MARTIN, Tenn. –UT Martin will play its third consecutive homecoming game and second-straight road game Saturday when it travels to Cape Girardeau, Mo., for an Ohio Valley Conference showdown, while Southeast Missouri hosts its second-straight home game.
Southeast Missouri holds a 14-13 advantage in the all-time series although UT Martin has won six of the last seven meetings (after SEMO had won eight in a row from 1997-2004).
In last year’s meeting UTM pulled out to a 28-3 lead late in the second quarter before holding off a late Redhawks charge and winning 38-30. Tevin Barksdale rushed for 135 yards and a score and Derek Carr threw two touchdowns passes for UTM. Southeast got three passing touchdowns and 85 rushing yards out of quarterback Matt Scheible.
UT Martin had a historical day offensively on Saturday in topping rival Murray State 66-59. The 125 combined points in the game was the most in OVC history. The win was the second in a row and fourth in its last five games for the Skyhawks who are now 3-1 in OVC play. Senior quarterback Derek Carr set the NCAA FCS record for passing efficiency (min. 45 attempts) with a 243.78 rating after completing 42-of-46 (91.3%) passes for 560 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception or being sacked.
In the process Carr became the UTM all-time leader in touchdown passes and now ranks seventh in OVC history for career passing yards (7,172). Because Carr had a big day, so did his receivers as Quentin Sims had 12 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns and Jeremy Butler had eight catches for 177 yards and a school record four touchdowns. That performance earned the transfer Butler OVC Newcomer of the Week honors. Chris Thompson made it three receivers with over 100 receiving yards after catching seven passes for 116 yards and a score. Senior defensive back Thad Williams started the game off on a good note for the Skyhawks, intercepting a pass and returning it 42 yards for a touchdown to put UTM up 7-0 just 1:29 into the game. Williams, who finished the game with six tackles, also had a key pass breakup late in the game as MSU was attempting to tie the game; the performance earned his OVC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Southeast Missouri came up short against No. 18 Tennessee State on Saturday, falling 40-28. The Redhawks were able to pull within five points twice in the fourth quarter but TSU’s Trabis Ward rushed for three fourth quarter touchdowns to prevent the upset. Redshirt freshman Scott Lathrop established career-highs in both rushing (145 yards) and passing (222 yards) as he scored a touchdown both ways. He helped direct the Redhawks offense to 28 points, the most allowed by Tennessee State this season.
Senior Levi Terrell added 110 yards and two touchdowns as the team racked up 288 total yards. It marked the first time this season the team had multiple 100-yard rushers in the same game. As a team Southeast continues to lead the OVC and rank 12th nationally in rushing yards/game (230.0). Senior Blake Peiffer had 14 tackles and in the process surpassed 300 career tackles, becoming just the seventh Southeast player to achieve that feat. Peiffer currently ranks seventh nationally in tackles/game (11.67).