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Author Topic: DEFENSE CARRIES BEARS TO 41-13 ROUT OF RACERS  (Read 127 times)

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Seminole Indian

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« on: September 10, 2017, 11:23:05 am »

MURRAY, Ky. _  The University of Central Arkansas Bears used a stifling defense and an opportunistic offense to cruise past the Murray State Racers 41-13 in non-conference action Saturday night at Roy Stewart Stadium.

The 15th-ranked Bears (1-1), who have never lost to the Racers in five meetings, dominated the first half and put game out of reach early with a 21-point second quarter, good for a 31-6 halftime lead. The Bears' defense dominated the first half against the pass-happy Racers, holding MSU to just 14 rushing yards through two quarters, and negative yardage for much of the first half. At the half, UCA had accumulated 312 yards of total offense compared to 91 for MSU, with most of that coming in the final minutes of the second quarter.

"Very pleased with our defense tonight,' said UCA head coach Steve Campbell. "I felt like we had a chance to be good on defense again, but we lost a lot of players. And quite a few that were coming back are hurt. So I was very, very pleased by how we played against the run. I thought we got some pressure on the quarterback, I thought our coverage was a lot better. We didn't give up any deep balls, over our heads where they threw it behind us. We broke on the ball really well. So I was very pleased with the progress we made on defense.
Meanwhile, the UCA offense was scoring in numerous ways, including a one-yard run by sophomore Carlos Blackman, touchdown passes from Hayden Hildebrand to Jakari Dillard, Brandon Myers and Joe Hampton, and a field goal from junior Matt Cummins. The Bears led 24-0 midway through the second quarter before MSU got the first of two second-quarter field goals from Gabriel Vincente.

Hildebrand then connected with Hampton, a redshirt freshman from Little Rock Christian, for a 74-yard score, his first reception as a Bear, to make it 31-3. After a UCA penalty as time expired in the half, Vincente added his second field goal to set the halftime margin at 31-6.

Cummins started the scoring with a 28-yard field goal at the 11:51 mark of the first quarter. Blackmon then went in from the 1 on UCA's next possession, capping a three-play, 17-yard drive after a forced fumble by senior defensive end Chris Chambers that was recovered by sophomore end Chris Terrell. Hildebrand then hit Dillard for 12 yards and a touchdown, good for a 17-0 lead with 12:13 left in the second period.

Hildebrand connected with freshman Brandon Myers for a 5-yard touchdown, set up by a 58-yard pass to senior Brandon Cox before Vincente's first field goal fromm 38 yards. Hampton then beat the MSU defense deep for a 74-yard touchdown reception to push the lead to 31-3 with just 54 seconds remaining.

"That was big for us to get that touchdown right before the half,' said Campbell. "That wound up being some big points for us and gave us some separation before halftime, and we needed that. I liked our offense. I thought (offensive coordinator) Nathan (Brown) called a good game. We used play action, we threw the ball well.

"They line down in a Bear front which makes it tough on you running the football with an extra guy in the box. But that's what hurt them in the passing game, really similar to last week. They had to make a decision like we did last week against Kansas State. They said we're going to put the extra guy down in there, so the Joe Hampton play, the Brandon Myers play, the Brandon Cox plays, we were able to hit them over the top, which is what you have to do when they put that extra guy down in there.'
HIldebrand finished the first half completing 12 of 15 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns. For the game, the Bears had 486 yards of total offense, including 286 through the air and an even 200 on the ground. Hildebrand completed 19 of 25 for 286 and three touchdowns, while he and Blackman both finished with 52 rushing yards. Hildebrand averaged 8.7 yards on six carries. Cox, a senior from Conway, caught three passes for 102 yards, one of 10 UCA players who caught passes.

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