Racers Close Season at SEMO

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Date (Time): Nov. 23 (1 p.m.)
Opponent: #13 Southeast Missouri
Site (Venue): Cape Girardeau, Mo. (Houck Stadium)
Audio: Froggy 103.7 FM (PxP: Aaron Clayton; Color: Jeff Waters)
TV: ESPN+
Live Stats: GoRacers.com
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball
MUR Record (Streak): 4-7 [2-5 OVC] (Lost 4)
SEMO Record (Streak): 8-3 [6-1 OVC] (Won 5)
All-Time Series vs. SEMO (Streak): Racers lead 40-12-1 (Won 1)
All-Time Series in Murray (Streak): Racers lead 18-8-1 (Lost 3)
First Meeting: W 3-0(Oct. 29, 1926; Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: W 40-38 (Nov. 10, 2018, Murray, Ky.)
Last Five vs. SEMO: 2-3 (WLLLW)
MUR Next Game: 2020 Season
MUR Next Home Game: 2020 Season

The Game
The Murray State football team wraps up its 2019 season Saturday on the road against 13th-ranked Southeast Missouri at Houck Stadium in Cape Girardeau, Missouri at 1 p.m. on ESPN+.

Last Time Out
Murray State kept it close for the entire first half, trailing just 14-0 at the break. The Racers finally got on the board late in the third quarter to trim the lead back to 14 at 21-7. However, the Govs squashed any chance of a rally by Murray State in the final frame with 21 fourth quarter points to pick up the 42-7 win.

Offensive woes continued to plague the Racers in the game as they were limited to just 39 yards rushing, were five of 17 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth down. The defense for the Racers, however, created plenty of opportunities as they caused three turnovers in the contest and held the Peay offense to less than 50-percent passing at 12-for-25 for just 132 yards.

Individually, Preston Rice was 18-for-38 in the game for 229 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown. His lone touchdown of the game was a 27-yard strike to Jonathan Moss, who finished with three catches for 47 yards. On defense for the Racers, TJ Porter (Warren) led Murray State on his senior day with 12 tackles and an interception, while Anthony Koclanakis followed with 10 and a tackle for loss.

Last season’s “Miracle In Murray” last-second win put an end to three-game series skid by the Racers, who still hold a hefty 40-12-1 all-time lead despite losing four of the last six to the Redhawks. In Cape, however, Southeast Missouri has won each of the last three meeting in the series, despite trailing all-time there as well, 18-8-1.

Scouting The Redhawks
Southeast Missouri enters Saturday looking to clinch at least a share of its first OVC title since 2010 and just second overall. The Redhawks can do so in one of three scenarios: a SEMO win and an Austin Peay loss, a SEMO and an Austin Peay win or a SEMO and Austin Peay loss. Only in the first scenario would the Redhawks secure the OVC’s automatic qualifier to the FCS playoffs, while the other two would leave them with just a share of the title and the AQ going to Austin Peay.

The Redhawks currently score 29.2 points per game, while allowing 25.1. As a team, Southeast Missouri is averaging 369.4 yards per game with 201.7 in the air and 167.6 on the ground. Daniel Santacaterina has been solid for the Redhawks this season at quarterback passing for 195.1 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Kristian Wilkerson has served as Santacaterina’s favorite target this season by averaging 103.7 yards per game with nine touchdowns.

On the ground, a trio of Redhawks have carved out the ground game with Zion Custis leading the way at 54.9 yards per game, while Geno Hess and Mark Robinson follow at 52.3 and 46.7, respectively. Defensively, the reigning Buck Buchanan FCS Defensive Player of the Year Zach Hall has anchored the Redhawk defense again with a team-high 103 tackles including 9.0 for loss, 3.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, an interception and a pass breakup.

Trying to Break In
Anthony Koclanakis currently has 113 tackles this season to lead the Racers. Kocklanakis needs 18 tackles Saturday to break into the top 10 single-season tackle leader list. While 18 tackles in one game seems like a tall order, it is a feat Koclanakis has already accomplished not once but twice this season. Should he reach the goal he would join Sam Tandy (’69), Alfred Caldwell (’74) and Danny Amato (’88) with Jonathan Jackson (’14) up next at 134.

Get This Man A Diablo Sandwich and a Dr. Pepper
Scotty Humpich was constantly in a hurry this season currently, as he currently has eight quarterback hurries. The eight hurries ties the single-season record which is currently held by four different players with the feat last being accomplished las season by Kenney Wooten.

A Full Track
There was good news for the Racers Saturday as the 6,116 fans that came to cheer on Murray State, marked the largest crowd for a home finale since 1998 and the fourth largest in known history. As for the season, the 43,402 fans in 2019 is also the most since 1998. The per game attendance of 7,234 is also an increase of 1,045 fans per game over last season.

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