Non-league finale on UTM schedule is Graham opener
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 12:00 pm
After tonight, UT Martin will done with the preliminaries.
UTM hosts Southeastern Louisiana tonight in its final regular season non-conference action of the season. After that, it will be eight straight Saturday’s of Ohio Valley Conference action.
The game is also the first of the season for the Skyhawks at home and first against a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent after playing two FBS teams to start the year.
In the last meeting between the two schools (2010), Derek Carr threw for 390 yards and a touchdown and Jason McNair ran for 132 yards but UT Martin came out on the short end of a 24-10 decision after committing four turnovers.
Southeastern comes to town with first-year head coach Ron Roberts, who played two seasons of football (1988-89) at UT Martin and graduated in 1990.
Roberts took over at Southeastern Louisiana after guiding Delta State to four Gulf South Championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Overall, he was 47-16 in five years at Delta State before taking over the Lions program this season.
Southeastern started the year with a 62-10 loss at SEC-foe Missouri and opened its home schedule last week by falling 31-14 to South Dakota State.
In that contest, SDSU jumped out to a 13-0 advantage before the Lions were able to trim the lead to 13-7 early in the third quarter.
The Jacks then scored 18 straight points to put the game out of reach.
South Dakota State outgained Southeastern Louisiana 439-179 in total offense.
The SLU defense was led by sophomore linebacker Kaleb Muse, who had 14 tackles while senior defensive end Devan Walker added 10 stops.
Quarterback Nathan Stanley completed 22-of-43 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
After opening the season with a victory over Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent Memphis, the Skyhawks lost at FBS opponent Northern Illinois last week.
The Skyhawks were able to net 346 yards of total offense, including 264 passing yards for senior quarterback Derek Carr.
Carr completed 19-of-35 passes and had a seven-yard touchdown pass to Corey Jordan in the fourth quarter.
Carr now has 5,627 career passing yards, the third-most in school history.
Senior Quentin Sims pulled down 10 passes for 152 yards, the highest yardage output by an OVC receiver so far this season.
Sims currently ranks fourth nationally in receptions (9.0/game) and sixth nationally in receiving yards (111.0 yards/game).
The UTM team is just 4-for-10 in the red zone this season after being 45-of-48 (94 percent) a season ago.
Junior linebacker Ben Johnson had 13 tackles (10 solo) and a sack to lead the Skyhawk defense.
Chris Wright recovered his second fumble of the season against NIU and leads all FCS players in that category (2).
When tonight’s game is done, the Skyhawks will focus solely on the OVC the rest of the season.
First up will be Austin Peay Sept. 22 in Clarksville. The first league home game will be the following week against Eastern Kentucky.
Across the conference on Saturday, there will be only one actual league game as Austin Peay travels to Tennessee State. All other league teams in action will be on the road.
Other games include: Eastern Illinois at Illinois State, Tennessee Tech at Oregon, Eastern Kentucky at Coastal Carolina, South-east Missouri at Southern Illinois and Murray State at Missouri State.
EXTRA POINTS: The Skyhawks are 4-2 in home openers under the direction of head coach Jason Simpson. The Skyhawks also have won their last four home openers by a combined 195-10. … The Skyhawks have shut out three of their last four foes in home openers (Baker 56-0 in 2008; Iowa Wesleyan, 56-0 in 2009; and Union College 63-0 in 2011). … In 2010 the Skyhawks opened their home slate with Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Illinois and claimed a 20-10 victory. … The Skyhawks are averaging 48.75 points per game in their last four home openers. Published in The WCP 9.13.12