Bears Return to Plaster Field for Big Conference Battle with SDSU
#19 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (3-1, 2-0) at
Missouri State Bears (3-2, 1-1)
Oct. 10, 2009, 2:00 p.m.
Plaster Field (16,300), Springfield, Mo.Quick Links:TICKETS . $5 GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETSRADIOTELEVISION (Mediacom) . BEARS LIVELIVE STATSSOUTH DAKOTA STATE GAME NOTESVALLEY FOOTBALL GAME NOTESWHAT'S NEW AT PLASTERBEARWEAR FRIDAYS . BUY BEARWEARVISITOR'S GUIDE TICKET SPECIAL *** All general admission tickets are $5 ***
Today's Game: Winners of three of their last four games, the Missouri State Bears return home this Saturday when they welcome the No. 19 South Dakota State Jackrabbits to Plaster Field for the first time for a 2 p.m. conference battle.
The Bears are coming off a 17-7 win at Youngstown State last week, giving Missouri State its first Missouri Valley Football Conference win of the season and first-ever win in Youngstown. The Bears scored on their opening drive of the game as Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) connected with Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.) for a 52-yard touchdown strike to cap a four-play, 64-yard drive. The pass reception was the longest of Harbor's career as he posted his third career 100-yard receiving game, collecting six passes for 101 yards. Kirby's 252 passing yards was the second-highest road total of his career and pushed him over the 4,500-yard career milestone. Waylon Richardet (Jr., DE, Perryville, Mo.) had eight tackles, an interception, a blocked field goal and 1.5 tackles for loss to earn MVFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Guard David Arkin (Jr., Wichita, Kan.) was named Valley Offensive Lineman of the Week.
South Dakota State is 3-1 this season, but dropped a 21-14 decision at No. 17 Cal Poly last week. The Jackrabbits are 2-0 in the conference and 4-4 in their last eight road games. SDSU, ranks among the top 10 NCAA Division I FCS teams in six statistical categories, including No. 2 in scoring defense (11.0), No. 3 in pass efficiency defense (85.45), No. 6 in sacks (3.5) and No. 7 in total defense (236.25). The Brookings, S.D. school is averaging 34.3 points per game and has allowed just 74.0 yards per game rushing this season.
This will be just the second meeting in the series between the two schools. The Jackrabbits defeated the Bears 43-13 on Nov. 1, 2008 in Brookings as the Bears fell behind 19-0 in the first half and never got on track. SDSU accumulated 580 yards of total offense, including 205 rushing yards by its top returnee Kyle Minett who currently ranks 13th in the nation in rushing at 106.3 yards per game.
This season, the Bears are 3-2 overall, 2-1 at Plaster Field and 1-1 in MVFC play. Overall, Missouri State is 435-436-39 (.499) in 98 seasons all-time, including a 194-143-12 (.573) record in 68 seasons at Plaster Field, 65-87-1 (.428) mark in MVFC play, and 148-150-3 (.497) record at the NCAA Division I FCS level.
The Series: This is South Dakota State's first-ever trip to Springfield and Plaster Field. In the only previous meeting between the teams, SDSU secured a 43-13 home win over the Bears on Nov. 1, 2008.
The crowd of 6,117 at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in Brookings, S.D. saw Kyle Minett rush for 205 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown, while Ryan Berry completed 20-of-26 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Missouri State was led by Cody Kirby who was 21-for-32 for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a three-yard TD strike to Chris Geisz to cap a 14-play scoring drive for the Bears just before the half.
The Coaches: Missouri State head coach Terry Allen (Northern Iowa, 1979) is 110-82 (.573) overall in his 17th season as a head coach. Allen is 15-23 (.395) in his fourth season at Missouri State. He is also 87-46 (.654) in Missouri Valley Football Conference games, including his tenure at Northern Iowa (1989-96). Allen is 0-1 all-time against South Dakota State.
With the Bears, Allen is 10-10 at home, 5-13 away, 7-16 in conference play (4-8 at home), 8-7 in non-conference games (6-2 at home), 1-0 in overtime, 0-1 in shutouts, and 7-7 in games decided by 10 points or less.
