Archive | UT Martin Football

UT Martin’s Bell Honored Again

UT Martin’s Bell Honored Again

Posted on 14 October 2014 by Allen

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For the third consecutive week, University of Tennessee at Martin linebacker Tony Bell has been recognized by College Performance Football Awards for his efforts on the gridiron.

CFPA announced that Bell was one of 11 Football Championship Subdivision linebackers to earn honorable mention accolades for Week 7. He also received those honors in Week 5 and was named National Linebacker of the Week by CFPA last week.

Bell rewrote UT Martin’s record book in the Skyhawks’ 17-10 Ohio Valley Conference win over Tennessee Tech last Thursday. The senior out of Memphis broke the UT Martin sacks record which had stood since 1988, compiling a pair of sacks to boost his career total to 18. Bell also added another tackle for loss to give him three total for the game.

Bell’s eight stops against the Golden Eagles also brought his season total up to a team-best 42 tackles. The Preseason All-American leads the OVC in tackles for loss (12.5) and fumble recoveries (two) while ranking third in sacks (3.5). He also has an interception and a forced fumble in 2014.

The Skyhawks return to OVC play this weekend when they travel to in-state rival Tennessee State. Kickoff time from Hale Stadium is set for 2 p.m.

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Bell breaks Skyhawks sack record

Bell breaks Skyhawks sack record

Posted on 10 October 2014 by Allen

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Senior linebacker Tony Bell became the University of Tennessee at Martin’s all-time sacks leader in tonight’s 17-10 victory over Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech at Hardy Graham Stadium.

In a game that endured a 127-minute rain delay in the fourth quarter, the All-American from Memphis broke the record with his second sack of the game, which occurred early in the second quarter. Bell’s 18th career sack broke the record previously held by Emanuel McNeil (17 from 1985-88).

Overall, Bell compiled eight total tackles (three tackles for loss) to set the tone for a defense that allowed its lowest scoring output against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent this season. The stingy Skyhawk defense allowed only 262 yards of total offense while tallying 10 total tackles for loss and four sacks.

Offensively, Abou Toure rushed for a career-high 128 yards and a touchdown while UT Martin’s other touchdown also came on the ground in the form of a 35-yard rush from quarterback Jarod Neal.

Neal finished with eight rushes for 73 yards while completing 15 of his 20 pass attempts for 126 yards. Kyle Kerrick hauled in a team-high four catches for 45 yards to lead the Skyhawks (2-5, 1-3 OVC).

Darian Stone went 10-for-22 for 149 yards and an interception while adding a team-best 37 yards on 14 rushes for the Golden Eagles. Brock McCoin was responsible for a game-high 85 yards on five receptions while Austin Tallant (13 tackles) and Marty Jones (11 tackles) each registered double-digit stops to pace Tennessee Tech (2-4, 1-2 OVC).

With the win, UT Martin takes a 1-0 lead in the eighth annual Sgt. York Trophy series presented by Delta Dental of Tennessee. The Sgt. York Trophy goes to the winner of the quadrangular season series between the four OVC football playing schools located in the state of Tennessee (Austin Peay, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin). Tonight’s win extended the Skyhawks’ record in the series to 14-8 – which is the best mark of the four schools.

“It was good to get the monkey off our back and get a win here at home – an OVC win,” Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson said. “I was very, very proud of our defensive staff. We had a couple of guys out and guys stepped up and made plays. Any time you hold a college team to 10 points, it’s a good day. Offensively, it was good to finish the game putting those first downs together after the delay.”

The Skyhawks scored on the first drive of the game, piecing together a 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 6:21. Neal went 4-for-4 while Toure was a workhorse, carrying the ball eight times on the drive – including a two-yard rush up the middle to give UT Martin an early advantage.

Tennessee Tech was held to three-and-outs on its first two drives, including a key third down sack by Bell to force a punt late in the first quarter.

The Golden Eagles received the ball to begin the second quarter but UT Martin held Tennessee Tech to 19 yards in six plays before the Golden Eagles punted again.

UT Martin’s next drive ended in a punt which set up Tennessee Tech’s lone scoring drive of the evening. A 31-yard rush by Stone placed the ball at the Skyhawk 16-yard line but Bell’s milestone sack and another sack by Deantae Glover followed to push the Golden Eagles back to the 32-yard line. John Arnold then successfully booted a career-long 49-yard field goal at the 4:28 mark of the second quarter to make the score 7-3.

A Skyhawk lost fumble on the first play of the ensuing drive gave Tennessee Tech prime field position on the UT Martin 10-yard line. Devontay Barnett then came up with a big play with a 12-yard sack on the first play of the drive but the Golden Eagles would advance the ball to the Skyhawk 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Barnett and Leon Carlton III then made sure that UT Martin kept the lead by breaking through the line for a tackle that resulted in no gain.

The Skyhawks picked up a first down before running out the clock to take a 7-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.

UT Martin set the tone defensively once again to start the second half, as the Golden Eagles were held to another three-and-out on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Tennessee Tech would once again be forced to punt after gaining 19 yards on six plays on its next possession.

Neal hit Wright with a 25-yard strike on the first play of UT Martin’s next drive but the Skyhawks would soon punt the ball away. The Golden Eagles would follow with 51 yards on nine plays but UT Martin once again kept Tennessee Tech off the scoreboard, forcing another punt.

The Skyhawks would add on to their lead on the ensuing drive. Starting on its own 11-yard line, Neal escaped pressure in the pocket with an eight-yard rush. Ladevin Fair then gained 17 yards on a rush through the right side. After another Fair rush and a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Golden Eagles, Neal found Wright for a 13-yard gain before finding the endzone. Neal once again broke loose from a Tennessee Tech defender and juked his way to a 35-yard score for his sixth career rushing touchdown.

UT Martin held Tennessee Tech to yet another three-and-out on its next offensive possession. The Skyhawks then came up with a turnover on the Golden Eagles’ next drive, as Jaquille White leaped up for an interception on UT Martin’s 10-yard line after Tennessee Tech had driven into Skyhawk territory.

Toure had rushes for 17 and 46 yards on UT Martin’s subsequent drive to set up a Jackson Redditt 23-yard field goal to extend the Skyhawk lead to 17-3 with 6:20 to go in the contest.

