CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s women’s basketball team placed six players in double figures, Monday night at the Dunn Center, as it rolled to a 101-67 season-opening exhibition win against Martin Methodist.
The Lady Govs made 56 percent of their field goals (42-of-75) and won the rebounding battle by a 47-40 margin. However, they were a less than impressive 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) from the free-throw line.
“We played a lot of people tonight and a lot of new faces got some playing time,” Austin Peay coach Carrie Daniels said. “I think you saw a lot of nerves and jitters, but I hope we can get them out of the way before we open Friday at UAB.”
Junior point guard Nicole Olszewski led the Lady Govs with 19 points, on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor – including two from behind the arc, while also adding eight assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
“I loved the way she played out there tonight,” Austin Peay coach Carrie Daniels said. Nicole has come back this year and is a completely different player than she was last season.
“I think she would be the first to tell you that she wasn’t happy with the way her sophomore campaign went and she wanted to come out strong and turn things around this season.”
Austin Peay took the lead for good on a jumper by Olszewski, to make it 4-2, at the 17:37 mark of the opening half and extended that out to as many as 24 points, 45-21, with 5:10 left before intermission.
But Martin Methodist closed out the first half with a 12-0 run to cut the Austin Peay advantage down to 46-34 heading into halftime.
“I wasn’t as worried about the score as I was us getting away from what our game plan was as a team and not sticking with that,” Daniels said. “We talked to them at halftime about sticking to what we’re going to do and get as prepared for UAB on Friday.
“In the second half, the veteran players came out of halftime and did just that. This year as a team we want to get out and get some transition points but if it’s not there when lets run our sets. I was more pleased in the second half with the way we did that.”
In fact, Austin Peay opened the second half with an 18-2 run over the first 4:22 to push its lead out to 28 points, 64-36 and never looked back after that.
Freshman Jennifer Nwokocha chipped in with 18 points and 11-rebounds effort on 22 off the bench, while senior Meghan Bussabarger and sophomore Kristen Stainback each added 12 points.
“Jennifer has so much talent and we’ve been a little bit frustrated with her at practice, but I think when the lights are on and the popcorns popping she comes out ready to play,” Daniels said. “Coach (Brooke) Armistead looked over at me during the game as said Jennifer just a gamer.”
Clarksville freshman Tiasha Gray finished with 11 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor along with four assists and two steals – but she also had five turnovers.
“I think Tiasha was one that you could see the jitters from,” Daniels said. “But she is going to be one of those players that is going to improve every game. She’s going to settle into it and be a nice player for us.”
Senior Leslie Martinez notched 10 points.
Martin Methodist’s Jessy Christopher led all scorers with 25 points, converting 8-of-16 from the field, including a 6-of-12 performance from three-point range. Bobbi Dodson added 15 points while Kyra Knight chipped in a game-best 13 rebounds.
Overall, the Redhawks offense was limited to 29.9 percent (20-of-67) shooting from the floor, but won the free-throw battle converting 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) from the line.
The Lady Govs regular-season opener is Friday, noon at UAB.
Austin Peay 101, Martin Methodist 67
Martin Methodist 34-33—67
Austin Peay 46-55—101
Martin Methodist: DeRhonda O’Neal 7, Nina Mills 7, Jessy Christopher 25, Jazmin Adams 3, Bobbi Dodson 15, Kyra Knight 8, Becca Smithson 2. Team totals 20 19-22 67.
Austin Peay: Meghan Bussabarger 12, Kaitlyn Hill 8, Leslie Martinez 10, Nicole Olszewski 19, Shelby Olszewski 2, Kristen Stainback 12, Tiasha Gray 11, Alexis Hardaway 8, Jennifer Nwokocha 18. Team totals 42 12-21 101.
3-point field goals: Martin Methodist 8 (Dodson 2, Christopher 6), Austin Peay 5 (Stainback 1, N. Olszewski 2, Gray 1, S. Olszewski 1).
Clarksville Tn-New Memphis Grizzlies owner,billionaire Robert Pera, introduced his ownership group at a standing room only media event at the FedEx Forum on Monday, saying he was “the luckiest man in the world right now.”
