Lions football preps for Miners Bowl Trophy Defense against No. 7 Pittsburg State

Game Notes In PDF Format Press Release MSSU: The Missouri Southern football team will look to defend the Miners Bowl Trophy as the Lions play host to No. 7 Pittsburg State this Saturday in the annual State Farm Miners Bowl. Kickoff from inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex is slated for 7 pm.
Game Information Date: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
Kick-Off: 7:00 p.m., CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Fred G. Hughes Stadium (7,000)
Series Record: Pittsburg State leads 36-9-1
Coaches: Daryl Daye (17-12 at MSSU, 33-50 overall) | Tim Beck (43-13 at PSU and overall) Media Coverage MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 Real American Country – Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Aaron Lewis, Color
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Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball The Coaches: Daryl Daye is in his third season as the head coach at Missouri Southern. In his second season at the helm of the Lions, Daye lifted the program to a level unseen in the past 20 years. The Lions finished the season 7-3 overall and were 5-3 in the MIAA. Southern also broke a 20-year drought with a 35-21 win at No. 9 Pittsburg State in the season-finale. The Lions won for the first time in Pittsburg since 1983 and for the first time against the Gorillas since 1993. Nine Lions were named All-MIAA, and 11 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. The Lions’ Chris Barnwell and Gatlin Ridgway were named All-Region with Barnwell earning All-American honors. Giresse Forchu was an Academic All-District selection and the Lions ended the 2013 campaign as Division II’s leader in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 35:14 each game. Southern also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost. Tim Beck is in his fifth season as head coach at Pittsburg State. Beck previously served as Assistant Head Coach for two years, after being named to that role on the Pitt State staff on December 13, 2007. He was 6-6 in his first season, but led the Gorillas to a National Championship last year. He is 43-13 in his four plus years as head coach. During his 16 seasons as offensive coordinator, the Gorilla offense consistently has been ranked among the finest units in NCAA Division II. In 2004, PSU shattered a 118-year-old scoring record, scoring an amazing 837 points (55.8 ppg). His squad also set the NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards). Beck, a Ness City, Kan., native, played football at Dodge City Community College for two years before joining the Gorilla program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from PSU in 1988 and a master’s degree in physical education from PSU in the summer of 1989. The Series: Pittsburg State holds a 36-9-1 advantage in the series and had won 19 in a row before the Lions won 35-21 last year in Pittsburg. Missouri Southern has won six of 23 meetings in Joplin, but the Lions have just three times in Pittsburg (3-19-1). The Lions are 6-17 in Joplin. The win in 2013 for MSSU stopped a 19-game winning streak and was the first win in Pittsburg since 1983. The two teams have played each year since 1968 in what is the longest running series for MSSU. The Lions led 5-4-1 after the first 10 meetings. The two teams began competing for the Miners’ Bowl Trophy in 1986. A Victory vs. Pittsburg State Would: be the second win in a row against the Gorillas and would be the first time the Lions had won back-to-back games against Pittsburg State since the 1983-84 seasons. The win last year in Pittsburg stopped a 19-game winning streak for the Gorillas and was the first win in 30 years for MSSU in Pittsburg. NFL Representation: The Lions will be one of just two MIAA teams (Washburn) to have two different starters on NFL rosters to start the season. Brandon Williams is a starter on the defensive line for the Baltimore Ravens, while Allen Barbre started on the offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles, but suffered an ankle injury in game one and will be out for the 2014 season. 2013 NCAA Stats Leaders: The Missouri Southern football team led Division II in 2013 in time of possession, averaging 35:14 of possession each game. The team also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost. 2014 NCAA Stat Leaders: After eight games, the Lions currently lead Division II in blocked punts allowed, while ranking second in passing yards per completion and fifth in fewest passes intercepted. The Lions rank 10th in time of possession, while ranking 12th in red zone offense, 15th in fewest sacks allowed and 19th in 3rd down conversion percentage. They rank 20th in blocked kicks allowed, 22nd in fewest passes intercepted and 38th in kickoff coverage. MIAA Stats Leaders: The Lions currently lead the MIAA in third down conversion percentage, blocked kicks allowed, blocked punts allowed, passes had intercepted, passing yards per completion, red zone offense, rushing offense and sacks allowed. The team ranks third in fourth down conversion percentage, kickoff coverage, passes intercepted, punt returns team passing efficiency and time of possession, while ranking fourth in scoring. National Rankings: Giresse Forchu ranks 13th in rushing touchdowns and 34th nationally in scoring. Kyle Jaskiis 15th in punting, while Ty’Quan Hayes ranks 33rd in punt returns and Michael Burks ranks 49th in interceptions. MIAA Individual Rankings: Forchu leads the MIAA in rushing touchdowns, while ranking second in scoring. Jaski ranks second in the MIAA in punting, while Ty’Quan Hayes ranks second in kick returns and third in punt returns. Michael Burks ranks fifth in interceptions, while Forchu ranks fifth in both rushing yards and rushing yards per game. Rushing It: The Lions are ranked 7th nationally in rushing and lead the MIAA after seven games. The Lions are averaging 306.0 yards rushing and have 32 rushing touchdowns going into week eight. Multiple Touchdown Games: Giresse Forchu had three rushing touchdowns against Central Missouri. He has four multiple touchdown games this year and has 11 rushing scores through seven games. He has also rushed for 100 plus yards in two consecutive games. Spread the Wealth: The Lions have seven different players with rushing touchdowns this year, led by Forchu’s 12. Shannon Saunders has six, while Michael Nelson and Scott Lathrop have five and four, respectively. Chris Barnwell and Will Gregory have two each and Chris Jeffries has one. Big Game Saunders: Freshman Shannon Saunders had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in the Lions 34-7 win at home over Northeastern State. Sack Em Up: Senior defensive lineman Ryon Phillips had two sacks against No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri. The two gave him 14 on his career, ranking him fifth all-time in MSSU history. Team Captains: The Missouri Southern coaching staff and team have voted in four captains for the 2014 season. Seniors Austin Wolfe, Ryon Phillips and Dalvin Taylor, along with junior Jay McDowell will serve as team captains this year. Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Pittsburg State is 7th, followed by Northwest Missouri at No. 9. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has nine teams in the top 25. There are 12 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region. Climbing The Charts: With his team’s 34-7 win over Northeastern State, head coach Daryl Daye moved into fourth-place overall in all-time wins at MSSU, passing Bill Cooke. He is currently second in overall win percentage. Pass It Long: The Lions don’t throw the ball often, but when they do it tends to be effective. Southern has five pass plays of 50 or more yards this year with a long of 80. Weather Report: The weather report for the Joplin area on Saturday calls for a high of 57 degrees with mostly sunny conditions. There is a zero percent chance of rain. Next Up: Missouri Southern will head to Hays, Kan. to take on Fort Hays State at 1:30 pm next Saturday.