Bears Host No. 18 Western Illinois Saturday in Homecoming Clash
Missouri State Bears (2-4, 1-2 MVFC)
Plaster Field (16,300), Springfield, Mo.
TV - Mediacom (MC22)HOMECOMING___________________________________________________________
After playing four of their first six games on the road to start the 2010 season, the Missouri State Bears return to Plaster Field today for a true Homecoming contest when they take on the 18th-ranked Western Illinois Leathernecks.
The Bears (2-4, 1-2 MVFC) have dropped two straight since an Oct. 2 home win over No. 20 Youngstown State. However, both losses during the current skid have seen the Bears hold fourth-quarter leads only to lose both contests late. Two of the squad's four losses on the season have come in overtime, including last week's 38-35 loss at Indiana State.
In that game, a 12-yard run by Cody Kirby (Sr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) with 13:05 left in the fourth quarter put the Bears up 35-21. However, the Sycamores engineered drives of 72 and 75 yards down the stretch to tie the game and force overtime. After the MSU defense held Indiana State to a field goal attempt on the first overtime possession, the Bears seemed on track to salvage the win. Stephen Johnston (Jr., TB, Mansfield, Texas) carried four times for 14 yards, and Kirby carried twice for 10 yards to get the ball to the five yard line. On fourth-and-two from there, the Bears went for the win, but a false start penalty moved the ball back to the 10. The Bears brought out the field goal unit, and the potential game-tying 27-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.
Johnston finished with a career-high 112 rushing yards on 22 carries.
Western Illinois (5-2, 3-1) comes to Springfield on the heels of a 40-38 win over Youngstown State last week in Macomb. In that game, quarterback Matt Barr found Lito Senatus in the end zone on a 17-yard touchdown pass with one minute left which proved to be the game-winner.
After going 0-8 in the league last season, the Leathernecks come into this game in sole possession of first place in the MVFC.
This week's game is the first of four consecutive Missouri State games to be televised live by Mediacom (MC-22) locally. Don West and Mike McClure will return to the booth this season to call the action.
Western Illinois leads the all-time series 15-13-1. The teams have split the six most-recent match ups, and the Leathernecks own an 8-5-1 lead all-time at Plaster Field.
Since 1967, the Bears are 22-21 on Homecoming, including a 14-14 mark in the Division I era and 2-2 record under Terry Allen.
The Bears will close out a two-game home stand next Saturday, Oct. 30 for a 2:05 p.m. game against rival Southern Illinois. Tickets for that game -- and all future Bears games -- are available now by calling (417) 836-7678 or on-line at www.MissouriStateTix.com. As always, children 12 and under are free to all MSU games this season. For a complete list of ticket specials and packages, CLICK HERE.
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