Pera, the CEO of Silicon Valley wireless networking company Ubiquiti Networks and Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien addressed the media and announced their new ownership group, which includes Clarksville based Hand Family Companies. The Hand Family Companies own several beverage distributorships, including Budweiser of Clarksville, Cookeville, Chattanooga and Hopkinsville Kentucky. The Hand Family acquired the D Canale Beverage LLC in Memphis in 2010. Other owners include Justin Timberlake, and Harold Ford Jr.
Charles Hand issued a statement to his employees saying, “I am proud to announce that our company is minority partner in the new ownership group of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. This will help solidify our company as a member of the Memphis business community. ”
Pera said he will be involved in all high-level decisions but will leave the operation of the franchise to Grizzlies CEO of Memphis Basketball LLC, Jason Levien.
A spokesman for the franchise would not disclose ownership percentages.
Former Grizzlies owner, 75 year old Michael Heisley told Foxsports.com this summer “He’s young. He’s in his 30s. I think he loves basketball. And I think he’s financially very well off. I think he’ll be an excellent owner, but that’s a job for the NBA to decide.” ESPN reported that the purchase price for the NBA franchise was in “the $350 million dollar range.”
Pera,the 34-year-old Northern California native, is a former engineer at Apple who left the computer giant at 25 to start his own company. Today Pera owns a reported 64 percent of the Ubiquiti Networks he founded and operates the company out of Taiwan as well as San Jose, Calif. Pera speaks Chinese and Japanese and is said to play basketball four to five times per week.
Clarksville, TN– The Clarksville-Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pleased to announce that the community will host the 2015 and 2016 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) 4th Grade Division One and Division Two Boys’ Basketball National Championships. The tournaments will take place in mid-July of both years.
Traditionally, the AAU Basketball Site Selection Committee meets annually, where they bid on tournaments in advance of two and three years. This very competitive process generally includes bid seekers from cities such as Albuquerque, Houston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Detroit.In order to be a part of this process, each city much present the elements that make their community competitive, as well as pay a nominal bid fee. Bid fees for these tournaments were funded through a grant from the Aspire Clarksville Foundation, the privately funded community benchmarking and marketing initiative.
“The Aspire Foundation was designed as an instrument to help the community develop economically in multiple sectors, including tourism. Through generous funding by our investors, our team has the opportunity to competitively recruit events such as AAU Basketball National Championships, which have generated well over $15 million in revenue for the community since we started hosting tournaments in 1999,” said James Chavez, President and CEO of the city-county Economic Development Council.
The CVB marketed four main points about Clarksville-Montgomery County for the 2015 and 2016 tournaments, including major interstate access and proximity to Nashville’s International Airport, multiple well-equipped venues within a short driving distance, financially committed community and business leaders, and exclusive media coverage made possible by area media partners.
“AAU basketball has brought a great deal of exposure to our community over the years,” said Geno Grubbs, Chairman of the CVB. “Each team member brings an average of two family members with them during the tournament. We can expect to see nearly 10,000 participants, coaches and family members here in Clarksville-Montgomery County during each week long event.”
Over the past decade, Clarksville-Montgomery County has hosted various AAU events such as Regional and Sub-State basketball tournaments as well as National Championships for both boys and girls. Most recently, the 2011 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball Championship generated over $2.5 million in revenue for the community.
There will be an estimated 90 D1 and D2 teams in the community during the upcoming events. The championships are also expected to generate approximately $3.3 million for Clarksville-Montgomery County each summer. Money generated comes from travel funds spent on hotel accommodations, food, recreation and shopping. An obvious upswing in county tax revenue will be seen during the months that the basketball tournaments are in the community.
Pennie Smith, General Manager with Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites in Clarksville, said, “As a local hotelier that has a long standing history in this community, I can say that recreation tourism has consistently brought great exposure to our hotels, as well as other hotels in Clarksville and in the region.”
“We generally sell out rooms early and stay booked throughout the week that sports tournaments are in town. That is good for not only our business, but also the restaurants and stores who are in our community as well.”
