By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech football team hits the road for the final time in the 2017 campaign this week as the Golden Eagles take on Murray State at Roy Stewart Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Roger Ealey and Dylan Vazzano will provide the call for 98.5 KISS FM and the Golden Eagle Sports Network. Fans can follow along with live stats by following the link above.
Here's what Tech head coach Marcus Satterfield had to say about the matchup during this week's press conference:
This is the 83rd meeting between Murray State and Tennessee Tech, which is the longest running series in Tech's 96 seasons of football. Tech first met the Racers in 1930, winning the inaugural game in the series 26-6. The two teams met eight straight times until 1937, then played in 1941 and 1942 before World War II kept the teams apart. The series restarted in 1945 and has been played every year since. The Golden Eagles are 17-19 at Murray State, including 10-13 at Stewart Stadium. Tech leads the overall series 45-36-1.
SCOUTING THE RACERS
Murray State is coming off of a 59-23 loss at Jacksonville State. The Racers led 13-7 after one quarter as D'Montre Wade had an interception that led to a scoring drive, then Sean Rodriguez had a 47-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown ... The Racers have lost three straight games, including an overtime loss to Eastern Illinois and a loss to Eastern Kentucky. Murray's lone OVC win was against UT Martin, a 13-10 victory ... The Racers are getting outscored 280-191, including 109-39 in the second quarter ... Shuler Bentley has been solid at quarterback, throwing for 1,429 yards and 11 touchdowns on 147-of-257 passing ... Jordon Gandy leads their receivers with 662 yards and eight touchdowns on 46 catches ... D.J. Penick leads the Racer rush with 260 yards and a touchdown on 86 carries ... Murray averages 62.4 rushing and 188.6 passing yards a game ... Kicker Gabriel Vicente leads Murray in scoring with 54 points (12-for-15 on field goals, 18-for-19 on PATs).
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
After earning its lone win of the season so far with a 30-26 win over Tennessee State, the Golden Eagles (1-8, 1-5 OVC) took a tough loss last week against Austin Peay, falling 35-28 to fall to 1-8 on the year with two games remaining ... Tech is getting outscored 270-153, 68-34 in the first, 62-17 in the second and 82-40 in the third ... Opponents have scored 79 points off of Tech turnovers, while the Golden Eagles have scored 17 on takeaways.
Senior wide receiver Dontez Byrd is well in position to break his own records in these final two games of the season. For the 2017 campaign, Byrd has 60 catches for 885 yards, 48 yards shy of tying the school record for yards (933) he set in 2016. Byrd is on pace to tie his mark for catches (Byrd set the record last year with 74) and 1,082 yards with two games remaining.
USE THE FORCE, LUKE
Against the Governors, Luke Ward became the third different quarterback to start for the Golden Eagles. He had a solid outing, throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-25 passing with no interceptions and just two sacks. He did have a curious start with a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, but recovered well, putting Tech in striking distance.
Five different players have thrown a pass for the Golden Eagles this season, with Andre Sale leading with 1,520 yards on 123-of-209 passing. Sale, Luke Ward and Andrew Goldsmith have each thrown touchdown passes.
THE GOLD STANDARD
Running back Andrew Goldsmith has turned his game up several notches in recent weeks, taking the team lead in rushing with 95 carries for 539 yards and three touchdowns, 12 catches for 133 yards and, of course, one pass for 27 yards and a touchdown.
MOVING THE CHAINS
Tech actually has been able to move the ball well, averaging 4.8 yards per play. The Golden Eagles have 167 first downs on the season (57 rushing, 88 passing and 22 penalty) to their opponents' 164 (84 rushing, 70 passing, 10 penalty).
THE 30-PLUS CLUB
Nine players have made 30 or more tackles for the Golden Eagles this season, led by Elliott Normand (78) and Aderick Moore (76). The others include Deontay Wilson (58), Clay Davis (57), Josh Cunningham (44), Tim Collins (43), Deven Sullivan (42), Chris McElderry (38) and Mike Cain (30).
The Golden Eagles wrap up the 2017 campaign with a visit from UT Martin next Saturday.