Football Bears Wrap 2009 Campaign Saturday at No. 1 SIU
Missouri State Bears (6-4, 4-3)
at #1 Southern Illinois (8-1, 7-0)
Nov. 14, 2009, 2:00 p.m.
McAndrew Stadium (17,324), Carbondale, Ill.Quick Links:TICKETS RADIOTELEVISION (Live on Mediacom) LIVE STATSSOUTHERN ILLINOIS GAME NOTES . SALUKI STREAMING (not shared with MSU subscribers) FINAL GAME at McANDREW STADIUMVALLEY FOOTBALL GAME NOTESBEARWEAR FRIDAYS . BUY BEARWEAR
Today's Game: The Missouri State Bears (6-4, 4-3) close out their 2009 schedule Saturday at No. 1-ranked Southern Illinois (8-1, 7-0). MSU is looking for its seventh win in a season for the first time since 1996 and a fifth win in the Missouri Valley Football Conference since 1990. The 2 p.m. contest is also the final regular-season game ever at SIU's McAndrew Stadium (17,324), which was built in 1937.
The Bears are coming off a 31-7 home win over Indiana State to ensure themselves of a winning season and pick up their first league victory at Plaster Field this season, despite a perfect 3-0 mark in MVFC games away from Springfield. MSU outgained the Sycamores 349 to 308 and forced three turnovers, while holding ISU to just 2.8 yards per carry on the ground. Chris Douglas (So., TB, Lawrenceville, Ga.) had a breakout game, averaging 12.0 yards per carry with two touchdowns. He became the first MSU player to post more than one touchdown in a game this season and his 72 yards on six carries was a game high. Jermaine Saffold (So., WR, Grandview, Mo.) and Cadarrius Dotson (Fr., WR, Memphis, Tenn.) each had five pass receptions, including a game-high 65 yards by Saffold. Defensively, the Bears got a game-high 13 tackles and an interception from Antoine Wilkinson (Jr., LB, Magnolia, Miss.), while Mikel Ruder (So., DE, Lawrence, Kan.) contributed a career-high 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
The Salukis clinched at least a share of the conference title and the league's automatic playoff berth on Saturday with a 34-15 win at South Dakota State. The Salukis used seven different rushers to accumulate 280 yards on the ground, including 127 yards by Deji Karim. Quarterback Paul McIntosh completed just 11-of-18 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns, but the SIU defense collected two interceptions to secure the win.
This season, the Bears are 6-4 overall, 3-1 on the road, and 3-3 in MVFC play (3-0 away). Overall, Missouri State is 438-438-39 (.500) in 98 seasons all-time, including a 195-145-12 (.571) record in 68 seasons at Plaster Field, 68-89-1 (.433) mark in MVFC play, and 151-152-3 (.498) record at the NCAA Division I FCS level.
The Series: Missouri State leads the all-time series -- which dates back to 1965 -- by a 16-15 margin. The Bears are 7-8 all-time in Carbondale. This decade, SIU has won six of the nine meetings, including the last six in a row.
Last year in Springfield, the Bears overcame a 17-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 19 seconds left on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kirby to Brandon Oliver. It looked as if the teams were headed to overtime for the third time in the series when SIU quarterback Chris Dieker escaped two tackles and tossed a 51-yard touchdown to Marc Cheatham as time expired to give the No. 13 Salukis a 23-17 win. Kirby finished with 253 passing yards to edge Dieker (243) for game-high honors. Larry Warner also had 167 rushing yards on 26 carries to lead the Salukis.
The Coaches: Missouri State head coach Terry Allen (Northern Iowa, 1979) is 113-84 (.574) overall in his 17th season as a head coach. Allen is 18-25 (.419) in his fourth season at Missouri State. He is also 90-48 (.652) in Missouri Valley Football Conference games, including his tenure at Northern Iowa (1989-96). Allen is 8-4 all-time against ISU.
With the Bears, Allen is 11-12 at home, 7-13 away, 10-18 in conference play (5-10 at home), 8-7 in non-conference games (6-2 at home), 1-0 in overtime, 0-1 in shutouts, and 9-9 in games decided by 10 points or less.
Coach Allen spent 10 years as an assistant coach at UNI (1979-88) before taking over the head coaching duties there in 1989 where he spent the next eight seasons (1989-96). He was 72-26 at UNI and five-time MVFC Coach of the Year, taking the Panthers to the NCAA FCS playoffs seven straight years. He took over the head coaching duties at Kansas in 1997 and was 20-33 in five years with the Big 12 Jayhawks (1997-2001). Prior to coming to MSU, he spent four seasons (2002-05) as associate head coach at Iowa State.