Tennessee Tech would gain 37 yards on three plays before play was suspended because of a lightning delay. The game resumed play after the lengthy delay and the Golden Eagles needed five plays before scoring on a two-yard touchdown rush to get the score back to one possession.

Receiving the ball with four minutes left, Neal rifled a 15-yard pass to Kerrick on the first play of the drive for a first down. Two plays later, Neal used his feet to once again make a big play, scrambling for 11 yards to keep the clock moving. Tennessee Tech was flagged for pass interference on third down with just under two minutes to play, allowing the Skyhawks to kneel out the clock and clinch their first OVC win of the season.

UT Martin will try to take a 2-0 edge in the Sgt. York Trophy series when it visits Tennessee State on Saturday, Oct. 18. Kickoff from Hale Stadium is set for 2 p.m.

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Breaking down Tenn Tech at UT Martin

Breaking down Tenn Tech at UT Martin

Posted on 08 October 2014 by Allen

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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (2-3, 1-1 OVC) at UT Martin Skyhawks (1-5, 0-3 OVC)
Thursday, Oct. 9 • 6:30 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500) • Martin, Tenn.
TV OVC Digital Network
Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads 22-11-2
Last Meeting: UT Martin won 28-7 (10/10/13)
Tennessee Tech Last Week: W, 30-27 vs. Murray State (OT)
UT Martin Last Week:……. L, 38-14 at #8 Jacksonville State

GAME NOTES: Tennessee Tech will travel to UT Martin for the final Thursday night game on the OVC schedule this season. The game is part of the Sgt. York Trophy series which is contested between the four OVC football-playing schools from that state of Tennessee. The teams have played competitive games over the last five years with the average margin of victory being just five points. Last year’s 11-point UTM victory was the largest by either team since 2008; in that contest the Skyhawks scored 21 points in the second quarter to grab a 28-3 halftime advantage and not look back. DJ McNeil rushed for 168 yard and a touchdown while Jarod Neal completed 21-of-29 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown. Jared Davis tossed two touchdowns for the Golden Eagles while Cody Matthews finished the game with seven catches for 130 yards and a score.

SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH: Tennessee Tech evened its OVC record at 1-1 on the season with a come-from-behind 30-27 victory over Murray State in overtime. The game was back-and-forth the entire way with the two teams tied at 3, 10, 17, 24 and 27. MSU pulled ahead 27-24 with 1:29 to play in the fourth quarter before Tech engineered an 8-play, 38-yard drive that was capped by a 41-yard field goal from redshirt freshman John Arnold to force overtime. That final drive of regulation included a 17-yard completion on 4th-and-8 and a fumble recovery after quarterback Jared Davis fumbled. After Murray State failed on its field goal attempt to start overtime, Tech drove to the Racer three-yard line before Arnold capped the game with a 20-yard field goal to earn OVC Specialist of the Week honors. Arnold connected on three total field goals in the game and is 4-of-5 in field goals and 11-of-11 in extra point attempts this season.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Trey Thompson earned OVC Newcomer of the Week honors after registering 15 total tackles in the win. Ladarius Vanlier returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, his second career kickoff return for a score; Vanlier currently ranks sixth nationally in kickoff returns (31.6 yards/return) and seventh in punt returns (14.5 yards/return). Vanlier finished the game with 185 all-purpose yards and is now 10th in TTU history with 2,901 career all-purpose yards. As a team Tech ranks ninth nationally in fewest penalties/game (4.6) and 16th in tackles-for-loss (8.7/game).

SCOUTING UT MARTIN: UT Martin lost its third-straight game on Saturday, falling at No. 8 Jacksonville State by a 38-14 margin. The Skyhawks have now played two nationally-ranked FCS teams, a FCS squad that is now ranked and a FBS opponent so far this season. The team fell behind 21-0 to Jax State and could never get an offensive attack going, registering only 216 yards of total offense for the day (its lowest out in 51 games dating back to the 2010 season). Trent Garland scored the team’s only offensive touchdown of the day, scoring from two yards out in the fourth quarter; he had a team-high 39 rushing yards for the game. Dylan Favre got his first start of the season at quarterback and completed 6-of-20 passes for 25 yards; Jarod Neal entered the game later and completed 6-of-13 passes for 63 yards.

All-American linebacker Tony Bell (who is 1 of 2 OVC players on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List) scooped up a fumble at the JSU and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter; he finished the game with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Bell currently ranks fourth nationally in fumbles recovered (2) and 27th in tackles-for-loss/game (1.6). Punter James Satterfield punted 11 times for a UTM single-game record 487 yards (44.3 yards/punt) with a long of 56 yards.

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Bell earns linebacker of the week honors

Bell earns linebacker of the week honors

Posted on 07 October 2014 by Allen

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College Football Performance Awards announced University of Tennessee at Martin senior linebacker Tony Bell as its Week 6 National Linebacker of the Week this morning.

This marks the third time in Bell’s career that he has been named a National Player of the Week, as he also earned the award on Sept. 9 and Nov. 4 of last year.

Bell got UT Martin on the scoreboard last Saturday with a heads up play at No. 8 Jacksonville State. He sniffed out a rushing play and scooped up a fumble at the Gamecocks’ 24-yard line, returning it all the way for a touchdown. All in all, Bell made seven tackles with a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.

After combining for 16 tackles in the season’s first four games, the Preseason All-American has tallied 18 tackles (including six tackles for loss) in the past two contests. Bell ranks second in the OVC in tackles for loss (9.5) and fumble recoveries (two).

The Skyhawks square off against Tennessee Tech at home this Thursday, Oct. 9 for UT Martin Faculty Appreciation Night. Kickoff time from Hardy Graham Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.

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Graham Stadium to get facelift

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Graham Stadium to get facelift

Posted on 02 October 2014 by Allen

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A facelift project for Hardy M. Graham Stadium at the University of Tennessee at Martin is being delayed one year from this fall to address higher-than-expected bid costs for the project. The project was originally approved by the UT Board of Trustees at its June meeting in Knoxville and continues to have full support of UT Martin’s administration. Construction is expected to begin after the fall 2015 season once revised and approved plans are in place.

