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UTM’s Miller etches own name and Skyhawks in NCAA record books

UTM’s Miller etches own name and Skyhawks in NCAA record books
UTM's Miller etches own name and Skyhawks in NCAA record books | Dontrell Miller, UT Martin, UTM, UT Martin Skyhawks, NCAA, Martin, Tennessee

Dontrell Miller
A quick scroll through the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 2008 overall football stats, brings attention to the fact that Dontrell Miller is atop the UT Martin scoring column, as his five touchdowns are tied for second-most on the team. What might jump out at first is that unlike almost all of the other players on that list, Miller plays defense. Miller’s third fumble recovery for a touchdown in Thursday night’s 35-7 win over Tennessee Tech broke an individual NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for most fumble recoveries for touchdowns in one season and set a new NCAA FCS record for most fumble recoveries for touchdowns (four) by one team in a single season.
With Miller’s 60-yard scoop for a touchdown giving the Skyhawks a 21-7 lead Thursday night, UT Martin (6-2, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference) broke the record of three fumble recoveries for touchdowns set by Texas State in 2000. Miller, a 5-8, 175-pound junior safety from Demopolis, Ala., has three as an individual this season — an NCAA record — and Dorsett Pendleton has the other one, a 46-yard fumble return against Concordia.
The NCAA does not recognize records for defensive touchdowns, but Miller’s five are arguably among the all-time best for one season in NCAA history. Miller’s other touchdowns on the season came against No. 19 South Florida (64-yard fumble recovery), against Murray State (10-yard interception return and 32-yard fumble recovery) and Tennessee State (25-yard interception return).
Coming into the win over Tennessee Tech, Miller was highly ranked in several OVC categories including interceptions (second place), fumbles recovered (third), passes defended (eighth), tackles (13th) and tackles for loss (16th).
While the UT Martin offense is ranked in the top two in the nation for scoring offense (42.86 points per game), the defense has held its own, as well, with Miller and several others leading the way.
Miller has led the team in single game tackles once (12 solo tackles against South Florida), and has finished second in single game tackles three times on the 2008 season.
Earlier this season, Miller was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 28,. He also won the award Sept. 2, 2007, and was named to the OVC All-Newcomer team as a freshman in 2006.
UT Martin returns to action on Thursday at Graham Stadium, when they will host Jacksonville State for a nationally-televised game to be broadcast live on ESPNU. Kickoff time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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