NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After dropping two straight contests the Tigers returned to their winning ways Saturday with a 31-6 win over Austin Peay.
With the win Tennesee State (8-3, 5-2) claimed the Sargent York trophy, to become the first team to hold the title outright since 2010.
The TSU defense flexed their muscle Saturday afternoon holding Austin Peay (0-10, 0-6) for under 100 yards of total offense. APSU only managed 92 total yards on the day, which is the lowest total Tennessee State has allowed since before 2006.
Anthony Bass came into the weekend with 7.5 sacks, the second best total in the OVC. Bass finished the game with two tackles and 1.5 sacks, to improve his sack total to nine on the year. Detorious Shipley added two sacks for the Big Blue Defense. As a team the Tigers racked up five sacks the most since Oct. 19 at UT Martin.
On offense the Big Blue rushing attack was the story of the day, as the Tigers totaled 146 yards on the ground. Tim Broughton led TSU’s two headed attack with 73 yards on 21 carriers. In the third quarter the senior went over 1,000 yards on the season, becoming the fifth running back in school history to reach the milestone. Broughton’s season mark now sits at 1,029 yards.
Telvin Hooks provided the lightening to Broughton’s thunder, as the sophomore tailback rushed for 66 yards on just nine carries, providing two touchdowns for TSU on the day.
Tennessee State started the game with a defensive stop of the Austin Peay attack, forcing a three-and-out on their first drive. The stand forced the Governors to punt the ball away, giving the Tigers good field position on their own 48 yard line.
The offense wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Facing a third-and-five from the Peay 48 yard line, Ronald Butler connected with Devin Wilson for a 19-yard pass play which extended the drive. On the next play Butler found a wide open Chris Sanders-McCollum, the Tigers receiver cut to the outside and racing to the endzone to give TSU the early 7-0 lead, with 12:49 left in the first quarter.
On Tennessee State’s next drive the Tigers marched down to the APSU 22-yard line behind 15 rushing yards from Broughton. The drive ended there with Jamin Godfrey connecting on a 39-yard field goal to push the lead out to 10-0.
In the first quarter the TSU defense held Austin Peay to -15 yards rushing and three yards total.
Offense proved hard to come by in the second period with five consecutive three-and-outs for both teams.
Austin Peay used a 3:35 second drive to get into the redzone for the first time on the afternoon. With APSU facing a first-and-goal from the TSU nine, the Big Blue defense stood tall pushing the Governors back nine yards to the Tigers 18. APSU settled for a 39 yard field goal from Chase Dunlap to get on the board and cut the Tennessee State lead down to seven, 10-3.
The road team used a surprise onside kick to get another shot at the endzone before the half. The Governors recovered at their own 44 with 2:27 left in the quarter.
APSU drove 35 yards to the TSU 31 to give Dunlap another chance at a field goal with just over 10 seconds on the clock. Dunlap connected from 48 yards out with 12 seconds on the clock, cutting the Tigers lead down to 10-6 heading to the break.
TSU opened the second half the same way they began the game marching the full length of the field to score. Telvin Hooks carried the offense gaining 47 yards on the ground including the final 45 yards on the drive. Hooks five yard run pushed the TSU lead to 17-6.
After an APSU three-and-out the Tennessee State was back at work. Starting at their own 23 yard line the Tigers marched the length of the field in 13 plays on the back of their two running backs Broughton and Hooks.
The duo combined for 47 of TSU’s 50 yards rushing on the drive. Hooks ended the drive bursting through the line of scrimmage and racing to score untouched from 27 yards out. The drive ate up 5:37 of game clock.
Austin Peay used a long drive to close the third and enter the fourth quarter pushing to the Tennessee State 27-yard line. APSU capped the drive with a 44-yard field goal attempt from Dunlap, this time the kick was short, preserving the Tigers 24-6 lead.
Big Blue closes out the season next Saturday at LP field when the Tigers play host to OVC rival Murray State. Prior to the 2 p.m. kick-off, the Tigers will honor the seniors for Senior Day.