Bears Set to Host Salukis Saturday in Conference Opener
Terry Allen
Terry Allen

Sept. 17, 2012

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Missouri State Bears (0-3, 0-0 MVFC) vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (1-2, 0-0 MVFC)
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Kickoff: 1:04 p.m. (Central)
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Site: Plaster Field (16,300)
TV: Mediacom MC-22/MVFC TV (Scott Warmann, Randy Ball)
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM (Art Hains, Ned Reynolds)
Live Stats:
Live Video: Bears All-Access and ESPN3
Tickets: and (417) 836-7678 or (888) 476-7849

♦ Missouri State is 12-15 in MVFC openers since joining the league in 1985, including an 0-6 ledger under head coach Terry Allen. Saturday's contest marks the second consecutive year the Bears and Salukis will open conference play against one another.
Caleb Schaffitzel (So., S, Fair Grove, Mo.) ranks 11th nationally in tackles per game (11.67) after registering 13 stops versus Murray State last Saturday. The redshirt sophomore, who rates third among all MVFC defenders in the same category, has accounted for 30 tackles in the Bears' last two outings.
♦ The Bears are 0-3 for the second straight year after winning at least one of their first three games in each of the previous 16 seasons. Additionally, MSU has dropped nine straight September games dating back to a Sept. 11, 2010 loss at Kansas State, and five straight contests at Plaster Field since going 5-0 at home in 2010.
♦ Missouri State's defense registered 112 total tackles in last weekend's loss to Murray State, the highest team total of the Terry Allen era. The Racers ran 99 offensive plays, including 42 pass completions in 60 attempts, all of which also established new opponent highs during Allen's tenure.
♦ Punter Chris Sullens (Fr., Camdenton, Mo.) ranks third in NCAA FCS in punting average (44.94), while kicker Austin Witmer (Jr., Grand Island, Neb.) is tied for 18th in field goals per game (1.33).
Cadarrius Dotson (Sr., WR, Memphis, Tenn.) became the 10th MSU player to reach the century mark in career pass receptions with his four-catch outing vs. Murray State. He now has 102 career snags for 1,126 yards, including receptions in 32 of 36 career games.
Matt Thayer (Sr., TE, Bellevue, Neb.) brings a string of 15 consecutive starts at tight end into Saturday's game. Five additional Bears have started 14 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 Bears' offensive line.
♦ The Bears rank 19th in the nation in passing offense (270.0 ypg), while the Salukis bring the No. 13 FCS passing attack (294.33 ypg) into Saturday's game.
Dorian Buford (Jr., WR, Florissant, Mo.) leads MSU in receiving yardage (79.0 ypg) and receptions (18), ranking third and fourth in the MVFC, respectively, after posting his second 100-yard receiving game of the season last week.
Ashton Glaser's (Jr., QB, Springdale, Ark.) average of 236.0 yards of total offense per game is good enough to rank 31st nationally among all NCAA FCS players entering the fourth week of the season.

September 24, 2011 -- A back-and-forth second half ultimately fell the way of the home team, as the Salukis defeated the Bears by a 20-18 count in the 2011 Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both teams in Carbondale.

Missouri State took its first lead of the night, 18-17, on a one-yard touchdown run by Chris Douglas with six seconds left in the third quarter and started to take charge throughout the fourth quarter. After the two-point conversion failed, the Bears soon forced a Salukis fumble at their own 43 with 13:05 to go. MSU would then drive to the SIU 27 before Trevor Wooden was picked off in the end zone to end the threat.

The Bears' defense came up with another big series after that and forced the No. 13 Salukis into a punt from their own 31 with 6:47 to play. However, the Bears would punt it back just three plays later, and Southern took over at its own 28 to set up the game-winning drive.

SIU drove 62 yards on 11 plays to the MSU 10-yard line before settling for a 27-yard field goal by Jackson MacLachlan -- a Springfield, Mo., native -- to give the Salukis a 20-18 lead with 50 seconds remaining.

The Bears returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 39, but a sack set the Bears back to their own 31 before Wooden was picked off for the third and final time of the game on the next play. James McFadden hauled in the desperation pass at the SIU 21 with 12 seconds to go, securing a home win for SIU and giving Missouri State its 11th straight road loss.

Wooden finished 9-for-19 for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked just twice and finished with 183 yards of total offense. Douglas added 85 yards on 14 carries, while Jermaine Saffold caught five passes for 122 yards, giving him his seventh career 100-yard receiving game.