The events will take place in high school and middle schools gyms throughout the county, with the championship bracket played historically at Austin Peay State University Dunn Center.
“The superior quality of our venues and the overwhelming support of CMCSS, Austin Peay and other community venues were a determining factor in the Site Selection Committee’s decision to come to Clarksville,” said Jerry Allbert, Tournament Director.
During the weeks leading up to the events, as well as the week of, the CVB plays a key role in facilitating the tournament including logistics, marketing, volunteer recruitment and community relations.
“We are extremely excited about having AAU back in Clarksville-Montgomery County and welcoming all those who may have not had a reason in the past to visit our community,” said Theresa Harrington, Executive Director of the CVB. “Our goal, when people visit, is to give them a reason to come back. I know with all that we have to offer, we will gain repeat visitors after the AAU tournaments.”
About Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.
Find out more about the AAU at www.aausports.org.
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
ATLANTA — Chipper Jones has retired and Brian McCann’s potential future in Atlanta will likely be limited to the 2013 season. But as the Braves look toward the future, they are comforted by the fact that Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman could reside in the middle of their lineup for years to come.
“The Twin Towers are going to be mainstays here in Atlanta for a long time to come,” Jones said. “Hopefully, I’ve taught them well. I’ll pass the torch on to those guys and they will be great representatives of the Atlanta Braves for a long time.”
When Jones made his first Major League start for the Braves on April 26, 1995, he was a wide-eyed 23-year-old rookie with incredible talent and tremendous potential.
Seventeen years later, he will hand the torch to Freeman and Heyward — a pair of experienced 23-year-old veterans.
Though neither celebrated their 23rd birthday before August, Heyward and Freeman have already combined to play in approximately 750 games and compile three 20-homer seasons at the Major League level.
With their strong 6-foot-5 frames and powerful left-handed swings, Heyward and Freeman have the potential to prove even more intimidating than Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were when they batted side-by-side during their healthiest and most productive years with the Phillies. It should be noted that Utley and Howard had both already celebrated their 26th birthday by the time they were joined together in Philadelphia’s lineup.
“We have a dynamic young core,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said.
As Wren spends the next couple of weeks and months looking for at least one outfielder and determining who will replace Jones at third base, he certainly has reason to be confident about what Heyward and Freeman could provide in the middle of his lineup again next year.
Before being burdened by ailments, injuries and unavoidable growing pains, Freeman was named the National League’s Player of the Week twice within the first five weeks of the season. His early-season success led Jones to suggest that Freeman would be hitting third for the Braves for many years to come.
By the end of June, Heyward led Jones and may others to alter this projection.
After spending the season’s first two months getting used to the adjustments he made the previous winter and during Spring Training, Heyward finished the season in impressive fashion. The young right fielder batted .284 with 21 home runs, a .339 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging percentage in his final 108 games.
With a total of 27 home runs and 21 stolen bases, Heyward notched the Braves’ first 20/20 season since Andruw Jones in 2000. His defensive contributions were significant enough that Atlanta’s third-base coach Brian Snitker vowed he would boycott the voting process if Heyward does not win his first Gold Glove Award this year.
“Jason probably matured as a player more than anyone I’ve seen in a long time,” Wren said.
After hitting .227 with a .708 OPS in 2011, Heyward dedicated himself to an offseason conditioning program and began essentially reconstructing his offseason approach from scratch. His 2010 rookie season was tarnished by a thumb ailment and his second big league season was marred by a sore shoulder.
Coming out of his second big league season, Freeman will not spend this winter making the same kind of drastic changes. But after hitting .259 with 23 home runs and a .796 OPS this past summer, he is looking forward to the opportunity to get healthy.
As he was in the process of earning his second NL Player of the Week Award this year, Freeman began experiencing vision problems that plagued him for approximately a month. When he finally found a suitable solution in early June, his right index finger was injured by a Jose Reyes throw.
This led the young first baseman to miss more time over the following two weeks and deal with some discomfort over the season’s final four months.
Burdened by these ailments and unavoidable growing pains, Freeman proved inconsistent through much of the season. He hit just .215 with 10 home runs and a .750 OPS in his final 55 regular season games.
