Murray State falls to Bulldogs in Athens

Murray State senior defensive back Dior Johnson attempts to block a field goal against Georgia. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Story by Nick Kendall

Staff Writer

nkendall1@murraystate.edu

Saturday night the Racers fell 1-1 for the season with a 63-17 loss against the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

It took the Bulldogs less than two and a half minutes to score the first touchdown of the game. Then seven minutes later, junior receiver DaQuon Green caught a 60-yard pass for a touchdown from redshirt sophomore quarterback Preston Rice.

The Racer defense held their own against the three-inches-taller and 50-pounds-heavier Georgia offense. 

The Racers forced the Bulldogs to punt five minutes in, junior defensive lineman Kameron Petty forced a fumble in the last four minutes and they finished the first quarter tied 7-7.

The Racers then found themselves in a slump in the second quarter. Missed tackles allowed the Bulldogs to score four times in the second quarter, quickly turning the tie game into a 35-7 lead.

The Racers outplayed Georgia in the third quarter, scoring three more points than the Bulldogs did with a pick-six from senior defensive back Nigel Walton and senior kicker Gabriel Vicente’s 27-yard field goal.

The team fought hard again in the fourth quarter but came up with zero to the Bulldogs’ 14 more points.

After the game, Walton was all smiles, just grateful to be there.

“It’s really a great feeling,” Walton said. “I want to thank God first off. The opportunity to be out there—I thank the coaches for giving me the chance. The calls, good calls by Coach Johnson today. Georgia is a real good opponent but we were able to show a lot today, you know, it’s a confidence booster for us as a team.”

Stewart reminded the team of the game plan and Walton took it to heart.

“Coach Stewart said make sure we come out here and battle,” Walton said. “Leave them bloody because when you fight you don’t want to be the only one bloody. We had to come out here, leave Georgia bloodied and give them a run for their money. Just because you book it doesn’t mean ‘oh, it’s a cupcake game.’ No, we’re gonna come down here and show you a little something. It was a showcase game and it let some of our players showcase our talent, also show that yes, we should have, we should be on the stage also.”

Even though the loss may seem tough to some, Stewart was proud of his team’s effort and thinks of this as a great learning experience for the remaining games.

“As a whole I can tell you that there’s a whole lot more positives than there are negatives to take away from this game,” Stewart said. “Coming into an environment like this against a team like this. That is a really good football team we just played, they got that number three ranking for a reason. We’re very confident moving into our next opponent so we feel really good about where we’re at.”

Stewart expected a battle and he saw his guys fight through every moment of it.

“All of them will be black and blue,” Stewart said. “You don’t come into a place like this, you know, leaving fresh legs and and feeling good. We knew we were coming in here for a fight. I put a challenge out on those guys beforehand. I want to make it to where those guys have to come across the field say you guys played hard. I think they did just that and I could not be more proud of my guys and ultimately that’s what we wanted to do coming in this place. We wanted everybody leaving say ‘man, those suckers play hard.’” 

The Racers head to the University of Toledo on Saturday, Sept. 14, to take on the Rockets, another formidable FBS foe.