Bears eye UCA for third time in the past year

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There’s not much like the home opener in the fall.

For the second straight season, Missouri State is welcoming in Central Arkansas to open the home slate.

In our Bear Nation Report, It’s the only top-25 matchup within the FCS this weekend.

The Bears actually moving up a spot in this week’s poll after the close loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Missouri State ranked 23 in Monday’s Stats FCS top 25.

It’s the fifth meeting between the two den dwellers, the Bears and Bears met twice in the fall of 2020.

“They had good receivers a year ago and we defended them well,” Bears head coach Bobby Petrino said.” I’m sure they have been looking at it and they will come in and try to show what they can do. The quarterback, as we know, is a really good player and can make the throws so that’s really the challenge. What helps a lot is if we can get a lead, get ahead of them and our d-line can tee off. We’ve got to shut their run down, whenever you do that you force them to have to throw the ball and then you get better pass rush and get some turnovers created. That’s something that is really important to us.”

Central Arkansas won both games, but Missouri State had a halftime lead in both.

For Petrino, this time around it’s all about the mindset for his squad.

“(Central Arkansas is) a team we know really well and a team that knows us really well, so it should be interesting,” Petrino said. “I did feel like in the fall we didn’t really know how to win a game yet. We found a way to lose those games. We’ve got to take care of the football offensively and play the right way to win football games. Hopefully that carries over from the spring.”

The game is scheduled for Saturday at 7pm at Plaster Stadium.

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