Joplin, Mo. — The Missouri Southern football team will head to Pittsburg this Saturday to take on the Gorillas of Pittsburg State University in the latest installment of the Sonic Miners Bowl. Kickoff from Carnie Smith Stadium is slated for 2 pm.
Game 10: Missouri Southern State University Lions (6-3, 4-3 MIAA)
@ No. 6 Pittsburg State University Gorillas (9-1, 7-1 MIAA)
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013 Kickoff: 2 pm Location: Pittsburg, Kan. • Carnie Smith Stadium (8,343)
Media Coverage: Radio – 97.9 FM | Internet Radio – www.mssulions.com | Live Video – www.mssulions.com
The Series: Pittsburg State holds a 36-8-1 advantage in the series and has won 19 straight. Missouri Southern has won six of 23 meetings in Joplin, but the Lions have just one win, a 20-3 home decision in 1993, in the last 27 meetings overall and haven’t won in Pittsburg since 1983. Southern is just 2-19-1 in Pittsburg and 6-17 in Joplin. 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. Pitt would: give the Lions seven wins for the first time since the 1993 season. It would be the first time the Lions had won against Pittsburg State since that very season, as well, stopping a 19-game winning streak by the Gorillas.
The Dish on the Gorillas: Pittsburg State comes into the Miner’s Bowl with the Lions 9-1 overall and 7-1 in the MIAA. The Gorillas are ranked sixth in the coaches poll and their only blemish this season came in a 24-15 loss to No. 2 Northwest Missouri in the Fall Classic. They defeated No. 4 Missouri Western 34-14 in St. Joseph and sit in third place in the MIAA standings.
Quarterback Anthony Abenoja leads the offensive attack for the Gorillas that features both a 1,000 yard rusher and receiver. Jeff Seybold has 1,169 yards on the ground and 20 touchdowns, while Abenoja has thrown for 2,497 yards and 24 scores. John Brown has 1,038 yards on 53 receptions and 12 scores and with his 600 yards in returns, he has amased 1,625 all-purpose yards this season.
Defensively, the Gorillas are led by senior Nate Dreilling. Dreilling recently became the all-time leading tackler at PSU and he has 93 tackles this season with a sack, an interception and four pass break ups. Tyler Disney has 77 tackles and 3.5 sacks, while Devante Bausby leads the team with three interceptions and Avery Adair has a team-high four sacks.
PSU ranks second nationally in passing efficiency, while ranking sixth in kickoff returns and seventh in scoring offense. They rank tenth in total offense and 11th in turnover margin.
Winning Seasons: With the 55-0 win over Lindenwood-Belleville last weekend, the Lions secured back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Records Go Down I: The Lions broke two school records in the 55-0 win over Lindenwood-Belleville last week. The Lions set the single-season record for rushing touchdowns and have 38 on the season. Southern also set the single-season rushing record they set last season. The Lions currently have 3,498 yards on the ground and are averaging 368 yards per game this season.
National Leaders: After nine games, the Lions rank second nationally in time of possession, while ranking third in rushing offense. They also rank 12th in fewest sacks allowed and 21st in passing efficiency.
MIAA Leaders: Southern leads the MIAA in rushing and time of possession, while ranking second in fewest sacks allowed, third in passing yards allowed and fourth in rushing defense, sacks, and total defense. Southern ranks fifth in total offense and passing efficiency.
Tough League/Region: Northwest Missouri is the lone remaining undefeated team in the MIAA this year, having defeated Emporia State last weekend. Currently there are five MIAA teams ranked in the top 25 (Northwest Missouri – 2, Pittsburg State – 6, Emporia State – 16, Missouri Western – 19 and Washburn – 23. When you factor in the teams from the rest of Super Region 3, the region has five of the top six teams nationally, six in the top 13 and nine teams are ranked in the top 25.
Regional Rankings: The NCAA’s second set of regional rankings came out this week and Northwest Missouri sits atop the Super Region 3 Poll. Pittsburg State and Emporia State are No. 5 and 6, respectively, while Missouri Western and Washburn are 8 and 9.
Weather Report: The weather report for the Pittsburg area on Saturday calls for a high of 63 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and a 40 percent chance of rain.