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Author Topic: BEARS TRY TO SLOW DOWN RACERS IN WEEK 2  (Read 98 times)

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Seminole Indian

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« on: September 09, 2017, 07:09:54 am »

MURRAY, Ky. _ The University of Central Arkansas Bears will shift their focus from the big, powerful Big 12 Kansas State team they faced last week, to a pass-happy, quick-strike Murray State squad on Saturday night.

    Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at at MSU's Roy Stewart Stadium. Listen live at The Bear 91.3 and The Point 94.1 or at ucasports.com/KUCA or watch on the OVC Digital Network.

    The No. 15 Bears, coming off a 55-19 loss to the Wildcats last Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., will try to slow a Racers' offense led by Old Dominion transfer quarterback Bentley Shuler, who threw four touchdown passes in last week's 67-7 victory over Division II Kentucky Wesleyan.

    "Murray State is a very good football team,' said UCA head coach Steve Campbell. "Murray is very good offensively. They throw the football around the park. They've got a transfer quarterback from Old Dominion, and he started quite a few games at Old Dominion before he transferred to Murray. He was a Parade All-American in high school and a highly recruited guy, so they can really throw the football around.

    "They got a couple of very good receivers, they have some speed on the outside. They are a lot like (UCA opponent) Samford from the last couple of years. They're going to spread it out and throw the bubbles and hitches and all that, and then take a shot or two down the field. The thing that is a little bit different is, last year they didn't run the ball a whole lot. This past week, they ran the ball for 243 yards against Kentucky Wesleyan. So you don't know, have they commited to that or was that just something that Week 1 they got ahead and were running the clock.
    "So we have our work cut out for us on defense.'

    The Bears, who lead the overall series 3-0-1 and are 2-0 since moving to Division I, counter with an exciting offense as well. UCA put up 421 yards of total offense last week against the top returning defense in the Big 12 in KSU. Senior quarterback Hayden Hildebrand completed 27 of 35 passes for 198 yards and connected with 11 different receivers. Sophomore running back Carlos Blackman topped the 100-yard mark with 114 yards on 24 carries (4.8 per rush).

    "We didn't get the W we went over there for,' Campbell said, "but there were a lot of positives to take away from this past week. When you start breaking down film early in the summer, you look at statistics and all that stuff, K-State wasn't near the top of the league (Big 12), they were the top team in the league in total defense. They were giving up 118 yards a game rushing to be people like Texas and Texas A&M, Oklahoma, some really good competition.

    "So when you start breaking down film, you say, where are the yards going to come from, because they are really, really good on defense. So I was very pleased with the way we were able to move the football. We had 28 first downs, which is more than typical. If we can average 28 first downs for the year, we'll lead our league. We were able to move the football.

    "I was pleased with the way we were able to run the football. Hayden was very efficient. So there were a lot of positives offensively. The thing we obviously have to work on, we have to cut down on the turnovers. We turned the ball over twice, and with the way we were moving the football, I feel like we left 14 points out there.'

    Defensively, Campbell said the Racers are very multi-faceted, changing defensive looks sometimes play by play.

    "They throw a lot of stuff at you,' he said. "They line up in this one time and the next time in something totally different. They don't do anything that we haven't seen before, but they do all that we have seen before.'
    Campbell knows that MSU can present a lot of problems to a lot of teams with its high-powered offense, but he is also looking at the big picture.

    "It's a big challenge for us this week,' he said. "But our big focus is on us, what we need to do to be a better football team. We need to be the best football team we can be this week and go play our game.'

    After Saturday, UCA will play a pair of home games on "The Stripes," against Southeastern Louisiana in the Southland Conference opener on Sept. 16, then following an open date, versus defending SLC champion Sam Houston State on Sept. 30.

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