Missouri State finalized its 2014 football schedule with a five-game home slate, and a trip to national power Oklahoma State. Head coach Terry Allen opens his ninth season at the helm of the Bears with a Thursday game at Northwestern State on Aug. 28. From there, the Bears begin September with a trip to 2014 Cotton Bowl participant Oklahoma State on Sept. 6 in Stillwater. The Cowboys were 10-3 last season and will be squaring off against the Bears for the third time since 2006.

“I think our schedule presents a number of opportunities for us,” Allen said. “In the non-conference, we’ll have a brand-new opponent coming to Plaster for our home opener with North Dakota, and we’ll have a chance to play UCA and Northwestern State again at their place. Oklahoma State has obviously been a traditional power in the Big 12 and had a great showing in the Cotton Bowl this year. All those games should get us ready for the Valley season, which is where we feel we can build on the successes we had last year and continue to compete in the upper division of our league.”

The club’s Missouri Valley Football Conference opener will take place at Plaster Field on Oct. 4 when the Bears renew their rivalry with Youngstown State after a two-year hiatus. The Bears are 5-11 all-time against the Penguins, but have won four in a row in the series.

Missouri State is expecting 36 lettermen and 70 total squad members to return when it opens spring drills in late March. Last season, MSU finished tied for second in the competitive Missouri Valley Football Conference by winning four of its last five games to finish the year. The club’s 5-3 record in league games marked MSU’s most conference wins and highest league finish since its playoff season of 1990.

Bears season ticket information is available by calling (417) 836-8899. Renewal information for current season ticket holders will be distributed in mid-March.  Allen and his staff will host a free Signing Day Party on Wednesday, Feb. 5 to mark the beginning of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period for college football. The event will take place at University Plaza Hotel (333 S John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield), starting at 6 p.m. in the John Q Room.

For more on Bears football visit MissouriStateBears.com

Thu., Aug. 28 at Northwestern State University

Sat., Sept. 6 at Oklahoma State University

Sat., Sept. 13 University of North Dakota (Parents Weekend)

Sat., Sept. 20 at University of Central Arkansas

Sat., Oct. 4 Youngstown State University*

Sat., Oct. 11 at South Dakota State University*

Sat., Oct. 18 University of South Dakota* (Homecoming)

Sat., Oct. 25 at Illinois State University*

Sat., Nov. 1 at Indiana State University*

Sat., Nov. 8 Southern Illinois University* (Showcase Weekend)

Sat., Nov. 15 North Dakota State University*

Sat., Nov. 22 at University of Northern Iowa*