The first salvo in fight for the OVC title, and is there such a thing as an “impressive loss?” Our look back at Week 4 of the college football season.
Austin Peay 0, Ohio 38
All I can say about this: At least it’s over. Not just the game, but Austin’s Peay’s three-game FBS tour, during which they were outscored 121-3. The Governors give up 494 yards to Ohio, and are shutout for the second time this season. The Bobcats starting quarterback goes 13-15, for 213 yards and a touchdown.
If your looking for positives for the Governors, Omar Phillips average 7.9 yards a carry thanks in part to 57-yard dash in the fourth quarter, and Austin Peay didn’t turn over the ball. The bad news: (in a game full of it) Austin Peay made four trips the red zone, and finished with a goose egg on the scoreboard. Kicker Walter Spears missed from 26 and 32 yards, and had a kick from 39 yards out blocked.
I can’t imagine any team will be happier to see OVC play begin when they take on Eastern Kentucky in two weeks.
SIU 36, SEMO 19 (at Busch Stadium)
A surprising pass happy Redhawks catch the Salukis off guard, but a rash of late errors allow SIU to score the final 17 points of the game, keeping SEMO winless on the season.
The game could have been much worse: SIU was unable to take advantage of Redhawks mistakes early, including dropping three easy interceptions. Kory Faulkner throws two of his own, one leading to a SEMO touchdown to bring the Redhawks within three at the end of the first half.
Kyle Snyder has his strongest game of the year, finishing 17-33, with three touchdowns and a pick. Two of those scoring passes was a 75-yard strike to St. Louis native Paul McRoberts, who finished with 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the day.
Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)
Georgia State may be a FBS-in-name-only kind of team, but they give quite a challenge to favored Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks squander a 14-point 4th quarter lead, needing DaMarcus James‘ third touchdown of the day in overtime to escape the Georgia Dome with a win.
Max Shortell made some big throws, but hit just 12-27 passes, finishing with a career-high 235 yards. Eli Jenkins played more sparingly, but hit all five of his throws for 76 yards.
Jacksonville State’s defense struggled against the big play: The Gamecocks held Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell to 16-41 passing, but he still throws for 250 yards, and a pair of touchdowns. The Gamecocks also have a punt blocked, which turned into a fourth quarter touchdown for the Panthers, sparking the comeback attempt.
Murray State 7, Bowling Green 48
In their first FBS game at Missouri, Murray State scored early, and kept the game close into the second quarter. That wasn’t the story at Bowling Green. The Racers give up 376 first-half yards, on their way to a lopsided loss.
Murray State had a chance to score early. After a Darrian Skinner interception, the Racers drove to the Falcons one-yard line, before a fumble set up a 99-yard Bowling Green touchdown drive.
The Racers defense, especially the secondary, was just gutted by the Falcons. Three Bowling Green quarterbacks combine to 28-32 passing, for 378 yards and a touchdown. The front line doesn’t fare much better, allowing an average of 6.7 yards a rush.
Maikhail Miller was especially conservative, hitting 22-32 for just 138 yards.
Eastern Illinois 38, Northern Illinois 43
Eastern Illinois came out on a mission against FBS Northern llinois. A quick touchdown on their opening drive, going for two, (which failed) an successful onside kick to get the ball back, and it was 13-0 less than five minutes into the game.
The Panthers would go up 20-0, before the same aggressiveness that helped them build a big lead began to backfire. Ahead 20-6, EIU would go for fourth and eight at the NIU 36, only for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be picked off. Still ahead 20-14 in the second, EIU ran a failed fake punt in their own territory, leading to the game-tying touchdown.
At one point, NIU scored 30 straight points to take a 30-20 lead. Eastern Illinois, though would come back to take a 39-36 lead with 11:24 to play. Following an NIU answer, penalties hampered what would be the Panthers final offensive possession, as the defense couldn’t get off the field to end the game.
The kicking game, the Panthers key weak link, contributed heavily to the loss: EIU missed three extra points, and short kickoffs led to great field position for the Huskies.
Eastern Kentucky 56, Morehead State 24
EKU struggled to create separation early, but a 35-point second half helps the Colonels pull away from their non-conference rival. Eastern Kentucky’s ground attack was in full force: J.J. Jude rushes for 209 yards and four touchdown as EKU puts up 606 yards of offense on the non-scholarship Eagles.
The front-four of the Colonels defense was also simply outstanding, holding Morehead State to 37 yards rushing on the night. The secondary allows 312 yards through the air, but picks off three passes from a pair of Morehead State quarterbacks.
The challenge ramps up quickly for the Colonels, who travel to Eastern Illinois to open conference play next Saturday.
Tennessee State 41, Tennessee Tech 21
Welcome back, Michael German. The Tigers starting QB throws just 14 passes, but gains 204 yards through the air, and slinging a trio of touchdown passes in a rout over TTU. After a Golden Eagles touchdown on their opening possession, TSU scores 34 unanswered to earn the first OVC win of the 2013 season.
Three turnovers hamper the Golden Eagles, who gain just 301 yards of offense in the game. Both TTU quarterbacks hit 50% of their passes, neither eclipsing 100-yards for the game. Neither team was able to establish much of a ground game, with TTU averaging 3.2 yards a rush to TSU’s 2.6.