MOSO head to Washburn for battle with the Bods

MSSU Picks up First Win of the Season

The Missouri Southern football team will look to win two in a row this week as the Lions travel to Washburn University for a 1 pm kickoff from Yaeger Stadium against the Ichabods.

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU – 1-2, 1-2 MIAA | WU – 2-1, 2-1 MIAAA
Date: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
Kick-Off: 1:00 p.m., CT
Location: Topeka, Kan.
Site: Yaeger Stadium (7,200)
Series Record: Series tied 21-21-1
Coaches: Denver Johnson (1-2 at MSSU, 70-68 overall) | Craig Schurig (93-59 at WU, overall)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 Real American Country – Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast:
Live Stats:
Lions on Facebook:
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Coaches:

Denver Johnson was named the 13th head coach in Missouri Southern history on April 1, 2015. He comes to Southern after serving four seasons at the University of Tulsa as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. In his four seasons at Tulsa, four of his offensive linemen earned first-team all-league accolades, including Stetson Burnett (2013), Brian DeShane and Jared Grigg (2012) and Clint Anderson (2011). Tyler Holmes was an honorable mention performer in 2011 and spent the 2012 season with the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson coached an offensive line that helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in two of his final three seasons at Tulsa. In 2012, Tulsa’s offense ranked fourth nationally for fewest sacks allowed, ninth for rushing offense, 21st for fewest tackles for lost yardage allowed and 28th for total offense. Johnson has spent a total of 30 years coaching college football. In the summer of 2012, Johnson was awarded the Merv Johnson Integrity in College Coaching Award by the Jim Thorpe Association. Johnson has been the head coach at two Division I institutions garnering a 69-66 overall record in 12 seasons at Murray State and Illinois State. An All-Missouri Valley Conference offensive lineman as a senior for Tulsa, Johnson was an eighth round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1981. He spent two years (1981-82) with the Bucs and three seasons in the USFL, playing two years (1983-84) with the Los Angeles Express and the 1985 season with the Houston Gamblers. Johnson’s USFL tenure included playing stints with NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Steve Young. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Tulsa in 1981. He and his wife, Danita Kay, have two daughters: Taylor and Kelsey.

Craig Schurig is in his 14th year at the helm of the Ichabods. A 1987 graduate of Colorado School of Mines, Schurig has built one of the most respected programs in the MIAA with three NCAA playoff appearances as well as the 2005 MIAA title coming on the heel’s of a 2007, 2009 and 2011 runner-up finish in the conference race. He has completed a 93-59 record at Washburn. The 93 wins are on top of the all-time wins chart at Washburn.

Through his first eleven seasons, in addition to three NCAA playoffs and a conference title, Schurig has led the Washburn football program to the 2004 Mineral Water Bowl Championship and the 2010 Kanza Bowl Championship.

The Series: The series between the two teams sits at 21-21-1. The Lions hold an 11-9-1 mark at Hughes Stadium and a 10-12 mark in Topeka. Southern last defeated the Ichabods in 2014 when the Lions won 42-21 at home. Washburn had won eight in a row before the Lions’ win last season. From 1989 to 1997, the Lions won nine games in a row in a stretch that included ten of 11, as well.

The Dish On The Ichabods:

Washburn is coming off of a huge road win at No. 4 Pittsburg State this past weekend. After dropping a road contest at Lindenwood to begin the season, the Ichabods have defeated Nebraska-Kearney and PSU in successive weekends. Derek McGinnis leads a balanced offensive attack for the Bods. He is 59-100 for 757 yards and eight scores. Brandon Bourbon has 292 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while Hayden Groves has 151 yards on 31 carries, as well. Bryce Chavis has 14 catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Jordan Hart has 237 yards for an average of 19.8 per catch and two scores. Connor Crimmins, who was also a baseball player for the Ichabods, is third on the team with 11 receptions for 125 yards and two scores. Defensively, Alec Steuber has 23 tackles, including three for a loss, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. Shay Wooten has 23 tackles, as well, while Spenser Matthews leads the team with four sacks. Cody Heiman, Dwane Simmons and Jaime Myers are tied for the team-lead with one interception. The Ichabods, as a team, are averaging 153 yards on the ground and 252 through the air per game. They, however, also average 100 yards in penalties per game. Washburn will be back in action next week when they travel to Fort Hays next week.

