Bears Look to Continue Hot Streak at South Dakota
QB - Kierra Harris
QB - Kierra Harris

Sept. 30, 2013

Missouri State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
South Dakota Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Missouri State Bears (1-4, 1-0) at South Dakota Coyotes (1-3, 0-1)
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Vermillion, S.D.
Site: DakotaDome (10,000)
Series: Missouri State leads 1-0
TV: Midco Sports Network (Jay Elsen, Andre Fields)
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM (Art Hains, Rob Bolks) and MSU Bears Radio Network
Live Stats: GameTracker
Live Video: CoyoteVision
Listen Live:  |  MVFC Coaches Teleconference Audio (updated Tuesday)
Tickets: Game 6 Tickets 


  • The Missouri State Bears (1-4, 1-0 MVFC) picked up their first victory of the 2013 season with a convincing 37-10 win over nationally-ranked Illinois State in last weekend's Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both squads.
  • MSU’s win over the Redbirds marked the third time during the Terry Allen era the Bears have defeated a ranked Illinois State squad and the fifth seventh time overall MSU has taken down a ranked opponent under Allen.
  • Bears’ quarterback Kierra Harris ranks third in the MVFC and 13th nationally with six rushing touchdowns on the season; Harris rates among the top 100 FCS players in 10 different statistical categories.
  • The Bears will be seeking their first 2-0 Valley start since 1997, when they won their first three league contests before finishing 3-3 in the conference race and 5-6 overall under head coach Del Miller.
  • Missouri State leads The Valley and ranks 20th nationally in red zone defense (.688), while the Bears' offense scored in each of its five trips inside the opposition's 20-yard line last week vs. Illinois State. 
  • Junior safety Caleb Schaffitzel led the Bears' defensive effort vs. Illinois State with a game-high 11 tackles to go along with a PBU and his first interception of the season; Schaffitzel ranks fourth in the conference in tackles (8.8 per game) and is the Bears' leading active tackler with 223 career stops entering the week. 
  • Senior cornerback Howard Scarborough broke up a pair of passes against Illinois State to climb to seventh on MSU’s career list; Scarborough ranks third in the MVFC in passes defended per game (1.0).
  • Senior receiver Dorian Buford hauled in a career-long 73 yard touchdown reception and topped the 1,000-yard mark for his MSU career in last Saturday's win over Illinois State. ”
  • The Bears forced five second-half turnovers last week vs. Illinois State and bring a +3 turnover margin for the season into this Saturday’s contest, good for fifth in the MVFC and 32nd nationally.
  • MSU’s defense has not allowed a second-half score over its last two home games and has given up just 13 total points after intermission in its three games at Plaster Field this season.


In the only previous meeting between the teams, the Bears defeated the Coyotes 27-24 on a 33-yard field goal by Austin Witmer as time expired at Plaster Field. MSU rallied with 17 points in the final 5:27 and got 214 passing yards from Kierra Harris.


Missouri State will look to build on its first victory of the season this Saturday when it begins a two-game road swing at South Dakota, with a 2 p.m. Missouri Valley Football Conference contest on Dakota Days at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D. The Bears turned in their best defensive effort of the season last weekend to cruise to a 37-10 Valley opening win over a ranked Illinois State club at Plaster Field. MSU held the Redbirds to 46 yards rushing and just 214 yards of total offense to snap an eight-game skid in MVFC openers.

At stake for Missouri State this week is their first 2-0 Valley start since 1997, when the Bears won their first three league games before finishing 3-3 in the race and 5-6 overall. The Bears will also be in search of their first road win of the season and their first ever victory on South Dakota soil. MSU is winless in three previous trips to the state, all of which have ended with losses to South Dakota State in Brookings.

MSU has been led by a balanced offensive attack featuring junior quarterback Kierra Harris, who threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another last week against Illinois State. Harris ranks 13th in all of FCS football with six rushing touchdowns this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior Caleb Schaffitzel spearheaded the Bears’ best performance of the season last Saturday with a game-high 11 stops and one of MSU’s five takeaways with his first interception of the season. The All-American safety enters the week fourth in the MVFC in tackles per game.

South Dakota will be looking to stop a three-game slide this week following its 24-10 loss at Western Illinois to open league play last Saturday..

COACH Terry Allen

Missouri State head coach Terry Allen recorded his 60th career MVFC victory with Saturday’s win over Illinois State. With a 60-39 record in 16 seasons as a head coach at UNI (1989-96) and Missouri State (2006-present) in league play, Allen trails only current UNI sideline boss Mark Farley (64 wins) in all-time conference victories.

Allen entered the 2013 season 14th in victories among active FCS head coaches and 32nd on the NCAA’s all-time FCS victories list. Additionally, Allen sits in third on Missouri State’s all-time conference wins list, trailing only Jesse Branch (31 wins) and Rich Johanningmeier (27).

Overall, Allen is 124-112 (.525) in his 21st year as a head coach and 29-53 (.354) in his eighth year at Missouri State. The 1979 Northern Iowa graduate is 1-0 vs. South Dakota (0-0 on the road) and has a 41-72 overall road record (10-32 at MSU) for his coaching career. Allen is a five-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at UNI (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).


Missouri State forced five second-half turnovers and limited Illinois State to 214 yards of total offense to post a 37-10 victory in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both squads at Plaster Field. The Bears (1-4, 1-0 MVFC) rolled up 272 rushing yards and outscored the Redbirds 23-0 in the second half to notch their first win of the season.
     The Bears reeled off 30 unanswered points, capitalizing on three fumbles and a pair of interceptions by the Redbirds (1-3, 0-1 MVFC) after the break to seize control of the contest. ISU mustered just 18 rushing yards and four first downs in the second half, while five different Bears found the end zone in MSU’s second win in as many years against a ranked Redbird squad.
     Trailing 10-7 late in the second quarter, junior quarterback Kierra Harris found Dorian Buford open over the middle, and the senior receiver made an acrobatic grab before racing the final 46 yards untouched into the end zone for a career-long 73-yard touchdown that put MSU on top for good.
     ISU struggled to hang on to the football in the third quarter, as a dropped punt and a pair of fumbles set up MSU for two more scoring chances. The Bears got a three-yard run by Harris and a 23-yard field goal by Marcelo Bonani to up the advantage to 24-10.
     Phoenix Johnson and Cedric Miller cashed in with the first touchdowns of their respective MSU careers in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
     Caleb Schaffitzel led Missouri State’s defensive effort with a game-high 11 tackles to go along with his first interception of the season and the sixth of his MSU career. Junior linebacker Andrew Beisel added eight stops, and senior defensive end Anthony Grady posted a sack, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick for the Bears.
    Mikael Cooper-Falls posted his best rushing effort in nearly four years with a game-high 95 yards on 16 carries to pace the MSU ground attack. Johnson added a career-best 54 yards, while Harris and Miller chipped in with 51 and 37 yards, respectively.



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