Racers Face First Road Test at Missouri State

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From GoRacers.com

Live Stats: GoRacers.com
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball, @PGriffithMSU
MUR Record (Streak): 1-1 (Won 2)
MOST Record (Streak): 0-2 (Lost 2)
All-Time Series vs. MOST (Streak): MUR leads 8-2 (Lost 1)
First Meeting: Won 24-6 (Sept. 25, 1942 in Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: Lost 22-28 (Sept 10, 2017 in Murray, Ky.)
MUR Last Game: Lost 13-41 vs. #15 Central Ark.
MOST Last Game: Lost 0-34 at #11 North Dakota
MUR Next Game: Sep. 23 vs. Austin Peay
MUR Next Home Game: Sep. 23 vs. Austin Peay

The Game
Murray State hits the road for the first time this when it travels to Springfield, Missouri to take on Missouri Valley Football Conference opponent Missouri State. Kickodd from Robert W. Plaster Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be streamed on WatchESPN.com and broadcast locally on Froggy 103.7 FM with Neal Bradley and Dave Winder.

Saturday’s Weather
It should be fairly warm Saturday with a high of 90 F for a 2 p.m. kickoff. There will be a just a 14-percent chance of rain and the winds will be moderate with speeds of 12 mph out of the S and gusts up 14 mph.

Last Time Out
The Murray State football team dropped a 41-13 decision to 15th-ranked Central Arkansas Saturday night at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Kentucky. The Bears opened the game with 24 unanswered points, never really allowing the Racers to find their offensive footing. MSU’s lone offense in the game came from two field goals from Gabriel Vicente in the second quarter and a late fourth-quarter touchdown from Shuler Bentley to L.J. Gainey. Gabriel Vicente continued the impressive start to his football career Saturday by going 2-for-2 on field goals from 38 and 43 yards. He also converted on his lone PAT attempt of the night. Sean Rodriguez led MSU with eight tackles on the night, while Lamont Crittendon and Marico Paige had seven each. Quincy Williams and Rashad Johnson each had 1.0 tackles-for-loss, while Marquez Sanford had an interception and Paige had a pass breakup. Jordon Gandy had 74 yards on five catches, while D.J. Penick rushed the ball 18 times for 74 yards. Landon Stratton also had a good night with six punts for an average of 41.3 yards, a long of 50 and one punt being placed inside the 20-yard line.

The Missouri State Series
Saturday will be the 11th meeting all-time between the Racers and the Bears and the fifth in Springfield. Missouri State got just its second win of the all-time series last year when it held on to beat the Racers, 28-22, in Murray. MSU now leads the overall series 8-2 and holds a 3-1 advantage in Springfield.

Scouting The Bears
Missouri State enters Saturday at 0-2 on the year after keeping it close at Missouri in week one, but getting shutout at #11 North Dakota in week two. The Bears hung around for most of the game against Mizzou, but eventually fell 72-43. However, last week, they could never seem to find their offensive footing and dropped a 34-0 decision to the Fighting Hawks. On the year, the Bears are averaging 21.5 points on 351.5 yards per game, while allowing 53.0 points on 670.5 yards per game. The majority of Missouri State’s offense in air based with 242.5 yards per game coming on the pass and just 109.0 coming by way of the run.

Peyton Huslig has been the Bears only quarterback this season and is 36-for-58 for 485 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His leading target has been Malik Earl who has 163 yards on eight catches and one touchdown for 81.5 yards per game. Of the Bears’ 109.0 rushing yards per game, Calan Crowder has been responsible for most of that as he averages 93.5 yards per game with 187 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. Defensively, Titus Wall leads the way with 14 total tackles, while Colby Isbell has a team-high 2.0 tackles-for-loss, including a sack, to go along with six tackles. Zach Sanders has also been key for the Bears and leads the team in passes defended with an interception and two pass breakups.

Getting The Hang Of It
Just two games into his football career, Gabriel Vicente is looking like am old pro. After the first two games of the season, Vicente is 3-for-3 on field goals with a long of 43 and a perfect 8-for-8 on PATs.

Starting off on the Right Foot
Through the first two game of his collegiate career, D.J. Penick has averaged an impressive 72.0 yards per game. With a career-high 74 against UCA, the freshman now has 144 yards on 28 carries for year for an average of 5.1 yards per carry.

Through the first two games of the season, MSU currently ranks third in the FCS and first in the OVC in interceptions with five. Sacramento State and Maine currently lead the way with six each.

On The Road Again
On Saturday, the Racers will look to continue their improvement on the road under Mitch Stewart. After snapping a 13-game road winless streak with a double-OT win at TSU in 2015, the Racers went 3-3 on the road in 2016. The three away win were the most by a Racer squad since 2011.

OK, What’s Next?
The Racers return to the friendly confines of The Track to host rival Austin Peay in the first Heritage Bank Battle of the Boarder matchup of 2017-18. Kickoff for the annual Family Weekend game is set for 6 p.m.

Courtesy of GoRacers.com


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