Truman State football starts season Saturday against Southwest Baptist

The Truman Bulldog Football team will open their 106th season on Saturday night when they host Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University under the lights at Stokes Stadium.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The Series:

Truman and Southwest Baptist will be meeting for the fourth straight year and 24th time overall.

They met in the season opener in 2012 with the Bulldogs prevailing 24-14 in Bolivar.

The Bulldogs have won five straight meetings with the Bearcats with SBU's last victory coming in 2005 by a 38-36 tally.

Truman is 20-3 overall against Southwest Baptist and 11-0 in games played in Kirksville.

The Bearcats last visit to Stokes Stadium was in 2010, a 33-30 Truman win.

The Match-Up:

The Bulldogs were 4-7 last season while the Bearcats went 3-8 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Truman averaged 24.0 points per game with 344.8 yards of total offense and 430.3 yards of total defense. Southwest Baptist averaged 20.2 points per game with 285.1 yards of total offense and 367.3 yards of total defense.

Last Meeting With SBU:

The Bulldogs scored touchdowns in the first three quarters and held on for a 24-14 victory over SBU in the season opening game in 2012.

Truman rushed the ball 45 times for 137 yards while Conrad Schottel completed 14-of-32 passing attempts for 221 yards in the win. Chico Orlando had a 15-yard TD reception in the first quarter and Garrett White had a one-yard rush and a 42-yard TD reception for the other two touchdowns.

The Bearcats were held to 257 yards of total offense with Derwyn Lauderdale catching 10 passes for 63 yards including a two-yard TD reception.

SBU was just 3-of-19 on third down conversion attempts on the night.

The Coaches:

Gregg Nesbitt
is in his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater. Nesbitt has gone 4-7 in the three previous years for an overall record of 12-21.

His teams are 4-0 in non-conference games, 6-11 in games played at Stokes Stadium and 2-1 in season openers.

Craig Schuler enters his first season at Southwest Baptist University after serving nine years as the offensive coordinator at Lindenwood (Mo.) University.

The Lions ran up 540 yards of total offense in their 38-13 victory over the Bulldogs last season.

Quick Hits:

Truman returns 44 letterwinners from last season with 25 coming from the offensive side of the ball.

Nine offensive returners and five defensive returners started at least six games in 2012 including all-MIAA players Dallas Grier (2TM - WR), Jeremey Dockery (HM - DL), Derek Koon (HM â?? K) and Tremaine Millender (HM â?? DB).

The Bulldogs are one of the last college football teams in America to start the season.

The last time they started a season as late as September 7 was in 2002 when they opened the year with a 38-14 victory over Drake (Iowa).

Truman is 538-385-34 (.579) all-time since 1900. The .579 winning percentage is the best by any NCAA I Football playing school in the state of Missouri. Next highest is Northwest Missouri State at (.565).

Truman allowed 117 points in the second quarter last year and were outscored 42-31 in the last five minutes of the half.

Courtesy Truman State University