Bears On Comeback Trail Against Murray State, 14-7
Sept. 15, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Following a slow start by both offenses, the Missouri State Bears countered 14 unanswered points by Murray State with a late touchdown of their own to head to intermission with a 14-7 deficit in their 2012 home opener Saturday evening at Plaster Field.
Murray State's Casey Brockman, who completed 22-of-33 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown in the half, led a pair of Racer second-quarter touchdown drives to break up a scoreless duel, before the Bears' Vernon Scott scored on a short run with just over two minutes to play in the half.
After the Bears and Racers combined for an NCAA FCS record 1,423 total yards in their last meeting, the two defenses took center stage early Saturday. Paced by Ashton Glaser's 8-of-13 passing, Missouri State outgained Murray State by a 114 to 55 margin in total offensive yardage in a scoreless opening quarter.
The Bears mounted the only serious scoring threat in the game's first 15 minutes, as Glaser hooked up with Dorian Buford on a 69-yard completion from deep in MSU territory to give the Bears a first down at the Murray State 28-yard line. However, the Racers' Jarius Williams stepped in front of Glaser's second-down pass for an interception and returned the ball 33 yards to the Missouri State 45 with just three seconds left in the period. Murray State moved the ball to the Bears' 36, before a personal foul on the offense and a Ryan Callender sack on third down stalled the Racers' best scoring opportunity early in the second.
The visitors seized control of the contest over a seven-minute stretch, using a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped by a three-yard Duane Brady run to put the game's first points on the board. Murray State, which covered the final 25 yards of its first scoring drive on the ground, took to the air for its second touchdown--a 16-yard strike from Brockman to Nevar Griffin to push its lead to 14-0 with just over three minutes left in the half. That score followed a momentum-swinging stop by the Murray defense on a fourth-down fake punt attempt that set up the Racers on the Bears' 29-yard line.
Missouri State finally got into the scoring act on its final possession of the half, moving the ball 75 yards in just 1:10 to cut its deficit to 14-7. Glaser completed 3-of-4 passes for 29 yards on the drive, while Scott ran for 17 yards, including the final two for the touchdown with 2:04 left on the clock.
The Racers used 52 offensive plays to pile up 203 yards of total offense, while the Bears amassed 184 yards on 40 plays.
Glaser finished the half 12-of-21 for 154 yards to help counter a rushing attack that totaled just 30 net yards on 19 carries. MSU receiver Cadarrius Dotson, who became the 10th player in school history to record his 100th career reception, was one of three Bear receivers to haul in three catches. Buford paced that group with 87 receiving yards.