Southern Illinois head coach Dale Lennon (North Dakota, 1985) is 17-4 in his second season with the Salukis and 119-36 in his 13th season overall. He has previous head coaching stops at the College of Mary (12-9, 2 yrs.), and North Dakota (90-24, 9 yrs.). He was also an assistant an UND for nine years.
With last year's 23-17 win in Springfield, Lennon is 1-0 against the Bears.
First and Ten: Ten Missouri state quick hits relating to today's game:
Radio: All Missouri State Bears games can be heard on KTXR, Springfield (101.3 FM), the flagship station of the seven-station Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network. Play-by-play man Art Hains will be joined by third-year color commentator Scott Opfer and KYTV Sports Director Ned Reynolds in the booth this season.
Hains first began calling MSU action in 1977 and is in his second stint and 30th season as the Voice of the Bears. He called Bears games from 1977-81 and returned to that post in 1985. The SIU game is Art's 320th MSU broadcast.
MSU football can also be heard on the seven-station, Missouri State Bears Football Radio Network on the following affiliates: Ava - KKOZ (92.1 FM/1430 AM); Jefferson City - KJMO (97.5); Kansas City - KCWJ (1030 AM); Monett - KKBL (95.9 FM); Poplar Bluff - KLID (1340 AM); St. Louis - KFNS (100.7 FM); and Springfield - KTXR (101.3 FM) (flagship).
Television: Today's game will be shown live on Mediacom Connections (Channel 22 locally) and on a tape-dealyed basis on the Missouri Sports Cable Network throughout the state of Missouri. Corey Riggs is executive producer of the telecast. Scott Warman will provide play-by-play, while Darren Kinard will be the game's color analyst.
Last Game: Missouri State was able to convert three Indiana State turnovers into 14 points and accumulated five sacks to turn back the visiting Sycamores. It marked the fourth time this season that MSU has responded from a loss with a victory the following week.
The Bears got on the board first, driving 71 yards on 15 plays on their first possession of the game that set up a 27-yard field goal by Matt Hottelman (Sr., K, O'Fallon, Mo.) to jump out to a 3-0 advantage. Midway through the second quarter, the Bears struck again when Cedric Alvis (Sr., CB, Columbia, Mo.) forced the ball loose from ISU running back Antoine Brown at the Sycamores' 30-yard line, and Michael Keck (So., LB, Harrisonville, Mo.) recovered. Five plays later, Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) hit Jared Emery (Sr., WR, Mountain Grove, Mo.) for an 11-yard touchdown strike to make it 10-0. It was Emery's fourth career TD reception and a record 37th career touchdown pass by Kirby.
In the second half, Kirby led the Bears to paydirt again on their opening drive of the third quarter. Seven plays in, Kirby carried it into the end zone himself to put the Bears up 17-0. The Bears then put the game out of reach moments later when the Sycamores' first play of the half was intercepted by Alvis at the ISU 43 and returned to the 16. Six plays later, Chris Douglas (So., TB, Lawrenceville, Ga.) scored his first of two touchdowns to make it 24-0.
Team Captains: Missouri State will have five co-captains for the 2009 season, including a pair of seniors and three juniors. The Bears' 2009 captains include tight end Clay Harbor (Sr., Dwight, Ill.), cornerback Cedric Alvis (Sr., Columbia, Mo.), guard David Arkin (Jr., Wichita, Kan.), quarterback Cody Kirby (Jr., Rogers, Ark.), and safety Skylar Smith (Jr., Springfield, Mo.). Kirby was also a co-captain in 2008, which made him just the third MSU sophomore captain since 1953 (joining Corky Martin, 1999, and Kevin Sears, 2005).
Scouting SIU: The Salukis enter the weekend averaging 413.8 yards per game, including 221.2 on the ground.
The SIU defense has surrendered just 96.4 yards per game on the ground, but is giving up more than 220 yards per game through the air, including 11 touchdown passes. However, coach Dale Lennon's secondary has tallied 18 interceptions this season.
Individually, SIU is led by senior Deji Karim whose 137.8 rushing yards per game is second nationally (to NDSU's Paschall). His efforts have the Salukis ranked as the No. 6 rushing offense in the Division I FCS ranks.
Since junior quarterback Chris Dieker went down two weeks ago, Paul McIntosh has stepped up to guide the Salukis to a pair of one-sided victories. He has completed 67-percent of his passes and 84.2 yards per game with three touchdowns.
The Salukis are 4-0 at home this season and are averaging 9,602 fans per game.
About Missouri State: Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons while achieving five goals: democratizing society, incubating new ideas, imagining Missouri's future, making Missouri's future, and modeling ethical and effective behavior. With a record enrollment of 22,938 in 2009-10, MSU is the second-largest institution for higher learning in Missouri, and its identity is distinguished by its statewide mission in public affairs. This mission requires a campus-wide commitment to foster competence and responsibility in the common vocation of citizenship. Missouri State University-Springfield is a selective admissions, graduate level teaching and research institution.