The renovation project was designed to provide a four-story structure accommodating media, concessions, hospitality, visitor and officials’ locker room, and hospitality and food service management classroom space. The project design also included a complete replacement of the current bleacher structure and seating that would be integrated with the new press box structure on the stadium’s west side.

Construction bids received for the project in late August were above the university bid target by approximately $2.5 million. In response, UT Martin is now working with designers on creative solutions to reduce the project costs while still achieving the primary goals of the project and maintaining the original four-story concept.

The most significant cost-saving measure being evaluated is to maintain the current bleachers with some modifications and upgrades. This deviation from the original design approach offers a greater seating capacity, which allows the university to be responsive to those individuals who were concerned about the seating reduction.

Skyhawk head football coach Jason Simpson and athletics director Julio Freire both expressed disappointment in the delay but recognize the financial situation and support the plans to move forward. Chancellor Tom Rakes also stated his disappointment with the circumstances but supports the process moving forward in a reasoned and strategic manner.

The new timeline will also accommodate continued fundraising opportunities, and officials believe that Skyhawk football fans and those interested in the addition of new academic program offerings will be pleased with the revised plan.

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Breaking down UT Martin at Jacksonville State

Breaking down UT Martin at Jacksonville State

Posted on 01 October 2014 by Allen

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UT Martin Skyhawks (1-4, 0-2 OVC) at #8 Jacksonville State Gamecocks (3-1, 1-0 OVC)
Saturday, Oct. 4 • 3:00 p.m. CT
Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium (24,000) • Jacksonville, Ala.
TV: ESPN3
Series Record:Jacksonville State leads 28-7

Last Meeting: Jacksonville State won 41-27 (10/5/13)
UT Martin Last Week: L, 31-27 vs. Southeast Missouri
Jacksonville State Last Week: W, 52-28 at Murray State

GAME NOTES: The OVC Game of the Week on ESPN3 will feature nationally-ranked Jacksonville State hosting UT Martin on Saturday afternoon. JSU leads the all-time series with UT Martin by a 28-7 margin, although most of those games were played before the team’s were Division I members. Jax State holds a 5-3 advantage in games played over the past eight years including winning 41-27 a year ago in Martin. In that game UTM was nationally-ranked (No. 22) but JSU would end up ranked the next week following the victory.

Gamecocks running back DaMarcus James rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns while Max Shortell threw for 226 yards and two scores for Jax State. UTM was led by Dylan Favre who completed 24 passes for 290 yards and two scores and rushed for 33 yards.

SCOUTING UT MARTIN: UT Martin slipped to 0-2 in Conference play last Saturday with a 31-27 home loss to Southeast Missouri. The Skyhawks led four different times in the game including 27-24 late in the third quarter when Jarod Neal hooked up with William Tanner for a 35-yard touchdown. But Southeast would add a touchdown with nine minutes to go and then stop UTM on 4th-and-Goal on the next possession. Neal, who ranks sixth nationally in passing efficiency (162.0), completed 20-of-37 passes for a career-high 350 yards and three touchdowns. The 350 passing yards are the most by an OVC quarterback this season. Rod Wright had a team-high six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown; entering the game the redshirt junior had only seven receptions for 102 yards. In total 17 different players have caught a pass this season with six different players having 10 or more receptions through five games. Senior All-American linebacker Tony Bell had a game-high 11 tackles to go along with his 3.5 tackles-for-loss in the loss; he also recovered a fumble and had two quarterback hurries in his best all-around game of the season.

The Skyhawks have the top passing offense in the OVC (288.8 yards/game), a mark that ranks 11th nationally; the team also ranks 11th nationally in total offense (485.6 yards/game).

SCOUTING JACKSONVILLE STATE: Jacksonville State improved to 3-1 on the season and opened OVC play with a 52-28 victory at Murray State. The game was tied at 28 with 1:46 to play before halftime before JD Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards which led to a DaMarcus James touchdown run three plays later. That play also sparked the JSU defense which allowed only 82 yards of total offense in the second half, including just nine yards over the first four possessions of that half. Overall Jax State had 628 yards of total offense, the fourth-highest total in school history, and second-straight week they have had over 600 yards. JSU is one of just two teams in the FCS this season (Fordham being the other) to have 600 or more yards of total offense in multiple games. James had 148 yards (his 15th career 100-yard game) and three rushing touchdowns while quarterback Eli Jenkins had a team-high 149 rushing yard and three touchdowns to go along with his 180 passing yards and another score. Jenkins was named National Player of the Week by College Sporting News for his performance. Offensively the team is averaging 256.3 rushing yards/game which is second in the OVC and 12th nationally.

On defense Ben Endress had 10 tackles (8 solo) and 1.5 tackles-for-loss against the Racers; through four games Endress leads the team with 30 tackles. Punter Hamish MacInnes averaged 40.7 yards/punt against MSU including downing two inside the 15-yard line; the junior ranks 36th nationally in punting (40.7 yards/punt).

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Bell honored for SEMO performance

Bell honored for SEMO performance

Posted on 30 September 2014 by Allen

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University of Tennessee at Martin senior linebacker Tony Bell has been named as one of four College Football Performance Awards honorable mention linebackers for Week 5.

This marks the second time this season that a Skyhawk has been recognized by the CFPA, as Corey Jordan was named an honorable mention tight end after UT Martin’s season opener at Kentucky on Aug. 30.

Bell had his best statistical game of the season against Southeast Missouri last Saturday. The 6-1, 200-pound Memphis native made a game-high 11 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss – which doubled his season total heading into the contest. He was credited with a half-sack and also recovered a fumble while hurrying the quarterback twice.

Bell, who earned 2013 All-American honors and is on the Sports Network Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, ranks fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference with seven tackles for loss. He also leads the team with seven quarterback hurries while making 27 tackles and securing one interception on the season.

The Skyhawks return to action this Saturday, Oct. 3 when they travel to Jacksonville State for the ESPN3 OVC Game of the Week. Kickoff time is set for 3 p.m.

