Racers hit the road to take on FBS opponents

The Murray State Football team gets ready to storm the field for its season opener against Pikeville. (Photo by Mackenzie O'Donley/TheNews)

Nick Kendall

Staff Writer

nkendall1@murraystate.edu

Murray State football will head north to the Glass Bowl for a first-time matchup against the University of Toledo Rockets.

The Racers are coming off a 63-17 defeat against the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Head Coach Mitch Stewart liked the effort his team showed and used the loss as a preparation tool for the remaining games of the season.

“Now we have a high standard to which we can hold the guys accountable from here on out,” Stewart said. “Doesn’t matter the opponent or where we were playing them at. The circumstances are that we can always go back to a couple plays and yesterday I wound up tagging 30 to 35 plays where there was some tremendous effort shown on the field.”

The Rockets are also coming off a 38-24 loss at the hands of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Senior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni had 122 yards on 7-for-12 passing, but left the game with a concussion after a late hit. It’s not clear yet if Guadagni will play Saturday.

Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle hates that his quarterback was injured but acknowledges that Guadagni did what he was supposed to.

“He did exactly what he’s coached to do, he slid,” Candle said. “The guy hit him and he got a 15-yard penalty for it and got thrown out of the game. He got hurt. I can’t get mad at him for doing what’s he’s coached to do, trying to protect himself.”

This game will be the home opener for the Rockets, who are 24-2 all-time against FCS opponents. They went 7-6 last season and finished second in the Mid-American Conference with a 5-3 record.

Stewart knows the game against the predicted MAC champions won’t be easy.

“This is another really, really, really good opponent,” Stewart said. “Their skill players are tremendous. Offensively and defensively, [they] are some of the best, most dynamic skill players I’ve seen.” 

The kick-off against the Rockets is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, and can be watched on ESPN 3 or listened to on the radio on Froggy 103.7 FM.