The OVC went 2-2 tonight tonight with the biggest performance coming from the defending champions who added to the list of FCS taking down FBS opponents. Yes there were some blowouts but those were expected. Lets see what we can all take away from these games.
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Eastern Illinois takes down FBS San Diego State 41-19
The defending champions erased all doubt saying last year’s championship was a blip on the radar as the Panthers defeated San Diego State to notch their fifth win over the top division of football.
If you read the pregame, which I’m sure you all did right?, I said this could happen but didn’t expect a 21 point win. Jimmy Garoppollo targeted the new corners and put up his usual 350+ passing yards like he was still playing in the OVC.
Garoppolo would of course target Erik Lora the most, 10 catches and two touchdowns, but his new weapons were on full display. Keiondre Gober recorded six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown making life even more difficult for defensive coordinators that have to somehow minimize Lora’s presence.
The biggest takeaway watching this game was how improved the Panthers defense was holding the Aztecs to just one touchdown and four field goals. Not only did they hold the Aztecs to that, they notched five takeaways that really put the game away late.
Jacksonville State holds on against Alabama State 24-22
Hardest as a new head coach is the first game, and Bill Clark proved himself with his halftime adjustments that would “Win the Day” as the Gamecocks would score all 24 points in the third quarter.
Coming into the game it was who would start for Jacksonville State, after the first half the offense still hadn’t started after gaining only 151 yards in the opening 30. Luckily Clark’s defense was able stay strong and keep the game close taking the game into the half down 6-0.
So the quarterbacks, the start went to redshirt freshman Eli Jenkins but it was the junior Max Shortell putting the game in the win column for the Gamecocks. Only playing three quarters, Shortell would go 13-for-23 for 216 yards that was highlighted by a 45 yard touchdown to Telvin Brown to make it 21-9 in the third quarter.
Fourth quarter would see the Hornets make a comeback scoring with just over seven minutes left in the game but the Gamecock defense would stop the two point attempt and two more Alabama State drives to win the game.
Murray State wins first quarter then gets routed by Missouri 58-14
When playing an SEC school you have to find the moral victories and for Murray State they looked like they were just continuing on from last season.
First the offense shows that it will the ability to put up points in the Hatch Attack and starting quarterback Maikhail Miller is a big physical runner that won’t go down on first contact on designed QB draws. They won the first quarter but then the next three quarters happened and Missouri showed their SEC status reeling off 45 straight points.
The defense on the other hand looked identical to last season, no really it did. I couldn’t tell they had a new defensive coordinator and maybe they didn’t want to show everything they had against Missouri because well its Missouri. The strength of the defense, the secondary was playing seven yards off receivers and gave up over 300 yards passing. On the ground things were worse allowing over 350 yards.
Back to the first quarter moral victory, the defense did force a fumble on the Tigers opening drive and would lead to Miller finding Walter Powell for a 17-yard touchdown. After a Missouri touchdown drive that lasted 44 seconds, the Racers would drive the field again and use the QB throws to the WR who throws it back to QB for the touchdown.
It’s ok Murray State fans, you were up 14-13 after the first quarter. You play Campbellsville next weekend at home so you can balance out the points.
Austin Peay shutout by Tennessee 45-0
So that let’s hang around with the Volunteers didn’t last long. After the first quarter it was 21-0, halftime 42-0. But the Governors did win, against the spread, moral victory.
Andrew Spivey is going to be good for Austin Peay this year, yes I’m saying that. He showed the potential as he bounced back from an interception early in the first quarter and marched the Govs into the redzone completing five passes in a row to start the second quarter. It was two big plays to Darryl Clack that made the drive and after a missed field goal the Govs small momentum was crushed.
The Governors got into Tennessee territory twice on the night, and both times they drove into the redzone but came away empty.
Defensively Austin Peay held Tennessee to 447 yards on the night, but 317 came against the Vols starters.