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UT Martsin falls to SEMO

UT Martsin falls to SEMO

Posted on 28 September 2014 by Allen

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Redshirt juniors Jarod Neal and Rod Wright each had career days this evening against Southeast Missouri but the University of Tennessee at Martin football team fell to the Redhawks by a 31-27 margin at Hardy Graham Stadium.

Neal threw for a career-best 350 yards and tied a career-high with three touchdowns. Wright was his favorite target, as he hauled in six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. The 161 receiving yards were 101 more than his previous career-high and the touchdown was the first of his career.

William Tanner and Kyle Kerrick also accounted for touchdown receptions tonight for the Skyhawks, who piled up 514 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Tony Bell compiled a game-high 11 tackles – including 3.5 tackles for loss. The senior out of Memphis also recovered a fumble and had a pair of quarterback hurries. Walter Evans made a career-best nine tackles while Marquis Clemons (forced fumble) and Terrious Triplett (interception) also caused turnovers for the Skyhawk defense.

Peter Lloyd had 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns for Southeast Missouri (3-2, 1-0 OVC). Quarterback Kyle Snyder passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns while Lennies McFerren added a game-high 89 rushing yards on 20 carries. Roper Garrett had a team-high nine tackles and one forced fumble to lead the Redhawk defense.

“We had a chance to win the game but the bottom line is that penalties and missed red zone chances cost us,” UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said. “That’s a good Southeast Missouri team that just beat the No. 3 team in the country last week. The kids played hard and left it all out there – we had good intentions but we just didn’t get it done. We have to be a smarter football team.”

Neal hit Wright with a 60-yard strike on the second play of the game but the Skyhawk drive stalled when Southeast Missouri recovered a fumble on the Redhawks’ 1-yard line.

The Skyhawk defense then had a strong opening possession, forcing Southeast Missouri into a three-and-out before punting.

After UT Martin took over at its own 47-yard line, the Skyhawks needed just five plays to get on the scoreboard first. Neal hooked up with Wright for a 23-yard touchdown pass and after a Jackson Redditt PAT, UT Martin led 7-0 with 10:22 to go in the first quarter.

Southeast Missouri then tied the score on its ensuing possession, as Kyle Snyder completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Peter Lloyd.

The Skyhawks would score again on their next drive, as Redditt successfully split the uprights from 36 yards out to give UT Martin a 10-7 advantage.

Southeast Missouri would answer with a 12-play, 72-yard scoring drive that lasted 5:35. The drive concluded with a one-yard quarterback keeper touchdown rush by Snyder.

Neal would guide UT Martin to another scoring drive. After rushes of eight and 16 yards by Trent Garland, Neal completed passes of 14 yards to Wright and 23 yards to Tanner before finding Kerrick for a 24-yard touchdown strike to tilt the score back in the Skyhawks’ favor at 17-14.

The Redhawks then pieced together another long drive to go ahead 21-17, as Snyder once again rushed in from one yard out to cap off a 13-play, 77-yard drive that drained 6:26 off the clock.

Both teams then swapped punts before the Skyhawks took over with 1:25 to go before halftime. Garland had a long rush of 21 yards and Kerrick hauled in a 12-yard reception on 3rd-and-9 to help UT Martin get into Southeast Missouri territory but a long Hail Mary pass into the endzone was ruled incomplete as time expired in the first half.

The Skyhawk defense would come up with a big play to begin the third quarter, as Ryan Isom stripped the ball for a fumble on Southeast Missouri’s first play from scrimmage. Bell fell on the fumble and UT Martin took over at the Redhawk 28-yard line.

Six plays later, Redditt once again was true from 29 yards out to slice the Skyhawk deficit to 21-20 with 11:47 to go in the third quarter.

Southeast Missouri got back in the scoring column on its ensuing drive, as the Redhawks converted a 47-yard field goal to push their lead back out to 24-20.

On its ensuing possession, UT Martin tilted the score back in its favor thanks to another scoring drive engineered by Neal. Ladevin Fair began the drive with a 19 yard rush to set the tone on the drive. Six plays later, Neal stood tough in the pocket and lofted a 35-yard touchdown strike to a wide open Tanner to give UT Martin a 27-24 lead at the 5:18 mark of the third quarter.

The Redhawks kept the ball through the end of the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Triplett stepped in front of a Snyder pass at the 1-yard line and returned it 16 yards for his second interception in as many weeks.

On the Redhawks’ next possession, Snyder once again connected with Lloyd for a 28-yard touchdown to put Southeast Missouri ahead by a 31-27 margin with 9:04 remaining in the contest.

UT Martin then marched the ball down the field, a big chunk of that yardage coming on a 48-yard strike from Neal to Wright that put the ball inside the Skyhawks’ 5-yard line. However, UT Martin had four plays to go ahead but Southeast Missouri forced a turnover on downs.

The Skyhawk defense then came up with another huge stop to keep UT Martin within striking distance. A sack by Deantae Glover and Bell on third down capped off a three-and-out.

A Southeast Missouri punt gave the Skyhawks the ball at the Redhawks’ 45-yard line with 3:19 left. However, UT Martin couldn’t convert a first down and Southeast Missouri ran the clock out to end the game.

UT Martin now goes back on the road for the first time in nearly a month when it travels to OVC rival Jacksonville State on Saturday, Oct. 4. Kickoff time is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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Breaking Down Southeast Missouri vs UT Martin

Breaking Down Southeast Missouri vs UT Martin

Posted on 26 September 2014 by Allen

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Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (2-2, 0-0 OVC) at UT Martin Skyhawks (1-3, 0-1 OVC)
Saturday, Sept. 27 • 6:00 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500) • Martin, Tenn.
TV: OVC Digital Network
Series Record: UT Martin leads 15-14
Last Meeting: UT Martin won 17-7 (9/28/13)
Southeast Missouri Last Week: W, 24-23 vs. #3 Southeastern Louisiana
UT Martin Last Week:…. L, 49-24 vs. #22 Eastern Kentucky

GAME NOTES: Southeast Missouri and UT Martin will play for the 30th time on Saturday in what will be the OVC opener for the Redhawks and the third-straight home game for the Skyhawks. UT Martin has won three-straight and eight of the last nine with Southeast to grab a 15-14 advantage in the series. Each of the last six games has been competitive, as each game over that span has been decided by 10 points or less. In last year’s matchup UT Martin got out to a 17-0 halftime lead and held on for a 17-7 victory. The Skyhawks were led by DJ McNeil who rushed for 148 yards while quarterback Dylan Favre passed for 118 yards and a score, which came on a 35-yard strike to Corey Jordan in the first quarter to open the scoring. Ben Johnson led UTM with a game-high 12 tackles while Ron Davis added 12 for Southeast. The Redhawks used two quarterbacks in the game with Kyle Snyder and Scott Lathrop each throwing for 71 yards; Lathrop also rushed for a team-high 64 yards.

