MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY PITS UT MARTIN AGAINST NO. 2 JACKSONVILLE STATE
November 6, 2017
Listen: Mix 101.3 FM / WUTM 90.3 FM
UTM Game Notes
JSU Game Notes
The University of Tennessee at Martin football team will honor the team’s 21 graduating seniors along with the nation’s military with an Ohio Valley Conference matchup against No. 2 ranked Jacksonville State on Saturday, Nov. 11. Kickoff for the Military Appreciation Game is scheduled for 2 p.m. with Senior Day festivities to get underway prior to the contest. Members of the active military and veterans will be admitted for free.
This contest serves as a matchup of two of the league’s elite programs over the past decade. Since 2006, Jacksonville State and UT Martin rank first and fourth, respectively, in total victories with the Gamecocks possessing a 73-19 mark while the Skyhawks are 60-33.
The Skyhawks (5-4, 3-3 OVC) are looking to build upon its recent momentum after winning back-to-back contests against Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri in the past two weeks. In UT Martin’s most recent outing, the Skyhawks overcame a late-game deficit with a six-play, 51-yard scoring drive over the game’s final two minutes which was capped off by a 22-yard field goal by Mitch Mersman in the final seconds to lift the squad to a 16-14 road victory.
UT Martin currently ranks first in the Ohio Valley Conference in eight team categories including scoring defense, opponent first downs, opponent third downs, opponent fourth downs, redzone defense, punt return average, time of possession and onside kick attempts.
The coaching matchup pits arguably two of the best head coaches in the OVC in UT Martin’s Jason Simpson and Jacksonville State’s John Grass. Simpson recently moved into sixth place on both the OVC’s all-time wins leaderboard and conference-only leaderboard with a 77-58 overall record and 60-35 mark in league play. Grass has proved to be successful, posting a 41-7 overall mark in his fourth season along with a spotless 29-0 mark in OVC play.
Jacksonville State (8-1, 6-0 OVC) enters the contest having won an OVC record 30 consecutive conference games. The Gamecocks last loss in league play against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 16, 2013. The Gamecocks have won three consecutive OVC championships during that span while being ranked second nationally in both Coaches Poll and STATS Media Poll. A win for the Gamecocks would clinch their fourth straight league championship, becoming just the fourth team in OVC history to accomplish the feat.
The Gamecocks currently lead the OVC seven categories including third down efficiency, fourth down efficiency, rushing defense, scoring offense, team tackles for loss, total defense and total offense.
Saturday’s matchup marks the 39th meeting in series history between UT Martin and Jacksonville State with the Gamecocks holding a 31-7 advantage. The Gamecocks have won four consecutive games in the series with the Skyhawks last notching a victory on Nov. 3, 2012 at Graham Stadium.
The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3 as the OVC Game of the Week with Kevin Ingram and Bob Belvin on the call. Fans can also tune into Mix 101.3 FM to hear Tom Britt (play-by-play), Chris Brinkley (color) and John Abel (sideline) provide analysis. WUTM, UT Martin's award-winning student radio station, will also broadcast the game locally on 90.3 FM. Links for both radio broadcasts, along with live stats can be accessed through their respective links above. For in-game updates, follow the Skyhawks on twitter @UTM_Gameday.
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