In-Commonwealth Rival EKU Next Up For Racers


Date (Time): Oct. 20 (3 p.m. ET)
Opponent: Eastern Kentucky
Site (Venue): Richmond, Ky. (Roy Kidd Stadium)
Audio: Froggy 103.7 FM (PxP: Neal Bradley; Color: Aaron Clayton)
Live Stats:
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball
MUR Record (Streak): 3-3, 3-0 OVC (Won 3)
EKU Record (Streak): 3-2, 2-1 OVC (Won 1)
All-Time Series vs. EKU (Streak): EKU leads 46-27-5 (Lost 1)
All-Time Series in Richmond (Streak): EKU leads 24-12-2 (Won 1)
First Meeting: W 46-0 (Oct. 19, 1929, Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: L 13-26 (Oct. 28, 2017, Murray, Ky.)
Last Five vs. EKU: 3-2 (L, 2017; W, 2016; L, 2015; L, 2014; W, 2013)
MUR Next Game: Oct. 27 vs. Jacksonville State
MUR Next Home Game: Oct. 27 vs. Jacksonville State

The Game
Off to its first 3-0 OVC start in the OVC since 1997, the Murray State football team will look to keep rolling at Eastern Kentucky Saturday. Kickoff from Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Saturday’s Weather
The high Saturday in Richmond will be just 60 F, with a very low chance of rain at 10-percent. Winds however will be high at 9-15 mph coming out of the west.

Last Time Out
Tennessee State came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, scoring two touchdowns on 144 yards, while limiting the Racers to 81 yards including forcing quarterback Drew Anderson to throw his only interception of the game. However, beginning in the second quarter, it was all Racers for the rest of the game. Starting with a one-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to LaMartez Brooks early in the second stanza, Murray State scored 35 unanswered points and finished the game on 42-7 run. Drew Anderson completed 33 of 51 passes Saturday for 348 yards and a career-high five touchdowns and just one interception. In addition, he led the Racer rushing attack with 63 yards and added another touchdown on a 19-yard keeper. The transfer quarterback completed passes to 11 different receivers in the contest and engineered four touchdown drives of 70 yards or longer.

The Eastern Kentucky Series
One of the longest series in program, history, the Racers and Colonels will meet for the 78th time Saturday. The Colonels hold a commanding lead in the series at 46-26-4 and also lead the all-time series in Richmond, 24-12-2. However, the Racers did snap a five-game skid in Richmond in 2016 with a convincing 41-28 win. It was the largest win in the series by either team since 2012, the largest by the Racers overall since 1999 and the largest by the Racers in Richmond since 1952. With the loss still fresh on their minds, the Colonels came to Murray in 2017 and put a damper on homecoming, with a 26-13 win.

Scouting The Colonels
The Colonels squeaked out a 35-34 win over UT Martin last week to improve to 3-0 on the season and 2-1 on the OVC. Eastern Kentucky currently allows 33.5 points per game, while scoring 27.5. The run-heavy Colonel offense also averages 234.5 yards per game on the ground and 99.2 yards per game in the air. Daryl McCleskey has been the leading rusher for EKU this season with 80.5 yards per game with a team-high five touchdowns, while the leading receiver is currently Jackson Beerman with 20.3 yards per game. Dakota Allen has been the go-to quarterback for Eastern Kentucky this season and is 24-for-51 for 278 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Gavin Bryant leads the way with 46 tackles, while Aaron Patrick boasts team-highs of 6.5 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks.

Moving On Up
With seven solo tackles against TSU, Quincy Williams moved up to third in the nation with 6.7 per game in addition to leading the OVC.

Who’s Not Honoring Him Now
Drew Anderson threw for 348 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for another in route to one of the best weeks for a Murray State quarterback in recent memory. For his efforts, he was named as the OVC Offensive Player of the Week, OVC Newcomer of the Week, Ohio Valley College Madness Offensive Player of the Week and the STATS National Offensive Player of the Week. His STATS honor was the first for a Racer since 2015.

Improving Where It Counts
Off to their best start since 1997, a lot of the Racers success can be traced to their improvement on third-downs and in the red zone. On third down, MSU went from a 34.9 conversion percentage to 53.7 percent and in the red zone went from 50.0 percent to 85.8 percent.

Shoring Up The Line

After giving up at least 2.7 sacks per game, and as many as 3.4, in the last three seasons, the Racers have significantly paired that number down this season. Through the first, six games, MSU is allowing just 1.3 sacks per game, ranking them 29th in the FCS and second in the OVC.

Clamping Down
After allowing 14 points on 144 yards in the first quarter Saturday, the Racer defense clamped down and gave up just one touchdown and 226 yards over the final three quarters. The 21 points allowed in the game, is the fewest given up by the Racers this season.

Receiving By Committee
Fourteen different Racers caught passes in Saturday with Corey Newble leading the way with 70 yards on six catches. By leading the Racers against TSU, Newble is now the fifth different Racer through six games to lead the MSU receiving efforts. In addition, Brooks was the only Racer receiver to have multiple touchdowns in the game, as he had two to go along with 25 yards on three receptions.

OK, What’s Next?
The Racers return home for Homecoming 2018 next week to host the defending OVC champions Jacksonville State at 3 p.m.

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