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Southern football prepares for No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri Thursday night

Updated:

Press Release MSSU:


The Missouri Southern football team will play host to No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri this Thursday for the home opener at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. Kick off is slated for 6:30 pm. 


Game Information

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m., CT
Location: Emporia, Kan.
Site: Welch Stadium (7,000)
Series Record: Lions lead 22-17
Coaches: Daryl Daye (13-9 at MSSU, 28-47 overall) | 37-6 at Northwest and overall)


Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 Real American Country - Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Aaron Lewis, Color
Video Webcasthttp://www.mssulions.com/links/hlqdgb
Live Statshttp://www.mssulions.com/links/vkakn7
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball


The CoachesDaryl 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. 

Adam Dorrel is in his fourth year as the head coach at Northwest Missouri State University. He led the Bearcats to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship and a perfect 15-0 season. In three plus years at the helm of the Bearcats, Dorrel is 37-6 overall. He was named the 2013 National and MIAA Coach of the Year. 

The Series: Northwest holds an 21-4 record against the Lions. Southern won last  in 1994, 34-9 at Hughes Stadium, the only win at home in the series. Southern is 3-8 in Maryville, but haven't beat the Bearcats since 1994. Since 1998, the average margin of victory for Northwest has been 33 points. The Bearcats own the longest current winning streak against the Lions at 19 straight games.  

A Victory vs. Northwest Missouri Would:  be the first time in 20 tries against the Bearcats. Southern last defeated Northwest Missouri in 1994, 34-9 at home. 

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.

Seven-Win Season: With the win over Pitt State, the Lions seven wins in 2013 is the fourth-most wins in a season ever at MSSU. The 1972 NAIA National Champs won 12, while both the 1993 and 1983 teams won nine games. The 1976 and 1991 teams won eight games, while the school has won seven games four times. 

Time of Possession Advantage: The Lions led the nation in time of possession last  year, averaging 35:14 with the ball each game, while their opponents had the ball an average of 24:46. This past week, Southern also led ESU in time of possession, but the margin was just 1:20. 

Running On: Michael Nelson ran for three different touchdowns in the Lions' opener against Emporia State. He had 14 attempts for 88 yards in the loss. 

Punt it Long: Newcomer Kyle Jaski (Lincoln Univ. of PA) was a Division II All-American last year and he picked up right where he started. The senior had seven punts for an average of 39.6 yards, including a long of 59 and two inside the 20-yard line. 

Defensive Dalvin: One of four captains on this year's squad, Dalvin Taylor led the defensive effort at Emporia State with nine stops, six of them solo. 

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 three teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Northwest Missouri is No. 1, followed by Pittsburg State at No. 8 and Emporia State at No. 19. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, have seven teams in the top 25. Add in another five teams from the region receiving votes for the top 25 that are just outside of the poll. 

Weather Report: The weather report for the Emporia area on Thursday calls for a high of 95 degrees and mostly sunny conditions with a zero percent chance of rain.
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