Missouri State, an FBS school, will face their second strait FCS team to start the 2012 season. Last week they faced Kansas State and fell 51-9. But, the Bears hung around for three quarters until the Wildcats reeled off 42 unanswered points to cement the win. Kansas State rushed for 324 yards, including 222 in the second half. KSU also enjoyed success on special teams with two huge punt returns that led to easy touchdowns.
The Bears are 1-27 in their history against FCS schools. Their lone victory was a 31-24 win over UNLV in 1990.
They are picked to finish last in the MVFC despite returning 14 starters from a 2011 team that went 2-6 in league play. This is the first time they have been picked last since 1987.
Last week they passed for 323 yards against KSU and lead the Missouri Valley Conference in that category, while ranking eighth nationally. Junior quarterback Ashton Glaser (6-1, 205) completed 22-of-44 passes for 257 yards in his MSU debut. His 267 yards of total offense was good enough to place him 22nd in the nation entering week two. He is a transfer from Missouri.
Glaser’s key targets were junior Dorian Buford (6-0, 178), who had seven catches for 114 yards, and senior Cadarrius Dotson (5-9, 170), who recorded six receptions for 82 yards, while passing the 1,000 career receiving yardage mark. Also, expect him to find sophomore Julian Burton (5-10, 189) who is the leading returnee in all-purpose yards with 509 a year ago.
Senior tight end Matt Thayer (6-4, 242) is a preseason All-MVFC selection and brings a string of 13 consecutive starts into Saturday’s game. Their offensive line is also very experienced a pair of seniors and a junior with 12 or more consecutive starts.
Their starter at running back junior Vernon Scott (6-0, 170). Scott is the second leading returnee in all-purpose yards with 468 and gained 67 yards on 11 attempts in their opener.
Head coach Terry Allen is 25-41 in seven seasons at Missouri State and 9-25 in road games. He is a five-time MVFC Coach of the Year and has previous head coaching stints at Northern Iowa (1989-96) and Kansas (1997-2001).
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