MARTIN, Tenn. –Senior quarterback Derek Carr completed 29-of-38 passes and threw four touchdown passes to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin to a 51-37 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Eastern Illinois Saturday afternoon at Hardy M. Graham Stadium.
With the win the Skyhawks are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OVC. Eastern Illinois is 3-3 on the season and 2-1 in the league.
“When your quarterback completes 29-of-38 passes you cannot say a thing about your offense.” UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said.
Carr threw for 312 yards, all but 69 yards of the Skyhawks’ total offense.
“It all starts up front with the linemen,”Carr said. “Our coaches did a good job of scheming them up. The running backs and the receivers did a good job.”
Junior college transfer Jeremy Butler caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including an 18-yard pass for a first quarter touchdown. Senior wide receiver Quentin Sims caught nine passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.
Both Q (Sims) and Butler did things to help,” Carr said.
The Skyhawks scored a total of four touchdowns via the air and one touchdown from the rushing attack.
It was Kevin Barfield’s 93-yard kickoff return to open the game that started the scoring spree for the Skyhawks.
“That definitely set the tone of the game,” Simpson said.
Eastern Illinois, who has been averaging 47 points per game, didn’t lie down.
The visiting Panthers fought back from a 21-6 deficit in the first quarter to make it a 30-19 game at the half.
EIU quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 36-of-55 passes for 428 yards. EIU piled up 616 yards of total offense and trailed 44-22 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers outscored the Skyhawks 15-7 in the fourth quarter.