SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — At the start of the day, Missouri State’s home opener against 6th ranked Kennesaw State marked the Bears’ first matchup with a Georgia school.
By the end of the day, it marked Dave Steckel’s first home opener loss as the Missouri State Football Head Coach.
Stec’s Bears started strong, leading the Owls 16-7 at halftime with the majority of Kennesaw State’s triple option rushing numbers coming on the lone 75-yard Owls touchdown run.
The visitors woke up in a major way after halftime, however, with two touchdown drives of one play and three plays respectively.
The Owls notched a 67-yard touchdown run, and then an 85-yard touchdown run to take their first lead of the day, 21-16.
Despite a late touchdown, Kennesaw State led the rest of the way as they rallied for a 35-24 victory over the Bears.
“I think the kids played their hearts out. I think they prepared well,” Stec said after the game. “I think the coaches put together both offensive and defensive schemes. But you can’t take 5, 8, 9 plays and self destruct offensively and defensively. You know, we were doing a great job. The whole first half we won every phase of the football game. Second half, they played three, five plays and got 350 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the football game we played 40, whatever it was, 47, 46 plays and gave 160 yards.”
Missouri State falls to 0-3 with the loss as the Bears enter their second bye week.
They will return to action on October 5th when they travel to Western Illinois.