SCOUTING SOUTHEAST MISSOURI: Southeast Missouri scored a win over the highest-ranked opponent in school history on Saturday as it topped No. 3 ranked Southeastern Louisiana 24-23. The Redhawks led midway through the fourth quarter until the Lions scored on a 22-yard run with 2:53 to play in the game. But the Redhawks offense responded with a 15-play, 80-yard drive led by quarterback Kyle Snyder. With his team facing a 3rd-and-10 from the 17-yard line with 12 seconds to go, Snyder took the snap and raced 15 yards up the middle to the two-yard line with just seven seconds to go; a play later he hit Paul McRoberts for a touchdown pass to pull off the victory. Snyder finished the game 16-of-31 for 141 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing 17 times for 95 yards. McRoberts (who leads all FCS players with six receiving touchdowns this season) caught seven passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns as the duo shared OVC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Southeast kicker Ryan McCrum also played a big part in the win, hitting a 54-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter which marked the second-longest field goal in program history. He also converted on an extra long PAT following the game-tying touchdown, as the team was called for a holding penalty; McCrum is perfect on kicks this season (4-of-4 FG, 16-of-16 PAT). Senior Spencer Davis established a new school career record for all-purpose yards (4,248) during the victory. Sophomore linebacker Roper Garrett had his third double-digit tackle performance of the year (12) and now ranks 18th nationally in tackles (10.8/game).

Southeast is now receiving votes in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches Top 25 polls.

SCOUTING UT MARTIN: UT Martin suffered a loss in its OVC opener, falling 49-24 to nationally-ranked Eastern Kentucky. After Jarod Neal hit James Ratliff for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 54 seconds before halftime, the Skyhawks trailed the Colonels 28-24; however, that would be the last points the Skyhawks would score as the Colonels scored 21 points in the third quarter on its way to the win. UTM finished the game with 484 yards of total offense including 190 yards on the ground; Abou Toure led that rushing attack with 87 yards. Neal, who ranks second nationally in completion percentage (71.6%) finished the game 15-of-24 for 179 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown (he was intercepted twice) while Dylan Favre went 10-of-15 for 115 yards and a touchdown (and was intercepted once and sacked three times). Ten different UTM players caught a pass in the game, marking the second-straight week that has occurred.

Defensively Devontay Barnett had nine tackles and a sack while Terrious Triplett added an interception to go along with three tackles.

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Skyhawks thump Cumberland 63-7

Skyhawks thump Cumberland 63-7

Posted on 12 September 2014 by Allen

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Eight different University of Tennessee at Martin football players scored a touchdown this evening in a 63-7 triumph over Cumberland University in the 2014 home opener at Hardy Graham Stadium.

The Skyhawks piled up 621 yards of total offense tonight (320 rushing, 301 passing) while scoring nine total touchdowns. Defensively, UT Martin tallied 12 tackles for loss (including three sacks) and an interception while limiting the Bulldogs to 161 yards of total offense (86 rushing, 75 passing).

Tonight marked the most yards gained by a UT Martin team since the Skyhawks tallied 693 yards at Murray State on Oct. 13, 2012. It also was the most points scored in a game since UT Martin compiled 63 points against Union College on Sept. 15, 2011.

“Obviously it’s good to get a win under our belt after a tough two games to start the season,” Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson said. “One of the things that I’m most proud of is that everybody got to play and get the experience of college football. That will help us as we go forward and will help our growth as a team.”

Abou Toure rushed for a career-high 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 20 carries for UT Martin (1-2). Jarod Neal threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns while Dylan Favre tallied 103 passing yards and tallied two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). Together, Neal, Favre and Manny Stocker combined to complete 84.4 percent (27-for-32) of their passes.

Trent Garland and Stocker added a touchdown on the ground while William Tanner (team-high 86 yards), Kyle Kerrick, Kevin Anderson and Corey Jordan all contributed with touchdown receptions.

Defensively, Deilouse Jackson’s seven tackles led the Skyhawks while Trey Warren added 1.5 sacks. Tony Bell was responsible for UT Martin’s first interception of the season while the Skyhawks amassed six pass breakups and 13 quarterback hurries.

An NAIA school based out of Lebanon, Tenn., Cumberland was led by Michael Green’s two receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. Quarterbacks Reed Gurchiek (46 yards and a touchdown) and Broc Loveless (29 yards) combined to go 6-for-30 passing while George Nwokoji had a team-best 24 rushing yards. DeAnthony Patrick accumulated a game-high 13 tackles while Cayman Russell had 2.5 tackles for loss for the Bulldogs.

UT Martin got on the scoreboard first after both teams’ first drives stalled. The Skyhawks drove 10 plays for 87 yards in a span of 2:43, capped off with a Neal touchdown strike to Jordan in the right corner of the endzone. Jackson Redditt’s PAT was true and the Skyhawks were out to a 7-0 lead at the 10:48 mark of the first quarter.

The Skyhawks would force back-to-back punts on Cumberland’s next two drives – including a three-and-out that gave UT Martin the ball at its own 9-yard line with 1:18 to go in the first quarter.

Favre then took over at quarterback for the Skyhawks, as Favre completed five of his six passes on the drive and rushed for a gain of seven yards on 3rd-and-7 at the Cumberland 5-yard line. Two plays later, Toure found the endzone from three yards out to provide UT Martin with a 14-0 lead with 11:50 to play in the second quarter.

