OVC football teams get blown out in week one losses


File Photo

Eastern senior running back Isaiah Johnson crashes through Indina State’s line in a road 22-20 road win last season. Johnson was one of three preseason all-conference selections for Eastern.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

Eastern was not the only OVC football team that took a beating in its week one game. Seven of the conferences nine teams lost, and in big fashion. Those seven losses came by an average margin of 29.5 points. 

Four of the seven losses OVC teams suffered in week one came at the hands of FBS opponents, so there is no reason to read too deep into the conferences’ performance as a whole in week one.

The biggest conference loss came in the form of a 45-0 Georgia bludgeoning of Austin Peay. Tennessee-Martin lost to Missouri 51-14, Southeast Missouri fell to Arkansas State 48-21 and Eastern lost to Arkansas 55-20.

None of those blow out losses really say much about the teams, especially in the case of Austin Peay, who was selected to finish second in the OVC this year. Austin Peay in that game was up against the third-ranked FBS team in the country and got the outcome the entire country would have predicted. 

The Governors were outgained by the Bulldogs 508 yards to just 152 yards on offense and Georgia held Austin Peay to just seven total first downs. 

Austin Peay will have a chance to rebound in week two when they host Presbyterian.  

Tennessee-Martin faced a very similar challenge in its bout with Missouri. The Tigers put up 558 yards on offense to the Skyhawks 277. Tennesse-Martin got a pretty good showing from quarterback Dresser Winn, all things considered. Winn finished 15-24 passing with 168 yards and one touchdown. Being that stat line comes against an SEC defense, Tennessee-Martin should be pleased with it. 

Arkansas State delivered the biggest offense show against Southeast Missouri on Saturday. Arkansas State put up 707 total yards on the Redhawks defense.

Arkansas State’s quarterback Justice Hansen diced up the Southeast Missouri secondary, putting up 423 yards and six touchdowns on 26 of 36 passing. 

Preseason all-conference running back Terry Marquis had 93 yards rushing on nine carries for Southeast Missouri. 

Murray State lost to Southern Illinois Carbondale 49-10 in a game where the Racers showed very little on defense. The Salukis managed to gain 300 yards rushing against a Murray State defense that seemed to have no answers for Saluki running back D.J. Davis who had 132 yards rushing. 

Preseason conference favorite Jacksonville State lost to North Carolina AT&T 20-17 at home. The Gamecocks all things considered, outplayed North Carolina AT&T in just about every way possible. Jacksonville State outgained them 403 yards to 148 and made five more first downs.

However, in the third quarter, North Carolina had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave them a 14-10 lead. Jacksonville State responded with a touchdown, but North Carolina did the same to end the third quarter with a 20-17 lead that would win them the game. 

Clemson transfer quarterback Zerrick Cooper played terrific for the Gamecocks. He finished with 320 yards and two touchdowns on 24 of 38 passing.

Tennessee Tech fell to Chattanooga, who Eastern will play twice in the coming years, 34-10. The Golden Eagles’ defense, much like many of its OVC counterparts, was thin in week one, giving up 455 yards in total offense. 

Tennesse Tech’s all-conference defensive lineman Tim Collins finished the game with two sacks. 

Eastern Kentucky came away with a 49-23 win against Morehead State.

The Colonels outgained Morehead State 564 yards to 332 on offense. 404 of Eastern Kentucky’s yards came on the ground. 

Running back Daryl McCleskey put up 125 yards on 14 carries and L.J. Scott added 86 yards and two touchdowns for Eastern Kentucky.

Most of the matchups for OVC school next week are dialed back, so do not expect to see as many blowouts in week two. 

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]