After losing the first three games of the season, Murray State bounced back to win the next three. So, through six games they are 3-3 overall and 3-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, just half a game behind conference leader Jacksonville State (4-0). It's the first time the Racers have started the OVC season with three straight victories since 1997.
So, just how good are they?
The easy answer is that they are much better than anyone expected. At the beginning of the season, the Massey Ratings projected that they wouldn't win a single game.
Sophomore D. J. Penick is third in the OVC in rushing with 400 yards. Senior Drew Anderson is fourth in passing yards with 1,407 yards, 10th in passing efficiency, and fourth in total offense. Junior Gabriel Vicente is tied for third in scoring and is third in field goals. Senior Quincy Williams is fifth in tackles. Senior Kenny Wooten leads the league in sacks with five. Wooten and Williams are tied for seventh in tackles for loss. And freshman Steve Dawson is third in punting.
Now, the teams they have beaten (UT-Martin, Eastern Illinois, and Tennessee State) are just 3-4 against other teams in the OVC. And while Murray State barely squeaked by EIU, 48-41, Jacksonville State beat the Panthers 49-22.
So, despite the fact that the Racers received a vote in this week's FCS Top 25 poll, they still have a way to go. But, for the first time in a long time, they look like a contender in the OVC and excitement fills the air.
This Saturday's game at Eastern Kentucky is huge. The Colonels are 2-1 in the OVC and they are a three point favorite against Murray State. But, it is definitely a winnable game. And, if the Racers can pull it off, they will find themselves playing Jacksonville State for first place in the OVC the following week at Stewart Stadium on Homecoming Saturday.
Win that game and you can start thinking about the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
That's how good they are.