Lions bring home pride

Sophomore wide receiver Johnny Johnson makes an impressive catch over sophomore defensive back Skyler Vandiver during the public fall scrimmage. Johnson and the Lions will be taking on Harding tomorrow.

Caleb Primm

Sophomore wide receiver Johnny Johnson makes an impressive catch over sophomore defensive back Skyler Vandiver during the public fall scrimmage. Johnson and the Lions will be taking on Harding tomorrow.

Kyle Hanrahan

Tomorrow night Missouri Southern will open up its home schedule against the Harding University Bisons.

Southern, coming off a 51-0 victory over Haskell University, looks to continue its march to the top of the MIAA.

While Harding isn’t exactly a perennial Division II powerhouse, no college football team should underestimate any opponent.

One example: Michigan.

While Harding may be unfamiliar, they shouldn’t be overlooked. Harding is coming off a 43-40 victory over MIAA member Southwest Baptist University, and also looks to continue its roll in the Gulf South Conference. While the Gulf South Conference isn’t exactly the MIAA, it is still full of talent. Harding alone has a cast of five second-team, All-GSC players, according to a Gulf South Conference press release. Harding entered the 2007 campaign ranked fifth within GSC, according to the 2007 preseason coaches poll. Much like Southern, Harding runs a balanced offense that mixes both the run and pass. Last week Harding was only able to gain 97 yards on 30 rush attempts. Translation: Southern’s front four should have no problem stopping the run this week.

However, Missouri Southern’s secondary will face its first test tomorrow. While the run was rather ineffective for Harding, the passing game was more impressive. The Bisons threw 28 times for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Harding’s offense looked impressive but its defense has a tough task this week in stopping a Lion offense that put up 51 points on its previous opponent.

The Southern offense looked to be firing on all cylinders and showed no signs of rust in its opener. The offense combined for a total of 587 yards and 7 touchdowns.

“I’ve never been around smarter offensive players,” said Lions’ head coach Bart Tatum on his two offensive MIAA standouts.

While the offense took care of its business the defense was impressive, holding Haskell to only 121 yards offensively and picking off Haskell three times.

The key to a Harding victory would be stopping the tandem of WR Colin Bado and QB Adam Hinspeter. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Hughes Stadium.