SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Missouri State Bears were on the turf at the Plaster Sports Complex Wednesday morning as Ryan Beard kicked off practice for the fall season.

The Bears will run through four weeks of camp before going into game mode the end of the month.

Missouri State will open the season on Friday, September 1st at Kansas.

Beard is taking over as head coach after Bobby Petrino left to become the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Beard had been the defensive coordinator at Missouri State for the last three seasons.

The Bears return 11 starters and 38 lettermen from a year ago.

After an off season of planning, Beard is ready to get the season started.

“The guys have done an unbelievable job. Our strength coach has really been on them about gaining strength and size and speed. Because as everyone in here knows in this conference you need to be able to hold up every single week. You can’t have a lull one week and expect to walk in and win the game. You’ll get yourself blown out. Again the guys look excited to be here. The look in their eyes from the most recent team meetings and all of that is where you want it to be. And were excited to see where it goes in the camp,” said Beard.