earned league academic honors in 2007: Chris Brehmer (DT, second team), Jared Emery (WR, second team), Chris Geisz (CB, honorable mention).
2007 MVFC Players of the Week: Cody Kirby was named league Offensive Player of the Week twice in 2007 (9/22 and 10/6), while the team earned four Offensive Lineman of the Week honors a year ago with David Arkin earning the award twice (9/1 and 9/22), and Seth Reichert (9/22) and Kevaughn Brown (10/6) claiming the honor once.
In the Trenches: The Bears return four of their starting five offensive linemen from 2007 in addition to All-American tight end Clay Harbor. Left tackle Kevaughn Brown (Sr., Port Arthur, Texas) and right guard David Arkin (So., Wichita, Kan.) were on the MVFC All-Newcomer team in 2007 with Arkin earning second-team all-league honors. Left guard Seth Reichert (Sr., Springfield, Mo.) and right tackle Mark Graf (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) round out the O-Line returnees. All four players started in 11 games a year ago and combined to win the MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week award four times. The Missouri State starting O-Line averages 6-4, 293.
Coors Player of the Week: Senior kicker Matt Hottelman (O’Fallon, Mo.) was named the Bears’ first Coors Player of the Week of the 2008 season for his performance against Washburn in the season opener on September 4. Hottelman connected on field goals of 31 and 38 yards in the second half while converting all three PAT opportunities. His clutch 38-yarder with 8:22 remaining pulled the Bears back within eight points of Washburn and kept the Bears within striking distance as time wound down. He also averaged 60.5 yards per kickoff, including one touchback.
MVFC Lineman of the Week: Kevaughn Brown (Sr., OT, Port Arthur, Texas) was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week, following his stellar performance against Washburn on September 4. Brown helped QB Cody Kirby to a career-high 314 yards total offense, providing protection enough to allow the Bears 42 pass attempts on a rainy night the most by any Bears player since 2003. Despite being matched up with two Washburn senior standouts most of the night, he graded out at 79 percent for the week, holding Washburn’s top pair to one tackle apiece.
Captains of Crunch: The five Missouri State co-captains for the 2008 season are: #13 Cody Kirby (So., QB, Rogers, Ark.), #43 Jeremy Dawson (Sr., LB, Grandview, Mo.), #44 Roger Wright (Sr., S, Grandview, Mo.), #76 Seth Reichert (Sr., OG, Springfield, Mo.), and #92 Chris Brehmer (Sr., DT, Rock Hill, Mo.). The quintet of four seniors and one sophomore were named to their posts by their teammates. Kirby is just the third sophomore since 1953 (Kevin Sears - 2005 and Corky Martin - 1999) to be named as Bears’ team captain.
Migration Patterns: The 85-man Missouri State roster includes players from 11 different states. More than half of the squad (48) hails from the Show-Me State, while 7 players came to MSU from Arkansas and Oklahoma. Kansas is home to 6 Bears, followed by Texas and Florida with 4 apiece. The remaining states are: California 3, Illinois 3, Georgia 1, Ohio 1, Tennessee 1.
The seven Bears from Oklahoma are: Andre Anderson (Fr., CB, Muskogee), Russell Brown (Fr., DT, Midwest City), Grant Detwiler (Jr., DE, Tulsa), Justin Fuselier (So., WR, Tulsa), Seneca Gore (Jr., OC, Putnam City), Jarryd Horn (Fr., LB, Muskogee) and Kingjack Washington (So., TB, Owasso). In the Bears’ opener against Washburn, Fuselier and Washington started and scored touchdowns, while Horn came off the bench to see action.
Teammates Again: A number of players on the 2008 roster were high school teammates as well. Leading the way are the four Bears from Grandview (Mo.) High School -- Darius Blow (Fr.), Jeremy Dawson (Sr.), Jarrett Wright (Fr.) and Roger Wright (Sr.). Jeremy Dawson and Roger Wright are two of the team’s five co-captains.
