GRIDIRON SKYHAWKS SET TO TRAVEL TO MURRAY STATE FOR PRIMETIME MATCHUP
October 10, 2016
The University of Tennessee at Martin football team will make the short trek across the border with a primetime matchup against Ohio Valley Conference rival Murray State on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff from Roy Stewart Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Saturday’s game serves as the first contest against a team from the Bluegrass State after completing the Sgt. York Trophy series portion of the schedule. The Skyhawks posted a 2-1 record in the series after notching sweeps in back-to-back seasons to retain the trophy. UT Martin is 21-9 all-time in the series after defeating Austin Peay last week while improving to 13-2 against in-state foes since 2013.
UT Martin brings the league’s top scoring offense to Murray State averaging 41.0 points per game. The Skyhawks will look to continue recent history in which the squad has averaged 54.6 points per game against the Racer during the team’s five game winning streak. In the past 11 contests, UT Martin has scored 38 points or more in 10 games while eclipsing the 45-point mark on eight occasions. During the 11-year span, UT Martin has averaged 50.6 points per game - including a 76-point performance in 2007.
The Skyhawks (3-3, 2-1 OVC) enter the contest fresh off a 45-31 victory over Austin Peay in a Homecoming matchup. In the contest, UT Martin jumped out to an early advantage, scoring on the team's first drive of the contest before eventually taking a 45-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Skyhawks would notch a season-high with 568 yards of total offense while senior wide receiver Ben Axline posted one of the best single-game performances in school history with eight catches for 198 yards and a touchdown.
UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson is currently in his 11th season at the helm of the Skyhawks with an overall record of 68-52 and 53-31 league mark. Simpson currently sits ninth on the OVC’s all-time wins list while ranking as the league’s longest active tenured coach. Murray State is coached by second-year head coach Mitch Stewart who is 4-11.
Murray State (1-4, 1-1 OVC) enters the contest off a bye week following a 45-17 win over Austin Peay its last time out on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Racers are led by one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in KD Humphries who completed a school-record 49-of-60 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns against the Governors. His 49 completions are the most by a FCS quarterback this season and he is currently the only FCS quarterback this season throw for at least 450 yards, pass for at least five touchdowns and complete at least 40 passes in a single game. Humphries’ main target was Jordon Gandy who posted a career evening with 13 catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
This will be the 56th matchup between the two geographic rivals with Murray State holding a 35-19-1 series advantage, despite UT Martin holding a five-game winning streak against the Racers. Under the direction of head coach Jason Simpson, the Skyhawks have strung together a 9-1 mark against the Racers.
The game will be streamed live, free of charge, courtesy of the OVC Digital Network at the link above. 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.