Date (Time): Oct. 13 (1 p.m.)
Opponent: Tennessee State
Site (Venue): Murray, Ky. (Roy Stewart Stadium)
Audio: Froggy 103.7 FM (PxP: Neal Bradley; Color: Josh McKeel)
Live Stats: GoRacers.com
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball
MUR Record (Streak): 2-3, 2-0 OVC (Won 2)
TSU Record (Streak): 2-2, 1-1 OVC (Lost 2)
All-Time Series vs. TSU (Streak): MSU leads 15-13 (Won 2)
First Meeting: W 22-7 (Oct. 15, 1988, Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: W 38-31 (Oct. 29, 2016, Murray, Ky.)
Last Five vs. TSU: 3-2 (W, 2016; W, 2015; L, 2014; L, 2013; W, 2012)
MUR Next Game: Oct. 20 at Eastern Kentucky
MUR Next Home Game: Oct. 27 vs. Jacksonville State
The Murray State football team looks to improve to 3-0 in the OVC Saturday when it hosts Tennessee State at Roy Stewart Stadium. Kickoff from The Track is set for 1 p.m.
Saturday will be cool and crisp with very little chance of rain, a sign that summer has finally given way to fall in the Commonwealth. The high on Saturday will be just 68 with winds at about 5-7 mph.
Last Time Out
The Racers improved to 2-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday with a 48-41 win at Eastern Illinois. The Racers set a new modern-era single-game rushing record with 449 yards, besting the previous mark of 418 against Tennessee State in 2000. The win moves the Racers to 2-0 in the OVC, marking their first 2-0 league start since 2013. The two teams went back-and-forth for the entire 60 minutes, with neither team leading by more than seven at any point in the contest. Trailing 34-31 in the third quarter, quarterback Drew Anderson took his team 75 yards down the field in five plays, capping the drive with a 17 yard keeper that put his team on top 38-34. Gabriel Vicente pushed the lead out to a full touchdown early in the fourth quarter with his second field goal of the night. However, the Panthers would answer with just 3:07 remaining in regulation on a 35-yard run by Jamal Scott to tie the game at 41. That’s when Anderson went to work, putting together another 75-yard drive that was capped by D.J. Penick’s third score of the game to put MSU on top for the final time, 48-41.
The Tennessee State Series
Despite not meeting in 2017, the Racers enter Saturday on a two-game win streak against the Tigers with wins in both Nashville and Murray. Murray State leads the all-time series between the two schools with a thin 15-13 margin, while also leading the series in Murray, 9-6.
Scouting The Tigers
After losing two games to weather earlier in the season, Tennessee State enters the weekend at 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the OVC. The Tigers lost a shoot-out to Austin Peay last week, 49-34, despite 248 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Demry Croft and 179 receiving yards and three touchdowns from Chris Rowland. On the season, TSU is averaging 34.0 points per game, while allowing 30.8 points per game. Offensively, the Tigers average 316.8 yards per game in the air and 166.0 yards per game on the ground for a total of 482.8 yards per game, while allowing 427.5. Croft currently passes for 222.0 yards per game with eight touchdowns on the year, while Rowland currently leads the nation in receiving yards per game at 138.3. On defense, Dajour Nesbeth leads the way with 27 tackles and two interception including 104 return yards and a touchdown.
On September 29, TSU linebacker Christion Abercrombie suffered a severe head injury in the Tigers’ game against Vanderbilt. As of Tuesday, Abercrombie began showing significant signs of improvement, but remains in critical condition. As a show of support, the Racers will wear a red number six, Abercrombie’s number, trimmed in blue on the back of their helmets Saturday.
All By Myself
Linebacker Quincy Williams currently leads the OVC and is seventh in the nation solo tackles per game at 6.6. In total, he averages 9.4 per game placing him 23rd in the FCS and fourth in the OVC.
Running With The Racers
For a team known for its passing, the Racers put together one of the better rushing performances in team history against EIU and set a new modern-era single-game rushing record in the process. Murray State rushed for 449 yards in the game, besting the previous mark of 418 which came against this week’s opponent, Tennessee State, in 2000.
For just the third time since 1997, the Racers are 2-0 in the OVC. The only other previous time between 1997 and 2018 was in 2013.
For the first time since 2006, the Racers had two 100-plus yard rushers Saturday with D.J. Penick rushing for 180 yards, while Rodney Castille added 142. The last time the feat occurred was in 2006 when Chad Cook rushed for 223 yards and Charlie Jordan rushed for 111 against Indiana State. The 180 yards on the ground by Penick was the most by a Racers since Mike Harris rushed for 206 against Eastern Kentucky in 2011.
Murray State coaching legend Frank Beamer returns to The Track this week to celebrate his induction into College Football Hall of Fame. The legendary coach, who helmed the Racers from 1981-1986, followed by a highly successful stint at Virginia Tech from 1987 to 2015. Keeping the Murray State ties alive at Tech, former quarterback Justin Fuente was named as the new head coach of the Hokies following Beamer’s retirement. Currently, Beamer is the only Murray State player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
OK, What’s Next?
The Racers travel east in the Commonwealth for their annual showdown with rival Eastern Kentucky. Kickoff from the other OVC stadium named after a Roy, Roy Kidd Stadium, is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.