MURRAY PREVIEW: Four Days and Counting

Murray State's football program is hardly a well-known entity to IU fans, but HoosierNation.com takes a look at some of the players to keep an eye on Saturday. Today, we continue our day-by-day preview of the Hoosiers' week two match-up with "Four Names to Know" on the Racers' roster...

Nathan Williams, LB – Williams is a sixth-year senior was granted an additional year in the off-season due to the season-ending ACL injury he suffered in last year's 73-10 season opening loss to Louisville. Before suffering the knee injury, Williams led Murray State in tackles in 2005 (103) and again in 2006 (100). He looked to be back in top form in the 2008 opener as he totaled a career-high 17 tackles in a 41-17 win over Lambuth. As productive as he's been, Williams biggest problem has been remaining healthy. Besides last season's injury, he also missed the entire 2004 campaign with a hip injury as well as the final two games of the 2006 season with another ailment. But when healthy, Williams is clearly the player who will have his hand in on the most stops.

Nico Yantko, QB – Assuming 2007 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Jeff Ehrhardt is unable to go due to the separated shoulder he suffered in week one, Murray State will once again turn to the 5'8", 191-pound Yantko to lead the offense. Yantko did a nice job in relief a week ago, completing 10-of-15 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the final 2 ½ quarters to turn a 14-14 tie into a 41-17 victory. Yantko's journey has been loaded with twists and turns. The Fairborn, Ohio, native originally went to play for current Murray State Coach Matt Griffin when he was the coach at UT-Martin, but after sitting out the 2005 season he opoted to transfer to Iowa Central Community College. A torn ACL kept him off the field in the fall of 2006, and he then opted to reunite with Griffin at Murray State by transferring in 2007. He bounced around at safety at linebacker last season and didn't record any tackles before moving to quarterback in the off-season. Since then, he's beaten out Chris Franklin for the No. 2 job and figures to run the show until Ehrhardt is ready to return.

Willie Tillman, Wide Receivers coach –the first-year Racers' assistant coach might be a familiar name to some IU fans, since he was a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at Purdue from 1994-97. He caught 40 passes for 557 yards and two touchdowns as a junior in 1996, and then started as a senior in 1997 during Joe Tiller's first season in West Lafayette and helped Purdue to a 9-3 campaign and a berth in the Alamo Bowl. His college coaching career has included stops at Anderson University (2000), Bethel College (2004-06) and Florida A&M (2007) before joining Griffin's staff this season.

DeAngelo Nelson, TE - The Racers like to utilize the tight end in the passing attack, and they've got a pretty good one in Nelson. The 6-1, 235-pounder from Memphis earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior after catching 34 passes for 451 yards and three touchdowns, and he's a preseason all-league choice again this season. He got his season off underway last week with a couple of catches for 63 yards, including a 50-yard reception that was the longest play of any sort all day.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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