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Opponent Breakdown: Murray State Defense

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Murray State’s defense hasn’t received much help from the offense this year.

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

Murray State hasn’t played very well this year but their defense has done some things to be proud of. Outside of a poor showing against Central Arkansas (Who went to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year) the defense has held teams to respectable scores. They’ve also forced plenty of turnovers and gotten to the quarterback a lot.

The best player for Murray resides at the “Stud” position. Kenney Wooten plays the same position as James Hearns in the Racers’ 3-3-5 alignment. Wooten already has 5 sacks on the season and he’s forced a fumble. If there’s a guy that I would expect to make a big play it would be Wooten. Bishop Woods is a guy on the inside that has made some plays, also.

The run defense hasn’t been too bad for the Racers as they’re allowing an average of 4.1 yards per carry. The linebacker duo for the Racers have been solid this year and they have nearly identical stats. Marico Paige and Lamont Crittendon are both on the smaller side but they can run pretty well. I didn’t have a whole lot to go off of for video for this game but that lack of size looked to be an issue on short yardage runs.

The area that has to be frustrating for Murray’s coaches is the pass defense. The Racers are allowing 60% of the opposition’s passes to be completed and they have given up a handful of really bad big plays. On the other side of it is the fact that they’ve already picked off 8 passes and taken one of the to the house. They’re playing solid football but the big plays have been killing them.

D’Montre Wade is the top cornerback for Murray. I don’t expect him to have a day like Demetrius Monday did last week with two interceptions, but he is a veteran player and has good size. He was also second team all-conference last season. Louisville hasn’t hit a lot of big passing plays this year but I would expect them to take some shots down the field this weekend.