Understanding that he is at an age where his vision could continue to change, Freeman seems to be leaning toward avoiding Lasik surgery for at least a couple more years. As for his finger, he will spend this winter benefiting from rest and the healing power of a few more cortisone shots.
Though Freeman battled some physical ailments this past year, he continued to be strong mentally while dealing with adversity.
One year after grounding into a double play to end a must-win regular season finale against the Phillies, Freeman highlighted this past season by hitting a game-winning walk-off home run that clinched a Wild Card playoff spot for the Braves.
“You’ve got to find the positives so that you’re not killing yourself in the offseason,” Freeman said. “You’ve got to move on and start preparing for next year. Next thing you know, we’re all going to be in Florida.”
CLARKSVILLE – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team will put its six-match home win streak on the line when it hosts Murray State in a 7 p.m., Tuesday, Ohio Valley Conference contest at the Dunn Center.
Tuesday’s contest also will be Breast Cancer Awareness night with “Let’s Go Peay-nk” t-shirts available for a minimum $10 donation to the American Cancer Society. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to meet current Govs Club members and discuss the benefits of membership in Austin Peay’s booster club during the annual Govs Club Night.
Austin Peay (16-14, 9-5 OVC West) has secured a berth into next week’s OVC Volleyball Championship, but now is playing for seeding. The Lady Govs are among three teams tied for third place with a 9-5 record in OVC action with two matches remaining.
The Lady Govs extended their home win streak with a come-from-behind five-set victory against OVC West leading Southeast Missouri, Saturday. Austin Peay is 6-0 at the Dunn Center this season, the lone home loss came in its home opener against Jacksonville State, Sept. 21, which was moved to The Red Barn due to electrical problems.
“We have done our job at home so far this season,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “When you get into conference play you have to win your home matches to have any success. We have two critical, difficult matches ahead of us and we have to keep playing at our best with the end in sight.”
Individually, junior middle blocker Lauren Henderson was impressive last weekend with a team-best 13 kills and five blocks in the win against UT Martin followed by a 14-kill, three-block effort against Southeast Missouri. Senior opposite hitter Alex Sain also had a quality weekend, including career highs in kills (18) and digs (25) against Southeast Missouri.
“It was nice to see a couple of our other hitters step up and perform well,” said Mott. “Nikki (Doyle) and Jada (Stotts) have carried a lot of the load this season. However, I know we have very capable hitters throughout the lineup and we saw that last weekend.”
Murray State (5-19, 3-11 OVC West) ended a six-match losing streak, Saturday, with a four-set win against UT Martin. The Racers have had trouble on the road this season, posting a 1-10 mark overall and are winless in six OVC road trips.
Austin Peay won the previous meeting in four sets, Sept. 25. It wasn’t an easy win as the Lady Govs finished with only a five-point advantage at the end of four sets. Doyle led APSU with 17 kills and Stotts added 15 kills. Murray State’s Taylor Olden recorded 15 kills against the Lady Govs.
Eastern Illinois and UT Martin each won OVC contests on Saturday to improve to 5-1 in OVC play with two weekends of football to play…The teams are one win ahead of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State in the loss column.
A win on Saturday for EIU guarantees it at least a share of the OVC Championship; if UTM wins its final two games of the year the Skyhawks will win the OVC and earn the league’s automatic berth.
Three OVC teams are ranked in the Sports Network Top 25 poll with EKU being 22nd, UTM 23rd and TSU 24th; it marks the first time since Oct. 19, 2009 that the OVC has had three teams ranked in the same poll…In the FCS Coaches poll EKU is 18th and UTM 24th.
UT Martin is ranked for the first time since Nov. 24, 2008 when the squad was 24th in both major polls…Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman became the OVC’s career leader in total offense (9,945 yards), passing former MSU quarterback Michael Proctor (1986-89) on Saturday; Brockman already holds OVC career records for passing yards (9,458) and completions (884) and should soon hold the passing attempts mark as well.
Brockman also needs just 300 yards to break the OVC single-season passing yards mark…Brockman currently ranks second in OVC history for career touchdown passes (65), while UT Martin’s Derek Carr is third (62) and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo is fourth (59); the trio of active quarterbacks trail only former EIU and current Dallas Cowboys signal caller Tony Romo (85 touchdowns from 1999-2002).
