NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Saturday, the Tennessee State football team will host Florida A&M for homecoming at LP Field at 6 p.m.
The Tigers are on a two-game winning streak after defeating Tennessee Tech, 10-7, last weekend. TSU held the Golden Eagles to just 150 yards of total offense and five of TTU’s 16 series were three-and-outs.
For Florida A&M, the Rattlers enter today’s game at 0-3, having just lost to Coastal Carolina, 48-3.FAMU fell behind early to the Chanticleers and its passing game could not get the squad back into the ballgame as Rattler quarterbacks completed 14-of-30 passes for only 116 yards.
Three Keys to the Game
Hit a Homerun on Offense
The Tennessee State offense did not find the end zone once last Saturday and averaged just three yards per play against the Golden Eagles. Those numbers would have looked a lot better if the Tigers could have found a little more room to make a big play. TSU had only one play of over 20 yards on Saturday, a Stephen Hopkins run in the fourth quarter. The Big Blue offense also had one drive of over 35 yards and six three-and-outs. Perhaps longer passes or trick plays could help the Tigers generate more production against Florida A&M.
Shutdown the Run
FAMU boats a pair of talented backs that are averaging over four yards per carry in Gerald Hearns and Tysean Holloway. Last week against the now No. 3 Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina, Hearns totaled 101 yards and Holloway averaged 8.1 yards per rush and was not taken down in the backfield once. This season, the Tigers’ rush defense is ranked seventh in the nation and first in the OVC in terms of yards per game (79.5). That trend must continue this weekend to keep the Rattler offense off of the field.
Big Blue has committed 36 penalties through the first four games of the season, a number that is tied eighth most in the FCS. FAMU meanwhile, has only been flagged 18 times, ranking the Rattlers 32nd out of 121 teams in fewest penalties. For an offense that has scored three points in the last six quarters, TSU starting a drive first-and-long is not ideal. Big Blue must cut down on mental mistakes to maximize its opportunities this Saturday.
The Tigers are 27-25-1 in the series and have won the last three meetings including 2013’s 27-7 victory in Tallahassee.
TSU is also 64-14-5 in homecoming contests and Saturday marks the earliest homecoming in the football program’s history.