Football Bears Set for Shot at Top-Ranked NDSU
RB - Ryan Heaston
RB - Ryan Heaston

Oct. 7, 2013

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

Missouri State Bears (1-5, 1-1) at #1 North Dakota State Bison (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Fargo, N.D.
Site: FargoDome (18,700)
Series: North Dakota State leads 3-2 (1-1 in Fargo)
TV: NBC North Dakota and ESPN3 (Brian Shawn, Lee Timmerman, Kevin Feeney)
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM (Art Hains, Rob Bolks) and MSU Bears Radio Network
Live Stats: Live Stats
Live Video: NDSU All-Access
Listen Live:  |  MVFC Coaches Teleconference Audio (updated Tuesday)
Tickets: Game 7 Tickets  - The game is sold out. Additional tickets may be available at 8 a.m. Friday.


  • The Missouri State Bears (1-5, 1-1 MVFC) will square off against the No. 1-ranked North Dakota State Bison (5-0, 2-0 MVFC) Saturday, marking MSU’s fi fth meeting with a top-ranked FCS squad.
  • MSU has never defeated a No. 1-ranked team (0-4). The highest-ranked opponent ever defeated by the Bears was No. 3 McNeese State (on the road) in 1996.
  • Bears’ quarterback Kierra Harris ranks third in the MVFC and 13th nationally with seven rushing touchdowns on the season; Harris rates among the top 100 FCS players in 10 different statistical categories entering the week and needs 19 additional passing yards to reach 2,000 for his MSU career.
  • The Bears will bring the No. 2 scoring defense (13.5 ppg) in the league in Valley play into Saturday’s game, as well as the second-best rushing defense (82.0 ypg) in their two MVFC games to date; NDSU leads the conference in both categories.
  • Missouri State leads The Valley and ranks third nationally in red zone defense (.600), while the Bears' offense scored in each of its six trips inside the opposition's 20-yard line in league play.
  • Junior linebacker Andrew Beisel posted a season-high 12 tackles in the Bears' 17-14 loss to South Dakota last week, topping the 200-tackle mark for his MSU career in just his 28th game.
  • Senior cornerback Howard Scarborough broke up a pass last weekend at South Dakota to take control of the seventh position on MSU’s career list; Scarborough ranks third in the MVFC in passes defended per game (1.0).
  • Senior Dorian Buford needs 11 catches to become the 11th player in MSU history to record 100 career receptions.
  • The Bears’ 13 takeaways for the season rank 17th in all of FCS football, while their seven interceptions rank 23rd.
  • MSU’s ground attack has produced an average of 179.0 yards per game in Valley play, good for second in the conference, while the Bears rank third in scoring offense (25.5 ppg) in league play..


The Bears are 2-3 all-time against North Dakota State, including a 2-2 mark the last four seasons. MSU is 1-1 in the FargoDome with a 21-17 win over the Bison there in 2009. Last season, the top-ranked visitors escaped with a 21-17 victory of their own against the Bears at Plaster Field.


The Missouri State Bears (1-5, 1-1 MVFC) will be looking to rebound from their first Missouri Valley Football Conference setback of the 2013 season Saturday (Oct. 12) when they take on the nation’s No. 1 FCS club, the North Dakota State Bison (5-0, 2-0 MVFC), in a 1:07 p.m. match-up at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

MSU suffered yet another close call last weekend, falling to South Dakota by a 17-14 score in Vermillion. USD secured its fi rst-ever Valley win with a comefrom-behind effort in the final period, using a Miles Bergner 41-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining to lock up the victory.

Meanwhile, North Dakota State pulled out its 14th consecutive victory with a fourth-quarter rally of its own last Saturday. The Bison bounced back from a 13-point deficit with a pair of late touchdowns to top No. 4 UNI, 24-23, in a battle of two of the nation’s top FCS teams.

Saturday’s game will feature a pair of defensive units that have posted strong efforts in each of their fi rst two Valley outings. The Bison defense not only leads the MVFC in scoring defense, but also boasts the nation’s top figure in that category having yielded an average of just 10.8 points per game thus far. Missouri State’s defense enters the weekend second to NDSU in scoring defense (13.5 ppg), total defense (246.5 ypg) and rushing defense (82.0 ypg) in league play.

On the offensive side of the ball, both clubs have been successful on the ground in conference play, with NDSU leading the circuit with 261.0 rushing yards per game, followed in second by the Bears’ 179.0 yards per contest.

COACH Terry Allen

Missouri State head coach Terry Allen recorded his 60th career MVFC victory with MSU’s 37-10 win over Illinois State on Sept. 28. With a 60-40 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 124-113 (.523) in his 21st year as a head coach and 29-54 (.349) in his eighth year at Missouri State. The 1979 Northern Iowa graduate is 2-3 vs. North Dakota State (1-1 on the road) and has a 41-73 overall road record (10-33 at MSU) for his coaching career. Allen is a fi ve-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at UNI (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).


After Missouri State collected a pair of quick touchdowns in the third quarter to take an eight-point lead, it was South Dakota (2-3, 1-1) that capitalized on an opportunity late in the game to secure a 17-14 homecoming win.
  Kevin Earl finished 22-for-35 for 159 yards, while Trevor Bouma carried 12 times for 59 yards to lead the Coyotes. MSU was led by Kierra Harris who was 7-for-16 through the air for 72 yards and a rushing touchdown.
  A pair of third-quarter plays seemed to turn the game around for Missouri State as the Bears defense started to put the squeeze on the Coyotes early in the period. The Bears capitalized on a huge play just past the midway point in the third when Martin Montgomery jarred the ball loose from Earl deep in USD territory. Christian Hoffmann recovered the loose ball for the Bears at the USD 8-yard line, and Harris scored three plays later from 3 yards out – his seventh touchdown of the season. Marcelo Bonani added the extra point to give the Bears a 7-6 lead with 6:28 to go in the third.
  On the ensuing series, MSU forced South Dakota into a three-and-out punt from its own 25 before Vernon Scott blocked the Miles Bergner kick at the 10 and ran it in for a touchdown to make it 14-6 at the 4:28 mark of the third.
  But, late in the period, South Dakota took advantage of a Bears’ mishap, marching 44 yards on six plays to tie the game after a fumble by Phoenix Johnson set USD up in MSU territory. Earl would hit Bouma from 18 yards out for the score, and the Coyotes converted the two-point conversion to tie the game with 14:55 left in the fourth.
  The score remained tied until 3:41 when USD took advantage of good field position at the Missouri State 41. After a short MSU punt on its previous possession, the Coyotes manufactured 17 yards to the MSU 24-yard line to set up another field goal attempt by Bergner from 41 yards. Despite a high snap, he converted the kick and put the Coyotes up 17-14 with 1:24 to go.
  Backup quarterback Ashton Glaser replaced an injured Harris on the Bears’ final two drives, but was 0-for-6 – all deep passes – and was sacked on MSU’s final play of the afternoon.
   Dorian Buford led MSU’s receivers with 4 catches for 45 yards, while Phoenix Johnson carried 6 times for 38 yards to lead a cast of Bears running backs.
  South Dakota outgained the Bears 279-177 for the game and had seven more first downs. It was USD's first-ever MVFC victory after joining the league in 2012.
  Missouri State finished with 105 rushing yards, but was just 7-for-22 through the air with a pair of interceptions. .



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