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 five 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.
SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier is 78-57 in his 13th season with the Jackrabbits and overall as a head coach. He is 1-0 against the Bears, but has never coached at Plaster Field.
First and Ten: Ten Missouri state quick hits relating to today's game:
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. Color commentary duties will be split this between third-year commentator Scott Opfer and KYTV Sports Director Ned Reynolds. Opfer will handle seven dates, while Reynolds will work the Sept. 5, Sept. 12, Oct. 3 and Oct. 24 games.
Hains first began calling Bears' action in 1977 and is in his second stint and 30th season overall as the Voice of the Bears. He called Bears games from 1977-81 and returned to that post in 1985. The South Dakota State game is Art's 315th MSU football broadcast.
MSU football can also be heard on the seven-station, Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network on the following affiliates: Ava - KKOZ (92.1 FM/1430 AM); Jefferson City - KJMO (97.5); Kansas City - KCWJ (1030 AM); Monett - KKBL (95.9 FM); Poplar Bluff - KLID (1340 AM); St. Louis - KFNS (100.7 FM); and Springfield - KTXR (101.3 FM) (flagship).
On-Line: Today's game -- and select games this season -- will be shown on Missouri State's on-line video channel -- Bears Live! Bears Live is a premium, broadband video destination for exclusive live and on-demand Missouri State streaming video & audio. This broadband video channel is the ultimate place for Bears fans on the web and can be accessed through www.MissouriStateBears.com, the official web site of Missouri State Athletics. The YSU game is not part of the BearsLive! package.
Links to live game stats, and the free audio stream (through www.RadioSpringfield.com) can be found on this week's game notes page on www.MissouriStateBears.com or at the Fan Central link on the home page.
Television: Today's game will be shown on Mediacom Connections (Channel 22 locally) and the Missouri Sports Cable Network throughout the state of Missouri, on a tape-delayed basis. Play-by-play man Don West will call the action, while Mike McClure is the color commentator for the games, and Corey Riggs is executive producer.
Last Game: The Bears (3-2, 1-1) earned their first-ever win at Youngstown State, holding the Penguins scoreless in the second half, forcing four turnovers and throwing for 252 yards in a 17-7 conference victory.
The Bears jumped out of the gates quickly in the first quarter, taking the game's opening possession and marching 64 yards on just four plays to take a 7-0 lead. On the fourth play of the drive, quarterback Cody Kirby found All-America tight end Clay Harbor for a 52-yard touchdown strike. Harbor collected the pass at the 22 and strolled into the endzone as Kirby was flushed out of the pocket and found Harbor for a career-long reception.
After forcing the Penguins to punt on their first series, the Bears scored again, driving all the way to the YSU one-yard line before settling for a 20-yard field goal by Matt Hottelman to make it 10-0. The scoring driving include a 57-yard completion from Kirby to Jonathan Davis at the Youngstown eight-yard line. An illegal participation penalty against the Penguins move the ball to the four, but the Bears couldn't punch it in on three straight rushing attempts and settled for the field goal.
To open the second half, the Bears forced another Youngstown turnover as Antoine Wilkinson pried the ball loose from Kevin Smith, and Michael Keck recovered the fumble at the Penguins' 36 yard line. Seven plays later, Jonathan Davis carried it into the end zone from four yards out to give the Bears a 17-7 lead. The Bears' second touchdown drive included a key third-and-15 completion to Harbor for a 17-yard gain to the 23. A 15-yard completion to Jermaine Saffold two plays later moved the sticks to the eight, and two four-yard carries by Davis put points on the board.
Kirby finished the night 19-28 for 252 yards and a touchdown, with Harbor serving as his favorite target with six grabs for 101 -- his third career 100-yard game. Davis ran for 55 yards and Warren added 36.
Team Captains: Missouri State will have five co-captains for the 2009 season, including a pair of seniors and three juniors. The Bears' 2009 captains include tight end Clay Harbor (Sr., Dwight, Ill.), cornerback Cedric Alvis (Sr., Columbia, Mo.), guard David Arkin (Jr., Wichita, Kan.), quarterback Cody Kirby (Jr., Rogers, Ark.), and safety Skylar Smith (Jr., Springfield, Mo.). Kirby was also a co-captain in 2008, which made him just the third MSU sophomore captain since 1953 (joining Corky Martin, 1999, and Kevin Sears, 2005).
