May 17, 2007
2007 Football Schedule AnnouncedMARYVILLE - (2007 Schedule) The Northwest Missouri State football program and head coach Mel Tjeerdsma have announced the 2007 schedule, which features two NCAA playoff qualifiers and an early start under the lights. The season-opener against Arkansas Tech on Aug. 23 will be played under newly installed lights and on synthetic turf at Bearcat Stadium and mark the earliest start in school history (since 1929). This year's meeting with Pittsburg State at Arrowhead Stadium takes place on Oct. 6 for a 2 p.m. kick-off.
Northwest enters the 2007 season on three notable winning streaks. The Bearcats hold an overall 10-game home winning streak, which ties for fourth longest in school history. Also, Northwest has not lost a non-conference game at Bearcat Stadium since Nov. 30, 2002, which marks nine straight wins. On the flip side, the Bearcats own a 12-game road MIAA winning streak, which dates back to the 2003 season.
Northwest entertains Tech, which won four straight to end 2006 and finished 7-3. The only other meeting between these two schools was a Northwest win back in 1999. Northwest is looking to better a 12-game winning streak in home season-openers.
The second week has the Bearcats traveling to Nebraska-Omaha on Sept. 8 for UNO's home-opener. These two programs have been ranked in the AFCA Top 25 poll the past seven meetings with the home team winning each time. The 31-0 Northwest shutout last season marked the largest shutout victory for Northwest in the series since 1947.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) season begins at Missouri Western on Sept. 15. The Griffons are the second season opponent (along with Nebraska-Omaha) to hold the distinction of a 2006 playoff participant. In a rivalry played continuously since 1981, Northwest has won nine of the last 11 meetings.
In the 73rd installment of the Hickory Stick, the longest Division II trophy game, Truman State and Northwest face each other Sept. 22 at Bearcat Stadium. Northwest looks to continue a five-game series winning streak. On Family Day (Sept. 29), Southwest Baptist visits Bearcat Stadium in the battle of the Bearcats. In the current 12-game winning streak against SBU, Northwest owns a 36.5 scoring margin. The Sept. date is the earliest in this series since Sept. 28, 2002.
The Fall Classic at Arrowhead VI meeting (Oct. 6) with Pittsburg State occurs at the earliest point in the brief history of the event. Northwest has won three of the five meetings at Arrowhead including a 41-14 win last season for the largest margin of victory. Games with the Mules of Central Missouri (Oct. 13) and Tigers of Fort Hays State (Oct. 20) come after the Fall Classic. Offense has been a theme in the recent history against UCM with the combined score totaling at least 45 points in the last four meetings, the last three being Bearcat wins. Northwest welcomed Fort Hays into the MIAA with a 59-0 spanking last year during Homecoming, the first meeting since 1980.
Northwest looks to continue recent success during Homecoming as Washburn invades Maryville on Oct. 27. The Bearcats hold a five-game Homecoming winning streak with the average margin of victory over 35 points. Emporia State on Nov. 3 and Missouri Southern on Nov. 10 close out the regular season before the playoffs begin on Nov. 17. The Bearcats hold a 12-game series winning streak against the Hornets of ESU and have not lost on the road since 1981 - a span of nine wins. The Nov. 10 date with MSSU will be the second against former offensive coordinator Bart Tatum. Tatum's squad nearly upset the Bearcats last season as Northwest pulled away late for a 24-7 victory. Overall, Northwest enjoys a 12-game series winning streak, tied for the longest active string.
Fourteenth-year head coach Mel Tjeerdsma (132-36 record) welcomes 45 letterwinners and 16 starters from a 2006 team to go 14-1, win the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Championship and make it to its second straight NCAA National Championship.
Bearcat Stadium is scheduled to undergo construction this summer for synthetic turf and lights. The University's Board of Regents announced on March 28 a proposal for $1.5 million to go towards improvements.
2007 SCHEDULE NOTES:
Northwest has been ranked in the AFCA Top 25 for the last 42 straight weeks including No. 2 for the last 15 polls... Since the Mel Tjeerdsma regime (since 1994), Northwest has started the season 9-0 or better seven times... The Bearcats have won 10 or more games in nine of the last 11 seasons... Since Bearcat Stadium was remodeled before the 2004 season, Northwest is 18-1... Northwest is looking to advance to its third straight National Championship in Florence, Ala., on Dec. 15 and fifth overall... The Bearcats are looking to make the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight season and 12th overall.
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