Murray State narrowly defeats Tech’s comeback run, Murray State wins 36-31
Murray State defeated Tech 36-31 on Sunday during the third game for Tech in the 2021 Spring football season in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Bailey Fisher, starting quarterback, and David Gist, starting running back, were both injured during their last game against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, so they were not playing in this game.
Backup QB Willie Miller was put into the starting QB position for this game. He passed for 213 yards and 1 touchdown. Miller finished 17 of 29 with 3 interceptions and carried it 16 times for the Golden Eagles (1–2, 1–2 Ohio Valley Conference).
Tech (1-2, 1-2 Ohio Valley Conference) led the team in passing yards with 212 yards and 1 passing touchdown. Kurt Taylor Jr. caught for 62 yards with 1 touchdown. Miller rushed for the most yards with 103 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Josh Reliford led his team in tackles with 11 tackles with 5 on his own. Jack Warwick had 9 total tackles with 2 on his own.
Taylor Jr. was put in as running back to take the position of injured player Gist. He ran for 84 yards and scored 0 touchdowns.
Preston Rice passed for 177 yards and threw 1 touchdown. Rice finished 17 of 26 with 0 interceptions and carried it 5 times for Murray State (3-0, 3-0 OVC). Damonta Witherspoon rushed for 39 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
Tech rushed for more yards than Murray State 187–101. Tech threw the most interceptions with 3–0. Murray State had the most sacks 3–0. Both teams were able to recover fumbles with two on each side.
Tech won the coin toss to begin the game. They decided to defer to the second half, so they kicked it off. They were able to force a 4th down by Murray State.
Murray State was able to make Tech go 3 and out. Tech does the same to them once again. Tech received the ball again. In the next play, Spencer Stachyra was injured. He came back into the game. In the next play, Miller throws a pick-six scored by Eric Samuta. This made the game 7-0 in Murray State’s favor.
Tech drove down the field and settled for a field goal as they get to fourth down in the red zone. Hayden Olsen made the game 7-3 with his field goal attempt to begin the 2nd quarter.
Murray State drove down the field with Lamartez Brooks catching for a total of 50 yards on the drive. On the 10-yard line, Witherspoon was able to rush in for his first career touchdown. This made the score 14-3.
After back-to-back flags in favor of Tech, Miller ran for his first-ever college career touchdown with a 10-yard touchdown which made the score 14-10.
Tech was able to force a 4th down on Murray State. Murray State was also able to force Tech into a 4th down situation for their drive.
Murray State drove down the field. With only two seconds left, the initial call was that Tech was able to stop them from scoring which caused a 4th and goal situation. The referees reviewed the play after the challenge and it was decided to be a touchdown. This made the score 21-10 with 10 seconds left on the clock before halftime. Tech runs out the clock to finish the first half.
Tech goes 3 and out. Xavier Washington gets injured on Murray State’s drive. Tech forced a 4th down for Murray State on this drive with 10:21 left in the 3rd quarter. Murray State tried for the 55-yard field goal by Aaron Baum and it was good to make the score 24-10.
Tech got the ball and threw another interception, but there was a flag that gave Tech the ball with a 15-yard flag. Tech throws another pick-six on their drive. Quinaz Turner takes a pick-six for 82 yards. This makes the score 30-10 in favor of Murray State with a missed field goal attempt.
Tech had another chance to score in the 3rd quarter. Taylor Jr. is able to get his first Golden Eagle touchdown with a 22-yard touchdown catch to bring Tech back into this game. This made this score 30-17.
To begin the 4th quarter, Tech was able to get Miller a touchdown run which made the score 30-24. Tech was able to get the ball back, but they will lose the ball to a fumble recovered by Murray State.
A punt return by Jyron Gilmore gets a score for a touchdown which made the game 31-30 in favor of Tech making this their first lead in the game.
Murray State was able to drive down the field to score another touchdown. They go for a two-point conversion, but do not convert. The score ended up being 36-31 in favor of Murray State.
Tech was forced to 4th and 10 by Murray State. Tech was able to keep possession getting a gain of 24 by Metrius Fleming.
Miller throws an interception to Murray State with 1:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Murray State runs for the 1st down and runs down the clock ending the score 36-31 with a Tech defeat.
Photo provided by Thomas Corhern, Tech sports information