RODNEY CASTILLE (RB, #18)
When the Murray State offense isn’t filling the air with passes, it will be handing the ball off to junior running back Castille (5-11, 189). Castille is the Racers’ leading returning rusher, having zipped for 471 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018 while also catching passes for 156 yards and another score. The Bulldogs’ defensive front can’t allow the Racers to establish a ground attack Saturday; thus, the importance of limiting Castille to modest rushing totals.
KENDRICK CATIS (LB, #6)
And when the Georgia offense takes the field, it will have to account for Catis, a 6-1, 230-pound senior. Catis, expected to be one of the top inside linebackers in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, was the Racers’ second-leading tackler last fall with his 74 stops, which included 5.5 tackles-for-loss. The Bulldogs’ talented offensive front will have to keep Catis from penetrating into the Georgia backfield Saturday afternoon.
ANTHONY KOCLANAKIS (LB, #47)
Catis’s running mate at linebacker, the 6-1, 226-pound Koclanakis is also a disruptor of opposing offenses for Murray State. In his sophomore campaign last season, Koclanakis recorded 66 tackles, had four tackles-for-loss and also managed two pass interceptions. In other words, wherever the football goes, that’s where this hard-hitting ‘backer goes. As is the case with Kendrick Catis, the Bulldogs’ offense will have to account for Anthony Koclanakis this weekend.
STEVE DAWSON (P, #43)
Dawson, who came to Murray State from Australia to punt for the Racers after the former graduate kicker transferred to Georgia, was one of three special team players to make All-OVC first team last season. One of those was talented receiver/kick returner Malik Honeycutt who will be sidelined for much of the season. Averaging an OVC-leading 42.1 yards a kick in his first season of playing football, Dawson was named 2nd team freshman All-America by Phil Steele. The 6-0, 200-pound Dawson is surely capable of pinning the Bulldogs deep in their own territory on Saturday.
Murray State’s most famous athletic alum is basketball great Popeye Jones, a two-time OVC Player of the Year.
In 1995 and 1996, Murray State won back to back OVC championships with a combined overall 22-3 mark and 16-0 league record.
The Racers have an impressive list of former head coaches, including Frank Beamer, Mike Gottfried, and Houston Nutt.