Preview: Murray State at Austin Peay

 

MurraySports

Murray State Racers (5-5, 5-2 OVC)
at Austin Peay Governors (4-6, 2-5 OVC)
Saturday, November 17 4:00 p.m. CT
Fortera Stadium (8,500) Clarksville, Tenn.
TV:...................................................................... ESPN+
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=227483
Series Record:........................... Murray State leads 36-15
Last Meeting:.................... Austin Peay won 27-7 (9/23/17)
Mitch Stewart at Murray State:..................... 15-28 (4 yrs.)
Mitch Stewart Overall:.............................................. same
Will Healy at Austin Peay:............................ 12-21 (3 yrs.)
Will Healy Overall:................................................... same
Murray State Last Week: W, 40-38 vs. #19 Southeast Missouri
Austin Peay Last Week:............ L, 52-21 at Eastern Illinois 

GAME NOTES: Austin Peay and Murray State will conclude the regular season with the 52nd all-time meeting between their programs. Murray State has won 8 of the past 10 meetings, although Austin Peay captured a 27-7 victory a season ago. In that game the Governors jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and finished the game with 392 yards of offense, while limiting Murray State to just 90 yards (38 rushing, 52 passing). JaVaughn Craig had 84 passing yards and 103 rushing yards to go along with a pair of touchdowns for the Governors. Corey Newble led the Racers with 52 passing and 44 rushing yards.

SCOUTING MURRAY STATE: Murray State enters the final week with a 5-2 OVC record, matching its most Conference victories since 2011. With a win over Austin Peay the Racers would reach six OVC wins for only the second time since 1997 and the first time since 2004. The Racers are coming off one of its most dramatic wins of all-time, overcoming a 31-0 deficit to top No. 19 Southeast Missouri 40-38. MSU trailed 31-0 with 2:24 to play before halftime before Drew Anderson (who had already thrown three interceptions and lost a fumble) connected with Tyre Gray on a two-yard touchdown with 10 seconds to play. That began the comeback that saw Murray State go ahead 34-31 with 1:42 to play when Anderson tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game. SEMO would respond and go ahead 38-34 with 20 seconds left before Malik Honeycutt returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for the touchdown and victory. Honeycutt's return was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter and earned him National Special Teams Player of the Week from STATS. Anderson was named OVC Co-Offensive Player of the Week after finishing the game with 412 passing and 40 rushing yards; Anderson ranks sixth nationally in completions (23.5/game), 12th in passing yards (2,593) and 17th in total offense (282.7 yards/game). He completed passes to 11 different receivers in the win. Kendrick Catis led the defense with 10 tackles and an interception. A Racer victory would give Murray State a winning season for the first time since 2011.

SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: Austin Peay dropped its second-straight game, falling 52-21 at Eastern Illinois. The Govs fell behind 35-0 to the high-powered Panthers offense and could not recover. DJ Montgomery caught seven passes for a career-high 165 yards and a 21-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Montgomery now has at least one catch in 15-straight games dating back to last season. Jeremiah Oatsvall threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns; he enters this week ranked third nationally in yards per completion (16.16). The Govs, who rank first in the OVC and 16th nationally in rushing (235.9 yards/game), finished with 189 total yards, with 50 coming from Prince Momodu and 49 from Ahmaad Tanner. Tanner went over 1,000 yards for his career during the game. Junior Jaison Williams had four tackles and 2.0 sacks in the game and in the process moved into third-place on the school's career sacks list (17.0) and fifth in program history for career tackles-for-loss (32.0).  On the season Williams has 40 tackles, 13.0 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks. Gunnar Scholato had a team-best 12 tackles, including 2.0 for loss; he enters the week ranked 14th nationally in tackles (9.9/game).

The Massey Ratings predict a 31-30 Austin Peay victory.

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