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October 13, 20181st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State1400721
Murray St.32114745
1st Quarter
TSUTD10:41CAUTHEN 16 Yd Pass From HUGHES (ZITA kick)
TSUTD00:34CORBIN 2 Yd Run (ZITA kick)
2nd Quarter
3rd Quarter
4th Quarter
TSUTD14:21ROWLAND 3 Yd Pass From HUGHES (ZITA kick)
Stats at a GlanceTSUMUR
1st Downs2338
3rd Down Conversions6-1210-15
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Passing (Comp-Att)307 (30-45) 398 (37-55)
Rushing (Att)63 (23) 152 (31)
Total Yards370550
Fumbles Lost11
Tigers Look to Rebound at Murray State
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Tigers Look to Rebound at Murray State

Tennessee State Game Notes | Murray State Game Notes
2018 Tennessee State Media Guide | Live Stats

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Game 7: Tennessee State (2-2, 1-1) at Murray State (2-3, 2-0)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
Location: Murray, Ky.
Stadium: Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800)
Time: 1:00 p.m. CT
Audio: 102.1 FM
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Series Information: This is the 29th meeting with Murray State holding a 15-13 advantage. The teams first met in 1988, a 22-7 win for Murray State on their home field. After the Racers took the first two meetings, Tennessee State came back to earn its first win, 23-17, in 1990 at MSU. The win started a five game streak for the Big Blue before the Racers grabbed the next three contests. MSU went on its own five game win streak from 2008-12. The Tigers won two consecutive meetings before the Racers gained back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016.

Last Meeting: Despite 555 yards of total offense, Tennessee State football team could not hold off Murray State’s second half surge in a 38-31 road defeat. Ronald Butler set career highs for passing yards (329) and rushing yards (109). The Tigers held a 20-17 halftime lead over MSU, before the Racers outscored TSU 21-11 in the second half. LaQuarius Cook tallied 11 total tackles to pace the defense. TSU drove 64 yards in 14 plays on the game’s opening drive, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Lane Clark. MSU used two scores to take a 14-3 after one quarter of play. Patrick Smith picked up his first touchdown of the day on a 20-yard pass from Butler to bring the Big Blue back within four at 14-10. Trailing 17-10, Butler found Sabree Curtis for a 16 yards touchdown. The Tigers closed out the half with Clark’s second of his three field goals, a 25 yarder as time expired.  MSU scored on their first two possessions to take a 31-20 lead, prior to a 20 yard field goal by Clark. Murray State needed just 13 seconds to get back on the scoreboard on a 75-yard pass play. Butler found Smith for a touchdown to bring the Tigers to within nine, but could not get any closer.

Head Coach Rod Reed is in his ninth season at the helm of the Tigers and holds a 51-44 record. Coach Reed earned his 50th victory against Bethune-Cookman and became just the third coach in Tiger history to reach the milestone. John Merritt tops the list with 174 victories in his 20 years (1963-83) for a .806 winning percentage (174-35-7), while Harry Kean spent 10 years in charge of TSU from 1944-54 and compiled a 93-15-3 record (.838). The Big Blue is 8-1 in season openers under Reed, including a 17-10 win at FBS opponent Georgia State in 2017. The lone opening day loss came at the hands of Bethune-Cookman, 12-9, at the 2013 John Merritt Classic.

Tennessee State: The Tigers committed five turnovers, three unforced, leading to a 49-34 loss at Austin Peay. Receiver Chris Rowland registered a career day, catching 11 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Rowland added another 34 yards on punt returns for 213 all purpose yards. Redshirt freshman Shawn McColley led all rushers with 78 yards on 11 touches. Vincent Sellers led the defense in tackles with nine, three solo and one for loss. TSU continues to show success on third downs, converting 47 percent of their opportunities which ranks first in the Ohio Valley Conference and 14th in the nation. The Tigers rank ninth in FCS play averaging 33:35 in time of possession. Rowland leads the country in all purpose yards (187.67/game) and receiving yards per game (138.3/game). The junior also ranks third in receptions per game at 8.7 and sixth in punt returns with a 17.5 average. Dajour Nesbeth continues to be one of the top defenders in FCS, ranking fifth in passes defended (1.8/game) nationally. Freshman Antonio Zita ranks seventh in FCS with 1.75 field goals per game and 14th in FG percentage at .875.

Murray State: The Racers are 2-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play after starting the season with three straight losses. The Racers feature the running of D.J. Penick and Rodney Castille. Penick has rushed 65 times for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Castille averages 8.1 yards/carry, amassing 325 yards on 40 attempts. Drew Anderson runs the offense, averaging 216.6 yards through the air. Anderson has thrown for 1,083 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions, while completing 93-of-166 pass attempts. MSU has shared the ball, as 16 separate players have hauled in a pass, including eight who have eight or more receptions. Malik Honeycutt leads all MSU receivers with 11 receptions for 237 yards. Jonathan Moss, Tyre Gray and Castille have each pulled down 10 passes each. Quincy Williams leads the defense with 48 tackles, 33 solo, 5.0 for loss, four passes defended, three breakups, an interception and a force fumble. Kenny Wooten equaled Williams in stops behind the line of scrimmage and tops the Racers with 4.0 sacks and three quarterback hurries.

