The Bears open their 97th season when they host Washburn out of the Division II MIAA. The same conference as Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western, Central Missouri, and Truman State.
Terry Allen’s Bears are coming off a 6-5 season, matching their best finish this decade. Missouri State returns 6 offensive and 9 defensive starters
MSU is a member of the newly-branded Missouri Valley Football Conference, formerly the Gateway Football Conference, which now includes nine schools. North Dakota State and South Dakota State are the two new league members this season.
Tonight’s opponent, Washburn University, was an NCAA Division II playoff qualifier a year ago, finishing with an 8-4 overall record and 7-2 runner-up finish in the MIAA. MSU was a charter member of the MIAA Conference and played in the league from 1924-1980 before its transition to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) status in 1982. Washburn comes into the game with a 1-0 record after its 27-3 home win over Colorado Mines in its lightning-shortened opener on August 28. The Ichabods were picked fourth in the MIAA preseason poll and ranked 22nd in the D2Football.com preseason poll.
The Bears are 426-425-40 (.501) all-time, including a 192-134-11 (.586) record in 66 seasons at Plaster Field, 60-81-1 (.426) mark in MVFC play, and 141-141-3 (.500) record at the NCAA Division I FCS level.