MARTIN, Tenn. –One week after its own homecoming game, The University of Tennessee at Martin football team will travel to rival Murray State for the Racers’ homecoming tilt. Kickoff at Roy Stewart Stadium is set for 3 p.m.
Murray State holds a 35-15-1 advantage in the all-time series, although UT Martin has won six of the last seven (the lone Murray State victory in that stretch came in 2010). Last year the Racers started the season 2-1 and jumped to No. 24 in the national polls, but UT Martin scored 28 points in the first quarter on its way to a 48-26 victory.
Tevin Barksdale had 118 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while Jason McNair added 104 yards and three scores for the Skyhawks. Casey Brockman was limited to 240 yards passing for MSU. One thing that has been consistent in the series is that the winning team has scored a lot of points; in the last 15 meetings (dating back to 1997), the winning team has scored 35 or more points in each game (and in 12 of those meetings the winning team scored 40 or more points).
A week after suffering its first loss of the season to a FCS opponent, UT Martin rebounded by topping high-scoring Eastern Illinois 51-37. The Skyhawks took advantage of five EIU turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) and scored their most points of the season in improving to 2-1 in OVC play this season.
UTM got off to a quick start as junior Kevin Barfield returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. Barfield later caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter as the Skyhawks led 21-6 after one quarter. Barfield, who finished the game with 161 all-purpose yards, was named OVC Specialist of the Week. Senior Derek Carr completed 29-of-38 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns and is now just one touchdown pass away from tying the school record (he currently has 47 career passing touchdowns). Carr did climb into 10th place on the OVC career passing list during the game (6,612 yards).
Senior Quentin Sims caught nine passes for 101 yards and a touchdown while junior Jeremy Butler had six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Junior linebacker Ben Johnson once again led UTM in tackles, netting 16 tackles, the fifth-straight game in which he has had double-digit tackles. Johnson currently ranks fifth nationally in tackles (12.17/game).
Murray State improved to 3-1 in its last four games with a 52-14 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday. Brockman was named National Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the Sports Network after throwing for as many touchdowns (5) as incompletions (5); Brockman was 38-of-43 for 455 yards and in the process set the OVC record for career completions (793) and the MSU record for career passing touchdowns (55). Brockman currently ranks first nationally in completions (35.67/game), third in total offense (356.5 yards/game) and fourth in passing yards (355.67/game).
Walter Powell continues to be Brockman’s favorite target, catching nine passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, marking his third-straight game with 100 or more receiving yards. Powell currently ranks third nationally in receptions (10.0/game) and fifth in receiving yards/game (119.33). Just six games into the season Powell is only 12 receptions away from 10th place on the OVC’s single-season receptions list.
As a team the Racers offense ranks fifth nationally in passing offense (366.5 yards/game), 10th in total offense (469.0 yards/game) and 11th in scoring offense (37.0 points/game). Freshman linebacker T-Ray Malone had his second-straight double-digit tackle performance, netting 11 tackles in the win over Austin Peay.