Jewel Hampton carried 21 times for 119 yards for SIU, while Paul McIntosh finished 13-for-24 through the air for 206 yards, while adding 60 ground yards on 16 carries.

Saturday's game will break the tie. The Bears are knotted 17-17 in the all-time series with Southern Illinois. The Salukis have won eight of the last nine meetings between the two squads, but the teams have split the last two meetings, including a 51-41 MSU win in the last matchup at Plaster Field in Springfield. Last year, SIU kicked the game-winning field goal with 50 seconds left to seal a 20-18 victory over MSU in Carbondale in the fifth game decided by 10 points or less in the last seven meetings.

Ashton Glaser (Jr., QB, Springdale, Ark.) sparked the Missouri State offense with a career-best passing performance in Saturday's game against Murray State. The native of Springdale, Ark., was 28-for-50 for 337 yards through the air and became the first MSU passer to break the 300-yard plateau since Cody Kirby (348) vs. SIU on Oct. 30, 2010. Glaser's 50 pass attempts against Murray State was a Bears' club record, while his 28 completions was one shy of the MSU single-game mark. His 69-yard completion to Dorian Buford in the home opener on Saturday was the longest play of the season for MSU.

Ryan Heaston (RFr., RB, Cordova, Tenn.) was named MSU Player of the Week by the Bears' media after recording 138 all-purpose yards for the Bears on Saturday against Murray State, including three pass receptions for 74 yards and 11 rushing attempts for 64 yards to match a Missouri State season high. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry on the ground, including a team season-high 37-yard outburst, and also notched a 67-yard pass reception from Ashton Glaser in the contest, the squad's second-longest passing play of the campaign. Heaston's big-play ability made for a thrilling second half in MSU's narrow 28-23 loss to the Racers.

Cadarrius Dotson (Sr., WR, Memphis, Tenn.) became the 10th MSU player to reach the century mark in career pass receptions with his four-catch outing vs. Murray State. He now has 102 career snags for 1,126 yards, including receptions in 32 of 36 career games. He needs 10 catches to reach Tom Hamilton (112) in the seventh spot on the Bears' career list and just 14 more to climb into the top five.

Previously, Dotson eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards in the season opener at K-State. His six receptions for 82 yards against the No. 22 Wildcats made him the 17th Bear to reach the yardage milestone. He now ranks 13th on MSU's career receiving yardage chart, just 129 yards shy of Kaya Farris (1,255) in the No. 12 position.

In addition to Dotson topping the 100-career reception plateau last weekend, several other Bears achieved notable milestones in the Bears' third game of the season. On the defensive side of the ball, Caleb Schaffitzel (So., S, Fair Grove, Mo.) and Mike Crutcher (So., S, Wentzville, Mo.) both recorded their 100th career tackles in the loss to Murray State. Schaffitzel posted his second straight double-digit tackle performance to give him 105 for his MSU career, while Crutcher made a season-high 11 stops against Murray State to give him 102 through just 14 games as a Bear.

Two more Bears have career milestones in their sights entering MVFC play. Julian Burton (So., WR, Cordova, Tenn.) enters Saturday's game 17 all-purpose yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark for his MSU career. Andrew Beisel (So., LB, Fenton, Mo.) enters Saturday's game with 92 career tackles, just eight away from becoming the Bears four active member of the 100-tackle club. Nick Canavan (Jr., LB, Norman, Okla.) is MSU's active leader with 116 career tackles.

MSU junior receiver Dorian Buford (Jr., WR, Florissant, Mo.) topped the century mark in receiving yards for the second time this season in Saturday's game against Murray State with nine receptions for a game-high 112 yards. His 69-yard reception from Ashton Glaser in the first quarter represented the Bears' longest play from scrimmage this season.

In his fourth career start with the Bears, Buford pulled in a 56-yard pass from Kierra Harris in the second quarter against K-State and became only the fourth different MSU player since 2007 to reach the century mark in receiving yards (since 2007 - Clay Harbor 5, Saffold 9, Cadarrius Dotson 1). It was also the most receiving yards by a Bear against an FBS opponent since 1997.

Since 2004, only Buford and Jermaine Saffold (2010) have posted multiple 100-yard receiving games in their junior season. Buford posted seven receptions for 114 yards in the 2012 season opener at Kansas State and entered the week as one of only four MVFC receivers to top the century mark this season.



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