The Murray State football team hits the road for the first time in 2018 when it travels to 17th-ranked Central Arkansas. Kickoff from the purple and gray striped field of Estes Stadium in Conway is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm is what is forecasted for Conway Saturday. Temps will be in the low-80s during the day, before dipping to the low-70s at night. Chance of rain stands at about 50-percent with wins coming out of the southwest at 4-6 mph.
Last Time Out
Southern Illinois scored 28 points off of six turnovers, as the Murray State football team was defeated in its 2018 season opener, 42-10, Friday evening at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Kentucky. Murray State struck first in the game on a 25-yard field goal from Gabriel Vicente, however back-to-back second quarter touchdowns off of a fumble and an interception, respectively, pushed SIU’s lead out to 21-3.
The Racers cut the lead to 11 in the third on a 28-yard drive after an Anthony Koclanakis interception that ended in an eight-yard touchdown run by D. J Penick. However, just when it looked like Koclankis had picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown, the play was overturned and the Salukis marched down the field and scored to take a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the break. The second half was all Salukis as they added three touchdowns to clinch the 49-10 win
The Central Arkansas Series
Saturday will be the sixth all-time meeting between the Bears and Racers with Central Arkansas leading the all-time series 4-0-1. The two teams met last season in Murray, with UCA picking up a 41-13 win. Saturday will mark MSU’s just third-ever trip to Conway with Racers dropping a close one there in 2010, 21-20, and losing the first-ever meeting betwwen the two teams in 1939, 21-0.
Scouting The Bears
Central Arkansas enters Saturday at 0-1 on the season after letting a fourth quarter lead slip away at FBS Tulsa last Saturday, eventually falling 38-2 . Breylin Smith led the Bears in passing by going 17-for-25 with one touchdown and one interception for 165 yards. Smith and Kierre Crossley each had a rushing touchdown, while Carlos Blackman led the Bears on the ground with 17 carries for 57 yards. Defensively, Justin Morris had a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown, while Juan Jackson led the Bears with a game-high 22 tackles.
Big Play Q
Quincy Williams had several big plays in Thursday’s opener and led all players in the game with nine tackles including seven solo. The senior also had 2.0 tackles-for-loss totaling 14 yards, a 10-yard sack and a forced fumble
DeQuan Dallas racked up 100 return yards on kickoffs Friday on five returns with a long of 24 yards.
Koclanakis had four tackles, an interception and 10-yard return and a pass breakup in his MSU debut, while T.J. Warren and Kendrick Catis each had eight tackles in their first games in blue and gold. On special teams, Steve Dawson had five punts for 40.8 yards with a long of 50 in his first-ever football game.
OK, What’s Next?
Murray State will head to Kroger Field for just the second time in its history to take on Kentucky. Kickoff from Lexington is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT/Noon ET with the game being broadcast on the SEC Network Alternate.