Tigers travel to Florida to face Bethune-Cookman
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tigers travel to Florida to face Bethune-Cookman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee State travels to Bethune-Cookman on Saturday in a battle between two of the top HBCU's in the nation.

TSU played its first on-campus home game since the 1998 season last Saturday, defeating Austin Peay 34-14 at Hale Stadium. Since 1999, the Tigers have played at LP Field (and will play two home games there this season), but returned to "The Hole" and won in front of 14,264 fans, the 21st largest in stadium history. The win helped the Tigers improve to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2008.

TSU quarterback Michael German was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 27-of-36 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. The 27 completions and 318 yards were new career-highs while the three touchdowns tied his career-best. German finished the day with a 51-yard touchdown pass to A.C. Leonard to cap the scoring. Leonard had five catches for 82 yards. Travis James was German's favorite target on the day, grabbing a career-high nine passes for 109 yards and a score. Freshman Telvin Hooks led the Tigers with 66 rushing yards while Trabis Ward added 49 yards and a touchdown. 

Sophomore defensive back Steven Godbolt III had four tackles, two pass breakups and a fourth quarter interception; it marked his third interception of the season and he now ranks second nationally in that category. Godbolt also ranks fifth nationally in passes defended (2.0/game). Overall, the TSU defense did not allow a 100-yard rusher for the fifth-straight game dating back to last season. The 20-point margin of victory by TSU snapped a streak of five-straight games decided by three points or less vs. Austin Peay.
 
The Wildcats are under the direction of third-year head coach Brian Jenkins who led the team to a share of the MEAC Championship and a playoff berth in 2010 and an 8-3 record a season ago. Bethune-Cookman started the season with a 38-28 win over Alabama State and a 27-14 win at South Carolina State. Last week the Wildcats faced off with Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foe Miami (Fla.), falling 38-10 to the Hurricanes. B-CU scored the first points of the game as Isidore Jackson scored from a yard out late in the first quarter. Miami would score the next 24 points, including three touchdowns by Duke Johnson (on a kickoff, rush and catch). Rodney Scott led the Wildcats with 72 yards on the ground while Jackson added 66 yards and the touchdown. Overall, Bethune-Cookman had 233 rushing yards on the day.

It's the seventh all-time meeting between the teams on Saturday, but the first since the 1987 season. The Tigers hold a 5-1 all-time advantage in the series but the Wildcats won the last meeting 16-13. The game is the first home game of the season for Bethune-Cookman and will be the team's annual Hall of Fame Game. TSU assistant head coach and passing game coordinator Jeff Parker will be honored on Friday night with his induction into the Hall of Fame. It marks the first true road game of the season for TSU, who have played two home contests and a neutral site affair.

B-CU is ranked first in the Heritage Sports Radio Network Black College Football FCS Poll and the Sheridan Broadcasting Poll. Meanwhile, TSU is second in the Heritage Poll and third in the Sheridan.

Kickoff is schedule for 3 p.m. CST.

Tennessee State Head Football Coach Rod Reed talks with TSUTigers.com to preview this weeks game at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sept. 22nd, CLICK HERE.

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