MURRAY, Ky. – Senior quarterback Derek Carr doesn’t play video games. However his performance Saturday afternoon against Murray State in Roy Stewart Stadium was comparable to something you would see in Madden. It was virtually unbelievable and record-setting to say the least.
Carr led The University of Tennessee at Martin to a 66-59 victory over host Murray State.
En route to the victory Carr set a school record with seven touchdown passes; the most passing yards in a game (560 yards); and a new career TD passes mark (54).
“I wouldn’t say the completions were easy, but when you have people like Quentin Sims, Jeremy Butler and Chris Thompson it’s easy. Then add the offensive line. There was one time where I had enough time to go to my fourth read,” Carr said.
Carr completed 42-of-46 passes (91 percent) for 560 yards without an interception.
“The biggest thing is only four incompletions,” UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said. “Carr stepped up and the offense stepped up, but this was a team win.
“Everybody in that locker room contributed to this win.”
The Skyhawks claimed a 28-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the point production wasn’t limited to Carr and the offense. Senior defensive back Thad Williams intercepted heralded Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman and turned up field 42 yards for a touchdown with 13:31 to play in the first quarter.
“The defensive line created some pressure for us and I was able to do my job,” Williams said.
Carr, Butler and Sims handled the rest of the points in the first quarter. Butler caught a 22-yard touchdown pass, while Sims caught TD passes of 15 and 22 yards.
It was Butler and Carr who accounted for the Skyhawks’ 14-second quarter points.
“When you work hard you are going to get results,” Butler said. “I was able to trust what I saw on film and (Derek) Carr did a great job of leading us.”
The Skyhawks outscored Murray State 17-7 in the third quarter. Thompson entered the act with a 34 yard touchdown reception and Butler caught a 42-yard pass.
Butler finished the game with eight catches for 177 yards and four touchdowns. The four TD catches in one game is a new school record.
Sims had 12 catches for 146 and a pair of TDs. Thompson had seven receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. For the first time in school history, the Skyhawks had three players who each had more than 100 yards of receiving.
In the fourth quarter, Murray State outscored the Skyhawks 21-7, but Williams broke up Brockman’s pass intended for Walter Powell.
Brockman finished the game with 537 yards of passing and eight touchdown passes. He was 45-of-67 with an interception.
With the victory the Skyhawks are now 3-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 5-2 overall. Murray State is 2-2 in the league and 3-4 on the year.
Simpson said his team talked to injured defensive back Fred Flenorl before the game and he said, ‘Go get us a win.’
"Fred is the epitome of a teammate,” Simpson said. “His enthusiasm is not fake. It’s real. Fred gets the game ball tonight.”
Flenorl suffered a season-ending neck injury this past week against Eastern Illinois and had two surgeries earlier this week to stabilize his vertebrae.