Scouting SDSU: The Jackrabbits are off to a 3-1 start this fall and 2-0 in the conference. They come to Springfield after falling 21-14 to Cal Poly last week.
Leading the way for SDSU is Kyle Minett who is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and 106.2 yards per game on the ground. He has 78 carries for 425 yards and seven touchdowns and is 13th nationally in rushing.
Quarterback Ryan Crawford will likely miss this week's game with a knee injury after completing 67.4 percent of his season passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns. SDSU's top receiver is Glen Fox who has 23 catches for 262 yards, while Mike Steffen has a team-high three touchdown receptions as part of his 17 receptions for 337 yards.
The Brookings, S.D. school ranks No. 2 nationally in scoring defense (11.0), 3rd in pass efficiency defense (85.45), 6th in sacks (3.50), 7th in total defense (236.25), 9th in rushing defense (74.00), and 10th in scoring offense (34.25).
About Missouri State: Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons while achieving five goals: democratizing society, incubating new ideas, imagining Missouri's future, making Missouri's future, and modeling ethical and effective behavior. With a record enrollment of 22,938 in 2009-10, MSU is the second-largest institution for higher learning in Missouri, and its identity is distinguished by its statewide mission in public affairs. This mission requires a campus-wide commitment to foster competence and responsibility in the common vocation of citizenship. Missouri State University-Springfield is a selective admissions, graduate level teaching and research institution.
Missouri State competes at the NCAA Division I level and is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference with affiliate membership in the Mid-American Conference for field hockey and men's swimming and diving.
Notable Missouri State alums include: Ryan Howard (first baseman, Philadelphia Phillies), John Goodman (actor), Kathleen Turner (actress), David Glass (owner, Kansas City Royals), John Q. Hammons (businessman, hotel developer), Bob Holden (43rd governor of Missouri), Bill Mueller (2003 American League batting champ), Jackie Stiles (NCAA Division I women's basketball career scoring leader), and Blake Ahearn (NBA D-League MVP and All-Star Game co-MVP).
Kirby Home Demonstration: Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) has enjoyed great success at Plaster Field during his time at MSU. In 14 career home games, including 13 starts, Kirby has thrown for 2,657 yards (189.8) and 21 touchdown passes, including eight 200-yard performances. The Bears are 7-6 in Kirby starts at home and 11-13 in his 24 starts overall. He has been the MSU quarterback in 357 of the team's 370 plays this season.
Milestones: Jonathan Davis (Jr., TB, Tampa, Fla.) needs 53 rushing yards for 500 in his career ... Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) needs 59 rushing yards for 500 career ... Kirby needs 12 passing attempts for 700 career ... Kirby needs 2 yards total offense for 5,000 career (would be the fourth Bear to do so) ... Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.) needs 73 receiving yards for 1,500 career and 2 touchdowns for 10 ... Jared Emery (Sr., WR, Mountain Grove, Mo.) needs 23 receiving yards for 400 career ... Cedric Alvis (Sr., CB, Columbia, Mo.) needs 3 tackles for 100 career ... Byron Hightower (Jr., LB, Raytown, Mo.) needs 5 tackles for 100 career.
Honors Continue for Tight End Harbor: Bears' tight end Clay Harbor (Sr., Dwight, Ill.) continues to collect preseason All-America honors from various publications and organizations.
During the 2009 preseason, he was named to All-America teams by The Sports Network, College Sporting News, Consensus Draft Services, and Lindy's College Football Preview. He was MSU Player of the Week on 10/3/09 for his 101-yard effort in the Bears' 17-7 win at Youngstown State.
After collecting 40 receptions for 457 yards in 2008, Harbor earned Associated Press FCS All-America second-team honors. Harbor is a two-time, first-team All-MVFC pick as well as twice being recognized on the AP All-America list, including a third-team honor in 2007. He was also named to the Sports Network Fab 50.
