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Lions Get Ready for Homecoming vs. UNK - KOAM TV 7

Lions Get Ready for Homecoming vs. UNK

Updated:

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern football team will play host to Nebraska-Kearney this Saturday as the Lions and Lopers will battle on Homecoming inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium. 

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU - 0-4, 0-4 MIAA | UNK 1-3, 1-3 MIAA
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017
Kick-Off: 3:00 pm, CT
Location:  Joplin, Mo.
Site: Fred G. Hughes Stadium Stadium (7,000)
Series Record:  UNK leads the series 8-7
CoachesDenver Johnson (3-22 at MSSU, 72-89 overall) | Rich Wright (28-17 overall, 1-3 at UNK)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: ESPN Joplin 101.3, 103.5 FM and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS - Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast: http://www.themiaanetwork.com/mssulions
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/mssu/football
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Series: Nebraska-Kearney holds an 8-7 record in the overall series, however the two teams have only played each other three times since the 1988 season (all Lions wins) the last year Southern participated as a member of the NAIA and the Central States Intercollegiate Conference. The series features one of the most unique situations as both teams historically have been better at the other team's facility. The Lions are 2-5 at home, while 5-3 in Kearney. UNK won the first four meetings, but Southern took the next three. The Lions have won the last two, 34-17 in 2014, and 24-14 the last two seasons. 

The Dish On The Lopers: Nebraska-Kearney started the season with a 14-3 win at home over Missouri Western. The Lopers, have since lost to Emporia State, Northwest Missouri and Washburn. Thomas Russell is the cog of the offense for the Lopers as he is the leading rusher with 223 yards on 67 carries and a touchdown, while also having the most receptions at eight with 48 yards and a score. Quarterback Steve Worthing is 48-93 for 552 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, while also netting 115 yards on the ground. Dayton Sealey has 12 carries for 40 yards, while Sedarius Young has big-play threat written all over him with five receptions for 128 yards and two scores. Blake Holtmeier has caught seven passes for 72 yards and a score. Defensively, Sal Silvio has done a little bit of it all with a team-high 31 tackles, including five and a half for a loss, one sack, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Ty Botsford is second on the team with 27 tackles, while Malik Webb has a team-high two interceptions. Jordan Ingraham is one of three Lopers with 2.5 sacks, while the team has 14 collectively. As a team, UNK is averaging 242.5 yards of total offense a game, while giving up 330.2. The Lopers average 104.5 yards on the ground, but stymie defenses, allowing just 64.8 per game. Through the air, UNK, is averaging 138 yards per game, but the Lopers give up 265.5. The Lopers will be back in action next week as UNK plays host to Central Missouri at 2 pm.

A Victory vs. Nebraska-Kearney Would: be four in a row against the Lopers as Southern has won each game since the team joined the MIAA four years ago. It would also tie the series between the two teams at eight wins each.
    
NFL Representation: The Lions will have two different players on NFL rosters to start the season. Brandon Williams is a starter on the defensive line for the Baltimore Ravens, while Allen Barbre will be with the Denver Broncos this year. 

Show Me The Money: Brandon Williams has become a leader on the defense for the Baltimore Ravens, as well as the NFL. In the offseason, Williams became the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL and the eighth-highest paid defensive lineman when he signed a five-year, $54 million contract. 

NFL Executive: Former Lion and former NFL wide receiver James Thrash is in his second 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 ESPN Joplin this year as Southern can now be heard on three separate FM stations, as well as an AM station. ESPN Joplin will air the Lions' games on 101.3 and 103.5 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. Northwest Missouri is 1st, while Fort Hays State is 14th. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has six 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 7 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. 

Team Stats Rankings:  Southern leads Division II in blocked punts allowed, while ranking seventh in fewest penalty yards per game and ninth in fewest penalties per game. The team ranks 44th in red zone offense and 35th in tackles for a loss.     

Individual Stats Rankings:  Individually, Alexander Wade is 18th in solo tackles, while ranking 37th in total tackles. Carson Day ranks 57th in kickoff returns, while DAnte Vandeven ranks 57th in completions per game. 

Roc(K) Steady:  Roc Robbins had a heck of a good season opener with two sacks against Fort Hays. The sophomore had 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.  

Score!:  Junior quarterback Dante Vandeven threw four touchdown passes against Emporia State. That number is the second-highest single-game total and Vandeven is the eighth Lion to ever hit that mark.   

Spread The Wealth:  In two of the Lions' three games this year, the Lions have thrown passes to at least nine different individuals. Against Emporia State, that number was seven and Northwest Missouri the number was eight. 

Behind the Line:  The Lions had eight tackles for a loss against Emporia State. Southern stopped the Hornets for a loss of 26 yards. 

Big Man Jo:  Josiah Bennett had a couple of big catches for the Lions against Emporia State. Bennett caught four passes for 75 yards and a score against the Hornets. For the season, Bennett is averaging 14.9 yards per catch.    

New Position:  Junior Brayden Scott showed a little wrinkle to his skills. Scott lined up as a wide out and executed a perfect end around and threw a 46-yard pass to Carson Day. Scott also had a pass break up and a sack on defense.   

MIAA Preseason Polls:  The MIAA released its preseason polls as part of its annual Media Day on August 2. The Lions were picked 11th in the coaches poll and tenth in the media poll.   

Weather Report:  The weather report for the Joplin area on Saturday calls for partly cloudy conditions and a high of 79 degrees with a zero percent chance of precipitation. 

Up Next:  Southern will be on the road as the Lions travel to Washburn next weekend to take on the Ichabods. Kickoff is slated for 1 pm.  

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