NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State football team looks to record its second-ever victory against Jacksonville State when the two sides meet on Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.
The good news for TSU (5-1, 2-0 OVC), is that the Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the nation, having won their previous five contests by a combined score of 207-66.
In Big Blue’s most recent contest – a, 40-16, home win over Southeast Missouri – the defense held the Redhawks to 229 yards of total offense, 99 of which came on one play. Even with the long run, the stout defensive effort last Saturday pushed the Tigers to No. 1 in the Football Championship Subdivision in total defense (246.7 yards per game).
A big reason for the unit’s success is its play on third downs. Opposing offenses have only converted 21-of-78 third down attempts for a successful rate of just 26.9 percent. The stingy number ranks the Tigers sixth nationally.
The offense has also really picked it up after not scoring a single touchdown in the season opener against Bethune-Cookman. During the team’s current five-game winning streak, the Tigers have averaged 41.4 points and 222.4 rushing yards. Additionally, TSU quarterbacks have thrown 13 touchdowns in the stretch, and just three interceptions.
Senior running back Tim Broughton has been the offense’s workhorse all year, and is second in the OVC in rushing yards with 549. Broughton has had help though, as his counterpart Telvin Hooks is fourth in the league with 381 yards.
TSU’s two-headed rushing attack has amassed seven touchdowns on the year including four the past two weeks. The duo has also gained 362 yards in those contests.
While the Tigers’ ground game has been solid during the past few games, Jacksonville State’s (5-1, 1-1 OVC) has been tops in the conference all season long (243.3 yards per game).
The Gamecocks are led by DeMarcus James who has 563 yards so far this season, and an impressive 10 touchdowns. Miles Jones (333 yards) and Troymaine Pope (327 yards) have helped out James in the rushing department as well.
JSU is coming off of a, 41-27, victory at then-ranked UT Martin. In that contest, junior quarterback Max Shortell threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns on14-for-25 passing with no interceptions, while freshman Josh Barge hauled in five passes for 114 yards.
TSU is 1-7 all-time in the conference clash and lost last year’s game, 31-28, in overtime. The three-point margin of victory is the smallest in the rivalry.
Big Blue will try to keep its winning streak going when the squad travels to Jacksonville State for a ranked matchup with the Gamecocks. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.