NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State football team will host No. 16 Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 1 for Big Blue’s Senior Day.
TSU is 4-5 on the season overall, and 1-4 in Ohio Valley Conference games. Big Blue has also lost the last four contests for only the second time in many of these seniors’ careers.
For EKU (7-1, 4-1 OVC), the Colonels enter today’s game nationally ranked and fresh off of a, 33-21, win over Southeast Missouri last Saturday.
Three Keys to the Game
Improve on Third Down
TSU enters Saturday’s contest 84th in the FCS, having converted just 34 percent of third downs this season. Last week, the Tigers were just 3-of-13 (23 percent) on third downs against Eastern Illinois, its second-lowest output of the season. TSU averaged just 3.5 yards on those 13 tries put needed an average of 6.3. A more successful running game production on first and second down could dramatically help the Tigers on third down.
EKU running back Dy’Shawn Mobley has been the best ball-carrier in the OVC this season and leads the league in yards (922), touchdowns (11), attempts (143) and yards per carry (6.4). On paper, Mobley is a sure-fire lock for OVC Offensive Player of the year, but he still has not faced TSU. The Tigers boast the second-best rush defense in the conference (140.7 yards per game) and the best total defense (123.8). However, TSU has had a problem with feature backs this year including giving up 130 yards to Shepard Little last week and 170 to Malcolm Cyrus against Alabama State. All eyes will be on Mobley, Saturday, so expect the Tigers to come up with a spirited game plan against EKU.
Win it for the Seniors
This year’s senior class has been one of the winningest in recent memory, posting 27 in the past 3.5 years. Should the Tigers win the next three contests, they will finish with three straight winning seasons, becoming the first group since 1984-86 to accomplish the feat. The class features some of the most prolific players to wear a Tiger uniform like Nick Thrasher who is second all-time in tackles and Mike German who is in the top-five of every passing category. Saturday marks their, and the 20 other graduating Tigers’, last game in front of their home fans.
The Tigers are 5-21 all-time against EKU, but have won the last two meetings in Nashville including 2012’s, 23-20, thriller at Hale Stadium.
Saturday’s game will kickoff at 2 p.m. and fans can watch all the action on ESPN3.com.