Racers play Jacksonville State for OVC Title



Date (Time): Apr. 11 (2 p.m.)
Opponent: #10 Jacksonville State
Site (Venue): Murray, Ky. (Roy Stewart Stadium)
Audio: Froggy 103.7 FM (PxP: Neal Bradley; Color: Josh McKeel)
TV: ESPN+ (PxP: Neal Bradley; Color: Josh McKeel)
Live Stats: GoRacers.com
Twitter In Game: @RacersFootball
MUR Record (Streak): 5-1, 5-1 OVC (Lost 1)
JSU Record (Streak): 8-2, 5-1 OVC (Won 1)
All-Time Series vs. JSU (Streak): JSU leads 15-2 (Lost 6)
All-Time Series in Murray (Streak): JSU leads 7-1 (Lost 7)
First Meeting: W 23-17 [OT] (Oct. 4, 2003; Murray, Ky.)
Last Meeting: L 12-14 (Oct. 26, 2019, Jacksonville, Ala.)
Largest MSU Win: 6 Points [W 23-17 OT] (Oct. 4, 2003; Murray, Ky.)
Largest MSU Loss: 36 Points [L 23-59] (Nov. 4, 2017; Jacksonville, Ala.
Last Five vs. JSU: 0-5 (LLLLL)

The Game

The 16th-ranked Murray State football team will host 10th ranked Jacksonville State Sunday for what will be the biggest game to be played at Roy Stewart Stadium in nearly two decades. Kick-off at The Track is scheduled for 2 p.m., with the game being aired on ESPN+ and Froggy 103.7 FM.

The Series At A Glance

Sunday will be the 18th meeting between Murray State and Jacksonville State and the last for the Gamecocks as members of the OVC. JSU leads the all-time series 15-2 with the Racers only wins coming in the first game of the series in Murray and in Jacksonville in 2013. The Gamecocks have won seven of eight games in Murray and eight of nine in Jacksonville.

Scouting The Gamecocks

After a convincing win over EIU last week, No. 10 Jacksonville State will come into Sunday's match up at 8-2 overall and 5-1 in league play. Sunday will serve as a de facto OVC championship game as both teams enter the season finale tied at the top of the conference standings with a 5-1 record.

The Gamecocks currently allow 18.1 points per game on 266.5 yards per game, while scoring 27.8 points on 388.2 yards. JSU currently leads the OVC in both total and scoring offense and defense. In addition to leading the league in the four major categories, they also boast the nation's ninth best rush defense, allowing just 86.3 yards per game against the run.

On offense, Zion Webb has served as QB1 for JSU this spring season, averaging 142.8 passing yards and 27.9 rushing yards per game with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Josh Samuel and Uriah West have split the running duties for Jax State this season with 67.7 and 53.3 yards per game, respectively, with six touchdowns for Samuel and five for West.

Defensively, Nicario Harper leads the way for the Gamecocks with 71 tackles, three interceptions, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. In addition, DJ Coleman is also having a big year with 46 tackles, 10.0 tackles-for-loss, 6.0 sacks, a fumble recovery and 13 hurries.

It All Comes Down To This

Sunday will serve as a de facto OVC championship game as both teams enter the season finale tied at the top of the conference standings with a 5-1 record. The last time the Racers hosted a game with the league title on the line was in 2002 against Eastern Illinois. Murray State won that game, 37-35, thanks to a last second field goal from Shane Andrus.

Title Drought

On Sunday, the Racers have an opportunity to end the current second longest OVC championship drought in the league. The Racers last won an OVC title in 2002, making their current drought 17 years long. The only longer current streak is held by TSU who last won an OVC championship in 1999.

The Blue Wall

The Murray State offensive line has allowed just two sacks this season or 0.3 per game. Should that hold, it would be a new program record and would mark just the third season in MSU history in which a team has allowed an average of less than one sack per game. The number is all the more impressive when compared to last season in which the Racers allowed 2.3 per game and 2.7 in the last five years combined.

The Massey Ratings predicts Jacksonville State 27 - Murray State 24.

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Highlights: Murray State 41 - Eastern Illinois 27