And just like that, another record fell at the feet of Casey Brockman.
The score, Brockman’s third touchdown on Saturady and 53rd of his career, broke former Racer quarterback Michael Proctor’s record for career touchdowns (52). By the end of the game against Austin Peay, Brockman had surpassed Eastern Illinois alumnus Tony Romo for third all-time in career passing yards in the OVC (8,212).
The senior signal caller threw for 455 yards and five touchdowns en route to a 52-14 blowout win this past Saturday against the Austin Peay State Governors (0-5, 0-4 OVC) in Clarksville, Tenn., who were looking to notch their first win of the season against the high-flying Racers (3-3, 2-1 OVC).
Brockman also became the OVC-leader in career completions (793), passing Morehead State’s Chris Schwartz (774) along the way.
Thanks to Brockman and his corps of receivers, it didn’t come close to happening.
The Governors certainly made a game of it in the first half, trailing just 17-14 before Brockman hit senior wide receiver Ja-Vonta Trotter for a 12-yard touchdown just 21 seconds before the half, giving the Racers a 24-14 cushion heading into the locker room.
By the fourth quarter, Head Coach Chris Hatcher had called out the reserves, as the Racers finished the game by pouring on 35 unanswered points in the rout.
Senior Walter Powell caught nine passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Utah State transfer Dontel Watkins caught six passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Watkins, who is second on the team in receiving yards with 349 and leads the team with four touchdowns, said it was only a matter of time before the offense started firing on all cylinders.
“We went through a learning period the first three games trying to find out what we were and who we were,” Watkins said. “Now, even from the third game of the season, we are starting to see who we are and the quarterback sees it, and we keep getting better every week.”
The lone damper on the night could be a tough one for the Racers moving forward, who lost junior linebacker Qua Huzzie to an injury.
Hatcher said it wasn’t clear on whether or not Huzzie would play against the UT Martin Skyhawks Saturday, but did sound concerned about the health of his team going into this weekend’s matchup.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that are really beat up,” Hatcher said. “Nothing serious, as all things can be fixed with rest and treatment. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of time to rest headed into this game. This is probably the most beat up we have come out of in a game.”
Hatcher and the Racers will need to mount anything and everything against the Skyhawks (4-2, 2-1 OVC), who are led by their own hometown hero in senior quarterback Derek Carr, who hails from McKenzie, Tenn., and was mere minutes from UT Martin growing up.
Carr and his potent offensive line would certainly love to spoil Homecoming, as fans will be settling in from early morning festivities at the annual Tent City to watch the Racers battle it out for a spot near the top of the OVC standings.
Hatcher said the biggest problem for the Racers will be trying to stop the run, as the Skyhawks sport three running backs averaging over 30 yards per game and all play at different speeds.
“Their five offensive linemen I give them credit,” Hatcher said. “They’re mean, nasty guys who will cut block and they’re really good. They’ll get after you up front, which means will have to throw more guys in there and that leaves you one-on-one out wide, and we’ve had trouble with that this season.”
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Roy Stewart Stadium, but fans are encouraged to arrive early as a large turnout is expected for the game.
Edward Marlowe, Staff Writer.