Harbor and Hottelman Earn Valley Football Player Honors
Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor has been named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while kicker Matt Hottelman is the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the league announced Sunday. Both players were instrumental in the Bears' 17-16 come-from-behind win at Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
Harbor (6-4, 243, Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill., Dwight High) had a career high 171 yards on eight receptions in the WIU game, including five catches for 130 yards in the second half. His eight receptions also matched a career high. He had five plays of 20 yards or more in the game, including a career-long reception of 53 yards in the fourth quarter that set up the Bears' game-winning field goal four plays later. It was Harbor's second 100-yard game this season and fourth of his career. His efforts marked the most receiving yards by a MSU player during the Terry Allen era and most by any Bears player since Steven Rush's school-record 249-yard receiving game on Nov. 8, 2003 against Illinois State.
Over the last four games, Harbor is averaging 6.8 receptions and 92.0 yards per contest. He moved within 10 receptions of the all-time MSU receiving record (137) and jumped to sixth all-time in receiving yards (1,651), while starting in his 30th straight game and collecting a reception in his 29th consecutive contest. In seven games this season, the All-America tight end has 36 receptions for 464 yards and two touchdowns.
Hottelman (6-2, 195, Sr., K, O'Fallon, Mo., Ft. Zumwalt West High) nailed a 37-yard field goal with 36 seconds remaining in the WIU game to seal a 17-16 win for the Bears. It marked the senior's first-ever game-winning field goal and lifted the Bears over the Fighting Leathernecks in Macomb for the first time since 2001. He was also a perfect 2-for-2 on extra points. Perhaps even more impressive was his sensational tackle after kicking the game-winning field goal. He pinned one of the nation's top kick return specialists, Todd Speight, in at his own 31-yard line, after Speight broke through the first line of defenders with the game on the line. Hottelman also averaged 64.8 yards on five kickoffs.
Hottelman has made all 16 PATs he has attempted this season and is 5-for-8 on field goals. He has 195 career kickoffs at Missouri State and is the team's top scorer for the second straight season.
The Bears (4-3, 2-2 MVFC) continue a two-game road swing this week when they travel to Fargo, N.D. to take on the Bison of North Dakota State at 6 p.m. Saturday. MSU returns to Plaster Field on Saturday, October 31, for a 1 p.m. Homecoming matchup with Illinois State.