The two teams swapped possessions but Cumberland took over at the Skyhawk 12-yard line after recovering a UT Martin fumble. The Skyhawk defense then stepped up in a big way after the Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage advanced the ball to the 1-yard line. UT Martin pushed Cumberland back a yard on a rushing play, forced an incomplete pass and then held the Bulldogs to no gain on another rushing attempt. On 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Cumberland went for it but a rushing attempt was sniffed out by Justin Jackson and Nick Dance, who forced a turnover on downs.

On the Skyhawks’ ensuing possession, Neal found Anderson for a 27-yard completion on 3rd-and-7 and followed with two completions to Najee Ray and a 21-yard pass to Kerrick to set up UT Martin’s next scoring play. On 1st-and-10 from the Cumberland 18-yard line, Neal rolled right and found an open Anderson in the corner of the endzone to make the score 21-0 with 3:39 left in the first half. The Skyhawks marched the ball 99 yards on 10 plays in just 2:44 on their third scoring drive.

The defense then made another big play that resulted in more points on the scoreboard. On 3rd-and-11, Bell hauled in his first career interception and returned the ball down to the Bulldog 15-yard line, giving the Skyhawk offense another red-zone opportunity.

UT Martin cashed in quickly, as Garland rumbled in from 15 yards out on the first play from scrimmage to give the Skyhawks a 28-0 lead at the 3:10 mark of the second quarter.

The Skyhawk defensive unit then pushed Cumberland back three yards over three plays and forced another punt, this time taking over at the Bulldogs’ 43-yard line.

Favre then connected with Tanner on three different passes on the drive, finding him for gains of 16 and 13 yards each before an eight-yard slant led to another touchdown and a 35-0 lead the Skyhawks would carry into halftime.

Cumberland would take advantage of a Skyhawk fumble on a punt return to score on a 41-yard pass at the 12:12 mark of the third quarter.

UT Martin responded quickly, needing just four plays to find the endzone again. Neal hit Tanner with a 49-yard pass to get the Skyhawks in Cumberland territory. Neal then targeted Kerrick for an eight-yard touchdown pass to extend UT Martin’s lead out to 42-7 with 10:45 remaining in the quarter.

The Skyhawk defense once again held Cumberland to negative yardage on its next drive, as the Bulldogs only managed -1 yards on three plays.

UT Martin had three carries for double-digit yards on its next drive, capped off with a one-yard dive by Favre to make the score 49-7 at the 7:45 mark of the third quarter.

The Skyhawks kept Cumberland off the scoreboard to close out the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Toure scrambled in from four yards out to give UT Martin a 56-7 lead.

After another three-and-out by the UT Martin defense, Stocker took over at quarterback and immediately made his presence felt. On the first touch of his Skyhawk career, the North Carolina State transfer sprinted 70 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to give UT Martin a 63-7 advantage to conclude the scoring on both sides.

The Skyhawks continue their three-game homestand next weekend when they begin Ohio Valley Conference play against No. 25 Eastern Kentucky. Kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 20 is set for noon at Hardy Graham Stadium.

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Breaking down Cumberland at UT Martin

Breaking down Cumberland at UT Martin

Posted on 09 September 2014 by Allen

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Cumberland University Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 MSC) at UT Martin Skyhawks (0-2, 0-0 OVC)
Thursday, Sept. 11 • 6:30 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500) • Martin, Tenn.
TV: OVC Digital Network
Series Record: Cumberland leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Cumberland won 12-7 (10/29/48)
Cumberland Last Week: W, 34-27 vs. #4 Univ. of the Cumberlands
UT Martin Last Week: L, 26-24 at Central Arkansas

UT Martin will play its first home game of the 2014 season on Thursday night when they host in-state foe Cumberland. It marks the fourth all-time meeting between the schools but first since the 1948 season. The teams also played in 1926 and 1932 with Cumberland winning all three games by a combined 54-7 margin. UT Martin is 7-1 all-time in home openers under head coach Jason Simpson. The game begins a season-long three-game home stretch for the Skyhawks.

Cumberland, currently ranked No. 25 in the NAIA, opened its 2014 season last week with a 34-27 victory over NAIA No. 4 ranked University of the Cumberland last week. After the game was tied at 20 in the third quarter, Anthony Knight picked off a pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs on top for good. Later in the fourth quarter Michael Green had a 59-yard touchdown reception in what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Quarterbacks Reed Gurchiek and Broc Loveless finished the day a combined 13-of-25 for 213 yards and a touchdown. Defensively Nathan Jernigan had a team-high 15 tackles while Justus Dauscha added 10 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss, a sack and a forced fumble. This marks the second year in a row Cumberland has played an OVC team; the Bulldogs played at Tennessee Tech last season. Cumberland was 7-4 in 2013 under then first-year head coach Donnie Suber.

After a season-opening loss to FBS Kentucky, UT Martin played a quality FCS opponent in traveling to Central Arkansas last week. The Skyhawks fell behind 7-0 but scored 21 unanswered points to grab a 21-7 halftime advantage. The Skyhawks led until the final 71 seconds of the game, as UCA drove 80 yards in 13 plays to score on a 14-yard pass play with just 1:11 to go. The touchdown came just two plays after the Bears had converted on a 4th-and-15 play. Sophomore Kyle Kerrick had a breakout game for UTM, hauling in nine passes for 150 yards and a touchdown; eight of his nine receptions went for 10 or more yards, including four that were 20 yards or longer. Corey Jordan added five catches for 99 yards and a score. Quarterback Jarod Neal completed 20-of-28 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns while his 34 rushing yards (and score) were also tops on the team. Through two games this season Neal has completed 71.7 percent of his passes which ranks fifth nationally.

Defensively junior Taino Fears-Perez had a game-high 14 tackles (8 solo) while also adding a tackle-for-loss and a pass breakup; Fears-Perez has a team-high 21 tackles after two games. As a team UT Martin ranks ninth nationally in time of possession (33:44).

