Preview: Central Arkansas at Murray State

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From OVCSports.com...

#15 Central Arkansas Bears (0-1, 0-0 Southland)
at Murray State Racers (1-0, 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, September 9 • 6:00 p.m. CT
Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800) • Murray, Ky.
TV:.................................................. OVC Digital Network
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=184251
Series Record:...................... Central Arkansas leads 3-0-1
Last Meeting:............ Central Arkansas won 42-20 (9/8/12)
Steve Campbell at Central Arkansas:............ 23-14 (4 yrs.)
Steve Campbell Overall:.............................. 50-22 (7 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart at Murray State:....................... 8-15 (3 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart Overall:.............................................. same
Central Arkansas Last Week: L, 55-19 at #19 Kansas State
Murray State Last Week:... W, 67-7 vs. Kentucky Wesleyan

GAME NOTES: Central Arkansas travels to Murray State for the fifth all-time meeting between the two programs (and third in Murray). The series dates back to a meeting in 1939, but after a 1940 game the series was stagnant until 2010. The teams last played five years ago at Stewart Stadium when UCA was ranked No. 20 nationally. The Bears jumped out to a 28-7 advantage in that contest on the way to a 42-20 victory. The two teams combined for 960 yards of total offense, including 863 yards through the air. Casey Brockman, now MSU’s quarterbacks coach, passed for 445 yards and a touchdown in the contest while Wynrick Smothers passed for 358 yards and five touchdowns for UCA.

SCOUTING CENTRAL ARKANSAS: Central Arkansas faced its first-ever nationally-ranked Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent when they traveled to No. 19/20 Kansas State. Following a 37-yard touchdown run by Brandon Cox late in the first quarter, UCA was tied 10-10 with the Wildcats. But Kansas State would score 28 second quarter points on its way to the 55-19 victory. Sophomore Carlos Blackman carried the ball 24 times for 114 yards while quarterback Hayden Hildebrand completed 27-of-35 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Hildenbrand completed passes to 11 different receivers, with junior newcomer Lester Wells catching six for 41 yards. Senior Tre Smith had six tackles to lead UCA against K-State. Central Arkansas was ranked No. 15 in the preseason FCS polls and are ranked 15 this week in the STATS poll and No. 16 in the FCS Coaches poll.

SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Murray State never allowed Division II foe Kentucky Wesleyan a chance to stay in the game as the Racers scored 22 first quarter points on its way to a 46-0 halftime lead and eventually a 67-7 victory to open the 2017 season. MSU had 457 yards of total offense and in his Racer debut, quarterback Shuler Bentley completed 18-of-26 passes for 162 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those scores went to Jordon Gandy, who had four catches for 90 yards on the night. Gandy became just the fourth receiver in Murray State history to catch at least three touchdowns in a game. Demetric Johnson added seven catches for 80 yards and a score while Nick Collins rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown. Overall MSU ended up with more rushing yards (243) than passing yards (214), the first time they achieved that feat since 2014. The Racers defense limited KWC to 159 yards of total offense as Kenney Wooten had three sacks. Marico Paige and Bishop Woods each added six tackles. Junior kicker Gabriel Vicente was named OVC Co-Specialist of the Week after playing in his first-ever football game (he had previously only played soccer). Vicente was a perfect 7-of-7 in PATs and connected on his lone field goal attempt of the night.

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