Football hosts EIU for Family Weekend


Freshman running back Jawaun Northington rushed for 71 yards against Ball State. Photo courtesy of Dave Winder/Racer Athletics.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

After the 31-0 loss to Ball State University, Murray State turns to its conference schedule and its annual Family Weekend game.

The Racers start their conference schedule hosting the Eastern Illinois Panthers,  currently sitting at 0-3 on the season. 

Murray State’s biggest question heading into conference play is its starting quarterback as the previous two starters are out with injuries. In their game against Ball State, the Racers started freshman quarterback Isaac McNamee, a “true freshman”, or first year freshman rather than a redshirt, from Pikeville, Kentucky.

McNamee completed seven of his 22 passes in his first career start, throwing two interceptions in the process. While fans may question if he is ready for the start, Head Coach Dean Hood said after the Ball State game, he wouldn’t have McNamee out there if he wasn’t ready.

“I think he’s ahead of where most freshmen playing in their game are,” Hood said. “That’s the reason we went with him. I think going through training camp and getting reps and the three game week preparations, we think that he’s ready. If it was too much for him, we would not have played him.”

Outside of quarterback play, the Racers have been running what they call “wild horse” offense—- their personal take on the wildcat offense. This style has senior wide receiver LaMartez Brooks line up at quarterback and take off with the ball.

While the wildcat has become more of an option for the Racers with their first two quarterbacks going down, the “wild horse” offense is a viable option for attempting to throw the defense off.

The Panthers’ starting quarterback sophomore Jonah O’Brien has been up and down this season. Overall, he has completed 69.8% of his passes on the season, throwing six touchdowns in the process. However, he has also thrown six interceptions.

With the Racers’ defense essentially carrying the team, it’s possible that Murray State can hold its own against a struggling Panthers defense. 

Overall, it seems the team is just happy to be home. Senior wide receiver DeQuan Dallas said after the Ball State loss, the team is excited to go out and play in front of their fans.

“It’s gonna be a treat,” Dallas said. “A new start, a new quarter. We start conference play. We’re still trying to figure ourselves out going into this next game, but we’re gonna come out and make a statement and set an example for these teams.”

Kickoff for the Family Weekend game against the Panthers is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 24.


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