Missouri State competes at the NCAA Division I level and is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference with affiliate membership in the Mid-American Conference for field hockey and men's swimming and diving.
Notable Missouri State alums include: Ryan Howard (2009 NLCS MVP, first baseman, Philadelphia Phillies), John Goodman (actor), Kathleen Turner (actress), David Glass (owner, Kansas City Royals), John Q. Hammons (businessman, hotel developer), Bob Holden (43rd governor of Missouri), Bill Mueller (2003 American League batting champ), Jackie Stiles (Division I career scoring leader), and Blake Ahearn (NBA D-League MVP and All-Star Game co-MVP).
Milestones: Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) needs 304 passing yards for 6,000 and 5 completions for 500 career and 60 passing yards for 2,000 this season ... Kirby needs 71 rushing yards for 500 ... Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.) needs 1 touchdown for 10 ... Harbor needs two pass receptions to become the 7th MSU player to collect 50 receptions in a season ... Harbor also needs two pass receptions to move into a 10th-place tie (Johnny Gray, UNI, 2005-08) for 10th place on the MVFC all-time receptions list (141) and will catch WIU's Gunnard Twyner (1993-95) for 9th place with five receptions ... Byron Hightower (Jr., LB, Raytown, Mo.) needs 2 tackles for 100 career ... Matt Hottelman (Sr., K, O'Fallon, Mo.) needs 1 point for 100 career ... Miguel Warren (Sr., TB, Raytown, Mo.) needs 60 rushing yards for 500 career ... Jared Emery (Sr., WR, Mountain Grove, Mo.) needs six receptions for 50 career ... Derek Miller (Jr., S, Olathe, Kan.) needs 10 tackles for 200 career.
Consecutive Starts: The following Bears are the team's active leaders in consecutive games started: Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.) 33; David Arkin (Jr., OG, Wichita, Kan.) 32; Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.) 29; Cedric Alvis (Sr., CB, Columbia, Mo.) 21; Derek Miller (Jr., S, Olathe, Kan.) 11.
Up Next: Missouri State will open its 2010 campaign at home against Eastern Kentucky on September 2 or 4.
Harbor's Curtain Call: Bears' tight end Clay Harbor (Sr., Dwight, Ill.) concludes his stellar career this week after rewriting the Missouri State record book and establishing himself as the premier tight end in Division I FCS football.
Missouri State's all-time receptions leader is two catches shy of 50 this season and would move into the Missouri Valley Conference's all-time top 10 in career receptions with a pair of receptions in the team's season finale.
During the 2009 preseason, Harbor was named to All-America teams by The Sports Network, College Sporting News, Consensus Draft Services, and Lindy's College Football Preview. He was MSU Player of the Week on 10/3/09 for his 101-yard effort in the Bears' 17-7 win at Youngstown State and on 10/17/09 for his career-high 171-yard game in the win at Western Illinois. His effort in the WIU game also earned him MVFC Offensive Player of the Week.
After collecting 40 receptions for 457 yards in 2008, Harbor earned Associated Press FCS All-America second-team honors. Harbor is a two-time, first-team All-MVFC pick as well as twice being recognized on the AP All-America list, including a third-team honor in 2007. He was also named to the Sports Network Fab 50 in 2008.
In 2009, Harbor is ranked as the No. 12 overall player -- and top tight end -- in the NCAA FCS, according to the ranking source for Phil Steele. The top 20 players are: 1. QB Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State, Sr.; 2. WR/RS Andre' Roberts, Citadel, Sr.; 3. QB Cameron Higgins, Weber State, Jr.; 4. WR Terrell Hudgins, Elon, Sr.; 5. FS Mark LeGree, Appalachian St., Jr.; 6. DE Larry Hart, Central Arkansas, Sr.; 7. QB Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross, Sr.; 8. RS Leroy Vann, Florida A&M, Sr.; 9. RB Trevyn Smith, Weber State, Sr.; 10. OT James Williams, Harvard, Sr.; 11. DE James Ruffin, Northern Iowa, Sr.; 12. TE Clay Harbor, Missouri State, Sr.; 13. OG Matthew McCracken, Richmond, Sr.; 14. WR/RS Marc Mariani, Montana, Sr.; 15. TE Scott Sicko, New Hampshire, Sr.
MSU Player of the Week: Mikel Ruder (So., DE, Lawrence, Kan.) posted a career-high 10 tackles, including 5 solo stops and 2.5 sacks in Missouri State's 31-7 win over Indiana State. Ruder was in on three of the the team's five sacks in the game, pushing him to second on the team in sacks and fourth on the team in tackles for loss for the 2009 season.
