Bearing with the Bears

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Photo Credit: Charles Pyatt – Missouri State Vs. Illinois State Homecoming Game 2015 (10/17/15)

Chris Collins, The Black Bear – This was supposed to be the season the Men’s Bears football team turned around. This was the year where they got back to winning. This was the year where the Bears joined the elite teams of its conference, the Missouri Valley conference.

This past year had brought hope to a lot of Bears fans that their team was ready to take the next step.

These new hopes and expectations started with the arrival of one man, Head Coach Dave Steckel.

Steckel hailed from the University of Missouri, a dominant program in one of the toughest college football conferences in the nation, the South Eastern conference.

Steckel’s last two seasons at the University of Missouri resulted in records of 12-2 in 2013 and 11-3 in 2014 respectively.

A team that was considered to have a dominant defense, Steckel had a  lot to do with that being the Head Defensive coordinator.

Steckel was hired as Missouri States Head football coach during the off-season of 2014.

It was hoped that Steckel would have been able to transfer the great success he had at the University of Missouri to Missouri State the very next season.

The season started with high hopes that were quickly dampened by the season opener’s blowout loss to Memphis, 63-7.

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Photo Credit: Charles Pyatt – Missouri State Vs. Illinois State Homecoming Game 2015 (10/17/15)

This was only a preview for season that would yield disappointment and see the Bears football team win only one game against an inferior divisional opponent.

The Bears overall record for the year, 1-10.

Steckel believes it’s okay if they have problems as long as progress is made but he believes they are going in the right direction.

The foundation for the future has been laid although Steckel realizes the importance of winning now and knows improvements must be made.

“We have to do a better job as coaches to get our guys to do what we want them to do,” he said.

Statistically the Bears defense gave up 48 points per game.

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Photo Credit: Charles Pyatt – Missouri State Vs. Illinois State Homecoming Game 2015 (10/17/15)

The Offense for the Bears averaged 9.8 points per game more than 10 points less than the next closest team, South Dakota at 21 points per game.

Was it fair to have such high expectations as far as wins and losses?

Whether it was or not, Steckel is expected to make improvements for next season however, it was only his first year and he should be given ample time to turn things around.

The Bears will only improve moving forward for seasons to come.

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