All three of those signal callers rank in the Top 10 in passing yards/game making the OVC the only league nationally with three quarterbacks in the top 10 of that stat category. For the second time this season Carr threw seven touchdown passes (without an interception) in a game, as the Skyhawks topped Jacksonville State; Carr is the only Division I quarterback (FBS or FCS) to throw seven touchdowns passes twice in the 2012 season…For his efforts Carr was named National Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
UT Martin’s Quentin Sims and Jacksonville State’s Alan Bonner each caught five touchdowns passes in a game against each other on Saturday; the five touchdown catches tied the OVC single-game record also held by Murray State’s Marcus Harris (2010). EIU wide receiver Erik Lora became the first player in OVC history with 100 receptions in a season; Lora now ranks 16th in NCAA FCS single-season history for catches, just 23 away from the record held by Elon’s Terrell Hudgins
This OVC Football Week’s Schedule
Saturday, November 10
*Southeast Missouri at Eastern Illinois, 11:00 a.m. (FOX College Sports; Delayed on FOX Sports South at 10pm)
*Murray State at #18 Eastern Kentucky, 12:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
*#23 UT Martin at Tennessee Tech, 1:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
*Austin Peay at Jacksonville State, 3:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
adidas® OVC Players of the Week
Derek Carr, QB • Sr., 6-1, 191 • McKenzie, Tenn. • UT Martin
Carr became the first player in Division I (FBS or FCS) this year to throw for seven touchdowns twice, as the senior tossed seven touchdown passes in UT Martin’s 49-47 victory over Jacksonville State. The win pushed the Skyhawks to 5-1 in OVC play, which ties them for first place with two weeks to play. Carr completed 28-of-43 passes for 402 yards and the seven touchdowns without an interception; earlier this season Carr threw for seven touchdowns in a win over Murray State, a game where he also did not throw an interception. Five of his seven touchdown passes went to senior Quentin Sims who tied the OVC record for touchdown catches in a game. Carr threw four touchdowns in the first quarter alone as the Skyhawks jumped out to a 28-7 lead. He added one touchdown pass in each the second and third quarters and tossed his final score to Jeremy Butler with 5:31 to play; that strike proved to be the game-winning score. In the process Carr became UT Martin’s all-time leader in total offense (7,767), a mark that now ranks seventh in OVC history. He also moved into third place in OVC history for touchdown passes (62) and fifth in career passing yards (7,730). Carr currently ranks fifth nationally in points responsible for (16.67/game), 10th in total passing yards (2,578), 10th in passing yards/game (286.44) and 11th in passing efficiency (151.63).
Others Nominated: Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois; Jared McClain, Eastern Kentucky; Alan Bonner, Jacksonville State; Jaamal Berry, Murray State; Michael German, Tennessee State.
Brooklyn Fox, DB • Sr., 6-4, 215 • Tulsa, Okla. • Eastern Kentucky
Fox had four tackles, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass that he returned 59 yards in Eastern Kentucky’s 31-7 road win over Southeast Missouri on Saturday. The interception ended Southeast Missouri’s first drive of the game and Fox’s return to the Redhawks 8-yard line set up a touchdown just four plays later. In the second quarter he recovered a fumble at the Southeast Missouri 29-yard line which led to an EKU field goal four plays later. Overall he was part of a defensive unit that held Southeast to its lowest point total of the season (7) and held its leading rusher Levi Terrell to a season-low 57 rushing yards. Fox currently ranks fourth nationally in interceptions/game (0.60).
Others Nominated: Roosevelt Holliday, Eastern Illinois; Rashod Byers, Jacksonville State; Jeremy Brackett, Murray State; Daniel Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State; Ben Johnson, UT Martin.
Steven Mix, P • Jr., 6-2, 225 • Barlow, Ky. • Murray State
Mix helped Murray State win the field position battle in Saturday’s 49-28 victory over No. 18 Tennessee State. Mix punted three times, all of which were downed inside the TSU 20-yard line, for an average of 43.3 yards. Mix also boomed a 55-yard punt that was downed at the 1-yard line and overall did not allow a single punt return yard.
