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Racers Host Central Arkansas in 2012 Home Opener | Murray State

Murray StateGAME NOTES

RV/NR Murray State (0-1, 0-0 OVC) vs. #25/20 Central Arkansas (0-1, 0-0 SLC)
Sept. 8 – 6 p.m.
Stewart Stadium – Murray, Ky.

STORY LINES
Murray State opens its 2012 home season as the Racers play host to Central Arkansas at The Track.  It is the 4th all-time meeting between the two schools, and second in the past three seasons.

The head coaches have some history as the two squared off six times when Chris Hatcher was the head coach at Valdosta State, and Clint Conque and UCA were members of Division II.  Hatcher’s teams won all six of those meetings.

Quarterback Casey Brockman continues to move up the career charts.  With his 19 completions against Florida State, Brockman moved into second place on the MSU career list with 598 completions.  He needs just 12 attempts and 14 yards to move into third place on the career lists.

The Racers are 3-1 in the Chris Hatcher era in non-conference games against FCS opponents.  The only loss came in 2010 when a last-second field goal was blocked against Central Arkansas.  The Bears escaped with a 21-20 victory in Conway, Ark.

The Game
The Racers open their 2012 home season as they play host to Central Arkansas at The Track.  Saturday is faculty and staff appreciation day.

vs. Central Arkansas
The Racers are 0-2-1 all-time against the Bears.  This is the second meeting between the two teams in Murray, with the first meeting resulting in a 0-0 tie on Oct. 11, 1940.

vs. Southland Conference
The contest marks the fifth game against a team from the Southland Conference, and the fourth against the Bears.  The only other meeting against a team from the SLC came in 1979 against Southeastern Louisiana.

Home Openers
Saturday marks the 2012 home opener for the Racers.  MSU is 58-26-4 in home openers, including  victories in 14 of the last 16 home openers.

Gameday Weather
The early weather forecast has temperatures in the upper 70swith a 20% chance of rain.

Hatcher in Home Openers
Murray State is 1-1 in home openers under head coach Chris Hatcher.  The Racers fell to Southeast Missouri in 2010, before rebounding for a 58-27 victory over Tennessee State a season ago.

Home-Opening Crowds
The Racers have experienced large crowds in their season openers under Chris Hatcher.  MSU played in front of 7,014 fans in the 2010 home opener against Southeast Missouri, before playing in front of 10,031 fans in the 2011 home opener against Tennessee State.

Last Time vs. Central Arkansas
The Racers and Bears played a nail biter in their last meeting in 2010.  MSU used a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes to erase an 11-point lead and take a 20-14 lead.  After UCA scored to take a one-point lead, the Racers drove down the field in the final seconds, only to have their last-second field goal attempt blocked.

Hatcher in Non-Conference Games
In his first two seasons, Chris Hatcher is 3-1 in non-conference games against FCS competition.  The Racers have scored at least 39 points in the three victories.  The only loss came against Central Arkansas, 21-20, in 2010.

Powell Ties Career High
Junior wide receiver Walter Powell tied a career high when he hauled in nine passes against Florida State.  It tied his previous high of nine set against Tennessee State last season.

First Quarter Defense
The Racer defense did not show any fear in facing Florida State.  They allowed one first down on the opening possession of the season before forcing the Seminoles to punt.  MSU allowed just 83 yards in the first quarter.

Wicks:  New Number, Same Player
Junior Brandon Wicks may have changed his number, but he is still the same player that showed up on campus three years ago.  The Murray product tied for the team lead with eight tackles against Florida State.  He has been in the top two in tackles on the team in each of his first two seasons.

Run Pokey Run
True freshman Pokey Harris was not wide eyed in his first collegiate game as he rushed for a team-high 27 yards on nine carries against Florida State.

Manning With 1st Turnover
Cornerback Josh Manning recorded the first turnover of the season for the Racers as he intercepted a second-quarter pass against Florida State.  The junior-college transfer finished the game with two tackles.

Yahyavi Finds Way to Ball
Transfer safety Darian Yahyavi found himself around the ball against Florida State.  The safety tied for the team lead with eight tackles, while recovering a fumble in the third quarter.  He also recovered a fumble in the second quarter that was later overturned by replay.

Mix Impressive in Opener
The Racer special teams were a question mark entering the season, but junior Steven Mix impressed in his first collegiate game.  He averaged 40.8 yards on nine punts, with a pair of punts over 50 yards.

Benton Puts Points on the Board
Sophomore Jordan Benton put the first points on the board for the Racers this season when he connected on a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter against Florida State.

Turnovers in Opener
The Murray State defense has forced at least two turnovers in each of the last five season
openers.
Turnovers
Year    Opponent    #

2008    Lambuth    2
2009    Kentucky Wesleyan    4
2010    Kent State    2
2011    Louisville    3
2012    Florida State    2

Highest Ranked Opponent
The opener against #7 Florida State marked the highest-ranked FBS opponent the Racers have ever faced.  The announced attendance of 70,047 was also the second-highest attendance for a Racer game.

Up Next
The Racers begin a two-game road swing as they play their final non-conference game of the season at Missouri State on Sept. 15.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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