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Skyhawks host Cumberland Thursday Night

Skyhawks host Cumberland Thursday Night

Posted on 09 September 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin football team will play under the lights of Hardy Graham Stadium for the first time this season when it hosts Cumberland University on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

The home opener coincides with the 2014 UT Martin Family Picnic, which will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. outside the main gate to Graham Stadium. Several other events are planned for the game, which takes place on National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The Skyhawks are 47-34-3 all-time in home openers and are 7-1 in such games under head coach Jason Simpson. In fact, UT Martin is averaging 38.9 points per game in its home openers under Simpson. The Skyhawks have won six straight home openers – the longest such streak in school history – and have won 10 of the last 12 home openers since 2002.

This will be the first matchup between these two in-state rivals since Oct. 29, 1948, extending a series that began in 1926. This will also be the seventh time (first since 2011) that the Skyhawks square off against a non-Division-I team in Simpson’s tenure. UT Martin has gone 6-0 in that span and have averaged 57 points while producing four shutouts in those games. Meanwhile, Simpson boasts a 14-4 career record in games played on Thursday, including a 9-2 mark in Thursday home games.

This game starts a season-long three-game home stretch for UT Martin, who play all five of their 2014 home games in a span of the next seven weeks. This is the fourth time in Simpson’s tenure that the Skyhawks have had a stretch of three straight home games (also happened in 2006, 2010 and 2011). UT Martin is 7-2 in those games that occur during a lengthy homestand.

UT Martin (0-2) is coming off a tough 26-24 loss at Southland Conference power Central Arkansas. The Skyhawks led from the 8:55 mark of the second quarter until 1:11 left in the game, as the Bears scored a late touchdown to cap off 12 unanswered points to close out the game. Jarod Neal passed for the second-most yards in his career (276) while accounting for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Kyle Kerrick hauled in career-highs of nine receptions and 150 yards while Taino Fears-Perez led the Skyhawk defense with a career-high 14 tackles.

Ranked No. 25 in the preseason NAIA polls, Cumberland (1-0) emerged victorious in its season-opener last Saturday, a 34-27 home win over No. 4 University of the Cumberlands. In that game, the Bulldogs turned four turnovers into 17 points as Nathan Jernigan (game-high 15 tackles) and Justus Dauscha (10 tackles, four tackles for loss) paced the Cumberland defense. Quarterbacks Reed Gurchiek (rushing) and Broc Loveless (passing) each accounted for a touchdown while combining for 213 yards passing and 54 yards rushing.

The game will be streamed online, free of charge on the OVC Digital Network at this link: http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch/?Live=1751. Fans can also tune into WCMT 101.3 FM to hear Tom Britt (play-by-play), Chris Brinkley (color) and John Abel (sideline) provide analysis. WUTM, UT Martin’s award-winning student radio station, will also broadcast the game locally on 90.3 FM and online at this link: mms://streamer.utm.edu/wutm. Live stats can be tracked by clicking here: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=58475.

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UT Martins falls at Central Arkansas 26-24

UT Martins falls at Central Arkansas 26-24

Posted on 07 September 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin football team trailed for only 4:29 of clock time this evening at Southland Conference power Central Arkansas but the Bears scored 12 unanswered points to close out the game in a 26-24 Skyhawk loss at Estes Stadium.

UT Martin (0-2) took the lead with 8:55 remaining in the second quarter and carried a 21-7 lead into the locker room at the half. However, the Bears outscored the Skyhawks by a 19-3 margin in the last 30 minutes of play.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kyle Kerrick had a breakout day offensively, hauling in career-highs of 150 yards receiving on nine catches, including the Skyhawks’ go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Corey Jordan also was on the receiving end of a UT Martin score and came up just shy of the century mark for receiving yards (99 yards on five catches).

Jarod Neal earned the start at quarterback, throwing for 276 yards on 20-of-28 passing. The redshirt junior added a team-high 34 yards of rushing, accounted for three touchdowns overall (two passing, one rushing).

Defensively, Taino Fears-Perez piled up a career-best 14 tackles (eight solo) while Deilouse Jackson also registered a career-high 11 tackles.

Taylor Reed passed for 157 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a game-high 66 yards on the ground for Central Arkansas, who improves to 1-1 after a narrow seven-point loss at Football Bowl Subdivision member Texas Tech last weekend. Ryan Howard also saw time at quarterback, passing for 94 yards – including the go-ahead 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 remaining in the contest.

“Obviously, it was a tough loss,” Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson said. “I hurt for the kids – they prepared hard and they played hard. You just have to make one more play and we didn’t do it. But I’m proud of our guys – we fought and were toe-to-toe with a very good Central Arkansas team.”

Both teams were held off the scoreboard on their first offensive possessions. Central Arkansas would strike first after Reed found Blake Veasley to give the Bears a 7-0 advantage at the 8:40 to go in the first quarter.

The Skyhawks would answer right back to tie the game on the ensuing drive. Neal went 3-for-3 passing – completing passes for 14, 29 and 26 yards – and put an exclamation point on the drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 7-7 at the 5:22 mark.

UT Martin then forced Central Arkansas to punt on its next possession and Neal took advantage. He hit Jordan for a 32-yard strike down the middle on the second play of the drive and later added a 25-yard rush on 3rd-and-11 to extend the drive. After the run, Neal was on target for his next three pass attempts – including a four-yard rocket in the back of the end zone for Kerrick. After Jackson Redditt’s successful PAT, the Skyhawks claimed a 14-7 lead with 8:55 to go in the second quarter.

Central Arkansas was then limited to a three-and-out on its next offensive possession, as a Bear punt placed the ball at the Central Arkansas 48-yard line. Dylan Favre then took over at quarterback and helped march the ball to the Bears’ 27-yard line but the Skyhawks came up empty in the scoring column.

The Skyhawk defense once again tallied a three-and-out on Central Arkansas’ next possession. Trent Garland accounted for rushes of five and 12 yards on the first two carries of the UT Martin drive while Neal then went 3-of-5 passing to close out the drive. Neal connected with Ronald Carswell (seven yards) and Kerrick (21 yards) before finding Jordan over the middle for a 14-yard scoring strike to cap off a seven-play, 59-yard drive that lasted 2:03.

The Bears then took over with 51 seconds left in the first half and UT Martin stood its ground, as Fears-Perez batted down a last-second hail mary pass attempt to close out the second quarter and ensure the Skyhawks would take a 21-7 lead into the halftime break.

