UT MARTIN FOOTBALL SET FOR FBS ROAD MATCHUP AT OLE MISS ON SATURDAY
September 4, 2017
The University of Tennessee at Martin football team take a step up in competition this week with a matchup at Football Bowl Subdivision and Southeastern Conference member Ole Miss on Saturday, Sept. 9. Kickoff from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is scheduled for 11 a.m. and can be seen on SEC Network Alternate.
The Skyhawks (1-0) enter the contest looking to snap a lengthy losing streak to FBS members with a matchup against a formidable regional foe. UT Martin is 1-23 all-time against FBS squads with its lone win coming against Memphis (20-17) in 2012. Ole Miss serves as the 19th FBS opponent and seventh SEC contest the Skyhawks have faced under the direction of head coach Jason Simpson – holding a 1-17 record in said games. UT Martin is coming off a season which saw the Skyhawks rank as one of just two FCS programs to play three games against FBS opponents in 2016.
Hot off a dominating performance against Clarion in the team’s season opener, the Skyhawks will look to continue its outstanding defensive effort dating back to last season. As a whole, the Skyhawks notched their first defensive shutout since 2011 while forcing three turnovers and setting a Division-I program standard by limiting Clarion to zero third or fourth down conversions.
UT Martin enters the contest leading all FCS programs in sacks allowed (zero), scoring defense (0.0 ppg), tackles for loss allowed (zero), opponent third down conversion percentage (zero percent), opponent fourth down conversion percentage (zero percent), redzone defense (zero scores), blocked kicks allowed (zero), blocked punts allowed (zero) and individual passes defended (five). Meanwhile the Skyhawks lead the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring defense (0.0 ppg), total offense (457.0 ypg), total defense (146.0 ypg), rushing offense (265.0 ypg), pass defense (53.0 ypg), pass defense efficiency (11.1) and sacks against (zero).
Offensively, the Skyhawks were paced by junior running back Ladarius Galloway. The junior college transfer made a big impact in his debut, posting team-highs with 17 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also became the first player to eclipse the 100-yard rushing plateau in his Skyhawk debut since 2000 while also serving as the first in the program’s Division-I history to surpass 150 yards in a season opener. Overall, Galloway averaged 9.2 yards per carry while scoring his first touchdown on a 29-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson is currently in his 12th season at the helm of the Skyhawks with an overall record of 73-54. Simpson currently ranks tied for seventh in OVC history in career victories while serving as the league’s longest active tenured coach. Ole Miss is coached by Matt Luke who holds a 1-0 career mark.
Ole Miss (1-0) enters Saturday’s contest looking to build upon the team’s powerful 47-27 victory over South Alabama its last time out. In the contest, the Rebels saw quarterback Shea Patterson complete 28-of-35 attempts for a career-best 429 yards and four touchdowns while wide receiver AJ Brown broke a 24-year program record with eight catches for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Fellow receiver DaMarkus Lodge also tallied a pair of touchdown receptions while running back D’Vaughn Pennamon notched one rushing touchdown.
This serves as the second meeting between UT Martin and Ole Miss. The Rebels won the previous matchup 76-3 on Sept. 4, 2015.
The game will be televised live on the SEC Network Alternate channel or online via the WatchESPN app 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.