For the first time since the 2014 season, Missouri State boasts a Top 25 football program with the Bears (3-1) checking in at No. 24 in Monday’s STATS Division I FCS Top 25 poll.  Missouri State, which is one of five teams from the Missouri Valley Football Conference in this week’s rankings, has defeated back-to-back ranked foes with recent home wins over No. 20 Northern Arizona and this week’s win over No. 9 Illinois State.

In the other weekly FCS poll, coordinated by the AFCA, Missouri State remains unranked but is receiving votes.

Missouri State CB Darius Joseph blocked Illinois State’s potential game-tying field goal as time expired to secure MSU’s 24-21 win over the No. 9-ranked Redbirds. His deflection of ISU’s 32-yard attempt helped the Bears knock off their highest-ranked opponent since 2005 and gave MSU its first back-to-back wins over ranked foes since 1989. Joseph also finished the game with eight total tackles and six solo stops from his cornerback position.  Joseph was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week.