|Transfers make Murray State dangerous (9-20-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 20 September 2013 07:36|
With more than a few talented transfers on its roster, Murray State is capable of pulling off a win in the battle of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) vs. Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), i.e., the old Division I-AA against Division I-A.
Murray State gets another opportunity against a higher-level team on Saturday when Bowling Green hosts the Racers. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. in Perry Stadium.
‘‘I certainly have great respect for that level of football (FCS),’’ BG head coach Dave Clawson said. ‘‘They certainly gave Missouri a scare for the first part of the game.’’
Murray State led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter against Missouri before the Tigers pulled away for a 58-14 win.
The Racers do have wins over Campbellsville (83-14) and Missouri State (41-38) this season.
‘‘They have a head coach that really knows what he’s doing with offense,’’ Clawson said about Chris Hatcher, who is in his fourth season at Murray State.
‘‘They are very creative; they play at a fast tempo,’’ Clawson continued. ‘‘They are not afraid to run trick plays anywhere on the field.
‘‘They move the ball on everybody, and they score points on everybody ... This will certainly be a challenge for our defense.’’
The Racers have 31 transfers listed on their roster, with 16 from four-year colleges.
‘‘They have a bunch of players who were recruited to play at this level of football (FBS),’’ Clawson said. ‘‘He (Hatcher) has done a great job with these players and a bunch of (junior college) players and building them into a cohesive team.
‘‘There are certainly players that they’re playing with, that we would love to have at Bowling Green.’’
Taylor Royster, a defensive tackle for the Falcons, said Bowling Green is not overlooking any team.
‘‘They have a whole bunch of BCS transfers, and we know what they are capable of,’’ Royster said. ‘‘We’re watching film, and they make very aware of how dangerous this team can be.’’
Players can transfer down from FBS schools to FCS teams and be immediately eligible, which is an advantage for teams such as Murray State.
‘‘We have more scholarships, and hopefully more good players,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Obviously you schedule these games for the same reason that Mississippi State schedules us.’’
Leading the way on offense for the Racers are Maikhail Miller, a transfer from Mississippi, and Walter Powell, a top candidate for the Payton Award, which is given annually to the best offensive player in FCS.
Miller, in his first season with the Racers, is 57-of-86 passing for 657 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions in his first three games.
Powell, a 6-foot-0, 187 pound, senior, made 94 receptions for 1,213 yards with 10 touchdowns last season. He’s also a dangerous return specialist, averaging 26.3 yards on 23 kickoff returns and 15.8 yards on 19 punt returns. He returned a punt 100 yards for a touchdown and returned a kickoff 83 yards in the same game last year.
This season he has 18 receptions for 240 yards with seven touchdowns. He returned a kickoff 98 yards for a TD in the win over Missouri State.
‘‘Their wide receiver (Powell) is as good as anybody we will face the rest of the year,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘He’s like (Kent State’s) Dri Archer.
‘‘He’s a draftable NFL prospect; he could play for anybody.’’
Defensively, Murray State likes to mix things up.
‘‘That’s certainly been a challenge this week with our offensive line, and some of the young tackles that we have,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘There are some different funky looks that these guys throw at you.
‘‘They have got a good blitz package. They run some over-loaded fronts that are different ... These guys are all over the map.’’
Brandon Wicks, a 5-11, 198, senior, leads the team with 21 tackles from his strong safety spot.
Chavez Sims, a 6-2, 225 junior, has 20 tackles, with five sacks for 28 yards in losses.
‘‘It’s one of those defenses designed to get you off schedule, that tries to create turnovers and get the ball back to its offense as fast as they can,’’ Clawson said.
|Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 08:31|
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