Tigers Head To the Mountains
The Tigers of Tennessee State, trying to rebound from a
disappointing performance at Murray State, have to go to the mountains to
regain their pride. The Tigers will travel to play the Air Force Academy, of
the Mountain West Conference, in the Rocky Mountains at Colorado Springs,
Colorado. Kick-off is set for 2:00p (CT) on Saturday, September 24th.
This week's game the first all-time meeting between Tennessee State and Air Force. It marks only the second Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent for the Tigers since the Division I split in 1978. The only other FBS game for the Tigers came in 2006 when TSU lost 38-9 to in-city foe Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee State enters the game with a record of 1-2, losers of their last two games. Air Force enters the game with a record of 1-1 and coming off a bye week after losing their last game at home.
The Air Force Academy is a service academy and does not have big bodies along the offensive and defensive lines. They do play with dedication and precision. The Falcons' main offensive attack weapon is the run option. The Tigers average 296 lbs across the offensive line and 266 lbs across the defensive line.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE STATE: Despite producing 375 yards of offense, Tennessee State allowed Murray State to score 58 points and total 707 yards (including 630 passing yards) in a 58-27 loss on Saturday night. The 58 points allowed by Tennessee State was the second highest total in school history, trailing only 63 points allowed to Tennessee Tech during the 2001 season.
Offensively senior running back Dante' Thomas carried the ball 19 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Mike German and senior Jeremy Perry split time at quarterback with German finishing 8-of-19 for 121 yards and a score and Perry finishing 8-of-17 for 86 yards. Senior linebacker Rico Council had 10 tackles, a half a tackle-for-loss and a half sack in the contest. Sophomore kicker Jamin Godfrey connected on field goals of 29 and 47 yards in the contest; Godfrey currently ranks fourth nationally (FCS) in field goals made/game (2.0). As a team Tennessee State has taken care of the ball while forcing turnovers, as TSU ranks fourth nationally in turnover margin (+2.0/game).
Returner Weldon Garlington is currently eighth nationally in kickoff returns (32.25 Yards/return); he had four returns for 129 yards against Murray State, including a long of 62 yards.
SCOUTING AIR FORCE: Air Force is coming off a bye week after opening the season with back-to-back home games. The Falcons topped FCS foe South Dakota 37-20 in the opening game of the season before losing to Mountain West opponent TCU (ranked No. 25 nationally) 35-19 on Sept. 10. That win snapped a five-game winning streak for Air Force dating back to the 2010 season. In the loss the Falcons had 249 rushing yards with senior running back Mike DeWitt leading the way with 48 yards. Quarterback Tim Jefferson, a senior, threw for 83 yards and rushed for 40. For the season Jefferson has completed 54.2 percent of his passes (13-of-24) for 179 yards and a score and is second on the team with 109 rushing yard and two scores. The Falcons defense has three interceptions this season with senior defensive back Jon Davis netting one of those; Davis also leads the team in tackles (17). Falcons' linebacker Alex Means (6-5, 230) leads the team in sacks (2.0-16) and tackles-for-loss (3.0-18). Following this week's home game for Air Force, the team will go on the road for nationally-televised games at Navy and Notre Dame.
The game will be televised on The Mountain Network (MTN) at 2:00p (CT). The Mountain Network is available in Nashville on Comcast Channel 786 and on DirectTV on Channel 616.