Bears Look for Landmark Fifth MVFC Victory at SIU
Howard Scarborough
Howard Scarborough

Nov. 4, 2013

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Missouri State Bears (3-6, 3-2 MVFC) at Southern Illinois Salukis (5-4, 3-2 MVFC)
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
Kickoff: 2 p.m.
Location: Carbondale, Ill.
Site: Saluki Stadium (15,000)
Series: Southern Illinois leads 18-17
TV: None
Radio: Missouri State Radio Network (Art Hains, Rob Bolks)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Live Video:
Listen Live: | MVFC Coaches Teleconference Audio

• The Missouri State Bears (4-6, 4-2 MVFC) enter Saturday's (Nov. 9) game against the Southern Illinois Salukis (5-4, 3-2 MVFC) receiving votes in The Sports Network's FCS Top 25 Poll for the first time since opening night; MSU will be in search of its fourth-consecutive conference victory following a 49-7 victory over Indiana State (Nov. 2)
• The Bears are averaging 33.2 points per game in MVFC play, good for third in the conference, while MSU's scoring defense is rated No. 2 in league play after limiting the opposition to 20.5 points per outing through six games
• MSU's defense returned three Indiana State interceptions for touchdowns last weekend, setting school and league records for returns for touchdowns in a game while moving to within one more TD return of the Bears' all-time record of a half-dozen pick-six returns for touchdowns, set in 1993
• Missouri State leads all FCS teams in interceptions returned for touchdowns (5) and total interception return yards (361) this season; the Bears share the MVFC lead with South Dakota State and rank third nationally in interceptions (15)
• With 63 career conference wins, MSU head coach Terry Allen is within one victory of UNI's Mark Farley for the all-time lead in MVFC coaching wins; Allen is also two overall victories away from matching Randy Ball (34) for the No. 5 spot on the Bears' career wins list
• MSU will be looking for its third five-win MVFC campaign and its first since 1990, when it went 5-1 in Valley play to capture its second-straight (and most recent) league title; the Bears also won five conference games in 1989
• Junior safety Caleb Schaffitzel has recorded each of his league-leading four interceptions in conference play, while his MVFC averages of 9.8 tackles per game and 1.67 passes defended pace the circuit as well
• Senior cornerback Howard Scarborough (1.56) owns the overall Valley lead in passes broken up per outing after moving up to third on the Bears' career chart last Saturday vs. Indiana State; with 30 PBUs over his four-year career, he trails only Willie Parks (34) and all-time leader Adrion Smith (37) on MSU's career list
• Bears special teams share the FCS lead with seven blocked kicks on the season; Missouri State has blocked three punts -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- to go along with four PAT/FG tries, matching the season totals for Portland State and Bryant; Matt Swan and Anthony Grady have each recorded a pair of blocks to lead MSU
• Missouri State brings the Valley's No. 3 rushing offense into Saturday's game after averaging 191.2 yards per contest through its first six MVFC games; the Bears also boast the No. 2 rush defense (109.0) in conference play and rank 24th nationally for the year

The Salukis hold a slim 18-17 edge in the series with Missouri State, including a 10-7 edge in Carbondale. SIU has enjoyed a dominant run against the Bears over the last decade, claiming nine of the last 10 meetings. Last year, the Salukis posted a 14-6 win in Springfield, as the SIU defense forced three key turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown, to send MSU to its fourth straight loss to start the 2012 season.

Southern Illinois enters Saturday's game on a roll, having claimed three of its last four Valley contests. Head coach Dale Lennon's squad brings the conference's top passing attack (241.3 ypg) into the week, despite the loss of senior quarterback Kory Faulkner to injury.

Senior linebacker Bryan Presume ranks second in the MVFC in total tackles per game (9.8), while senior tight end MyCole Pruitt is the Valley's third-leading receiver with an average of 4.9 receptions per contest.

HEAD 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 63-41 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 127-114 (.527) in his 21st year as a head coach and 32-55 (.368) in his eighth year at Missouri State. The 1979 Northern Iowa graduate is 9-7 vs. Southern Illinois (1-6 at MSU) and has an 42-74 overall road record (11-34 at MSU) for his coaching career. Allen is a five-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at UNI (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).



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