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MSU Bears Lose Heartbreaker Against UTM In First Round of College Football Playoffs

Isaac Smith
Missouri State Athletics Communications
/
Missouri State University
Isaac Smith Catch

The Bears looked out of sorts from their first drive of the day, when a tipped pass and a false start killed any momentum the team hoped to gain out of the gate. The Bears were never out of the game, trading the lead with UT-Martin all afternoon before quarterback and MVFC Offensive Player of the Year Jason Shelley got the ball back with 1:45 remaining. But an interception -- MSU’s sixth turnover of the game -- sealed the win for UTM, 32-31.

“I’ve got a lot of respect, pride, and love for our players and assistant coaches because they really did an unbelievable job this year,” said MSU head coach Bobby Petrino postgame.

Despite the loss, Shelley filled up the stat sheet again, with 372 total yards and three touchdowns. Linebacker Tylar Wiltz had 14 total tackles, an interception, a sack, and two tackles for loss.

Missouri State finishes the season with a record of 8-4. This was the team's second year in a row to make a postseason appearance, and the bulk of MSU's players are returning next season.