SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Missouri State Bears football program is starting the second half of its schedule this week.

And Ryan Beard is hoping it’s a more favorable results for his Bears team.

Mo State is 1-and-4 and has played three ranked teams in the first five games.

Saturday, seventh-ranked North Dakota State beat the Bears 38-10.

This week, MSU will go to Macomb to play Western Illinois.

The Leathernecks are 0-5.

Ryan Beard says instead of focusing on Western Illinois’ weaknesses, he’s going to focus on his team.

He wants a turnaround to start on the road Saturday.

And he says these recent tests will help in the long run.

“We’ve gone through the gauntlet to say the least. We’ve played the best of the best week in and week out. I think that, again like we talked about earlier in the interview, it’s one of those things. When you see these ranked teams and see how they look. How they do things. How they operate as a program. We know where we want to get to. We know that’s the type of football that we want to one day play here at Missouri State. And I don’t think we’re as far off as people think,” said Beard.