Murray State Racers (1-3, 0-1 OVC) at Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (1-3, 0-1 OVC)
Saturday, Oct. 4 • 7:00 p.m. CT
Tucker Stadium (16,500) • Cookeville, Tenn.
TV:OVC Digital Network
Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads 41-37-1
Last Meeting: Murray State won 35-24 (10/5/13)
Murray State Last Week: L, 52-28 vs. #8 Jacksonville State
Tennessee Tech Last Week: L, 50-7 at #10 Northern Iowa
GAME NOTES: Two teams with 1-3 overall records will play Saturday night in Cookeville. Tennessee Tech returns home for the first time since Week 1 while Murray State is playing its third road game of the season. The two teams have played 79 previous times with Tech holding a 41-37-1 advantage in the all-time series. Murray State, however, has controlled the series as of late, winning the last four and five of the last six in the series. A season ago the Racers got off to a quick start thanks to All-American Walter Powell (who is now playing with the New York Jets). Powell returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter and then caught a 55-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to put his team up 21-0. He would late add a 59-yard touchdown reception in the second half as he finished the game with 310 all-purpose yards (the most by an OVC player in a game last year) and earned National Special Teams Player of the Week. Ladarius Vanlier had 172 all-purpose yards for the Golden Eagles, including 97 yards on the ground.
SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Murray State lost its third consecutive game on Saturday, falling to No. 8 Jacksonville State 52-28. The game was a shootout early on, with teams matching each other touchdown-for-touchdown as the game was tied at 28 with 1:46 to play before halftime. But after a 90-yard kickoff return the Gamecocks scored a touchdown just 23 seconds before halftime and would not allow the Racers to score another point the remainder of the game. The Racers were limited to just 82 yards of total offense in the second half including nine total yards of offense in its first four possession of that half. KD Humphries completed 27-of-41 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 50 yards and a touchdown. Nevar Griffin and Jeremy Harness each caught six pass n the night while Pokey Harris finished the game with 157 all-purpose yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Jackson had a team-high 19 tackles, the most by a MSU player since the 2008 season. The 19 tackles are the most in the OVC this season and tied for third-most in a FCS game this season. Travis Taylor added 17 tackles and a sack, marking the third-straight week he has established a new career-high in tackles. Jackson and Taylor are now tied for sixth nationally in tackles/game (11.5).
As a team Murray State ranks seventh in punt return yardage defense (1.80 yards/return) and ninth in punt returns (19.56 yards/return), fumbles lost (1) and turnovers lost (3).
SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH: Tennessee Tech is also looking to end a three-game losing streak as they are coming off a second consecutive loss to a nationally-ranked FCS opponent. The Golden Eagles traveled to No. 10 Northern Iowa and managed just 92 yards of total offense, including 25 yards through the air. Sophomore Radir Annoor had the biggest play of the day, racing 84 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter; his run was the seventh-longest run from scrimmage. Annoor finished the game with 98 total rushing yards.
Defensively redshirt freshman Joe Robertson had nine total tackles in the loss while Marty Jones added eight tackles and Kevin Robinson-White had a team-best 2.5 tackles-for-loss. As a team Tech is 16th nationally in tackles-for-loss per game (8.9).