SPRINGFIELD, Mo–A month ago the Missouri State football team was nationally ranked and took Arkansas to the limit.

Monday night, the Bears are in the middle of a four game losing streak and searching for answers.

Fortunately, they have some time to figure it out.

The last time that a Bobby Petrino team lost four straight was back in 2018 when he was at Louisville.

It’s been awhile, and something the veteran head coach is not used to.

“Losing is hard. There’s no question about that. It challenges your attitude and challenges your commitment. We have to work at continuing to try to practice hard and work to get better,” said Petrino.

Saturday, Missouri State jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Southern Illinois.

But the Salukis answered with 38 straight points and handed the Bears their fourth straight loss 38-21.

Petrino:”Right now we’re not playing really good football. We don’t look like a very good football team. We’re having trouble stopping people.”

The losing streak comes at a time that the Bears football program was on the rise.

Missouri State started the season ranked in the top five and was being considered a national championship contender.

Going back to last season, Petrino had won six of the seven games played before Missouri State’s heartbreaking loss at Arkansas.

Since then it’s been four straight losses and the defense at times has looked shellshocked.

Petrino:”We’re having trouble tackling. We’re having trouble getting off the field. Offensively we can’t be consistant because we’re having negative plays, getting sacked, get our quarterback hit. It’s hard to play quarterback when you’re getting hit.”

If Petrino can get this turned around, now is the time.

Missouri State has its bye week.

No game Saturday, just plenty of time to practice.

Petrino:”We need to regroup. There’s no doubt about that. Hopefully it’ll be at a great time. The ability to practice harder and get some things corrected. And get our leadership going in the right direction.”

One of those team leaders is offensive tackle Landon Bebee.

The junior has been here before, as a redshirt freshman on Dave Steckel’s 1-10 team.

“The main thing is to make sure we’re playing for each other. The guys on offense are playing for the guys on defense. And the guys on defense are playing for the guys on offense. And really come together. I thought we did a lot of good thing this week during practice to make sure we did that but obviously we need to put it all together on Saturday. Make sure we’re firing on all cylinders so two Saturday’s from now we’ll be ready to go,” said Bebee.