Harbor is also ranked as the No. 12 overall player -- and top tight end -- in the NCAA FCS, according to the ranking source for Phil Steele. The top 20 players are: 1. QB Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State, Sr.; 2. WR/RS Andre' Roberts, The Citadel, Sr.; 3. QB Cameron Higgins, Weber State, Jr.; 4. WR Terrell Hudgins, Elon, Sr.; 5. FS Mark LeGree, Appalachian State, Jr.; 6. DE Larry Hart, Central Arkansas, Sr.; 7. QB Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross, Sr.; 8. RS Leroy Vann, Florida A&M, Sr.; 9. RB Trevyn Smith, Weber State, Sr.; 10. OT James Williams, Harvard, Sr.; 11. DE James Ruffin, Northern Iowa, Sr.; 12. TE Clay Harbor, Missouri State, Sr.; 13. OG Matthew McCracken, Richmond, Sr.; 14. WR/RS Marc Mariani, Montana, Sr.; 15. TE Scott Sicko, New Hampshire, Sr.; 16. RS Scotty McGee, James Madison, Sr.; 17. OT Vladimir Ducasse, UMASS, Sr.; 18. RB William Ford, South Carolina State, Sr.; 19. DE Austen Lane, Murray State, Sr.; 20. DT Mychal Savage, Youngstown State, Sr.
MSU Player of the Week: Tight end Clay Harbor (Sr., Dwight, Ill.) has been named as Missouri State's Player of the Week for his role in the team's 17-7 win at Youngstown State. In the game, Harbor had six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. His 52-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter was the longest catch of his career and helped him record his third 100-yard receiving game. The two-time All-America has a pass reception in 27 consecutive games and ranks tied for seventh in the Valley in receptions per game (4.40) after collecting 13 passes the past two weeks.
In 2008, Cody Kirby (QB, Rogers, Ark.) was named 2008 Missouri State Coors Player of the Year after earning second-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Honors and throwing for 2,014 yards and 15 touchdowns, finishing second in the league in total offense and 53rd nationally. He led the Bears to three fourth-quarter go-ahead or tying scores in 2008. Coors is no longer sponsoring the MSU Player of the Week and Player of the Year awards.
MVFC Preseason All-Conference Team: The Missouri Valley Football Conference released its preseason all-conference team on July 20 at its annual Media Day festivities in St. Louis.
Three Bears were named to the Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team, including Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.), David Arkin (Jr., OG, Wichita, Kan.) and honorable mention selection Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.).
Harbor, a preseason All-America pick by several agencies, snagged 40 receptions for 457 yards in 2008 for the Bears, both tops on the squad, and earned Associated Press FCS All-America second-team honors. Harbor is a two-time, first-team All-MVFC pick as well as twice being recognized on the AP All-America list.
Arkin was named a preseason Third-Team All-America pick at offensive guard by the Sports Network. He graded out at 86 percent during the 2008 season, starting all 11 games at offensive guard. He was named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Week four times in 2008, also gaining the squad's Offensive Player of the Week distinction twice. He was a 2008 All-Valley preseason selection in addition to being named to the league's All-Newcomer Team and Second-Team All-Conference squads the past two seasons.
Kirby, who found a spot on the MVFC Preseason Team as an honorable mention pick, earned All-Valley second-team honors as a sophomore in 2008 after throwing for 2,104 yards and 15 touchdowns while posting 2,227 yards of total offense and scoring nine touchdowns. At 183.1 yards per game, he is the league's top returning passer and No. 2 returnee in total offense (202.5 ypg). Kirby was the league's preseason All-Valley quarterback in 2008 and was the 2007 MVFC Freshman of the Year.
Individual Statistical Leaders: The following active Missouri State players rank among the Missouri Valley Football Conference's top 10 individual performers in the categories indicated:
As a team, the Bears rank second in the Valley in kickoff returns (24.41) and net punting (37.00).
Valley All-Time Football Team: As a part of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Silver Anniversary Celebration, fans are invited to participate in the selection of the Valley's All-Time Football Team. The ballots are accessible through the the Missouri Valley Football Conference web site or at www.Valley-Football25.org. (one ballot per site visit).
