SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri State Bears were back at it on the gridiron on Saturday.

Lightning shut out the outdoor portion of Friday’s practice, and before a public showing at Plaster Field, the Bears held media day.

Our first chance to hear from the Bears ahead of one of the more anticipated football season’s in recent memory.

The bears picked to finish third in the valley and a national title contender with some individual title contenders.

Montrae Braswell up for the Buck Buchanan award as the FCS defensive player of the year.

Quarterback Jason Shelley on the Walter Payton watch list for the FCS offensive player of the year.

Coach Petrino saying sure both are individual awards, but they are also team goals.

“I expected him to be in the running for the Walter Payton because of the success that he had last year,” Bears head coach Bobby Petrino said. “When you are the player of the year in the best conference coming back, you should be. That’s how you win a Walter Payton, that is how you win a Heisman. You are the best player on one of the best teams in the country. It becomes a pride for our offense and our team. Everybody on the team needs to take pride in that he and Braswell are up for these awards and let’s all go win it as a team.”

The Bears open play on Thursday, September 1, on the road at Central Arkansas.