Just The Facts
The Murray State football team put up over 400 yards of total offense Saturday and scored four touchdowns to top Tennessee Tech Saturday in MSU’s final game at Roy Stewart Stadium this season.
How It Happened
Down 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Racers used a 62-yard pass from Shuler Bentley to Jordon Gandy and a 48-yard run from D.J. Penick to jump out to a 17-7 lead at the break. Penick and Gandy scored again in the third quarter, building a lead that proved insurmountable for Tennessee Tech and giving the Racers their third win of the season.
About The Golden Eagles
The Racers limited Tennessee Tech to just 94 yards rushing and 201 yards of total offense in the game, both of which were season lows for MSU against a Division I opponent. Luke Ward was 19-of-39 passing for Tennessee Tech with one interception and three touchdowns, while Dontez Byrd caught 12 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Three players led TTU with seven tackles while Andrew Swicegood led the Golden Eagles with 2.0 tackles and 1.0 sacks.
The O Leads The Way
Murray State racked up 401 yards of total offense Saturday, including 167 yards rushing, both of which were season-highs against a FBS or FCS opponent. Shuler Bentley completed 23-of-39 passes for two touchdowns and 234 yards in the game with no interceptions.
Cementing His Legacy
Jordon Gandy hauled in eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns Saturday propelling him up the Racer all-time receiving charts. He is now third all-time in touchdowns with 23, fifth in 100-plus yard games with seven and eighth in total yards with 1,933. In addition his touchdown reception from Shuler Bentley in the first quarter of 62 yards was the longest of the season for the Racers. He finished the game averaging 20.0 yards per catch with three catches of 20 yards or more.
Turning The Paige
Marico Paige led Murray State’s defense Saturday with a game-high 11 tackles and a career-high four quarterback hurries in addition to 0.5 tackles-for-loss for one yard. Paige played a key role in holding the Golden Eagles to just 3-of-16 on third down conversions and 1-of-5 on fourth down conversions by having one hurry on third down and two drive-stopping tackles on fourth down.
The Racers Taketh
Murray State added to its tally of turnovers gained on the season Saturday with two fumble recoveries and an interception for a total of 28 on the year. The first was a muffed punt reception by Tech that was recovered by DeQuan Dallas in the third quarter, followed just minutes later by an interception from Marquez Sanford. In the final minutes of the game, Kenney Wooten recorded his second sack of the game and knocked the ball loose, which was recovered by Troy-Wayne Quinn.
Not Pen-t Up
Freshman D.J. Penick ran wild Saturday for a career-high 139 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. The true freshman averaged 7.3 yards per carry in the game and broke off the Racers’ longest run of the season in the first quarter for 48 yards, which ended in a touchdown.
OK, What’s Next?
Murray State will travel to Cape Girardeau next Saturday for its 2017 season finale. Kickoff between Murray State and Southeast Missouri at Houck Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.