SOUTHEAST FOOTBALL HOSTS SMS
Sept. 11, 2003
THE TEAMS: Southeast Missouri is 0-3 after losses to Ohio, Southern Illinois and Arkansas State. SMS is 1-1 with a win over East Central and a loss to Oklahoma State. Last season, Southeast Missouri was 8-4 and ranked 23rd nationally in Division I-AA last season while SMS was 4-7. Southeast was 4-2 the I-AA Ohio Valley Conference while SMS was 1-6 in the Gateway Conference. Southeast has been picked to win the OVC in a preseason poll of league head coaches. The Indians were ranked 20th nationally in the I-AA preseason poll by The Sports Network and 21st nationally in the USA Today/ESPN poll.
THE COACHES: Tim Billings, a former assistant at Marshall, Missouri and Oklahoma, is 15-22 in his fourth season at Southeast. He was the 2002 OVC Coach of the Year and AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year. Randy Ball is 17-18 in his fourth season at SMS and is 85-66-1 in his 14th season as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES: SMS leads the series 42-28 and has won the last three games. Southeast's last win was 28-23 at Houck Stadium in 1999.
SOUTHEAST DROPS OUT OF NATIONAL POLL: Southeast Missouri has dropped out of the Top 25 polls after being ranked 22nd nationally in last week's Sports Network Poll and ranked 21st nationally in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Southeast did receive votes in the polls.
INJURIES: Defensive back Mike Miller suffered a knee injury in the Ohio game and is out indefinitely. Nate Johnston will get the start at strong safety and will be backed up by Chaun Tate. Starting cornerback Marco Tipton will missed the Arkansas State game with a knee injury and doubtful for the sms Game. Backup linebacker Travion Brock also missed the game with a leg injury but is probable for the SMS game. Dan Bieg left the ASU game with a leg injury but is probable for SMS. Kellin White will replace Tipton with Brennan Spain as the backup to Percell. Tunde Agboke will replace Brock on the depth chart. Backup offensive guard Eric Krauss suffered a leg injury in preseason practice and did not play at Ohio or vs. SIU. He is doubtful for the SMS game.
QUARTERBACK STILL UP FOR GRABS: All three quarterbacks played in the Arkansas State game and a starter for the SMS game.
BIEG NEWS: Preseason honorable mention all-OVC offensive guard Dan Bieg was cleared to play on Tuesday, Aug. 19. He had been held out of contact drills due to a slow healing thumb injury.
TOP RUSHER RETURNS: Corey Kinsey, who rushed for 1,067 yards last season, is a preseason all-OVC choice. He did not participate in spring drills while concentrating on academics, but was in the starting lineup for the season opener. Kinsey rushed for 42 yards in the season opener, had 73 yards against SIU, and 44 yards against ASU.
TEAM ELECTS SIX CAPTAINS: The team has elected three offensive captains and three defensive captains. Offensive captains include quarterback Jack Tomco, center Eugene Amano and kicker Derek Kutz. Defensive captains include end Ryan Roth, linebacker Ricky Farmer and back Dimitri Patterson.
COLEMAN INELIGIBLE: Wide receiver Bill Coleman has been ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA. Southeast Missouri has appealed the NCAA decision. Unless the appeal is successful he will miss the entire 2003 season.
OVC FAVORITE: For the first time ever, Southeast has been picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference title in voting by the league head coaches. Murray State was picked second, Eastern Illinois third, Eastern Kentucky fourth, Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech tied for fifth, Tennessee State seventh, Samford eighth and Tennessee-Martin ninth. The complete poll and OVC release is attached. Street & Smith's 2003 Football National Preview also picked Southeast to win the OVC title.
PRESEASON ALL-OVC: Southeast had a league-high seven players named preseason all-OVC with three more players gaining honorable mention. Jack Tomco, Corey Kinsey, Eugene Amano and Dan Connolly were first team selections on offense with Ryan Roth, Marco Tipton and Dimitri Patterson honored on defense. Honorable mention selections were Ricky Farmer, Mike Miller and Dan Bieg.
TWO TELEVISED GAMES: Two Southeast home games at Houck Stadium will be nationally televised. The home opener on Sept. 6 vs. Southern Illinois was televised on Fox Sports Midwest and Fox Sports Chicago and was available nationwide on Fox Sports Digital Nets. The homecoming game on Oct. 4 vs. Eastern Illinois will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. and will be televised live nationally by The Football Network.
TOMCO ON PAYTON WATCH LIST: Senior quarterback Jack Tomco is on the initial Sports Network Payton Watch List. The list profiles 16 potential candidates for the Walter Payton Award which is the I-AA equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Tomco, who passed for over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, is just the second Southeast player to ever be on the watch list. Last season, Willie Ponder was added to the list at mid-season and ended up finishing fourth in the Payton Award voting. Tomco is among the first 50 players to be named to play in the inaugural I-AA College Football All-Star Classic on Dec. 30 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The game will be televised by The Football Network.
NUMBER CHANGE WITH MEANING: Senior defensive end Ryan Roth will wear number 32 this season to honor the memory of a high school teammate who was killed in the collapse of an apartment deck near Wrigley Field in Chicago on June 28. Rob Koranda was captain of the Naperville (Illinois) North High School team when Roth was a junior. Koranda, who wore number 32, went on to play one season of college football at Princeton before a shoulder injury ended his football career. "Koranda was a friend who was a real inspiration to me," said Roth who is a preseason all-OVC selection at defensive end. "I want to wear number 32 to honor his memory."
PONDER A NEW YORK GIANT: Willie Ponder, consensus All-American wide receiver last season for Southeast, has made the opening day roster of the New York Giants who drafted him in the sixth round of the NFL draft.
SOUTHEAST ON RADIO: All Southeast football games will be broadcast live on the Southeast Football Network which is operated by the Zimmer Radio Group of Cape Girardeau. The flagship station is K-103 Radio, 100,000 watt FM station, that has a signal that reaches into five states. Zimmer Radio group stations KSIM in Sikeston and KWOC in Poplar Bluff also carry the games. The games can also be heard on the internet at www.gosoutheast.com or www.k103fm.com. Erik Sean will be the play-by-play voice of Southeast football with former Indian quarterback Rick Wieser and Todd Bonacki offering commentary on home games and Ron Hines adding commentary on road games.
Tim Billings RADIO SHOW: Tim Billings will have a one-hour radio show each Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The show will be broadcast live from Buffalo Wild Wings in Cape Girardeau on ESPN Radio, 1220 AM. Erik Sean will host the show that will include call-ins and audience participation.
OVC TELECONFERENCE: Ohio Valley Conference football coaches have a weekly teleconference beginning on Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. All league coaches will participate and will answer questions from the media. Coach Billings will be on at 10:35 a.m. each Tuesday. For more information contact Ryan Altizer at the OVC, (615) 371-1698.
OVC SEASON BEGINS NEXT WEEK: Southeast opens the OVC season on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Samford. Game time will be 6 p.m.