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MSSU Hits the Road to Mo. Western

Updated:

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Joplin, MO. -- The Missouri Southern football team will head to St. Joseph for week two of the 2017 football season as the Lions take on Missouri Western Thursday night. Kickoff from Spratt Memorial Statdium is slated for 7 pm. 

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU - 0-1, 0-1 MIAA | MWSU 0-1, 0-1 MIAA
Date: Thursday, September 7, 2017
Kick-Off: 7 pm, CT
Location:  St. Joseph, Mo.
Site: Spratt Memorial Stadium (7,200)
Series Record:  MWSU leads the series 24-23
CoachesDenver Johnson (3-19 at MSSU, 72-86 overall) | Matt Williamson (0-1 overall/at MWSU)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: ESPN Joplin 101.3, 103.5 FM and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS - Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast: http://www.themiaanetwork.com/mssulions
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/mssu/football
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Series: The all-time series record between the two teams has Missouri Western leading 24-23. The Lions are 13-12 mark at Fred G. Hughes Stadium and 10-12 in St. Joseph.  Western has won nine of the last 13 against the Lions, but Southern has two wins against MWSU when the Griffons were ranked including a huge fourth-quarter comeback against then 12th ranked Western in 2009 in St. Joseph and another fourth-quarter comeback in 2012 in St. Joseph against then fourth-ranked Western. Southern dominated the series with the Griffons early on, winning the first five meetings in a row, and ten out of the first 13. The largest margin of victory for the Lions was in two separate games (1970 & 1972 - 45 points), and for the Griffons was in 2015 (42). 

The Dish On The Griffons: Missouri Western is under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Williamson, a 1996 graduate of MWSU. The Griffs lost in their season-opener last week, 14-3 at Nebraska-Kearney. Skyler Windmiller is back for his senior season directing the Western offense and he went 14-33 with an interception and 131 yards through the air at Nebraska-Kearney in week one. Josh Caldwell led the rushing attack for the Griffons with 47 yards on the ground, while Keylan Mack, Brock Broughton and Dijuan Ussery had four and three receptions each through the air. The only scoring last week came from kicker Tyler Basch on a 20-yard field goal. Defensively, Anthony Williams and Jonathan Owens both had eight tackles each, while Darrian Bass had seven stops with a sack and a half. The Griffons will be at Central Missouri next weekend, for a 1 pm kickoff on Saturday in Warrensburg. 

A Victory vs. Missouri Western Would: stop a four-game winning streak for the Griffons and would be just the fourth time in the last 12 games the Lions had defeated the Griffons. The last time Southern defeated Western came in 2012 in St. Joseph.   

NFL Representation: The Lions will have two different players on NFL rosters to start the season. Brandon Williams is a starter on the defensive line for the Baltimore Ravens, while Allen Barbre will be with the Denver Broncos this year. 

Show Me The Money: Brandon Williams has become a leader on the defense for the Baltimore Ravens, as well as the NFL. In the offseason, Williams became the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL and the eighth-highest paid defensive lineman when he signed a five-year, $54 million contract. 

NFL Executive: Former Lion and former NFL wide receiver James Thrash is in his second season serving as the NFL and NFLPA's Appeals Officer. He hears all appeals for the NFL regarding on-field player discipline. Thrash played 12 seasons in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.  

Lions On Radio: The Lions will partner with ESPN Joplin this year as Southern can now be heard on three separate FM stations, as well as an AM station. ESPN Joplin will air the Lions' games on 101.3 and 103.5 FM, as well as AM 1560. MSSU's KXMS 88.7 will also simulcast the games giving the Lions a larger reach in the four-states than they've ever had.  

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has three teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Northwest Missouri is 1st, while Central Missouri is 13th and Emporia State is 15th. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has seven teams in the top 24, including the top two teams nationally. There are 16 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region. 

Lions On TV:  Missouri Southern's KGCS will air every Lions home game live this year during the season. They will also re-broadcast the games on Sunday evenings at 7 pm.   

Lions On The Web:  All of MSSU's football games are carried live online as part of the MIAA Network. Fans can go to www.mssulions.com to view live and on-demand games.  

Streaming Options:  Fans now have even more options to view the Lions online in their homes and on the road. Not only can you view on your computer, fans can now view The MIAA Network on its over the top apps for either Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Android TV. 

Team Stats Rankings:  After one game, the Lions rank in the top 20 nationally in fewest penalties (19th) and fewest penalties per game (17th). The team also ranks 17th nationally in team tackles for a loss and 31st in kickoff return defense.   

Individual Stats Rankings:  After one game, Clint Sills ranks fifth nationally in passes defended, while Deshon Cowling ranks eighth in forced fumbles. Roc Robbins ranks seventh in sacks, while also ranking 11th nationally in tackles for a loss. Alexander Wade ranks 24th nationally in solo tackles. 

Roc(K) Steady:  Roc Robbins had a heck of a good season opener with two sacks against Fort Hays. The sophomore had 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.  

New To The Scene:  Redshirt freshman Shemar Coleman had a pretty good game to start his career as the Denton, Texas native rushed for 51 yards and a long of 24, while also catching a touchdown pass for 25 yards. 

New Position:  Junior Brayden Scott came into the first game of the season as the backup quarterback after starting three games last year at the position. However, Scott has now moved to the opposite side of the ball and will be utilized as a safety for the Lions.  

MIAA Preseason Polls:  The MIAA released its preseason polls as part of its annual Media Day on August 2. The Lions were picked 11th in the coaches poll and tenth in the media poll.   

Weather Report:  The weather report for the St. Joseph area on Thursday calls for mostly sunny conditions and a high of 78 degrees with a zero percent chance of precipitation. 

Up Next:  Southern will be back home next weekend as the Lions will take on nationally ranked Emporia State in the Hall of Fame Game on September 16. Kickoff is slated for 6 pm.  

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