Others Nominated: Gabriel Chambers, Jacksonville State; Weldon Garlington, Tennessee State; James Satterfield, UT Martin.
Jaamal Berry, RB • Jr., 5-11, 200 • Miami, Fla. • Murray State
Berry, the transfer from Ohio State, earned his third OVC Newcomer of the Week honor of the season after rushing for a career-high 163 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-28 victory over No. 18 Tennessee State on Saturday. Berry carried the ball 16 times in averaging an impressive 10.2 yards/carry. The junior scored on a 35-yard run late in the second quarter, added a 5-yard rush late in the third quarter and capped the game’s scoring with a 1-yard rush with 3:05 to play in the game. Berry also caught three passes for 19 yards to finish the day with 182 all-purpose yards.
Others Nominated: Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois; Deshaun Sands, Eastern Kentucky; Hamish MacInnes, Jacksonville State; A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State; Jeremy Butler, UT Martin.
Notes From Around the Gridiron
OVC Title Race: With two weeks of competition left there are still a lot of possibilities in the OVC Championship race. With a win against Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Eastern Illinois (5-1 OVC) can lock up at least a share of the OVC Championship; the title would be the program’s sixth overall and first since 2009. UT Martin (5-1 OVC) has two OVC game remaining (at Tennessee Tech, vs. Tennessee State) and controls its destiny; with two wins the Skyhawks will win the OVC Championship and earn the league’s automatic bid into the Division I Football Championship (the team has won the title and appeared in the playoffs just once – 2006). Eastern Kentucky (5-2) and Tennessee State (4-2) currently sit one game behind those teams in the loss column and are hoping for losses by both to gain shares of the OVC crown. EKU hosts Murray State in its final OVC game of the season on Saturday, while TSU has a bye this week before playing at UT Martin next week.
Carr Named National Player of the Week By Sports Network and College Sporting News (Nov. 5): UT Martin senior quarterback Derek Carr earned his second National Offensive Player of the Week honors of the 2012 season on Nov. 5 by each the Sports Network and College Sporting News after his performance against Jacksonville State. Carr became the first player in Division I (FBS or FCS) this year to throw for seven touchdowns twice, as the senior tossed seven touchdown passes in the 49-47 victory. Carr completed 28-of-43 passes for 402 yards and the seven touchdowns without an interception; earlier this season Carr threw for seven touchdowns in a win over Murray State, a game where he also did not throw an interception. Five of his seven touchdown passes went to senior Quentin Sims who tied the OVC record for touchdown catches in a game. Carr threw four touchdowns in the first quarter alone as the Skyhawks jumped out to a 28-7 lead. He added one touchdown pass in each the second and third quarters and tossed his final score to Jeremy Butler with 5:31 to play; that strike proved to be the game-winning score.
Bonner and Sims Tie OVC Single Game Receiving Touchdowns Record: In a Nov. 3 game between Jacksonville State and UT Martin two players tied the OVC single-game record for receiving touchdowns. Jacksonville State senior Alan Bonner caught 10 passes for 235 yards and five touchdowns while UT Martin senior Quentin Sims hauled in 10 passes for 137 yards and the five scores. The five touchdowns by each player tied the OVC record also held by Murray State’s Marcus Harris (2010).
Brockman Sets OVC Career Passing Yards and Total Offense Marks: Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman set the OVC career passing yardage mark against Jacksonville State on Oct. 27. Brockman broke the record of 9,028 yards previously held by Morehead State’s Chris Swartz (1987-90); Brockman currently has 9,458 career passing yards. A week later (Nov. 3) against Tennessee State Brockman became the OVC career leader for total offense, passing Murray State’s Michael Proctor (who has 9,886 yards from 1986-89); Brockman now has 9,945 yards of total offense for his career.
