JOPLIN, Mo — After falling to Fort Hays State on Saturday, the Lions will host another game this week. This time against a rival they’ve spent more than 50 years playing against.

On Saturday, MSSU & Pitt State will meet for what will be their 55th meeting with their first matchup taking place all the way back in 1968., so there’s certainly no love lost between these two.

The Lions are looking to make a statement and pull off an historic upset at home with the Gorillas coming as the third ranked team in the country.

Advantage for the Lions is, this game will be on their home turf in front of their home crowd.

We spoke to the team at their weekly press conference, earlier this afternoon where they talked about what the mindset is coming into this week hosting a Top-3 team in Division II.

Quarterback Luke Sampson said, “Just being ourselves. I think we got the talent and we got the ability to play with anybody in this league. It’s just about us going out there and executing and and doing it for four quarters because a lot of these teams, you’re not going to get many chances to take the lead or they’re not going to make a whole lot of mistakes. So we got to capitalize on those things do happen and then be able to do that for the whole game”.

Linebacker Zach Bergmann said, “I think, like we mentioned earlier, discipline is the primary thing. We got to keep our emotions high but controlled and use that emotion to win this win the ball game for us”.

Head Coach Atiba Bradley said, “We don’t get caught up in that. We’re telling you this is this is a league that if you get caught looking at records, if you get caught looking at scores, if you get caught looking at rankings and you’re going to have a letdown, you’re going to get yourself beat by a team that, quote unquote, you shouldn’t. And so our guys see it as another opportunity to compete, another opportunity to get better, another opportunity to play a quality football team”.

Saturday’s game is slated for 2 o’clock kick-off time at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.