Football Preview: Murray State vs. Eastern Kentucky

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Eastern Kentucky Colonels (3-3, 1-1 OVC) at Murray State Racers (4-3, 2-1 OVC)
Saturday, October 19 2:00 p.m. CT
Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800) Murray, Ky.
TV:...................................................................... ESPN+
Live Stats:........................................ http://bit.ly/35p6G1s
Series Record:................. Eastern Kentucky leads 46-28-4
Last Meeting:................. Murray State won 34-6 (10/20/18)
Mark Elder at Eastern Kentucky:................... 17-22 (4 yrs.)
Mark Elder Overall:.................................................. same
Mitch Stewart at Murray State:..................... 19-32 (5 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart Overall:.............................................. same
Eastern Kentucky Last Week:..................................... Idle
Murray State Last Week:...... W, 31-17 at Tennessee State

GAME NOTES: In-state rivals meet for the 79th time on Saturday afternoon in Murray. Eastern Kentucky won eight in a row in the series from 2005-12, although the team have split the last six meetings. That includes a 34-6 Murray State victory a season ago in Richmond; that was the Racers largest margin of victory in the series since a 52-0 victory in 1930 (the second all-time meeting between the schools). In that game Drew Anderson threw for a pair of touchdowns while Rodney Castille had 50 rushing yards and a score. EKU rushed for 185 yards as a team with LJ Scott leading the way with 94 yards. Quincy Williams had 10 tackles and returned an interception 85 yards in the win. A win by MSU on Saturday would mark their first back-to-back wins in the series since 1999-2000.

SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY: Eastern Kentucky is coming off its open date, which followed a 38-28 home loss to UT Martin. That loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Colonels and evened the team's record at 1-1 in OVC play. The Colonels overcame a 10-point deficit to take a lead in the third quarter but saw UTM score two touchdowns in a span of two minutes to take control of the game. With the running attack limited by a stout Skyhawk defense (EKU finished with a season-low 96 yards rushing), redshirt freshman quarterback Parker McKinney completed 19 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for another score. McKinney has now accounted for eight touchdowns this season. Keyion Dixon hauled in five catches for 97 yards to lead the passing attack. Daryl McCleskey Jr. finished with a team-high 60 rushing yards and leads the OVC with 108.3 yards/game. On the defensive side of the ball Corey Glass led the game with 11 tackles (1.5 for loss). Glass now leads the team with 40 tackles on the season while Aaron Patrick is first with 5.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles-for-loss in six games.

SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Murray State won its second-straight game (and for the third time in its last four games) with a 31-17 victory at Tennessee State. It marked the team's first road win of the season (snapping a five-game road losing streak dating back to the middle of last season). The Racers had five takeaways in the game (the second time this season they have had five takeaways in a game). Senior Kendrick Catis recovered two fumbles to go along with five tackles (1.0 for loss) and a forced fumble; he is the second MSU player to tally two fumble recoveries in a game this season (joining Tay Carothers). Sophomore quarterback Preston Rice passed for 271 yards and a trio of touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards in the win. He completed passes to 11 different receivers, with LaMartez Brooks finishing the game with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Brooks is one of five MSU receivers with 15 or more catches on the season; Rodney Castille leads the team with 21 receptions. Punter Steve Dawson punted five times on the afternoon, downing four inside the TSU 20-yard line to help the Racers win the field position battle. Dawson's punts were downed at the 3, 6, 7 and 12-yard lines as he averaged 36.8 yards/punt on the day.

The Massey Ratings predict a 27-24 Murray State victory.

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