Looking to avenge two narrow losses to the Racers in the last three years, MSU heads to Murray
Sep 9, 2013
Missouri State Bears (0-2) at Murray State Racers (1-1)
FIRST AND TEN
- The Missouri State Bears (0-2) hit the road for the second straight week Saturday when they meet the Murray State Racers (1-1) in a 6 p.m. contest at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Ky.
- ?Bears’ head coach Terry Allen brings a 2-2 career mark against the Racers and a 15-4 record vs. teams from the Ohio Valley Conference into Saturday’s game.
- Each of the Bears’ 11 FCS opponents in 2013 are receiving votes in one major poll this week, with four ranked in the top 10 and five rated among the top 25 in the country.
- MSU leads the MVFC in kickoff returns (28.7 yards per return) and sacks allowed (1.0 per game).
- Bears’ quarterback Kierra Harris is one of nine Bears to rank among the top 50 FCS players in one statistical category or another this week; Harris’s 15.5 completions per game rates 49th nationally, while the MSU signal-caller also ranks among the division’s top 100 in seven other categories.
- Additionally, three Bears defenders rank in the FCS’s top 30 for interceptions per outing, withAndrew Beisel, Rique Bentley and Howard Scarborough all sharing the No. 27 spot this week, while a fourth — Sybhrian Berry — leads the MVFC and ranks 21st in the country in solo tackles (6.5 tpg).
- Harris tossed his first touchdown pass of the season Saturday at Iowa, hooking up with Julian Burton for the second TD strike of his career against an FBS opponent (vs. Arkansas, Sept. 3, 2011).
- MSU brings a 4-1-2 all-time record in games played on Sept. 14 into Saturday’s game; the Bears’ lone loss in such games came at Kansas (2002) in their last Sept. 14 affair.
- Senior linebacker Nick Canavan made his 25th start as a Bear Saturday at Iowa; three additional Bears — offensive linemen Zach Cooley and Kurt Kutter, as well as safety Mike Crutcher — have started the last 24 games in a row and could make their 25th career starts for MSU this week at Murray State.
- Missouri State will also attempt to stop a 10-game non-conference losing streak while avoiding its third-straight 0-3 start to a season; the Bears’ last victory against a non-MVFC foe came on Sept. 3, 2010 vs. Eastern Kentucky.
The Bears and Racers will meet for the ninth time, with Murray holding a decisive 7-1 advantage in the series. Saturday’s game could be the third shootout in four seasons between the clubs. The last time Missouri State played at Roy Stewart Stadium (Oct. 9, 2010), it rolled up 607 yards of total offense, including 436 on the ground, in an NCAA record-setting 72-59 loss. MSU quarterback Cody Kirby rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two more, while Chris Douglas ran for 191 yards to lead the Bears.
The Racers, who matched or exceeded 23 school, OVC or NCAA records in the victory, accounted for 816 total yards to help the two teams break the Division I FCS record (at the time) for most combined yards in a game with 1,423.
Last year at Plaster Field (Sept. 15), the Racers prevailed in a more modest 28-23 decision, but not before they set an MSU opponent record by running 99 offensive plays. The two clubs combined to run 180 plays for 840 total yards, including a season-high 441 yards of total offense by the Bears. Quarterback Ashton Glaser passed for a career-high 337 yards, connecting with Dorian Buford nine times for 112 yards.
ABOUT THE RACERS
After sustaining a 58-13 loss at Missouri (Aug. 31) to christen the new season, Murray State wore out Racer I again this past weekend, shattering its own single-game scoring record from the 2010 contest against the Bears with an 83-point explosion against NAIA foe Campbellsville in its 2013 home opener.
COACH Terry Allen
Missouri State head coach Terry Allen (UNI, 1979) is 123-110 (.528) in his 21st year as a head coach and 28-51 (.354) in his eighth year at Missouri State. Allen is 2-2 vs. Murray State (1-1 on the road) and has a 41-71 road record (10-31 at MSU). Allen is a five-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at UNI (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).
Allen enters the 2013 season 14th in victories among active FCS head coaches and 32nd on the NCAA’s all-time FCS victories list. He will be shooting for his 60th career MVFC victory when the Bears open league play Sept. 28 vs. Illinois State. Allen has compiled a 59-39 record in 15 seasons as a head coach at UNI (1989-96) and Missouri State (2006-present) in league play, trailing only current UNI sideline boss Mark Farley (64 wins) in all-time conference victories.