JOPLIN, Mo. — The Jeff Sims era at Missouri Southern didn’t begin the way that many might have hoped.
The Lions suffered their first loss of the season 37-29 to Nebraska-Kearney last Thursday in their opening game of the season.
The Lopers scored the first 20 points of the game, and took a 33-6 lead into the half. The Lions came back swinging in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points, and only allowing one more Lopers score.
The second half performance did little to ease the mind of Sims and his players. Sims said in his weekly press conference Wednesday he’s still trying to instill in his players the idea that they only get one shot at a team each year, and he’s hopeful that his team will use the loss as a learning lesson heading into their game with Lincoln Thursday.
“I want our guys to learn that they can accomplish a lot of things if they believe in themselves,” Sims said. “I feel like they doubted themselves in the first half, or they were waiting for someone else to do something. If you wait for other people, they’re not going to do it. Our guys are prepared and they have the talent and they have the ability, but you also have to have the belief and the work ethic to make it accomplished.”
Lions quarterback Jacob Park said he’s seen his teammates make strides towards understanding their coaches beliefs.
“I think you’re starting to see people’s minds racing a little bit,” Park said. “You know you can see it in people’s eyes that they’re starting to wonder. They’re not like totally like I’m just not doing this today. It’s starting to roll around in their head a little bit and people are starting to catch on so I’m rather excited personally.”
The Lions and Lincoln will kick off Thursday at 6 p.m. in Jefferson City.