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Opponent Breakdown: Murray State Offense

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Murray State’s offense was shut down by an Austin Peay team that just ended a 29-game losing streak the week before.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Murray State will likely be the most out-matched team to visit PJCS since FIU finished out their series here under Ron “I’m just stealing money at this point” Turner. Louisville typically plays a FBS school at home but this game is different than Samford, or EKU, or even Murray State the last time they came to town. This Murray State team has been beaten handily in all but one game and they don’t seem to have those handful of players that stand out as being more talented than the others.

Head Coach Mitch Stewart hasn’t settled on a quarterback yet but Corey Newble started their game last week. Newble is a freshman but he might be the choice for Stewart because he can use his legs pretty well. Murray runs some read option and they also incorporate some RPO into what they do and Newble might execute those things a little better. Shuler Bentley will likely see the field, also and his passing numbers are actually impressive but he suffered an injury to his shoulder which might still be an issue.

The Racers don’t run the ball very well and they’re usually playing from behind, so they probably don’t get to run it the way that they want. D.J. Penick is the starter at running back and he doesn’t do anything that really wows you. He’s a young player that hasn’t really learned how to run hard yet. I wouldn’t expect Louisville to give up the chunk runs that they did last week. Murray just doesn’t have the speed and burst that Kent State did.

Out of the three key receivers that Murray plays, Jordan Gandy is the most impressive. At 6-4, he has great size and he has decent speed, too. If Murray is able to get into the red zone I would expect them to look to Gandy in the end zone. He already has 4 touchdowns on the year and he has the longest play of the season on a 52 yard catch. Demetric Johnson leads the team in catches but is only averaging about six yards per reception. L.J. Gainey is the third receiver we’ll see in most formations.

The Murray line is akin to a turnstile. One issue that came up when trying to research Murray was the fact that there aren’t any videos from Murray’s side of things. That means I had to watch a lot of the other teams highlight videos which showed a lot of sacks and blown up plays. The group is full of upperclassmen but they haven’t been great at opening things up for the running backs or protecting the quarterback.