MARSHALL - The Southwest Minnesota State University football team will continue its 2013 season for one more game.
On Sunday, the Mustangs accepted a bid to play in the 48th Mineral Water Bowl on Dec. 7 in Excelsior Springs, Mo. SMSU will face Pittsburg State, Kan., from the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) with kickoff slated for 12 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
It's the first bowl appearance for SMSU and just the third postseason game in the program's 46-year history. The Mustangs lost their previous two postseason games, 49-7 at home to Mesa State, Colo., in the first round of the 1987 NAIA playoffs and 35-6 at Carson-Newman, Tenn., in the first round of the 1990 NAIA playoffs.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play one more football game in 2013," said Cory Sauter, Southwest Minnesota State head football coach. "It is a great reward for all the hard work that our players have invested in this season. We were able to finish strong with four straight wins to put us in position for postseason play."
SMSU finished the regular season 7-4 overall, tying for the third-highest win total in program history and its highest since moving to NCAA Division II in 1995. The Mustangs closed the regular season winning their final four games - their longest winning streak since 1999.
Pittsburg State, ranked No. 9 in this week's AFCA Top 25 poll, is 9-2 on the season and coming off a 35-21 home loss to Missouri Southern on Saturday, knocking the Gorillas from a possible berth in the NCAA playoffs. Pittsburg State was ranked No. 5 in last week's NCAA region rankings.
The Gorillas are the most successful program in Division II history having racked up a record of 672-331-48 in 105 seasons of football. Pittsburg State won the national championship in 2011 and 1991. The Gorillas were national runners-up in 1992, 1995 and 2004.
The NSIC started playing in the bowl game in 2000, with the league recording a 4-9 all-time record in the game. The NSIC has won the last two games, with Minnesota State defeating Northeastern State, Okla., 28-14 in 2011 and Winona State beating Lindenwood, Mo., 41-21 last season.
For more information on the Mineral Water Bowl go to mineralwaterbowl.net.