Year of the Lions

Danny Bailey - Staff Writer

Danny Bailey – Staff Writer

Danny Bailey

Unless you have been perched under a rock for the last few decades, you understand what Pittsburg State vs. Missouri Southern is all about. I don’t need to tell you the history or the repercussions that go hand in hand with this game. We know the year in question: 1993. We know the name: Rod Smith. We know how the record stands vs. PSU: 8-30-1.

It’s a line we have half-heartedly bought into to support our school.

All the while, thinking in the back of our minds “MSSU doesn’t have a chance.”

And our instincts have been right for the last 14 years. The U.S. Cellular Miner’s Bowl is a day few MSSU students look forward to, and most Pitt State students and athletes look past.

Talking amongst the players and coaches this year, I have a different attitude looking at the 2007 Miner’s Bowl. The reason is simple; Southern has a run-game.

Dare I say it, a better run-game than Pitt State? Redshirt freshman Left Tackle Ben Holly, redshirt freshman Left Guard Raul Sanchez and Sophomore Center Chris Norris will have the responsibility of protecting the blindside of junior Quarterback Adam Hinspeter. They will be facing down a Defensive Line that only averages 255 pounds. Therein is where my faith draws its strength. Allowing RB Alley Broussard or Renard Johnson to get to the second level of any defense in the MIAA is a recipe for a tasty victory.

Pitt State will not lie down quietly and allow MSSU to run on them all day. That is where the X-Factor for the offensive unit will be pressed

to produce points. Hinspeter’s accuracy to his talented corps of wide receivers, if his O-Line will buy him the time, will equal points … and lots of them. You don’t need to be a math major to know that it’s easier to win games with an offense that averages 49.5 points a contest (MSSU) than one that only averages 34.5 (PSU) even though both teams played equally mundane opponents. It doesn’t hurt that 80% of the offensive production for Pitt State last year is now gone with the departure of Germaine Race.

Predictions are for the bold or crazy. For me, the proof is in the puddin’. Lions: if you are for real this year, go out and get a win. If not, then it was all just talk. I can’t wait for Saturday.