Tigers run through North Carolina A&T for 37-7 win in the Circle City Classic
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Indianapolis, Ind. - Tennessee State University totaled a season-high, 521 yards on offense, including 379 yards on the ground, ending their HBCU Classic schedule with a 37-7 win over North Carolina A&T in the Circle City Classic at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Tigers (3-2) were led by running backs Dante' Thomas and Preston Brown's combined 331 rushing yards; giving the Tigers their second straight victory.

TSU snaps a four-game losing streak to the Aggies picking up their first win against NCA&T since 1985.

Thomas rushed for two touchdowns recording a career and game-high, 186 yards on 24 carries, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Brown, in the reserve role, added 19 carries to reach 145 yards; posting one touchdown while averaging 7.6 yards per rush. It was Brown's third game surpassing the 100-yard mark.

It was also the first time two TSU running backs rushed for over 100 yards in the same game since 1969 against Bishop when Jake Mayes finished with 126, and Wayne Reese added 121.

Classic Offensive MVP, Jeremy Perry, passed for 10-of-21 for 119 yards throwing one interception. Perry connected with Johntae Gleaves on a five-yard score in the middle of the second quarter while completing passes to seven different receivers. Calvin McNairl pulled in a game-high five receptions for 65 yards to lead all receivers.

TSU led at the half, 17-7, after scoring the first points of the game on Jamin Godfrey's 23-yard field goal on the opening drive. Thomas' two touchdowns in the third and Terrence Wright's score at 3:08 in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach.

TSU's defense held NCA&T scoreless in the second half behind Classic Defensive MVP Eugene Clifford. Clifford finished with a team-high nine tackles and one interception.

Collectively, the Tigers finished with five sacks, two interceptions, seven tackles for a loss and nine pass break-ups holding the Aggies to 76 passing yards and 9-of-31 passing.

Andrew Taylor tallied seven tackles (6 solo) with Rico Council and Lamar Wallace adding six stops apiece. Wallace also finished with a game-high two sacks with Council posting 1.5.

NCA&T (0-5) mustered their offense behind Mike Mayhew who finished with 114 yards on 20 carries (5.7 ypc) giving the Aggies their only score of the game in the second quarter.

Three Aggie defenders finished in double figures in tackles. Justin Ferrell totaled 15, Jeremy Graham, 11, and Brandon Jackson, 10.

The TSU Tigers will resume OVC play when they travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to face Southeast Missouri State. The game is scheduled for October 9th at Houck Stadium with a 6 p.m. kick-off.