December 4, 2021

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Racers Show Grit, Promise In Loss at #7 UC

Racers lead Bearcats in 2Q, tied at halftime

Dave Winder-Murray State Athletics

Football | 9/11/2021 10:03:00 PM

Box Score

In A Nutshell

Despite a stellar first half that saw the Murray State football team lead 7th-ranked Cincinnati in the second quarter and enter the locker room at tied at halftime, the Bearcats proved eventually proved to be too much scoring 42 unanswered points en route to a 42-7 loss at Nipper Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Fast Facts

  • The Racers played a dominant first quarter by holding Cincinnati to just seven yards on three plays, while the Racer tallied 128 yards of total offense and held on to the ball for 13:30 of the opening stanza.
  • Murray State was first on the board in the game, taking a 7-0 lead with 13:41 remaining in the second quarter. It marked the first lead over an FBS team since the Racers held a 7-6 first quarter lead over Northern Illinois in 2015. It was also the first time since 2014 that the Racers scored first against an FBS team, when they did so against Missouri.
  • With the third quarter fumble recovery, Murray State has now forced a turnover in eight of nine games in the Dean Hood era.
  • The 45 points scored by the Bearcats are fewest by a Murray State FBS opponent since Louisville scored 22 in 2011 and the second fewest since 1987, also against Louisville
  • The 28-point margin of victory for the Bearcats is the smallest for Murray State since its 12-point loss at Louisville in 2011 and the second smallest since a 16-point loss to Middle Tennessee


After a scoreless first quarter that saw Murray State defense limit the Bearcats to just nine yards on three plays, Preston Rice gave the Racers a 7-0 lead on a one-yard rush with 13:41 left in the second quarter. The Bearcats found their way onto the scoreboard minutes later when Heisman hopeful Desmond Ridder found Noah Davis on a fourth-and-goal in the end zone to tie the game at seven.

After halftime, the Bearcats finally took their first lead of the game nearly 35 minutes in to the contest on a 13-yard run by Jerome Ford. From there, however, it was all Bearcats as they scored 42 unanswered for the win.

Turnovers plagued the Racers in the contest, as the Bearcats scored 21 points off of three Racer interceptions and two fumbles. Penalties also played a factor in the game, as Murray State racked up 11 penalties for 60 yards including five for 25 yards in the first half alone.

Rice finished the day by going 17-for-29 for 149 yards passing and 21 yards and a touchdown rushing. Redshirt freshman DeShun Britten caught a career-high five passes for 58 yards and a long of 23 to lead the MSU receivers in the game, while Damonta Witherspoon led the rushing attack with 52 yards on 62 carries.

Defensively, Izaiah Reed, Eric Samuta and Devontae McKee led the Racer defense with five tackles each. All five of McKee’s tackle in the game were solo stops, while Saumta added a pass breakup and a forced fumble and Reed logged one of two sacks by the Racers in the game. Scotty Humpich had Murray State’s other sack on the afternoon, while C.J. Barnes added a tackle-for-loss.

Next Game

Nest Saturday, the Racers will get another crack at an FBS opponent when they travel to The Buckeye State for the second consecutive week. Kick-off between the Racers and the Falcons at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET with the game being broadcast nationally on ESPN3 and locally on Froggy 103.7 FM.