Murray State takes on it its first ranked opponent of the 2017 season when the 15th-ranked Bears of Central Arkansas come to Roy Stewart Stadium. Last season, the Racers picked up wins over Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State to finish the year 2-1 against ranked teams.
The high on Saturday will be 78 F with the low dropping to the low 50s. Winds will come out of the NNE at 7 mph. There is little to no chance for precipitation.
Last Time Out
The Murray State football team opened its 2017 campaign with a convincing 67-7 win over Kentucky Wesleyan Thursday night at Roy Stewart Stadium. Shuler Bentley passed for 162 yards and four touchdowns, while Jordan Gandy scored three times and tallied 90 yards receiving and Demetric Johnson added 80 yards and one touchdown. Kenney Wooten led the MSU defense with 3.0 sacks, while Marico Paige and Bishop Woods had a team-high six tackles. The Racers scored 46 first-half points and never really allowed the Panthers to find any sort of a groove, offensively or defensively. The Racers allowed Kentucky Wesleyan just 11 yards in the first quarter and 46 in the first half. The Panthers would finish the game with 159 yards, but it paled in comparison to the 457 by the Racers.
The Central Arkansas Series
Saturday will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Bears and Racers with Central Arkansas leading the all-time series 3-0-1. The two teams met most recently in 2010 and 2012 with UCA walking away with 21-20 and 42-20 wins, respectively. Prior to that the two teams met in 1939 and 1940 with the Bears winning in the first meeting in 1939 and the two teams tying in 1940.
Scouting The Bears
Central Arkansas enters Saturday at 0-1 on the season after falling at FBS Kansas State last week, 55-19. Hayden Hildebrand led the Bears in passing by going 27-for-35 with one touchdown and one interception for 198 yards. Roman Gordon caught UCA’s lone touchdown pass, while Lester Wells led the team in catches and yards at six and 41. Carlos Blackman led the ground attack Saturday for Central Arkansas by rushing the ball 24 times for 114 yards. Tremon Smith was the leading tackler for the Bears against K-State with six, while Chris Terrell had the lone sack to go along with four tackles. Despite being outscored by 35 points, UCA actually racked up a significant amount of offense in the game with 421 yards, while giving up 519.
There’s Gold In That There End Zone
Back for its fourth season, is the annual Gold Rush. The Gold Rush is a new tradition in which all freshman are invited to run from one end of the field to the other prior to the game, decked in exclusive gold t-shirts and led by the university president, Dr. Bob Davies. The freshman are then invited to stay in the end zone and enjoy the game from field level.
Pool Out For The End Of Summer
On Saturday, both end zones will feature a pool party for students. Students are encourage to come and get in one of the pools starting at 6:15. Pizza, hot dogs and drinks will be provided.
In his first-ever football game, collegiate or otherwise, Gabriel Vicente was perfect for Murray State in Thursday’s season-opening 67-7 win over Kentucky Wesleyan. The Miami, Florida native was 7-for7 on extra points and knocked down his lone field goal attempt of 30 yards. In addition, he also kicked the ball off four times for an average of 44.0 yards each.
Making A Real Impact
In his first game for Murray State, Kenney Wooten became just the 10th player in school history to tally 3.0 sacks or more in a single game. Wooten dropped KWC for 17 yards of loss in the game and also finished the game with four tackles.
Tipping The Scales
For the first time since 2014, the Racers ended the game with more rushing yards than passing yards. MSU had 243 yards on the ground Thursday and 214 in the air. Coincidentally, MSU’s opponent the last time they had more rushing yards than passing was also Kentucky Wesleyan. That night, the Racers had 408 yards rushing and 312 passing.
Reservations For Six
Dylan Boone scored the second touchdown of his career Thursday when he returned an interception 60 yards in the first quarter. Boone’s first career score came in 2014 at Northern Illinois when he returned a fumble, also for 60 yards.
The Fantastic Four
With three touchdowns in Thursday’s game, Jordon Gandy became just the fourth receiver in MSU history to have two games in which they scored at least three touchdowns. Walt Powell, Janawski Davis and Michael Slater were the first three Racers to accomplish the feat.
OK, What’s Next?
Murray State hits the road for the first time in 2017 when it travels to Springfield, Missouri to take on Missouri State. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Courtesy of GoRacers.com