Academic All-District Honors: David Arkin (Jr., OG, Wichita, Kan.), and Jared Emery (Sr., WR, Mountain Grove, Mo.) were named to the CoSIDA / ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District First Team and are now eligible for the Academic All-America ballot. Arkin has a 3.70 GPA in Construction Management, and Emery is a 3.74 student in Microbiology & Biotechnology.
Teammates Jordan Chiles (So., P, Hillsboro, Ill.) and Skylar Smith (Jr., S, Springfield, Mo.) were named to the Academic All-District Second Team.
MVFC Preseason All-Conference Team: The Missouri Valley Football Conference released its preseason all-conference team on July 20 at its annual Media Day festivities in St. Louis.
Three Bears were named to the Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team, including Clay Harbor (Sr., TE, Dwight, Ill.), David Arkin (Jr., OG, Wichita, Kan.) and honorable mention selection Cody Kirby (Jr., QB, Rogers, Ark.).
Harbor, a preseason All-America pick by several agencies, snagged 40 receptions for 457 yards in 2008 for the Bears, both tops on the squad, and earned Associated Press FCS All-America second-team honors. Harbor is a two-time, first-team All-MVFC pick as well as twice being recognized on the AP All-America list.
Arkin was named a preseason Third-Team All-America pick at offensive guard by the Sports Network. He graded out at 86 percent during the 2008 season, starting all 11 games at offensive guard. He was named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Week four times in 2008, also gaining the squad's Offensive Player of the Week distinction twice. He was a 2008 All-Valley preseason selection in addition to being named to the league's All-Newcomer Team and Second-Team All-Conference squads the past two seasons.
Kirby, who found a spot on the MVFC Preseason Team as an honorable mention pick, earned All-Valley second-team honors in 2008 after throwing for 2,104 yards and 15 touchdowns, and tallying 2,227 yards of total offense with 9 rushing touchdowns. Kirby was the preseason All-Valley quarterback in 2008 and 2007 Freshman of the Year.
Individual Statistical Leaders: The following active Missouri State players rank among the Missouri Valley Football Conference's top 10 individual performers in the categories indicated:
Valley All-Time Football Team: Four former Missouri State University football players are part of the Missouri Valley Football Conference's (formerly Gateway Conference) Silver Anniversary Team, the league announced last Tuesday. The 67-player team is part of the MVFC's season-long celebration of its 25th season as Division I FCS league.
Headlining the list for Missouri State is former quarterback DeAndre Smith (1987-90) who guided the Bears to their first NCAA playoff appearances in 1989 and 1990. The two-time all-conference standout was named Offensive Player of the Decade by the conference during its 10-year anniversary celebration in 1994 and was twice named the league's Offensive Player of the Year. The 1990 First-Team All-America quarterback holds the MVFC record for must rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (36) and accounted for 6,346 yards in total offense during his Bears' career.
The most-recent Bear to play in the NFL, Brad St. Louis (1996-99), was also on the Silver Anniversary Team. The former Cincinnati Bengals veteran was a first-team all-conference tight end his last three seasons at Missouri State and earned All-America honors his senior campaign. He caught 93 passes for 1,074 yards at MSU which were both school records for a tight end prior to the emergence of the team's current All-America standout Clay Harbor.
Former Canadian Football League standout Adrion Smith (1990-93) is the conference's all-time leader in interceptions (24), and claimed All-America honors in both 1991 and 1993. He was on the MVFC's first-team all-conference squad three times, from 1991-93. He played 12 seasons in the CFL and was a four-time all-star in the league while winning three Grey Cub Championships (1996, 1997 and 2004) with the Toronto Argonauts.
The other MSU representative on the Silver Anniversary Team is kicker Travis Brawner (1997-99). Brawner earned All-MVFC first-team honors three straight seasons from 1997-99 and was a First-Team AP All-America kicker in 1997. He holds the Missouri State record for consecutive PATs kicked (51) and is the team's No. 3 all-time scorer (225) and scored in a school-record 33 consecutive games.
The team was decided by nearly 2,500 on-line votes to the league's Web site from July to October
There were 10 other Bears on the ballot, including: Clay Harbor (TE, 2006-present), Mark Christensen (OL, 1986-89), Matt Irvin (OL, 1989-92), Wayne Boyer (PK ,1993-96), Jon Scifres (PK, 2002-05), Michael Fox (DL, 1989-90), Bill Waler (DL, 1988-91), DeLaun Fowler (LB, 1992-95), Matt Soraghan (LB, 1985-87), and Marcus Shipp (DB, 1989-91).
Draft Day: The 2010 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 22 and conclude on Saturday, April 24. The event will air on ESPN and the NFL Network.