Nashville, Tenn. - After defeating No. 16 ranked (FCS) Eastern Kentucky last week, the Tennessee State University Tigers will look to harness their momentum when they host OVC opponent Murray State in the Biker's Classic on Saturday (10/17) at LP Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
For the overall series, TSU (3-3, 2-0) holds the advantage 11-9, despite losing to the Racers in last season's finale, 24-17 (11/22). The Tigers are now one-of-two unbeaten teams in conference play.
The Tigers carry in a two-game win streak after capturing a dramatic victory in Richmond, Ky. against the Colonels, 20-17. Offensively, the Tigers are led by Calvin McNairl, who is averaging more than 150 yards of total offense. McNairl's efforts have helped the offense with their improvements this season as the attack is averaging 269 yards per game.
Preston Brown has emerged as TSU's top running back averaging 3.6 yards per carry scoring 24 points on the season. Against EKU, Brown made two visits to the end-zone including the game winner with less than two minutes to play.
The Tigers' defensive unit has been an intricate part of their success in the past weeks, just giving up a little over 100 rushing yards per game. The defense ranks second in the OVC when facing the run and has scored touchdowns or safeties in three games on the year.
Eugene Clifford leads the unit after scoring his second touchdown this year courtesy of a turnover. Clifford has also posted 33 tackles thus far to rank second on the team. He is joined by John Jones, Jr. , Kellen Woodard and Anthony Levine. Jones leads TSU with 35 tackles and Woodard's five sacks this year is also a team best. Levine has tallied two interceptions to lead the Tigers in the the category.
Murray State (1-4, 0-2) has dropped four straight including back-to-back OVC games. The Racers lost to Jacksonville State 41-7 last week and has had trouble offensively.
MSU ranks last in total offense in the OVC but is first when in scoring position converting on 10-of-11 attempts when in the red-zone. The Racers are led by OVC preseason picks, wide receiver Derrick Townsel, tight end DeAngelo Nelson, offensive lineman Eric Ornella, defensive lineman Austen Lane, defensive back Taylor Lanigan, and kicker Kienan Cullen.
Lane is second in the OVC in sacks with five solo and Townsel leads the conference in reception per game with five.
The Tigers will move into their bye week before traveling to Cookeville, Tenn. to face Tennessee Tech on Saturday, October 31, at 1:30 p.m.