Tennessee State University's quest to regain the Sergeant York Trophy begins this weekend when the Tigers travel north to face in-state rival Austin Peay.
TSU and Governors are meeting for the 14th time on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Governors Stadium in Clarksville.
This weekend, the Tigers (1-3, 0-1 OVC) are looking to snap a two-game skid to the Governors (1-2, 1-0 OVC) after dropping a heart-breaking 26-23 decision to the Austin Peay last season at LP Field.
Overall, TSU holds an 8-5 advantage over the Govs. Tennessee State last won in Clarksville with a nail-biting 33-32 victory on Sept. 17, 2007.
TSU is coming off a 63-24 loss at Air Force on Sept. 24. The Tigers surrendered 792 offensive yards, but forced three Falcon fumbles. Quarterback Michael German completed six passes for 172 yards with a touchdown, while tailback Trabis Ward rushed 20 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Devin Wilson and Calvin McNairl combined for 186 receiving yards against the Falcons. McNairl caught two passes, both touchdowns, for 98 yards.
The Govs picked up their first win of the season with a 23-17 win over Eastern Kentucky. Austin Peay is averaging 326 yards per game, while the Tigers are tallying an average of 396 each contest.
Leading the way for the Governors is quarterback Jake Ryan, who has completed 52 passes for 528 yards in three games. Wideout Devin Stark has a team-best 20 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tigers have recorded a turnover margin of +1.75, ranking fourth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). TSU is third in the country with seven recovered fumbles, including a pair against Air Force last weekend.
Among the mainstays in TSU's defense is linebacker Rico Council. The senior is first in the OVC and 25th nationally with .88 sacks per game. He is third in the Ohio Valley with 5.5 tackles for loss.
Council ranks second all-time with 243 career tackles, trailing only TSU Head Coach Rod Reed (1985-1988), who notched 406 during his illustrious career. The linebacker from Chattanooga is just nine tackles-for-loss away from moving into TSU's top-3 all-time.
The Sergeant York Trophy is a competition between the four OVC programs in the state of Tennessee. The school with the best record retains the trophy until the following year. Since the trophy was instituted in 2007, the Tigers have claimed and shared the trophy in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Live video and stats of this weekend's game is available online at TSUTigers.com.
Radio coverage will be provided by the Big Blue Radio Network with Brent Dougherty calling the play-by-play and Albert Dawson providing the commentary. Fans can listen to extensive coverage of the game on Light 102.1 FM/101.9 FM Clarksville and WOJG 94.7 FM in Bolivar/Jackson.
-- TSU Tigers --