Football Preview: Murray State at UT-Martin

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Murray State Racers (2-2, 0-0 OVC) at #21 UT Martin Skyhawks (3-1, 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, October 9 2:00 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (8,500) Martin, Tenn.
Video:............................. https://es.pn/2WAVZta (ESPN+)
Live Stats:....................................... https://bit.ly/3D7aN2n
Series Record:........................ Murray State leads 38-21-1
Last Meeting:................. Murray State won 14-10 (2/28/21)
Dean Hood at Murray State:............................ 7-4 (2 yrs.)
Dean Hood Overall:................................... 60-40 (10 yrs.)
Jason Simpson at UT Martin:..................... 93-78 (16 yrs.)
Jason Simpson Overall:........................................... same
Murray State Last Week:.......... W, 22-6 vs. Eastern Illinois
UT Martin Last Week:................................................. Idle

Massey Ratings Prediction: UT-Martin 24 - Murray State 20

Saturday will mark the 61st all-time meeting between the rivals located just one hour apart.

UT Martin has won 7 of the past 10 games in the series, although Murray State has won three of the past four.  The Skyhawks won six-straight from 2011-16.

The matchup features the No. 2 offense in the OVC (UTM) against the No. 1 ranked defense (MSU).

Murray State limited Eastern Illinois to just six points and 287 yards of total offense in a 22-6 victory.  In its two games against FCS competition this season, the Racers are allowing just 3.0 points and 224.5 yards/game.

After missing his first three field goal attempts this season, Aaron Baum has returned to form and has made each of his last four attempts including all three against EIU. Baum hit a pair of 46-yarders, one from 41 yards and a PAT in the game to account for 10 of Murray State's 22 points. He was named OVC Specialist of the Week.

Damonta Witherspoon ran for a career-high 141 yards and a touchdown vs. EIU. The redshirt freshman carried the ball 27 times for an average of 5.2 yards per carry with a long of 24.

UT Martin is in action for the first time since knocking off No. 9 Jacksonville State two weeks ago. It was the first win for the Skyhawks in Jacksonville since 1987, and the first win over a Top 10 opponent since the 2013 (Central Arkansas) and first against a Top 15 opponent since 2017 (Chattanooga).

After breaking into the Top 25 polls last week (for the first time since 2017), UTM moved up to No. 21 in both polls this week. The last game the Skyhawks played as a ranked team was on Oct. 7, 2017, a 13-10 loss at home against Murray State.

UT Martin has now compiled three non-conference victories in as many weeks for the first time since joining the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision ranks in 1992.

UT Martin ranks fifth nationally in time of possession (34:25), seventh in fourth down conversion defense (16.7%), 11th in net punting (41.0 yards/punt), 12th in rushing (218.0 yards/game) and sacks allowed (1.0/game), 17th in third down conversion (45.9%), 19th in red zone defense (70.6%), 20th in tackles for loss allowed (4.75/game) and 21st in total offense (430.8 yards/game) and rush defense (102.8 yards/game).

20 Years of Pardon the Interruption

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