Bears Matt Rush honored by Valley for special teams work

ST. LOUIS – Missouri State return specialist Matt Rush became the third Bear this season to be named a Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced Sunday.

In his first career appearance as MSU’s primary kick returner, Rush totaled 134 total yards on his four returns to help the Bears to their first road win of the season Saturday at Southern Illinois. The junior from Springfield countered an early SIU touchdown with a 72-yard return on the ensuing kickoff to set up a short scoring drive that helped spur a 24-point first-quarter outburst by MSU. Rush also added returns of 19, 21 and 22 yards for the Bears, who pulled out the 36-28 victory to notch their first two-game win streak since September 2016.

The Valley honor is the first of Rush’s MSU career and he joins two-time honoree Deion Holliman and kicker Zach Drake on the list of Bears special teamers to be cited by the MVFC this fall.

Next up, the Bears (3-6, 2-4 MVFC) will put their win streak on the line Saturday (Nov. 11) when they host UNI in a 2 p.m. contest on Senior Day at Robert W. Plaster Stadium.