Brockman Nears OVC Single Season Passing Record: Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman needs just 300 yards to tie the OVC single-season passing yards record currently held by former Murray State quarterback (and current Memphis head coach) Justin Fuente (3,497 yards in 1999). Brockman enters this week third in OVC history with 3,197 yards and his 3,276 yards from last season ranks second on the list. Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is just 80 yards behind Brockman in the race for the record as he enters this week with 3,117 yards (sixth all-time).
Lora Sets OVC Single-Season Receptions Record; Now Ranks 16th in NCAA History: It took just eight games for Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora to set the OVC single-season receptions record. Lora recorded his 93rd catch of the season on Oct. 27 at Eastern Kentucky, breaking the previous record of 92 catches by Samford’s Efrem Hill (2003). Lora now has 100 catches and is setting his sights on the NCAA record of 123 receptions currently held by Elon’s Terrell Hudgins (accomplished in 12 games in 2009). Lora currently ranks 16th in NCAA FCS single-season history and is averaging a FCS-best 11.11 catches/game and is on pace for 123 receptions this year. Lora is also only 152 yards away from the OVC single-season receiving yards record of 1,453 currently held by Southeast Missouri’s Willie Ponder; Lora currently has an FCS-best 1,301 receiving yards and is averaging 144.56 yards/game.
The Offensive Valley Conference: OVC teams have put up a lot of points this season. That includes a 70-point outing by Murray State on Sept. 29 (the 6th most points in a FCS game this season), a 66-point outing by UT Martin on Oct. 13 (the 13th most points in a FCS game this season) and a 65-point effort by Eastern Illinois on Sept. 29 (the 16th most points in a FCS game this year). In the four Conference games on Sept. 22, eight OVC teams combined to score 287 points and account for 3,641 yards of total offense. That night saw three teams score 49 or more points, as Eastern Kentucky scored 51, Eastern Illinois scored 50 and Murray State scored 49 points. It is the most combined points in Conference games since the league went from 10 to nine teams in 2007. Through 10 weeks this season OVC teams have scored 40 or more points in a game 23 different times. As a whole the OVC ranks first nationally in average total offense (414.5 yards/game) and points (30.6/game).
The League of Extraordinary Wide Receivers: Through 10 weeks of the season the OVC is showcasing what can be considered the best collection of wide receivers in the nation. Currently OVC wideouts rank first (Eastern Illinois’ Erik Lora) and seventh (Murray State’s Walter Powell) in receiving yards/game giving the OVC two of the top seven receivers nationally; no other conference has more than one individual in the top 7 nationally. For receptions in a single game in 2012, the OVC has four individuals in the Top 10, including the first (Lora, 21), second (Rogers, 18), third (Lora, 17) and 10th (Powell, 14) while two others performances (Lora and Powell with 13 apiece) are tied for 15th; no other conference nationally has more than two individuals in the Top 10 for receptions in a game. Lora and Powell currently rank first (11.11) and third (9.11) nationally in receptions/game.
Trio of OVC Quarterbacks Among Nation’s Elite: While OVC wide receivers are putting up extraordinary numbers, they have to have somebody throwing them the ball, and the league has several of the top quarterbacks nationally. The OVC currently has three quarterbacks in the top 10 nationally in passing yards/game, as Murray State’s Casey Brockman is fourth (355.22 yards/game), Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo ranks fifth (346.33 yards/game) and UT Martin’s Derek Carr is 10th (286.44 yards/game). The OVC is the only conference nationally with three quarterbacks in the Top 10 nationally in passing yards/game.
Carr Throws Seven Touchdowns For Second Time This Season: Twice this season UT Martin senior quarterback Derek Carr has thrown seven touchdowns in a game without throwing an interception. Carr achieved that feat against Murray State on Oct. 13 and against Jacksonville State on Nov. 3. He is the only quarterback in Division I (FBS or FCS) to have two games with seven touchdown passes this season. In fact only three other Division I quarterbacks have thrown seven or more touchdowns in a game this season: Murray State’s Casey Brockman (8 vs. UT Martin), Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke (7 vs. Campbell) and West Virginia’s Geno Smith (8 vs. Baylor).
