Preview: Murray State vs. Austin Peay

MurraySports

 

Austin Peay Governors (1-2, 0-0 OVC)
at Murray State Racers (1-2, 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, September 23 • 6:00 p.m. CT
Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800) • Murray, Ky.
TV:.................................................. OVC Digital Network
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=184252
Series Record:........................... Murray State leads 36-14
Last Meeting:................. Murray State won 45-17 (10/1/16)
Will Healy at Austin Peay:.............................. 1-13 (2 yrs.)
Will Healy Overall:................................................... same
Mitch Stewart at Murray State:....................... 7-18 (3 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart Overall:.............................................. same
Austin Peay Last Week:....... W, 69-13 vs. Morehead State
Murray State Last Week:........... L, 28-21 at Missouri State

GAME NOTES: Austin Peay and Murray State will meet for the 51st time on the gridiron on Saturday in Murray. Murray State has won eight of the last nine meetings, with the lone Austin Peay win coming in 2014. That was Austin Peay’s last Conference win (they have dropped 21-straight since) and only OVC win over its last 31 games. In that win, Austin Peay saw Otis Gerron rushed for 131 yards and quarterback Mickey Macius pass for three touchdowns. In last year’s win, Murray State had 565 yards of offense as KD Humphries completed an OVC record 49 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns as the Racers won 45-17. The Govs rushed for 184 yards in the loss. The game features the top two scoring offenses in the OVC (combined to average 64.7 points/game). The contest is the first between the rivals this year in the Battle of the Border competition; Murray State won the competition between the two schools a year ago.

SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: Austin Peay snapped Division I’s longest active losing streak (29 games) with a convincing 69-13 victory over Morehead State. The Govs totaled 668 yards of offense and scored the most points by an OVC team against a Division I team since 2013. The game was never in doubt as APSU led 28-0 midway through the second quarter and finished the game with 10 rushing touchdowns (establishing a new OVC single-game record). Sophomore quarterback JaVaughn Craig accounted for four of those rushing scores on his way to OVC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. Craig, who now ranks second nationally in rushing touchdowns, passed for 118 yards and finished with 37 rushing yards. Sophomore Kentel Williams rushed for 203 yards on just eight carries (25.4 yards/carry), the most by an OVC player and fourth-most by a FCS player in 2017. Overall APSU totaled 492 rushing yards, its highest total since the 1996 season. Junior Nate Howard had eight tackles, including 3.5 tackles-for-loss and a sack, in his first game in an APSU uniform. As a team Austin Peay ranks first in the OVC and seventh nationally in rushing offense (287.0 yards/game) and 33rd nationally in total offense (417.0 yards/game).

SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Murray State suffered its second-straight loss, allowing a touchdown with 1:53 to play in falling 28-21 at Missouri State. Murray State jumped out to a 10-0 lead as Corey Newbie connected with Tyre Gray for a touchdown pass. But after falling behind 21-10, Newble connected with Jordon Gandy for a 33-yard touchdown pass and Gabriel Vicente connected on his fifth field goal of the season to tie the game at 21. Gandy finished the game with seven catches for 85 yards and currently ranks fifth nationally in receiving touchdowns (5). Newble finished the game with two passing scores and a team-best 56 rushing yards while Shuler Bentley completed 24-of-36 passes for 133 yards for the Racers. Vicente is now 5-for-5 in field goal attempts this season in his first season of football at any level. He is one of two players at the FCS level who is a perfect 5-for-5 in attempts this season. D’Montre Wade picked off two passes in the game, the first Racer to do that in a game since 2010. Wade currently ranks tied for second nationally in interceptions (1.0/game). As a team Murray State is first among all FCS programs with seven interceptions in 2017. Offensively, Murray State ranks 25th nationally in scoring offense (33.7 points/game) and 20th nationally in red zone offense (90.0%).

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