The Murray State football team left it on all the field Saturday as they faced a seemingly insurmountable task by taking on third-ranked Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens. Despite being tied with the third-ranked Bulldogs, 7-7, after one quarter of play, the Bulldogs eventually proved to be too much for the Racers, topping Murray State, 63-17.
After the Bulldogs scored on their opening drive, the Racers were able to stop them on their next one and get the ball back. On the ensuing MSU possession, Preston Rice found DaQuon Green for a 60-yard touchdown to tie the game at seven with 6:32 to play, after the Gabriel Vicente extra point.
Murray State had a chance to take the lead later in the quarter when Cam Petty popped the ball loose from Georgia’s Eli Wolff allowing Nigel Walton to pick it up and return it eight yards. However, from that point the Bulldogs proved why they are one of the best teams in the FBS by scoring 35 unanswered points.
However, despite being down 42-7 in the third, the Racers would not give up as Walton picked off Stetson Bennett and took it to the house for MSU’s first pick-six of the season. In the end though, it would be too little too late, as Georgia closed out the Racers, 63-17.
Rice finished his day an impressive 20-for-25 for 216 yards with no interceptions and a touchdown including longs of 50 and 60 yards. Green was also impressive Saturday, finishing with five catches for 101 yards and a score.
Dior Johnson led the Racer defense on the afternoon with eight tackles including six solo and one for-loss, while Walton finished with three tackles, an interception, a touchdown and a fumble recovery. On special teams, Steve Dawson had seven punts for 45.6 yards a punt with three going 50-yards are more, while Gabriel Vicente was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts.
Next Saturday, Murray State returns to action against the FBS when they travel north to take on Toledo on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. ET.
- The 17 points and 284 yards amassed by the Racers Saturday were the most allowed by Georgia so far this season as Vanderbilt scored just seven points had 59 less yards against the Bulldogs then the Racers.
- Walton’s interception return for a touchdown was the first for Murray State since Anthony Koclanakis did the same against Jacksonville State last season.
- The 60-yard touchdown pass from Rice to Green was longest by a Racer tandem in almost two years as Shuler Bentley connected with Jordon Gandy for a 62-yard score against Tennessee Tech in 2017.
- Green’s 101 yards give the Racers their first 100-yard receiver since Malik Honeycutt had 137 in last year’s OVC opener.
- Dawson had three punts of 50-yards or more on the day for a new career-high, besting his previous career high of two which he achieved twice last season.
- With Toledo next week for Murray State this will be the first time since 2015 that the Racers have taken on FBS opponents in back-to-back weeks when they took on Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.