Missouri State opened their season up on the road last week against a fellow FCS opponent, Northwestern State. The Bears have a young team, and fell behind early. They were able to battle back though, and won 34-27 behind the efforts of All-America safety Caleb Schaffitzel, receiver Julian Burton, dual threat QB Kierra Harris, and MVFC Newcomer of the Week Colby Isbell.
I would try and convince you that Missouri State is better than you think, but you all already know what I know. I will have a harder time trying to find a parking spot in Stillwater than the Pokes will have against the Bears. There are some things to watch for the Cowboys though.
Mistake Free Football
After spending all off-season preparing for last week and the heart-break of letting a big victory slip through their fingers, I don't image the Pokes feel particularly motivated by a team that struggles to stay competitive in the FCS.
This young team needs to find a way to stay focused, and show they can clean up some of the mistakes that cost the Pokes the game against Florida State. Specifically the penalties. Laundry on the field bailed the Seminoles out after the Cowboys had made the stop. Winston showed you can't give quality teams a second chance as he added a big highlight to 2014 Heisman campaign.
You Get To Play, And You Get To Play, And You Get To Play
All eyes will be on who's playing QB throughout the game, but I'm more interested in who's handing him the ball. The center position took a huge hit over the off-season and getting the young guys quality reps will be key. In a scrimmage like this it's always key to get the 2's and 3's as much experience as possible. J.W. Walsh and Tyreek Hill should be put away early, and Daxx Garman should hop off the bench to see just how deep this team is.
My advice to the fans is to get into Boone Pickens Stadium early for the Fireworks, and stay for the show.