Preview: Murray State at Tennessee State

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Murray State Racers (3-3, 1-1 OVC) at Tennessee State Tigers (1-5, 0-2 OVC)
Saturday, October 12 2:00 p.m. CT
Hale Stadium (15,000) Nashville, Tenn.
TV:...................................................................... ESPN+
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=272268
Series Record:........................... Murray State leads 16-13
Last Meeting:............... Murray State won 45-21 (10/13/18)
Mitch Stewart at Murray State:..................... 18-32 (5 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart Overall:.............................................. same
Rod Reed at Tennessee State:................... 54-52 (10 yrs.)
Rod Reed Overall:................................................... same
Murray State Last Week:........ W, 24-17 vs. Eastern Illinois
Tennessee State Last Week: L, 31-23 at #20 Jacksonville State 

GAME NOTES: Tennessee State hosts Murray State on Saturday at Hale Stadium. The matchup is the 30th all-time between the teams. Murray State has won three in a row and eight of the last 10 against the Tigers, with TSU having won back-to-back games in 2013 and 2014. In last year's meeting, Tennessee State led 14-3 after the first quarter but was outscored 42-7 the remainder of the way as Murray State won to improve to 3-0 in OVC action. Drew Anderson tossed five touchdown passes (completing passes to 14 different receivers) and ran in another score to lead the Racers attack. Micheal Hughes passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers while Chris Rowland caught 13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Leading Eastern Illinois 9-7 at halftime, Murray State would go ahead 24-10 early in the fourth quarter and then hang on when Cortez Roberts made tackle at the one-yard line on a potential game-tying score as time expired. Sophomore quarterback Preston Rice was 19-of-29 for 274 yards and three touchdowns in the win; he also had a crucial two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. It was the MSU defense that came up big repeated through the game, holding EIU to 302 yards of total offense and limiting them to 5-of-16 on third down. T.J. Warren was named OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after tallying five tackles (2.0 for loss) and recording the first safety for MSU since the 2011 season. He also took the ball on a fake punt attempt, that came in the fourth quarter deep inside Racers territory and ran it 30 yards for a first down and would eventually result in a touchdown for his team. In the second quarter an EIU defender picked up a fumble and was racing for a touchdown until Jacob Bell stripped him of the ball, which Jared McCray recovered in the end zone to save the touchdown. Anthony Koclanakis had a game-high 14 tackles (after having 18 in his last game) and now ranks first in the OVC and 17th nationally in tackles/game (10.2).

SCOUTING TENNESSEE STATE: Tennessee State tallied 313 yards of total offense in the first half and led No. 20 ranked Jacksonville State 17-3 after the first quarter before ultimately falling 31-23. Senior Chris Rowland finished the game with 226 all-purpose yards after catching six passes for 113 yards, rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown and tallying 35 yards on kickoff returns. Rowland continues to lead the nation in all-purpose yards/game (206.83), receiving yards (875) and receiving yards/game (145.8), while he is second in receptions/game (9.3). As a team TSU ranks first in the OVC and 20th nationally in total offense (450.0 yards/game). Te'kendrick Roberson rushed for a game-high 93 yards and is now averaging 70.2 yards/game this season (which ranks fourth in the OVC). Sophomore Antonio Zita connected on three field goals (19, 29, 34) and is now second nationally in field goals made/game (2.0) and 24th in scoring (8.7 points/game). Zita is 12-of-14 in field goal attempts this season. Rhashaun Epting had a game-high 13 tackles in the game and through six games is third on the team with 34 tackles, including 3.0 for loss, and 2.0 sacks.

The Massey Ratings predict at 34-30 Murray State victory.

Racers' T. J. Warren OVC Defensive Player of the Week

Q & A with Matt McMahon

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Photos: Murray State - Morehead

Photos: Murray State - Pikeville