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Notebook: Murray State shocks Southeast Missouri late

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Notebook: Murray State shocks Southeast Missouri late

Eastern senior receiver Aaron Gooch celebrates to the camera after scoring a touchdown Saturday in Eastern’s 55-21 win over Austin Peay. The win moved Eastern’s conference record to 3-4.

Eastern senior receiver Aaron Gooch celebrates to the camera after scoring a touchdown Saturday in Eastern’s 55-21 win over Austin Peay. The win moved Eastern’s conference record to 3-4.

Adam Tumino

Eastern senior receiver Aaron Gooch celebrates to the camera after scoring a touchdown Saturday in Eastern’s 55-21 win over Austin Peay. The win moved Eastern’s conference record to 3-4.

Adam Tumino

Adam Tumino

Eastern senior receiver Aaron Gooch celebrates to the camera after scoring a touchdown Saturday in Eastern’s 55-21 win over Austin Peay. The win moved Eastern’s conference record to 3-4.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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Never change, Ohio Valley Conference football … never change. How the OVC has managed to stay wildly unpredictable, crazy exciting, yet finish with the result to the season everyone knew was going to happen since August is beyond me, but that is the season we got from the conference this year.

Jacksonville State has a lot of thanking to do to Murray State. 

Murray State beat Southeast Missouri on Saturday on a wild kickoff-return touchdown with three seconds left in the game that was so bizarre and unimaginable that it earned the top-play of the day on SportsCenter. The kickoff return which ultimately led to Murray State beating Southeast Missouri 40-38 knocked the Redhawks down to a 5-2 conference record, clinching another conference championship for Jacksonville State (7-1 in conference play).

The loss is crushing for Southeast Missouri in so many ways. Not only did it cost them a potential conference championship and playoff berth, but they lost on a play that will go down in history for Murray State, but will be an all-time embarrassment for Southeast Missouri. On top of all that, Southeast Missouri held a 31-0 lead in the second quarter. 

Murray State quarterback Drew Anderson led the comeback charge, throwing for 412 yards and four touchdowns, three of which came in the second half. 

Jacksonville State took care of its business on Saturday crushing Tennessee State 41-14. The win, which was a big one in typical Gamecock fashion, means Jacksonville State will once again be representing the OVC in the FCS playoffs. 

Jacksonville State’s defense was brutal as usual, holding Tennessee State to just 14 points, but also making the day once to forget for Tigers’ quarterback Michael Hughes, who finished the game 15-of-29 with three interceptions. 

Gamecocks’ quarterback Zerrick Cooper, on the other hand, stayed very efficient, throwing for three touchdowns on 20-of-30 passing. 

Jacksonville State’s star receiver Josh Pearson grabbed another touchdown, extending his FCS leading total to 16.

The Gamecocks are now ranked No. 6 in the FCS poll. 

Tennessee-Martin beat Tennessee Tech 38-13, continuing what has been a rough season for Tennessee Tech, while giving Tennessee-Martin a bit of relief from its own tumultuous season. 

Tennessee Tech mustered just 214 yards of offense and surrendered 463. Struggles on both sides of the football have been haunting the Golden Eagles all season, with rarely any good signs coming from anywhere. 

Eastern Kentucky played a non-conference game against Robert Morris, one that the Colonels won 40-39 in overtime. 

Robert Morris lost the game trying after electing to go for a two-point conversion down 40-39, which they failed to convert. Eastern Kentucky walked away with the win thanks to Robert Morris’ questionable decision. 

Eastern had maybe the conference’s biggest confidence boost of the weekend, destroying Austin Peay 55-21. 

The win gives Eastern a chance to finish the season 4-4 in OVC play if it can win against Southeast Missouri next weekend. All things considered, that game may be the one to watch next weekend in the OVC.

Eastern has won two of its last three games, and Southeast Missouri is coming off a deflating loss to Murray State. 

In non-conference action, Jacksonville State has a huge game layered with playoff implications coming against Kennesaw State in Atlanta. Kennesaw is ranked No. 2 in the FCS poll, and this game against Jacksonville State will carry huge weight in the FCS. It is without a doubt a matchup of two serious FCS powerhouses. 

Tennessee-Martin will travel to Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky will play Tennessee Tech and Murray State will play Austin Peay in games that have very little implications other than bragging right for next season. 

JJ’ Power Rankings:

Jacksonville State (8-2, 7-1)

Murray State (5-5, 5-2)

Southeast Missouri (7-3, 5-2)

Eastern Kentucky (6-4, 4-2)

Tennessee State (3-5, 2-4)

Eastern (3-7, 3-4)

Tennessee-Martin (2-8, 2-5)

Austin Peay (4-6, 2-5)

Tennessee Tech (1-9,1-6)

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

About the Writer
JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

Hey, I'm JJ Bullock and I am the Sports Editor. I am a junior journalism major. I spent last year as the Assistant Sports Editor. Prior to that I served...

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Notebook: Murray State shocks Southeast Missouri late