Bears set to host ranked BYU

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It isn’t often that you get a ranked team come to your place as a non-major conference team.

That is exactly the opportunity the Bears will have this weekend.

12th ranked BYU is set to play Missouri State in Springfield on Saturday at 3. The 12 ranking is the highest opponent for a non-conference home game in MSU history and the highest of any kind in Springfield since 2014.

“Any time that you get a top team in your building when you aren’t a power-5 is a big deal,” Bears head coach Dana Ford said. “We feel good about the opportunity. We are very appreciative because BYU didn’t have to play us and they elected to come here. It was one of the easier games that we had the opportunity to schedule in regards to the going back and forth. This is the best team we are going to play, definitely up to this point of the season.”

It’s the first home game for the Bears since beating Alabama in the second game of the season.

“I think they are really excited. Our guys are locked in, we have a great group of guys that had a really good practice today,” Ford said. “Their energy level is pretty good. Obviously, I don’t think they are happy about how things unfolded the other night, but they have a lot of character and they are digging in.”

Both teams are coming off disappointing losses. The Bears losing the conference opener at Illinois State and the Cougars with an upset loss at Utah Valley.

“They are naturally aggressive, I mean these are grown men that we are about to play,” Ford said. “I anticipate they are going to be aggressive and physical, but they are pretty consistent in their approach win, lose or draw.”

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