Preview: Murray State vs. Eastern Illinois

MurraySports

Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-4, 1-0 OVC) at Murray State Racers (1-2, 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, October 2 4:00 p.m.
Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800) Murray, Ky.
Video:.................................................................. ESPN3
Series Record:......................... Eastern Illinois leads 19-17
Last Meeting:................. Murray State won 41-27 (3/28/21)
Adam Cushing at Eastern Illinois:................... 3-20 (3 yrs.)
Adam Cushing Overall:............................................ same
Dean Hood at Murray State:....................... 6-4 (2 yrs.)
Dean Hood Overall:......................................... 61-42 (10 yrs.)
Eastern Illinois Last Week:.... W, 28-14 at Tennessee Tech
Murray State Last Week:............................................ Idle
Massey Ratings Prediction: Murray State 26 - Eastern Illinois 19

NOTEWORTHY

This is the first of two meetings between the teams this season. This game was added to fill an open date on the schedule and will not count towards the OVC standings. The two teams will also play on November 20 in Charleston in the game that does count in the OVC standings.

Murray State has won three in a row and four of the last five in the series to trim the all-time series advantage to 19-17 in favor of Eastern Illinois. Four of the last five games in the series have been decided by one score.

EIU snapped a six-game losing streak dating back to last season and won its first road game since November 2019 by topping Tennessee Tech 28-14 to open OVC play.

Jordan Miles was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week after tallying three sacks and forcing two fumbles against TTU. The three sacks are tied for the fourth-most by a FCS player in a game this season, while his two forced fumbles are tied for the most in a game this year.

Linebacker Jason Johnson had an OVC-best 16 tackles, which is the 11th-most by a player nationally this season.

With EIU holding a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter, Bryce Dewberry scooped up a fumble and raced 90 yards for a touchdown. The 90 yard return was the longest in school history.

EIU ranks 16th nationally in pass defense (155.0 yards/game).

Murray State is coming off its open date. The Racers started the season with a win over Mississippi Valley State but then lost back-to-back games to FBS opponents. In both of those games the Racers were tied with the FBS opponent (Cincinnati, Bowling Green) at halftime.

In the 27-10 loss to BGSU, it marked just the second time since 1985 that Murray State has held an FBS opponent to under 30 points. The last time the Racers held an FBS to less than 30-points was a 21-9 loss to Louisville in 2011. It also marked the team's third-closest loss to a FBS opponent.

With the second quarter interception against Bowling Green by Davontae McKee, Murray State has now forced a turnover in nine of 10 games in the Dean Hood era.

MSU quarterback Preston Rice enters this week ranked fourth nationally in rushing touchdowns (5).

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