Date (Time): Oct. 7 (2 p.m.)
Opponent: #25 UT Martin
Site (Venue): Martin, Tenn. (Hardy M. Graham Stadium)
Audio: Froggy 103.7 FM (PxP: Neal Bradley; Color: Dave Winder)
Web Stream: OVCDigitalNetwork.com
Live Stats: GoRacers.com
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball, @PGriffithMSU
MSU Record (Streak): 1-4, 0-1 OVC (Lost 4)
UTM Record (Streak): 3-2, 1-1 OVC (Lost 1)
All-Time Series vs. UTM (Streak): MSU leads 35-20-1 (Lost 6)
First Meeting: Won 13-0 (Oct. 17, 1924 in Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: Lost 31-38 (Oct. 15, 2016 in Murray, Ky.)
MSU Last Game: Lost 10-55 at #17 Louisville
UTM Last Game: Lost 0-7 at Austin Peay
MSU Next Game: Oct. 14 vs. Eastern Illinois
MSU Next Home Game: Oct. 14 vs. Eastern Illinois
The Murray State football team will look to end a four-game skid Saturday when it makes the short drive to take on the 25th-ranked Skyhawks of UT Martin. Both teams lost to resurgent Austin Peay in their last league contest and are looking to bounce back in this week’s rivalry game. Kickoff form Hardy M. Graham Stadium in Martin, Tennessee in scheduled for 2 p.m., with the game scheduled to be broadcast on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.
Temps should be on the higher side Saturday afternoon with a high of 87 F. While the forecast currently calls for clouds, the chance for rain is just 25-percent. Winds will be moderate at 9 mph with gusts of up to 14 mph.
Last Time Out
The Murray State football team dropped a 55-10 decision to 17th-ranked FBS Louisville, Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cards struck first on their first drive of the game on a two-yard run by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. The Racers quickly answered with a Gabriel Vicente field goal, cutting the lead to 7-3 and keeping Vicente perfect on the season. Louisville would end the half on a 28-0 run, before botching their first snap of the second half which Jason Johnson picked up and returned for a touchdown. The touchdown would hold as MSU’s only of the game, as the Cards picked up the 55-10 win.
The UTM Series
Despite an overwhelming advantage for Murray State in the all-time series with the UT Martin at 35-20-1, recent years have not been kind to the Racers. The Skyhawks have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two teams, including 11 of the last 12. Murray State also leads the all-time series in Martin, 16-12, however it has lost in each of its last six trips to Hardy M. Graham Stadium, dating back to 2003.
The UTM Series
The 18th-ranked Skyhawks were the latest victim of the resurgent Austin Peay Governors, as the Skyhawks fell, 7-0, to the Govs Saturday in Clarksville. The game marked the first time since 2010 that the Skyhawks were shutout and the first time since 2007 that they had lost to Austin Peay. On the year, the Skyhawks are allowing 22.2 points and 323.0 yards per game, while allowing 15.0 points and 271.8 yards per game. The Skyhawks currently average 171.8 yards per game on the ground and 151.2 yards in the air. Quarterback Troy Cook is currently averaging 146.6 yards per game with six touchdowns and five interceptions. Ladarius Galloway leads the ground attack for UT Martin with 116.6 yards per game and four touchdowns. Defensively, UT Martin currently boasts the third best red zone defense in the nation at 53.8 percent and is led by James Gilleylen and Kevin Prather, Jr. with 36 tackles and four quarterback hurries each.
Gabriel Vicente was 1-for-1 on field goals and PATs Saturday and is still perfect in his kicking career. He is now just one of 13 kickers in the FCS and one of two in the OVC that has yet to miss a field goal this season.
Defense Does It Again
Jason Johnson ran back a fumble recovery against Louisville for the MSU defense’s second score of the year. The Racers are now just one 25 FCS teams whose defense has scored at least twice.
A Positive Takeaway
Murray State is currently ranked 15th in the FCS and second in the OVC in turnovers gained with 11 on the year. In contrast, Murray State has lost just seven turnovers on the season and leads the OVC in that category and is also 48th nationally. The Racers are also 23rd in the FCS turnover margin at 0.80, which also leads the league.
OK, What’s Next?
The Racers return to Roy Stewart Stadium next Saturday to host Eastern Illinois before their annual bye week. Kickoff in Murray is scheduled for 3 p.m.
by Parker Griffith