Oct. 8, 2012
Missouri State Game Notes
Missouri State Bears (0-6, 0-3 MVFC) vs. South Dakota Coyotes (1-4, 0-2 MVFC)
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Site: Plaster Field (16,300)
TV: Mediacom MC-22 (Don West, Mike McClure)
Radio: KTXR 101.3 FM (Art Hains, Ned Reynolds)
Live Stats: MissouriStateBears.com
Live Video: Bears All-Access
Tickets: MissouriStateTix.com and (888) 476-7849 or (417) 836-7678
FIRST AND TEN
♦ The Bears' defense has recorded seven of their nine takeaways this season during MVFC play. MSU has totaled five interceptions over the last two weeks after hauling in just three picks in its previous 15 contests combined.
♦ Saturday's game marks the first meeting between the Bears and Coyotes. Both clubs will shooting for their first MVFC win of the season, with South Dakota looking for its first-ever Valley victory.
♦ Through six games, Caleb Schaffitzel ranks 14th nationally in tackles per game (10.33). The redshirt sophomore, who rates fourth among all MVFC defenders in the same category, has posted double-digit tackle totals in four of the Bears' last five outings for a total of 60 stops.
♦ Kierra Harris turned in a solid appearance off the MSU bench last Saturday at Indiana State, completing 12-of-15 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Harris has completed over 70 percent (24-of-34) of his pass attempts on the season.
♦ Ryan Heaston needs 40 additional rushing yards to crack the Bears' freshman single-season top five list. He currently ranks 10th on the chart with 415 net rushing yards on 81 carries.
♦ Dorian Buford ranks second in The Valley and 21st nationally in receptions per game (6.33). With eight catches last weekend at Indiana State, Buford moved into the MSU top 10 for receptions in a single season. He needs just 24 more grabs over the Bears' final five games to match Michael Sparks's school record (2005).
♦ Vernon Scott needs 61 all-purpose yards to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau for his MSU career, while Cadarrius Dotson is 88 yards shy of 1,500 all-purpose yards for his career.
♦ The Bears' 236.5 yards per game through the air ranks third among all Valley offenses and represents an increase of nearly 60 yards per contest from last year's average.
♦ MSU has outgained three of its four FCS opponents in total offense, but has posted a minus-seven turnover margin (15 turnovers to 8 takeaways) over the same stretch.
♦ Andrew Beisel became the fourth active Bear to reach the century club for career tackles last Saturday at Indiana State, recording a team-high 11 stops en route to garnering player of the week honors from the MSU media contingent.
BUFORD POWERS AERIAL ATTACK
Dorian Buford collected eight more pass receptions in Saturday's game at Indiana State, giving him 29 grabs over the last four games and 38 for the season. He is on pace to challenge for Missouri State's single-season receptions record of 62 set by Michael Sparks in 2005. Likewise, he is just seven receptions away from moving into the club's top 10 for single-season catches.
Additionally, Buford continued a string of standout early-season performances Sept. 22 vs. Southern Illinois, hauling in a game-high nine receptions for 65 yards. That effort marked the third time this season he has matched or exceeded his career high for receptions in a game.
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 in just his fourth career start with the Bears. He pulled in a 56-yard pass from Kierra Harris in the second quarter against 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.
Buford, who enters Saturday's game second in the MVC and tied for 21st nationally in receptions (6.3 rpg), topped the century mark in receiving yards for the second time Sept. 15 against Murray State with a career-best 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.
Ryan Heaston is rewriting the Bears' freshman record book by the week. The Cordova, Tenn., native became the first Bears' freshman since 1977 to secure back-to-back 100-yard rushing games when he tallied 148 yards on the ground at No. 25 South Dakota State (Sept. 29). He is just one 100-yard game away from tying the Bears' single-season freshman record and just 259 rushing yards away from breaking Kingjack Washington's single-season mark (674) set in 2007. Last Saturday at Indiana State, he became the first MSU freshman to surpass the 400-yard rushing mark in a season since Mikael Cooper-Falls in 2009.
Earlier this year, Heaston became the first MSU freshman to rush for 100 yards since 2007 when he notched his first career 100-yard effort against SIU (Sept. 22). Heaston finished with 22 attempts for 126 yards (5.7), making him the first Bears running back since 2010 to eclipse the century mark (QB Trevor Wooden did it twice in 2011).
DEFYING THE NUMBERS
Despite dropping its first three MVFC games for the second straight year, Missouri State has outgained its opponents by an average 73 yards per game in conference play, including a 609-374 advantage in total passing yards. In the same three-game span, the Bears' defense has forced seven turnovers, including five interceptions -- two more than last year's season total for picks.
BEISEL IS BACK
Andrew Beisel brought down 11 Indiana State ball carriers in Terre Haute last week, his best single-game output of the 2012 season, which also matched a career high. A year ago, Beisel became the first MSU freshman to lead the club in tackles since 1998 and he finished 10th in the MVFC in total stops (84). Beisel and the Bears held ISU to just 153 rushing yards on 42 carries (3.6) and 280 total yards for the game.
DOTSON CONTINUES CLIMB
Cadarrius Dotson became the 10th MSU player to reach the century mark in career pass receptions with his four-catch outing vs. Murray State (Sept. 15). He now has 105 career snags for 1,185 yards, including receptions in 33 of 37 career games. He needs seven catches to reach Tom Hamilton (112) in the seventh spot on the Bears' career list and just 11 more to climb into the top five.
Previously, Dotson eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards in the season opener at K-State (Sept. 1). 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 70 yards shy of Kaya Farris (1,255) in the No. 12 position.