There are 14 Bears on the ballot, including: DeAndre Smith (QB, 1987-90), Clay Harbor (TE, 2006-present), Brad St. Louis (TE, 1996-99), Mark Christensen (OL, 1986-89), Matt Irvin (OL, 1989-92), Wayne Boyer (PK ,1993-96), Travis Brawner (PK, 1997-99), Jon Scifres (PK, 2002-05), Michael Fox (DL, 1989-90), Bill Waler (DL, 1988-91), DeLaun Fowler (LB, 1992-95), Matt Soraghan (LB, 1985-87), Adrion Smith (DB, 1989-91), and Marcus Shipp (DB, 1989-91).
MVFC All-Select NFL Team: Former Missouri State football Bears Brad St. Louis and Jason Whittle have been named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference "All-Select NFL Team," the league announced Monday (July 20) in St. Louis.
Whittle, most recently an offensive lineman with the Buffalo Bills, finished his 11th season in the NFL in 2008. He signed a free agent contract in the 2003 off-season with the New York Giants. He later moved to the Minnesota Vikings for the 2006 campaign before joining the Bills in 2007. An offensive and defensive line standout at Missouri State from 1994-97, Whittle signed with the Giants in 1998 and was a regular lineman and deep snapper for the team. His play in the 2001 Super Bowl was the first time an MSU product had played in the NFL title game.
St. Louis is entering his 10th year with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009, making him the longest-tenured player on the Bengals' roster. He starred for MSU at tight end from 1996-99 and played in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl after his senior MSU season prior to signing with Cincinnati. He has operated as the Bengals' regular deep snapper each of the past six seasons with additional work at tight end.
The team includes 35 players from current and former MVFC schools. The team includes four NFL MVPs, 15 Pro-Bowl selections and other 23 Super Bowl appearances by 12 players. Sixteen former league players are active in the NFL.
National Leaders: Bears ranking among the nation's top 50 players in this week's NCAA Division I FCS statistics are: Jordan Chiles (So., P, Hillsboro, Ill.) is 21st in punting (41.12), and Derek Miller (Jr., S, Olathe, Kan.) is tied for 31st in interceptions per game (0.60). As a team, the Bears rank in the national top 20 in two categories: 13th in kickoff returns (24.41) and tied for 19th in net punting (37.00) and in the top 40 in two additional categories: 40th in rushing defense (124.60) and 35th in sacks (2.40). Likewise, the Bears are among the bottom 20 teams in two categories: 117th in punt returns (0.00), and 109th in pass defense (269.20).
Postseason History: The Bears have appeared in three postseason games during their NCAA Division I era (1982-present).
In 1989, the Bears were ranked No. 9 in the FCS poll when they hosted Maine at Plaster Field on 11/25/89. A 33-yard field goal by Chris Potthast with eight seconds left sent MSU to the national quarterfinals at Stephen F. Austin with a 38-35 win.
The Bears gave up 613 yards in total offense at SFA and fell 55-25, despite trailing just 23-10 at the half. MSU finished the year 10-3.
In 1990, MSU hosted No. 13 Idaho at Plaster Field in the first round of the playoffs. After a field goal by Richard Grote on the first play of the fourth quarter tied the game, 35-35, the Bears gave up field goals of 29 and 50 yards later in the quarter, and the potential game-winning drive stalled at the Idaho 45 with 30 seconds remaining in a 41-35 defeat.
Prior to their Division I days, the Bears appeared in three bowl games, falling 34-20 to Emporia State in the 1948 Mo-Kan Bowl, dropping a 21-14 decision to Northern Illinois in the 1963 Mineral Water Bowl, and coming up short, 14-8, to Adams State in the 1966 Mineral Water Bowl.
Including its three bowl games, Missouri State is 1-5 all-time in postseason.
Up Next: The Bears travel to Western Illinois next week (Oct. 17) for a 3:05 p.m. kickoff in Macomb, Ill., as they begin a two-game road swing that also includes the Bears' first-ever trip to North Dakota State (Oct. 24). MSU returns to Plaster on Oct. 31 for Homecoming against Illinois State.