Preseason Preview | 3 Things on the Murray State Racers

Opening game.

The season is nearly upon us and thought it was time to start diving into the research of opponents. I’ll try to get these out weekly or sooner as the season approaches.

1. Opponent Info

UNIVERSITY: Murray State
MASCOT: Racers
2021 RECORD: 6-5
HEAD COACH: Dean Hood (66-45)

2. Some video

The Racers appear to be a standard 4-3 defense with versatility on the defensive line and on offense they are a spread team with a relatively tight line and will run with a tight end and an H-back at times. The Racers like to do a little mis-direction in the run game. I think they rely heavily on the run to be honest and they like running with a big package.

3. Some Stats

Murray State averaged 21.56 points a game and gave up 25.27. The Racers ran 453 times last year compared to just 279 pass attempts and averaged 184.4 yards a game on the ground and just 161 passing. Defensively, teams averaged 161 yards rushing and 185 yards passing.

It appears that the start at quarterback is QB DJ Williams (6-2/202) R-SO who completed 54.97% of his passes for 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions and averaged 92.73 yards passing a game. On the ground, which I think is more important, Williams ran for 523 yards, 6.4 yards per attempt, with 6 touchdowns and 48.36 yards a game. Williams was replaced at times with a better passing quarterback and would guess that they hope he grows into this role.

WR Jacob Bell (6-3/177) JR, is likely the main threat at receiver with 20 receptions 234 yards receiving and 1 touchdown. At running back RB Damonta Witherspoon (5-10/206) R-SO is your big-back who ran for 912 yards, 4.3 yards per attempt with 8 touchdowns and 82.91 yards per game. Defensively, the Racers are led by ILB Eric Samuta (5-10/215) R-SR who had 77 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 2 pass break-ups, 4 quarterback hurries, and 3 forced fumbles. That’s a lot of production. CB Quinaz Turner (6-0/180) R-SR is a leader in the backfield with 26 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 8 pass break-ups, and 2 quarterback hurries.

Murray State’s head coach Dean Hood was 55-38 at Eastern Kentucky and has been 11-7 at Murray State. At Kentucky Hood was the special teams coach for 3 years before arriving at MSU. The offensive coordinator was largely a defensive guy for most of his career, so that’s really interesting to me. He’s definitely not your typical spread offense guru that everyone hires.


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