Lions prep for Miner’s Bowl at Pitt State

The two teams will play at 1 PM Saturday

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

The Missouri Southern football team will finish off the regular season this Saturday as the Lions travel to Pittsburg State for the 2019 Miners Bowl. Kickoff from Carnie-Smith Stadium is set for 1 pm.

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU 2-8, 2-8 MIAA | PSU 5-5, 5-5 MIAA
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2019
Kick-Off: 1:00 pm, CT
Location: Pittsburg, Kan.
Site: Carnie-Smith Stadium (7,950)
Series Record: PSU leads 41-9-1
Coaches: Jeff Sims (2-8 at MSSU, 2-8 overall – first year as a 4-year head coach) | Tim Beck (81-35 overall/at PSU)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: Fox Sports Joplin 101.3, 101.7 and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS – Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast: http://www.themiaanetwork.com/mssulions
Live Stats: https://www.pittstategorillas.com.com/sidearmstats/football/summary
Lions on Facebook: Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball
Lions on Instagram: @mososports

The Series: Pittsburg State holds a 41-9-1 advantage in the series and had won 19 in a row before the Lions won 35-21 in Pittsburg in 2013. Missouri Southern has won six of 26 meetings in Joplin, but the Lions have won just three times in Pittsburg (3-21-1). The Lions are 6-20 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. The Gorillas Would: be the third win in the last 26 tries against PSU. It would be the second win in Pittsburg since 2013, but just the fourth win at Pitt in the series history.

NFL Representation: The Lions will have Brandon Williams as the lone MSSU alum in the NFL this season. Williams has blossomed into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL and in 2017 became one of the highest-paid, as well, signing a five-year, $54 million contract.

NFL Executive: Former Lion and former NFL wide receiver James Thrash is in his third season serving as the NFL and NFLPA’s Appeals Officer. He hears all appeals for the NFL regarding on-field player discipline. Thrash played 12 seasons in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

Lions On Radio: The Lions will partner with Fox Sports Joplin this year as Southern can now be heard on three separate FM stations, as well as an AM station. Fox Sports Joplin will air the Lions’ games on 101.3 and 101.7 FM, as well as AM 1560. MSSU’s KXMS 88.7 will also simulcast the games giving the Lions a larger reach in the four-states than they’ve ever had.

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Central Missouri is 9th, while Northwest Missouri is 12th. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has three teams in the top ten and has nine teams in the top 25. There are 11 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region.

Lions On TV: Missouri Southern’s KGCS will air every Lions home game live this year during the season. They will also re-broadcast the games on Sunday evenings at 6 pm.

Lions On The Web: All of MSSU’s football games are carried live online as part of the MIAA Network. Fans can go to www.mssulions.com to view live and on-demand games.

Streaming Options: Fans now have even more options to view the Lions online in their homes and on the road. Not only can you view on your computer, fans can now view The MIAA Network on its over the top apps for either Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Android TV.

New Head Coach: Jeff Sims was announced as the new head coach for the Lions at the conclusion of the 2018 football season.

NFL Pedigree: In his career, Sims has coached more than 50 players to NFL careers, including two first-round NFL Draft picks, (Jason Pierre-Paul and Mike Hughes), well as NFL All-Pro Lavonte Davis. In total, seven players he has coached have been drafted. Two former players, Pierre-Paul and Jacquian Williams, both played for the New York Giants in a Super Bowl victory.

NCAA Team Stats Rankings: The Lions lead Division II in passing offense, while ranking seventh in first downs, 18th in total offense, 35th in passing yards per completion and 40th in both fumbles recovered and kickoff returns.

MIAA Team Stats Rankings: This year, the Lions lead the MIAA in passing offense, while ranking second in blocked kicks allowed and first downs and third in total offense and turnovers forced.

Individual Stats Rankings: Jacob Park is third in passing yards and passing yards per game nationally, while ranking fifth in completions, sixth in total offense, 16th in points responsible for, 18th in points per game, 25th in touchdowns, and 30th in passing yards per completion. JaTece Wright is fifth in punt return touchdowns, while Paul Wolff is 21st in punting, Richard Jordan Jr. is 21st in total tackles and Josh Mercer is 7th in kickoff return touchdowns, while ranking 24th in combined kickoff returns.

Record Setting Passer: Park broke his own school record against Central Missouri as he threw for 519 yards becoming the first Lion quarterback to throw for a half a thousand in a single game. He went 36-of-59 with four touchdowns in the game, helping the Lions set the team record for passing yards in a game with 519, as well. Park also tied the single-game completion record with 36, tying the mark held by TJ Fleeton in 2015 against Fort Hays State. Park’s total of 519 yards is also second-best total offense mark all-time in a single game at Southern. He also broke his attempt mark against Washburn with 66 passing attempts in the game.

Record Setting Passer II: Park had a career game at Northeastern State when he tied the single-game record for passing TD’s with five and set a record for TD’s responsible for with eight as he rushed for three.

Record Setting Game: The Lions broke or tied six single-game records at NSU. Southern broke the MSSU single-game marks for total offense (743), points (86), margin of victory (79), and first downs (42) – which also broke an MIAA record.

Records Watch: Park has moved into second-place all-time in a single season in total offense with 3,235 yards, just 280 from the MSSU record. Park also sits in second with 3,225 passing yards, just 182 off that single-season mark and moves into the top-ten of career passing yardage up to No. 9 in that category. His completion total of 229 this season ranks third so far in a single-season.

Spread The Receptions: This season, the Lions have ten different 100-yard receiving games from five different individuals. Dwayne Lawson has and Brian Boyd Jr. have three of them, while Benjamin Phillips has two. Brailon Mouton and Devond Blair, Jr. have one game each. The Lions have had two different games where three different individuals had 100 or more yards receiving.

Bledsoe With The Catch: KeAndre Bledsoe set a new single-season MSSU record for receptions by a tight end as he has 35 on the season.

Have A Game Charles: Charles West had a big game at Missouri Western where he had three rushing touchdowns, carrying the ball for 137 yards. He also caught ten passes for 92 yards, tying a Missouri Southern record for receptions in a game by a running back.

Have A Game Charles II: Charles West has set a new MSSU single-season record for receptions by a running back. He has 40 on the season.

Defensive Lineage: Three former Lions’ defensive coaches, all whom current assistant coach Joe Bettasso learned under, are in high-profile positions. Scottie Hazelton (04-05) is the Defensive Coordinator at Kansas State, Brian Ward (2005) is the Defensive Coordinator at Syracuse and Todd Wash (2004) is the Defensive Coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

Weather Report: The weather report for the Pittsburg area on Saturday calls for plenty of sunshine with a high of 56 degrees. Chance of rain is listed at 0% with a south-southwest wind of 10 MPH.

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