OVC Teams in the Top 25: Three OVC teams are now ranked in the Sports Network Top 25 poll, the first time the OVC has had three ranked teams in one poll at the same time since Oct. 19, 2009 (EIU, EKU, JSU). In this week’s poll Eastern Kentucky is 22nd, UT Martin is 23rd and Tennessee State is 24th. In the FCS Coaches Poll Eastern Kentucky is 18th and UT Martin is 24th. It marks the first time that UT Martin has been ranked since Nov. 24, 2008 (when they were 24th in both polls). Eastern Illinois is receiving votes in both polls and closing in on the Top 25 (they are 27th in the Sports Network poll and 29th in the FCS Coaches Poll).
NCAA Stats Leaders: In the latest set of NCAA statistical leaders, Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora is first nationally in receptions/game (11.11), receiving yards/game (144.56) and total receiving yards (1,301). Murray State wide receiver Walter Powell is third in receptions (9.11/game), fourth in all-purpose yards (181.56/game), seventh in receiving yards/game (114.33) and sixth in total receiving yards (1,029). UT Martin’s Quentin Sims is sixth in receptions/game (8.0). Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman is first nationally in completions (33.89/game), third in total offense (360.56 yards/game), fourth in total passing yards (3,197), fourth in passing yards/game (355.22) and fourth in points responsible for (19.11/game). Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is fourth nationally in total offense (350.0 yards/game), fourth in passing yards/game (346.33), fourth in total passing yards (3,117), fifth in points responsible for (18.89/game) and sixth in completions/game (29.11). UT Martin quarterback Derek Carr is eighth in points responsible for (16.67/game), 10th in passing yards/game (286.44) and 10th in total passing yards (2,578). Tennessee State running back Trabis Ward is seventh in rushing (131.60 yards/game). UT Martin’s Jason McNair is fourth in punt returns (15.62 yards/game), Tennessee Tech’s Chad Zinchini is fifth in punting (44.80 yards/punt) and Jacksonville State’s Telvin Brown is ninth in kickoff returns (28.58 yards/return). UT Martin’s Ben Johnson is fourth in tackles/game (12.22). Tennessee State’s Steven Godbolt III is second in interceptions (0.67/game), while Eastern Kentucky’s Brooklyn Fox is fourth (0.60/game). Murray State’s Brandon Hathaway is eighth in fumbles recovered/game (0.33). In the team rankings Eastern Illinois is fourth nationally in passing offense (368.11 yards/game), fifth in total offense (505.22 yards/game), seventh in scoring offense (39.89 points/game) and 10th in fumbles recovered (12). Murray State ranks fifth in passing offense (362.44 yards/game), sixth in total offense (498.11 yards/game) and sixth in scoring offense (40.56 points/game). Eastern Kentucky is first nationally in fewest fumbles lost (3), second in turnovers gained (26), third in turnover margin (+1.70), fourth in time of possession (33:57), fourth in fewest turnovers lost (9), sixth in passes intercepted (15) and ninth in rushing defense (110.2 yards/game). Southeast Missouri ranks fourth nationally in fewest yards penalized/game (34.78), fifth in fewest penalties/game (4.33) and ninth in rushing offense (249.56 yards/game). UT Martin is seventh in turnover margin (+1.0/game) and seventh in kickoff return yardage defense (15.0 yards/return) while Jacksonville State is eighth in third down conversion percentage (50.36%).
Carr Named National Performer of the Week, Three Others Receive National Positional Awards From College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) For Week No. 10: For the second time this year UT Martin quarterback Derek Carr was named National Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) after his seven touchdown performance against Jacksonville State. Carr completed 28-of-43 passes for 402 yards in that victory. Carr was also named National Quarterback of the Week as well. Jacksonville State wide receiver Alan Bonner was named National Wide Receiver of the Week after tying the OVC single-game record with five touchdown catches; in total Bonner caught 10 passes for 235 yards. Murray State’s Walter Powell was named National All-Purpose Performer of the Week after totaling 204 all-purpose yards including eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, 32 kickoff return yards and 55 punt return yards. Tennessee State’s A.C. Leonard was named National Tight End of the Week after catching seven passes for 115 yards at Murray State. In addition to those four winners, eight other OVC players earned honorable mention honors for the week. The goal of CFPA is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.