TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — By the third quarter, Murray State coach Chris Hatcher was just hoping to escape Florida State without any serious injuries and get back home and start playing schools in his own division.
Hatcher suffered through a 69-3 drubbing at the hands of the nation’s seventh-ranked team in exchange for a $450,000 payday.
“The third quarter, we started playing a lot of folks and we were just trying to go home,” he said. “We had our threes and fours in there at the end, and their threes and fours were a little better than ours.”
Not to mention the ones and twos.
“I think we got out of there not beat up too badly,” he said. “They (Florida State) are as good as I thought they would be and maybe even better.”
Things went south quickly for the Racers as Florida State’s Rashad Greene returned a punt 47 yards for a touchdown less than 2 minutes into the season opener.
“Not a good start, they got on us,” Hatcher said. “Our nerves got us.”
Casey Brockman passed for 117 yards, threw an interception and was sacked six times, including four by Bjoern Werner.
“I’ve seen enough of those guys forever,” Brockman said. “That is by far the fastest football team and the biggest defensive line I’ve ever seen in college football.”
“They’re as good as advertised,” Hatcher said. “One of the best defenses I’ve ever seen.”
The Seminoles, a Football Bowl Subdivision team, totaled 606 yards while holding Murray State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to 156 yards.
Murray State managed just 39 yards rushing against the Seminoles, who have most of their defensive unit back that finished last season ranked fourth nationally in total defense.
Pokey Harris led the Racers with 27 yards while Walter Powell caught nine passes for 62 yards.
Florida State’s EJ Manuel had a streak of 128 consecutive passes without an interception snapped when Josh Manning snared a ball bobbled by Florida State receiver Kenny Shaw.
Hatcher might take some solace from a a compliment from Florida State left tackle Cameron Erving, who said the Racers played hard all night.
“It wasn’t easy,” Erving said. “They kept coming. They never quit.”
Hatcher was happy that he managed to get 67 players into the game.
“We got to see some guys get in there and do a little bit of work,” he said. “We competed and I was really proud of that.”
Murray State returns to its southwestern Kentucky home to play Central Arkansas next Saturday.
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