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Know a ’10 Opponent: Southeast Missouri State

In an effort to educate, preview, and most importantly, make fun of, the upcoming teams which dare play the Cardinals, OTP is proud to present the Know a ’10 Opponent series. Like we always caution, previewing and attempting to quantify the unquantifiable, especially two months away from the season is basically begging for failure, but we’ll fling some poo and see what sticks, shall we? I mean, after all, we predicted like 10 wins for BSU last season and we totally nailed that one, didn’t we? I can’t find the results, so let’s just go with that. So sit back, boys and girls, and know your ’10 opponents.

Southeast Missouri State
Remember last year when we played an FCS opponent? Remember when they beat us? Remember how you wanted to find the nearest prostitute and chase her naked with a chainsaw?

No? Well, maybe that was just me. Thankfully, no one called my landlord. But the first two items you should remember in plain and vivid detail, because it was during that little contest that real worry and doubt crept into most people’s minds about the potential suckfest we would have to endure in 2009. And by potential, I mean actual.

The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks will venture to the Scheu to open the 2010 season on September 2, a Thursday!, and will hopefully be the sacrificial FCS lamb that we are praying to 6 pound 8 ounce baby Jesus that we need. 09 saw us schedule an FSC power, a literal small school juggernaut. This year? Not so much.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?
SEMO has played in the FCS since 1991, but has never won their conference (the OVC) or played in the FCS playoffs. In 09, they clocked in with a 2-9 record, and were 0-5 away from Houck Stadium, which at 10,000 seats probably still has more restrooms than the Scheu. They’ve also only beaten one FBS team ever, Middle Tennessee State in 2002. Since 1994 they’ve had 2 winning seasons. This season, they return a total 16 starters from that ’09 2-9 squad, so at least they have plenty of players that know how to lose. And knowing is half the battle.

The Man Who Wears the Headset
SEMO’s head coach has quite the impressive resume… as an assistant. Tony Samuel graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1981 after playing defensive end for the Huskers and being part of Tom Osborne’s very first recruiting class. Impressive. After graduating, spent 4 years at Western Michigan and Stanford, then headed back to Nebraska. As an assistant, working with outside LBs and rushing ends, he helped the Huskers to 11 Bowl games in 11 seasons, coached 6 All Americans and 12 future NFLers all while winning 2 National Championships. That earned him a head coaching gig at New Mexico State, where the shine and luster of the Huskers didn’t continue. Mediocre success at NMSU led him to Purdue as an assistant coach in 2005, and he’s been at SEMO since 2006. He’s 13-32 overall and 6-25 in the OVC with the Redhawks, his best season being his first… at 4-7. Samuel has the pedigree to be a winner, I guess. But one does have to wonder if those stellar assistant numbers had more to do with the overwhelming amount of talent he coached than the X’s and O’s he coached them with.

Players and Stats of Note
In terms of players to be worried about…to be truthful? None. SEMO runs multiple offensive sets, averaging just over 21 points per game in 2009. Last year, they shifted slightly more to the run, averaging a smidge over 183 yards per game on the ground compared to 146 through the air. They also averaged roughly 64 yards per game in penalties, a trait that BSU exploited in several opponents last season. Defensively, they gave up 204 yards rushing and 183 through the air on average. Quale should be salivating.

How Worried We Are

The OTP Threat Level opens the season with a nice cool green. Akin to drinking milk a couple days past the expiration date. Is there a possibility that you’ll get the hershey squirts later at work? Potentially, but infinitely small. More than likely, your breakfasty treat will be just as good as ever, and the Cards should win this win in a snoozer. Thursday night, first game of the season, renewed passion and fire that comes with a 0-0 record… all good things and all signs of a victory bound to happen.

The Tacks-o-Brass
Bottom line is these are the kinds of games that BSU simply has to win. This isn’t an FCS power, this isn’t the first game of the Parrish era, this isn’t the first year in a new system, and this isn’t a roster loaded with freshmen who have never seen game speed action. Is it a win? Most likely. Does it have to be? You bet your ass. The one thing that concerns me is this is the only FBS game on the schedule for SEMO this season. It is also their first. The high emotion and potential for trickery could keep them in this one longer than they should be.

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One Response

  1. Speaking of OTP threat level, Edge will be rocking at Doc’s July 10 from 10 to 11. Face melting threat level: Plaid +1. (Sorry Alan for the shameless self-promotion)

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