Nashville, Tenn. - Nationally-ranked Tennessee State will play at Murray State at 11 a.m. CST on Saturday as part of the OVC TV Game of the Week package. The game will air live on FOX College Sports Pacific and delayed at 11 p.m. CST on FOX Sports South.
The matchup features a pair of coaches who are in the third season at their respective schools. #18 TSU is coming off a win with no time on the clock vs. Tennessee Tech to improve to 8-1 on the season and sit atop the OVC standings, while Murray State is coming off a three-point loss at Jacksonville State.
The Tigers rebounded from its only loss of the season (a 3-point overtime defeat at Jacksonville State) to come-from- behind and beat Tennessee Tech 22-21 on Saturday. For the second straight home game the contest game down to the final play of the game as Michael German completed a six-yard touchdown pass to A.C. Leonard with no time on the clock to tie the game and Jamin Godfrey nailed an extra point to lift his team to the victory.
Godfrey was named National Special Teams Player of the Week after going 5-for-5 in field goals (connecting from 37, 32, 27, 41 and 22) and nailing the winning PAT. The five made field goals set a TSU single-game record and are tied for the most in the FCS this season.
Leonard finished the game with eight catches for 102 yards and the winning score. Leonard currently ranks second among FCS tight ends in receiving yards (528) and third in receptions (37).
German finished the day 24-of-40 for 294 yards and the game-winning score.
Defensive back Steven Godbolt III picked off sixth pass of the season and now leads all FCS players nationally in interceptions/game (0.67). As a team the Tigers lead the OVC and rank 15th nationally in scoring defense (18.56 points/game) and 34th in total defense (338.67/game).
Murray State suffered its second-straight OVC loss, losing 38-35 at Jacksonville State on Saturday. The Racers tied the game at 35 in the third quarter but was unable to score in the fourth quarter and JSU connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:51 left to win the game.
Following that game the team’s three losses to OVC foes this season have come by a combined 11 points. Senior quarterback Casey Brockman did become the OVC’s career passing leader, increasing his total to 9,187 yards and passing Morehead State’s Chris Swartz (1987-90). Brockman completed 19-of-36 passes for 255 yards while also rushing for two touchdowns. Brockman now needs just 231 yards to hold the OVC career record for total offense. Duane Brady added 71 rushing yards and two rushing scores.
Walter Powell, who entered the game in the Top 10 nationally in receptions/game and receiving yards/game was held without a catch. Brandon Hathaway finished the game with five tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery; he currently ranks third nationally in fumble recoveries/ game (0.38). As a team MSU ranks fifth nationally in scoring offense (39.5 points/game) and total offense (491.0 yards/game).
Because of a scheduling quirk this marks the third-straight year the game has been played at Murray State. Saturday marks the 24th all-time meeting between the teams and the series has been virtually even with MSU holding a 12-11 advantage. The Racers have won the last four in the series including 58-27 a season ago.
A year ago Murray State racked up 707 yards of total offense as Casey Brockman passed for an OVC record 600 yards and seven touchdowns in the victory. Walter Powell caught nine of those passes for 147 yards and a score. Michael German passed for 121 yards and a score for the Tigers.