A Victory vs. WU Would: be the second win in a row over the Lions. It would also be just the third win in the last 12 games against the Bods.

NFL Representation: The Lions will 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 will on the offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles.

NCAA Stat Leaders: The Lions, after three games, lead Division II in fourth down conversion defense, blocked kicks and blocked punts allowed. Southern ranks 9th in fewest penalties per game and 14th in fewest penalties, while ranking 19th in fewest penalty yards per game and 24th in fewest penalty yards. The team ranks 19th in sacks, while ranking 38th in passes intercepted, 27th in tackles for a loss, 40th in sacks allowed (fewest) and 45th in kickoff return defense.

MIAA Stat Leaders: The Lions lead the MIAA in fourth down conversion percentage, blocked kicks allowed, blocked punts allowed, fewest penalties and fewest penalties per game, fewest penalty yards, fewest penalty yards per game and sacks allowed (fewest). They also rank second tackles for a loss, third in team sacks and kick off defense, while ranking fourth in passes intercepted.

Individual National Rankings: Ricky Green ranks 12th nationally in passes defended and 16th in interceptions. Johnquavious McBride is 24th in passes defended and 16th in interceptions, while ranking 23rd in fumbles recovered. Kyjuan Tate ranks 29th in total tackles, while ranking 46th in forced fumbles.Chris Williams is 41st in sacks, while Brock Ranken ranks 34th and 38th in field goal percentage and field goals per game, respectively.

MIAA Individual Rankings: Kyjuan Tate is second in the MIAA in forced fumbles, while Johquavious McBride ranks second in fumble recoveries. Ricky Green and McBride rank third in interceptions, while Steston Broce ranks third in punting. Chris Williams ranks fourth in sacks, while Brock Renken ranks fourth in field goal percentage and field goals per game.

Spread the Wealth: The Lions had eight different players catch a pass in week one and seven in week two and three. Six different players rushed the ball in week one, while seven got a rush in week two and five in week three. In 2014, only ten different players caught a pass all season, while 14 have caught a pass already this year.

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Northwest Missouri is third, while Pittsburg State is 15th. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has eight teams in the top 25. There are 15 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region.

Have A Day TJ: TJ Fleeton accounted for all three of the Lions’ touchdowns against UNK this week as he ran for two and threw for another.

Johnny on the Spot: Johnquavious McBride was named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week this week. He had 14 stops for the Lions (nine solo), including a big interception on UNK’s opening drive. He also had two pass break ups. He currently ranks 16th nationally in interceptions.

Nolan With The Catch: Chad Nolan had the Lions’ longest play from scrimmage this year when he took a pass from TJ Fleeton and converted it for a 73-yard touchdown catch against UNK.

Ricky Green With The Pick: Junior Ricky Green had two interceptions in the game with Emporia State. The two picks are the first time since last year against Central Missouri where a Lion had multiple interceptions in the same game. He currently ranks 16th nationally in picks and 3rd in the MIAA in the category. He also ranks 12th nationally in passes defended, while ranking 5th the MIAA.

Welcome Back Kenny: Defensive Coordinator Kenny Evans is back in green and gold for MSSU. Evans spent nine seasons on the late John Lantz’s staff at Missouri Southern from 1989-97 where he helped guide the program into the ranks of NCAA Division II and help MSSU go 51-35 during that stretch.

Defensive Depth: The Lions return five starters on defense from a season ago. Of the 11 starters on defense, however, ten saw significant time over the previous two seasons for MSSU.

Defense Have A Game: The Missouri Southern defense came up big against UNK with the Lions’ defenders providing five sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, 13 pass break ups and 10 quarterback hurries.

Weather Report: The weather report for the Topeka area on Thursday calls for a high of 82 degrees with mostly sunny conditions and a zero percent chance of rain.

Up Next: The Lions will start continue their road trip with a game at Central Missouri next Saturday.