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Racers Open 2012 Season at Florida State | Murray State

RV/RV Murray State (0-0, 0-0 OVC) vs. #7 Florida State (0-0, 0-0 ACC)

Sept. 1 – 5 p.m.

Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, Fla.


Murray State opens its 88th football season when the Racers travel to face No. 7 Florida State.  The opener marks the second-straight season the Racers opener will be televised on national TV.  Last season, MSU opened up against Louisville in the first game of the 2011 season on ESPNU.

The game against Florida State marks the sixth time in the last eight seasons the Racers will open up against an FBS team.   The game is the second against an ACC team in the last four years.  The Racers traveled to face North Carolina State in 2009.

Senior quarterback Casey Brockman enters the season as one of 20 players on the Walter Payton Award watch list.  He finished 11th in the voting last season after throwing for 3,276 and 25 touchdowns.

Head Coach Chris Hatcher is entering his third as season at Murray State.  He is just the fourth coach in MSU history to start his career with back-to-back winning seasons.
Hatcher is no stranger to the Tallahassee area after playing collegiatelly, and beginning his coaching career, at Valdosta State.


The Game
The Racers open the 2012 season on the road as they travel to face No. 7 Florida State.  Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium and can be seen live on ESPN3.

vs. FSU
The Racers are playing the Seminoles for the first time in school history.  It marks the Racers first game in the state of Florida since the 1986 game against Central Florida in Orlando.

vs. ACC
The contest marks the second game against an ACC opponent in the last four years.  MSU traveled to face North Carolina State in the second game of the 2009 season.  That contest is the only other game against a member of the ACC.  The Racers faced off against Miami a pair of times, but neither was with the Hurricanes as ACC members.

Season Openers
The Racers enter the 2012 season opener with a record of 47-36-4 in openers.  MSU has lost two-straight season openers, both to FBS teams.

Saturday Opener
Opening the season on a Saturday night is new to just about every member of the Racer football program.  The Racers have not opened the season on a Saturday night since they opened at Missouri on Sept. 2, 2006.  MSU had played on Thursday to open the season each of the previous five years.

Gameday Weather
The weather forecast has improved as the season opener nears.  The path of Hurricane Isaac has moved west, and the chance of rain of rain in Tallahassee has significantly decreased for kickoff.

Racers on ESPN
For the second-straight season, the Murray State season opener will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.  The game against Florida State will be broadcast on ESPN3.  Last season, MSU kicked off the football season against Louisville on ESPNU.

Playing on Grass
The 2012 season opener at Florida State will mark the only game this season the Racers will play on grass.  MSU only played one game on grass in each of previous five seasons.  Last year, the Racers went on the road and defeated Mississippi Valley State, 39-0, on grass.

Racers Receiving Votes
Murray State is receiving votes in both of the preseason polls.  The Racers are ranked 26th in The Sports Network Poll, while ranking 28th in the FCS Coaches Poll.

Fewest Points vs FBS
Murray State held its own against Louisville in the 2011 opener as the Racers only allowed 21 points, including no points in the second half. It was the fewest points allowed to an FBS team since the Racers tied Memphis 10-10 in 1985.

Hatcher Returns Near Home
Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher will be returning to the area where he first made a name for himself.  Hatcher won the Harlon Hill Trophy as a player at Valdosta State before taking over as head coach and leading the team to the 2004 National Championship.

Racer Ties to Florida State
There are three members of the Murray State athletics department that have ties to Florida State.  Senior Associate Athletic Director Matt Kelly worked in academics for the athletic department at FSU.  Assistant baseball coach Chris Cole began his playing career with the Seminoles.  Graduate assistant athletic trainer Sarah Baller is a recent graduate of FSU.

FBS Openers
This season marks the 12th time since the 1969 season that the Racers have opened the season against a FBS opponent. Seven
of the previous 11 meetings have all come within the last 12 years.

Turnovers in Opener
The Murray State defense has forced a turnover in each of the last four season openers. The Racers forced two turnovers
against Lambuth in 2008, four against Kentucky Wesleyan in 2009, two against Kent State in 2010 and three against Louisville last season. The defense also scored a touchdown in the games in 2008 and 2009.