Last 10 Results:
2016 - Murray State 38, Tennessee State 31
2015 - Murray State 46, Tennessee State 43 OT
2014 - Tennessee State 48, Murray State 33
2013 - Tennessee State 17, Murray State 10
2012 - Murray State 49, Tennessee State 28
2011 - Murray State 58, Tennessee State 27
2010 - Murray State 28, Tennessee State 23
2009 - Murray State 9, Tennessee State 6
2008 - Murray State 24, Tennessee State 17
2007 - Tennessee State 42, Murray State 28

TV: ESPN+. Neal Bradley will serve as play-by-play along with Josh McKeel who will provide analysis.

Radio: 102.1 FM will carry the game live with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst), Gary Dawson (sideline) and Craig Ladd (Scoreboard). Pregame will begin at 12:30 p.m.

(on last week’s game at Austin Peay)
“I thought that we came out really, really flat. I didn’t do a good enough job of getting us ready to play this week. Give credit to Austin Peay. They took advantage of everything that we gave them. You just can’t go on the road and turn the ball over five times and give them the ball back in plus territory. They took advantage. They had 14 points off turnovers. It was disappointing. I thought our kids fought hard. I thought we tried to give ourselves a chance to win the game. It was ‘tit for tat’ for a minute, but one too many turnovers.”

(on receiving updates from Staci Abercrombie – mother of Christion Abercrombie)
Obviously, she texts me every time something good happens. I ask her if she would do that for me and keep me abreast with everything that’s going on. He is showing some improvement and doing some things that are really positive so we’ve got to keep praying and hopefully he’ll continue to progress on a daily basis. I’m really happy for him and the family right now. We’re going to keep praying for them.”

(on facing Murray State)
“We’ve got a good Murray State team that we’re going up against on their turf. We haven’t played particularly well there. They spread the ball around. They’ve got some good running backs. They’ve got good receivers. Defensively, they get after you. They’re not going to let you run the football. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

(on Murray State’s offensive output last week)
“They still throw the ball. Don’t get it twisted. They still throw the ball a lot. When you get spread out, I think they took what the defense gave them. They were in some three down stuff, and I think they gave up the edges a little bit. They did a really good job. Their backs do a good job of jump cutting and finding the right holes. Their line has done a terrific job blocking. They do just enough to keep you off balance in all areas.”

(on last week’s performance)

“I’m really proud of the way the guys played, the way the guys fought. It was an incredible game Saturday night. It always is against a team like Eastern Illinois. Hats off to those guys. They fought their butts off, and we were just fortunate that we were able to find a way to win at the end. I’m very proud of our guys.”

(on his team’s challenge facing TSU)
“Now they have the challenge of racking it back up and doing it again against Tennessee State. They’re a team that is obviously very athletic and plays with a lot of effort. The one thing I always like is when I watch another team, I like to watch their kickoff unit and see the way that they cover because I think you can tell a lot about their team watching their kickoff unit cover. Tennessee State’s kickoff coverage team is downright scary the way that those guys run and the effort that they have covering the field. We’ve got our hands full. I think it will be a great atmosphere. It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we’re hoping to get as many people in the seats as possible.”

(on preparing for TSU with only four games to go off of)
“Obviously, that factors into your preparation because you don’t have a lot of stuff to go off of this year. Tennessee State is an athletic bunch. They’re big, they’re physical and they play hard. Coach (Rod) Reed has done a tremendous job. The effort with which his kids play with is tremendous. They play very, very hard, and they’ve got some explosive players. Chris Rowland. Holy smokes. That dude can go. He’s as electric as they come.”

(on moving on after the loss)
“It was tough, especially losing our lineman to injury. I didn’t think we played well even before the injury came up. All we have to do is come back next week and do what we have to do. Stay locked in.”

(on what the defense did well against Austin Peay)
“I thought we did well in all aspects of the defense, its just mental errors. We had a linebacker fall down – Blair Edwards. I had to step up, and it didn’t fall off one bit, but it’s a tough loss.”

(on how to put Austin Peay behind them)
“We just go to practice, go to work, watch film and keep going.”

(on moving on from the loss)
“You just go to practice. Everyone has to get their head right. Everybody has to come and play together as a team.”

(on facing Murray State)
“Really, everyone has to play together as a team. We all have one goal, and that’s to win.”

(on the defense's effort against Austin Peay)
“We were trying to play strategically throughout, we had a set game plan and things didn’t work out like we planned.”

(on the pre-game prayer versus Austin Peay)
“It meant a lot because we see Christion as our brother. We may not be blood, but we built a bond over the summer. It’s his first year on the team, and we felt like this is our brother and we’re losing a part of our team with our brother in the hospital.”

(on how the team responded during the week)
“We’re very active in practice. We just have to do more to get the W because we did not do what we’ve practiced. We have to do more to execute.”