Football looks to batter the Bears


Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Sean McGuire prepares to throw a pass against the University of Illinois.

Christopher Bean, Courier Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Western Illinois University will go on the road to take on the Bears from Missouri State University. The Leathernecks head in with a 2-4 record and 1-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference play. Meanwhile, the Bears are 4-2, and 2-1 in conference play.

Western is coming off their worst game of the year in a 34-7 loss to the No. 1 team in the country, North Dakota State. The Leathernecks got off to a solid start after a five-yard touchdown in the second quarter from superstar wide receiver Isaiah LeSure.

The senior had a career day with 170 yards on 12 receptions, and was the only spark plug all night for Western. NDSU scored 31 unanswered to complete the win. Western hurt themselves with four turnovers. Coach Elliot wasn’t pleased when asked about the turnovers, “When you play a really good football team, you have got to be more efficient, and you’ve got to be more effective and take care of the football.” The biggest turnover came in the second quarter when Sean McGuire got sacked and fumbled the ball, giving up a touchdown the other way, making it 17-7 NDSU. The score would remain the same heading into half time. The Bison controlled the entire second half outscoring Western 17-0.

Western struggled to try and develop a running game, only rushing the ball for nine yards on 18 carries. Believe it or not, the Leathernecks still had more yards than the Bison, thanks to the defense. They continue to impress week in and week out, only allowing 276 yards to the best team in the country.

Missouri State is coming off their first road win of the year, when they defeated Indiana State 29-26 in a dramatic fashion. Peyton Huslig found Lorenzo Thomas in the end zone with 16 seconds left to secure the victory for the Bears. Huslig finished the game with 169 yards. They also got another 187 on the ground.

Donovan Daniels led the way with 62 yards on 15 carries. The defense struggled, stopping the run, giving up 352 rushing yards. Nevertheless, a win is a win, and the Bears came back home with a 3-0 record so far this year. Their biggest win came a couple weeks ago when they knocked off No. 9 Illinois State, 24-21.

The keys for wining this game are going to come down to three different things. Number one, run the ball effectively. Second, the defense needs to continue to dominate. Lastly, the need to keep the crowd out of it. MSU has a great home atmosphere, and a big reason why they are undefeated at home.

Western’s season is on the line going in with a 2-4. They can’t afford to start the season 2-5 and expect to make the playoffs. Every game is a must win game here on out.

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