SPRINGFIELD – When Missouri State conducts its annual Maroon and White Spring Football Game this Thursday at Robert W. Plaster Stadium (kickoff 7 p.m.), the campus tradition will include a bit of a twist.
After a regularly-played first half with a 10-minute first quarter and eight-minute second quarter directed by the MSU coaching staff, members of the local media will call the plays during the second half.
KOLR-10 TV sports director Dan Lucy and Alec McChesney, editor-in-chief for The Standard, will call plays for the Bears' offense in the second half. On the other sideline, KY3 TV sports anchor Chad Plein and News-Leader sports reporter Wyatt Wheeler will call plays for the MSU defense. Both units will have a limited script from which to choose plays, and a running clock will be used for the third and fourth quarters.
"We think this is a great way to have some fun with the spring game and get the local sports community directly involved," said MSU head coach Dave Steckel
. "Having 40 seconds to figure out what play they want to run, communicate that on the headsets and have it signaled to the field is much harder than it looks."
Admission for the game is free with basic stadium amenities and concessions available.
The Missouri State Sugar Bears will perform at halftime, and the Pride Marching Band will also have a presence at the game.
Thursday's spring game will be conducted in an "offense vs. defense" scoring format.
Pregame tailgating in the BearFest Village area north of the stadium begins at 6 p.m., Thursday. Student organizations have until Noon Wednesday to contact Megan Hofferth
at (417) 836-3302 to reserve a booth for the "Bear Fair" student pregame festivities. Tailgate setup begins at 5:30 p.m. on game day.
Steckel, who is in his fourth year at the helm of the Bears, returns 40 lettermen and 62 total players from last season.