Reaching Double Digits
Reaching double digits on the scoreboard is nothing new for the Racers.  In Chris Hatcher‘s first two seasons at MSU, the Racers have reached double figures in every game except one.  The only game the Racers did not reach double figures was in the season opener last season when they were held to nine points.

Touchdown a Game
In the Chris Hatcher era, Murray State has found the endzone at least one time in every game.  More impressively, the Hatch Attack has produced at least two touchdowns in every game against an FCS opponent.

Florida Boys
A dozen Racers will be making a return to their home state in the opener.
Brock Rydecki    Ft. Myers
Corey Addison    Jacksonville
TJ Denson    Lakeland
HB Beauford    Miami
Jaamal Berry    Miami
Asa Powell    Orlando
Darrell Smith    Port St. Joe
Duane Brady    St. Augustine
Josh Brown    St. Petersburg
Darrian Skinner    St. Petersburg
Ja-Vonta Trotter    St. Petersburg
Tyler Evans    Tampa

Local Flavor
The 2012 Racer roster features plenty of players from the local community.  All in all, 15 players played their prep ball at local high schools.
Steven Mix    Barlow
Dayshaun Matlock    Hopkinsville
William Higginson    Mayfield
Hunter Kingston    Mayfield
Marc Wynstra    Mayfield
Jordan Benton    Murray
Casey Brockman    Murray
Christian Duncan    Murray
Bob Fields    Murray
Carson Greifencamp    Murray
Robert Olive    Murray
Cody Therrell    Murray
Brandon Wicks    Murray
Harris Bivin    Owensboro
Carson Beyer    Paducah
Tyler Presnell    Paducah

All-Local Special Teams
The 2012 Racer special teams unit will also have a very local feel.  Murray High product Christian Duncan will serve as the long snapper, while Lone Oak product Carson Beyer, and Mayfield High’s Marc Wynstra will be the holders.  The kicking responsibilities will be handled by Murray High’s Jordan Benton (field goals and extra points) and Carson Greifencamp (kickoffs), and Ballard Memorial’s Steven Mix (punts).

Depth at Receiver
The Racers enter the season with one of the deepest receiving corps in the FCS.  The group returns six receivers who caught at least 22 passes a season ago.  Ja-Vonta Trotter led the team with 48 receptions last season, while Walter Powell had a team-best 584 yards.  Powell and Patrick Robertson each hauled in five touchdowns.

City of LaGrange
The city of LaGrange, Ga. has been very kind to the Racers.  The town of just under 25,000 people has produced three members of this years roster.  Linebacker Qua Huzzie is in his second year with the Racers, and was joined this season by cornerbacks Josh Manning and Cadarious Sanders.  Huzzie and Manning were teammates at LaGrange High School, while Sanders attended Troup County Comprehensive High School.

From South Carolina to MSU
A pair of former teammates at South Carolina have reunited at Murray State.  Linebacker Corey Addison joined the Racers this past January, while cornerback Cadarious Sanders joined the Racers during fall camp.  Addison will have two years of eligibility, while Sanders will have three.

Captains Named
The Murray State football team voted and named its captains for the 2012 season.  For the first time in the Hatcher era, six captains have been selected.  Captains for the season are quarterback Casey Brockman, linebacker Qua Huzzie, wide receiver Walter Powell, linebacker Sam Small, offensive lineman Roderick Tomlin and linebacker Jarius Williams.

New Helmets
The Racers will have a new look this season as the helmets will have a new flat look.  MSU will feature the gold helmet for the second-straight year, but this season the helmet will be a matte gold instead of the shiny gold from a season ago.

Racers on TV
Five of the Racers 2012 games will be broadcast on television this season.  The Racers road games at Missouri State, Eastern Illinois, Austin Peay and Eastern Kentucky, as well as the Homecoming game against UT Martin, will be broadcast locally on the Racer TV Network.

Brockman Earns Preseason Honors
Senior quarterback Casey Brockman has received plenty of attention this preseason.  The Murray native was selected to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, as well as being named a Preseason All-American by Lindy’s, Beyond College Sports, The Sports Network and Phil Steele Magazine.

Racers Picked Third
The Racers were picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason polls.  Eastern Kentucky is the preseason favorite, followed by Jacksonville State.

Up Next
The Racers open their home season as they play host to Central Arkansas on Sept. 8.  Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at The Track.


© 2012 Murray State Athletics. All rights reserved.

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