Central Arkansas would score on its first possession of the second half, as a Willie Matthews seven-yard touchdown at the 11:25 mark of the third quarter made the game a one-score contest.

UT Martin then pieced together a prolonged nine-play, 67-yard drive that lasted 4:36. The possession concluded when Redditt split the uprights on a 34-yard field goal attempt to pad the Skyhawk lead to 24-14.

The Skyhawk defense then came up with a couple of big plays. After Central Arkansas crossed into the red zone, Marquis Clemons broke through for a solo tackle for no gain and Deantae Glover followed with a sack for a loss of eight yards on the next play. That would result in a 34-yard field goal for the Bears, who made the score 24-17 with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.

After UT Martin’s next offensive drive stalled, Central Arkansas went 16 plays for 71 yards before settling for a 20-yard field goal to make the score 24-20 with 10:15 to go.

On the Skyhawks’ ensuing possession, Neal would target Kerrick for gains of 20, 10 and 25 yards. UT Martin would advance the ball down to the Central Arkansas 35-yard line before punting for a touchback, giving the Bears the ball at the 20-yard line with 3:20 remaining.

With the game on the line, Central Arkansas connected on a 17-yard pass on 4th-and-15 after the Skyhawk defense had forced three straight incompletions. Two plays later, Howard hit Courtney Whitehead for a 14-yard touchdown pass but the PAT failed to give the Bears a 26-24 lead with 1:11 left to play.

On UT Martin’s ensuing possession, Central Arkansas came away with an interception – UT Martin’s first turnover of the game – with 55 seconds left to essentially end the game.

The Skyhawks will hold their home opener on Thursday, Sept. 11 when they host in-state NAIA opponent Cumberland. Kickoff from Hardy Graham Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.

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Skyahwks drop two in Memphis

Skyahwks drop two in Memphis

Posted on 07 September 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team dropped a pair of tough matches this afternoon as the Skyhawks fell 3-0 to Memphis (29-31, 18-25, 17-25) and 3-1 to Ole Miss (25-27, 14-25, 25-20, 14-25) in the final day of a tournament hosted by Memphis.

At the conclusion of the tournament, sophomore libero Colleen Larson was named to the all-tournament team. The Naperville, Ill. native compiled 39 digs in the three matches, including a season-high 18 in the nightcap against Ole Miss.

UT Martin returns to action next weekend when it hosts the Skyhawk Invitational on Sept. 12-13. The Skyhawks will take on the likes of Drake, Western Carolina and Valparaiso during the two-day event at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

Match 1
Emily Keaton and Madison Wessling each tallied nine kills to lead the Skyhawk offense while Madison Bergren and Amanda Crask both handed out 15 assists. Larson compiled a team-high 10 digs to direct the UT Martin defensive attack.

The Skyhawks led for a majority of the early going in the first set before a 6-1 Memphis run resulted in a 13-8 Tiger lead. UT Martin came right back with a 6-1 run of its own to even the score at 14-all. Another lengthy run (5-1) followed for the Skyhawks, who emerged with a 20-18 advantage after a Larson ace. However, Memphis would mount a comeback and after eight more ties followed, the Tigers came out on top.

Keaton (six kills) and Wessling (five kills) each started off strong for UT Martin.

Kills by Keaton and Wessling opened the second set to give the Skyhawks a 2-0 lead but Memphis then went on a 7-1 run and eventually would lead 12-4 before an Allie Whimpey kill and Lael Ceriani service ace. UT Martin pieced together a 6-2 run to get within three points at 15-12 but Memphis would soon take a 23-14 advantage. Whimpey was responsible for two kills during a quick 4-0 Skyhawk spurt that made the score 23-18 but the Tigers answered with the next two points to claim the set.

UT Martin once again led early in the third set but Memphis would soon take an 11-7 lead. Two kills by Wessling in the span of three points cut the Skyhawk deficit down to three points at 14-11 but the Tigers pieced together a 9-3 run to go ahead by a 23-14 margin. Keaton and Mandy Glon would contribute kills after that point but Memphis would eventually claim the set.

Match 2
Keaton (17 kills) and Whimpey (10 kills) each cracked double-figures in the kill column but it wasn’t enough for the Skyhawks to pull off the upset of the Southeastern Conference member Ole Miss.

Bergren compiled eight kills and 44 assists to help complement UT Martin’s offense while Larson’s 18 digs led the defense. Keaton and Wessling also added 12 digs apiece.

The Skyhawks led 4-2 in the first set but four straight points by the Rebels resulted in a 6-4 advantage. UT Martin would reclaim the lead on four different occasions but Ole Miss tallied five of six points to go on top by a 15-12 margin. The Rebels led 24-20 but the Skyhawks fought back – as two Bergren kills keyed a 4-0 UT Martin run that knotted the score at 24-all. The two teams were tied at 25-25 until Ole Miss scored two straight points to end the set.

Bergren had 14 assists while Keaton’s seven digs guided the Skyhawks in the first set.

Both squads led early in the second set before the score was tied at 7-all. A 5-1 Rebel run gave Ole Miss a 15-10 lead but the Skyhawks battled back to get within four points (18-14) off a Whimpey kill. However, the Rebels closed out the set with seven unanswered points.

Keaton compiled four kills in the second set to lead UT Martin.

The Skyhawks jumped out to a hot start in the third set, scoring three of the first four points behind a pair of kills by Keaton. Another Keaton kill gave UT Martin an 8-4 lead but Ole Miss clawed back to even the score at 15-15. The Skyhawks followed with four straight points, receiving kills from Julia Devinney, Bergren and Keaton in that span. The Rebels got within three points at 23-20 but a Wessling kill and assisted block by Devinney and Whimpey gave the Skyhawks the victory.

Keaton’s five kills and Bergren’s 14 assists helped UT Martin claim the third set.

Ole Miss led 4-1 in the fourth set and would later lead 10-4 before a Keaton kill stopped the run. Another Keaton kill kept the margin at six points (15-9) but the Rebels ran off four consecutive points to go ahead 19-9. The Skyhawks would score three straight points to get back within single-digits but Ole Miss closed out the set scoring five of the final eight points.

Keaton added five more kills in the fourth set to cap off her stellar effort.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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