Lions aim to stay hot in rivalry game against #10 Pitt State

MSSU is on a three-game winning streak heading into Saturday's game.

JOPLIN, Mo. – This week is rivalry week for Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern football.

The Gorillas are 4-0 this season and have climbed the national rankings up to #10, while Missouri Southern is 3-1 and has won three straight games for the first time since 2013.

Missouri Southern has been one of the best in the MIAA this season at getting after opposing team’s quarterbacks. The Lions have 10 sacks so far in four games, which is the second most in the MIAA.

They’ll try to continue that trend on Saturday against PSU quarterback Chad Dodson, Jr. and a tough Gorilla offensive line.

“We’re going to have to run around them a little bit. They are big. They’re big guys and they move their feet well,” says MSSU head coach Atiba Bradley on the Pitt State offensive line, “If we can just do a nice job of moving him off his spot while keeping him in the pocket, that will pay dividends. It just comes from not just rushing with speed, but also understanding where you are in relationship to the quarterback and maintaining passing lanes.”

“They play really hard and they make a lot of big plays,” says MSSU linebacker Colton Winder on the Pitt State offense, “If we can limit those big plays and we play hard as a defense, I think we can be pretty successful.”

On the other side, the Missouri Southern offense has also been hot in the last few weeks, scoring 31 points per game in the last three games.

Pitt state is allowing just 16 points per contest, and will be a good test for the Lions offense.

“Their defense flies. I’ve commented on how fast their defense is. Typically when you see a defense with this kind of speed, you say ok we’re going to run right at them and run right over them. That ain’t the case with Zeke Wall and the boys up front,” Bradley says, “They’re a stout group that plays really fast.”

“Their defensive line is pretty big. They have quick feet. Their edge rushers are pretty good,” says MSSU offensive lineman Kenneth Fehrman, “It’s going to be a challenge, but I really do believe our offensive line can step up and move the line of scrimmage.”

Saturday’s game will begin at 2 PM at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.