Likewise, local products Ian Starnes (Fr.) Nick Detelich (Fr.) and Seth Reichert (Sr.) all attended Glendale High School in Springfield, Mo.
Fellow Springfield natives Austin Etter (Fr.) Skyler Smith (So.) and Andrew Watts (Jr.) all attended Kickapoo High School together.
Lastly, three of the four Bears from Columbia, Mo., attended Rock Bridge High School. Former Bruins Jake Morse (Fr.), Johnny Wacker (Fr.) and Chase Mejia (Fr.) all played for Coach A.J. Ofodile.
Bears Against the FBS: Missouri State is 1-21 all-time against nine different NCAA Division I FBS schools, including an 0-5 mark against Oklahoma State and 0-8 ledger against teams from the Big 12 Conference. The Bears have played at least one FBS school each of the last 19 seasons and been outscored by an average margin of 38.6 to 15.9 in the 22 games. MSU’s top offensive output was 31 points at UNLV in 1990, while the team’s best defensive effort was allowing just 17 points to Tulsa in 1992. Kansas State’s 61 points against MSU in 2007 was the most-ever against the Bears by an FBS school. Arkansas’ 38-0 win over the Bears in 2000 is the only time MSU has been held scoreless against FBS teams.
In NCAA Division I football, FBS schools are allowed 85 football scholarships, compared to just 63 for FCS schools. The 16-team FCS postseason playoff culminates in the only Division I football championship recognized by the NCAA.
Leading the League: Missouri State is the Missouri Valley Football Conference leader in passing offense at 261.0 yards per game. MSU is also second in the nine-team league in total offense with 433 yards and is second in sacks with two per game. The Bears rank No. 5 in the league in rushing (172.0), fifth in scoring (27.0), sixth in rushing defense (171.0), fourth in passing defense, and fourth in total defense (374.0).
Last season, Missouri State’s offense averaged 36.3 points and 414.3 yards, ranking second and third, respectively, in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in those categories. The Bears were also third in the league in passing offense (211.4) and fourth in rushing offense (202.9). The team also averaged 20.7 yards per kickoff return to rank fourth.
NCAA Leaders: The Bears rank 14th nationally among the 118 FBS schools in total offense (433.0) and 16th in passing offense (261.0). MSU is also 33rd in rushing offense (172.0). the team’s defense ranks 61st overall, 81st in scoring defense, 64th in rushing defense and 44th in passing defense.
Individually, Cody Kirby (So., QB, Rogers, Ark.) ranks No. 4 in Division I FBS in total offense (314.0). He is also 62nd in passing efficiency after completing just 50 percent of his passes in the team’s opener against Washburn.
Matt Hottelman (Sr., K, O’Fallon, Mo.) is the national co-leader in field goals per game (2.0) and is tied for 41st in scoring at 9 points per game.
Jeremy Dawson (Sr., LB, Grandview, Mo.) is tied for fourth nationally in tackles (13.0), while fellow co-captain Roger Wright (Sr., S, Grandview, Mo.) is tied for 15th in tackles (11.0).
Starting Lineups: The Bears return 15 regular starters from 2007, including six offensive returnees and nine defensive regulars. On the offensive side, linemen Kevaughn Brown (LT), Seth Reichert (LG), David Arkin (RG) and Mark Graf (RT) each started 11 times in 2007, while All-American tight end Clay Harbor (TE) saw 10 starts and quarterback Cody Kirby saw eight. Defensive starters Connor McDonough (LE), Chris Brehmer (LT), Mike Taylor (RT), Clayton Dickethut (RE), Tony Randolph (LB), Jeremy Dawson (LB), Chris Farrar (CB), Roger Wright (SS), and Derek Miller (FS) also return. All told, the Bears have 12 offensive players and 13 defensive players who have combined to start 208 career ball games for MSU.