Southern football opens up regular season Thursday against Centr - KOAM TV 7

Southern football opens up regular season Thursday against Central Oklahoma



The Missouri Southernfootball team will open up the 2013 season this Thursday when the Lions playhost to Central Oklahoma inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. PlasterSports Complex. Kickoff is slated for 6 pm. 

TheSERIES:This is just the second meeting all-time between the two schools. The Lionsdefeated Central Oklahoma 25-20 last season in Edmond in the season-opener forboth schools.  

TheCoaches:Daryl Dayeis in his second season as the head coach at Missouri Southern. Last year, heled the Lions to a 6-5 record, the first winning season since 2007. Afterinstalling a triple-option offensive attack, the Lions set school records forrushing yards and rushing attempts, while tying a school record for rushingtouchdowns. Daye came back to Southern after serving two seasons with the NFL'sBuffalo Bills as Assistant to the Head Coach. He assisted Defensive CoordinatorDave Wannstedt in coaching the inside linebackers and also helped to coach thespecial teams units. Prior to his stint with the Bills, Daye served for fouryears with the Lions as the team's defensive coordinator. In 2008, the Lionsled the MIAA in pass defense. Southern held its opponents to 172 passing yardsper game and recorded 58 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks and recovered all 15fumbles the team forced.The 2007 MSSU defense helped the Lions to their firstwinning season in 12 years. The defense led the MIAA in total defense for the1st time in school history and also led the MIAA pass defense, opponents' firstdowns, passing efficiency and were ranked second in Opponents third and fourthdown conversions. The Lions' defense was ranked 21st nationally in totaldefense and also broke a 17 year old division II school record with 21interceptions. Coach Daye's defenses have now forced a total of 113 turnoversin 4 years.Prior to Southern, Daye worked as special teams coach for theSouthern University and also served as head coach at Nicholls State Universityin Thibodeaux, La., from 1999-2003, and as an assistant at Liberty, LSU andSouthern Miss.

NickBobeck,is in his second year as head coach at his alma mater. He was 2-8 last seasonat UCO. Previously Bobeck was the head coach at Navarro Junior Collegewhere he led the team to a 42-5 record in four seasons that included the 2012Junior College National Championship. He also served as an assistant at theschool. Bobeck was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at fullback forUCO from 1999-02, earning first-team All-Lone Star Conference North Divisionhonors as a senior.He was a graduate assistant for three seasons, helping UCOgo 20-12 during that stint while making the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2003.Bobeck went to Texas A&M as an offensive line coach in 2006 when the Aggiesfinished 9-4 and earned a berth in the Holiday Bowl.  

TheDish on the Bronchos: Central Oklahoma makes its first-ever trip to Joplin totake on the Lions in the 2013 season-opener for both teams. The Bronchos returntheir top two offensive threats from last season in leading rusher JoshBirmingham and quarterback Adrian Nelson. In fact, the top receiver, rusher andpasser all return for the Bronchos.

Birminghamrushed for 188 carries and 1,073 yards a season ago with 13 touchdowns andmoving the ball nearly six yards per carry. Christian Bobo was the Bronchos'second-leading rusher last year, averaging 4.1 per carry and recording fourTD's. Nelson threw for 1,777 yards and had nine touchdowns last year,connecting on 156 of 305 pass attempts. Hood caught 47 passes for 573 yards andtwo touchdowns. Birmingham caught 27 passes out of the backfield for 271 yardsand one score. 

On defense,the team's top-tackler from a season ago returns to start at free-safety inDevoris Dozier. Dozier had 77 tackles last season, 51 solo and oneinterception. Adrian Shoecraft (54 tackles, 1 sack) and Antonio Jenkins (42tackles, 4 PBU, 1 FF), both return on defense for the Bronchos. 

Benefitfor Moore, Okla.:Two dollars from every ticket sold for this game will go directly to the RedCross to help in the re-building efforts for the Moore, Okla. tornado. Fanswill also be able to enjoy a post-game show that will include a laser light showand fireworks. 

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