|October 10, 2015||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|TSU||TD||09:34||SMITH 9 Yd Run (CLARK kick)|
|TSU||TD||03:32||SMITH 33 Yd Pass From ACKERMAN-CARTER (CLARK kick)|
|UTM||TD||13:10||FAIR 3 Yd Run (REDDITT kick)|
|UTM||TD||02:54||WRIGHT 18 Yd Pass From NEAL (REDDITT kick)|
|UTM||TD||07:18||GARLAND 2 Yd Run (REDDITT kick)|
|UTM||TD||05:36||WRIGHT 24 Yd Pass From NEAL (REDDITT kick)|
|Stats at a Glance||TSU||UTM|
|3rd Down Conversions||2-11||6-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-2|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||205 (16-29)||195 (16-27)|
|Rushing (Att)||85 (26)||165 (39)|
MARTIN, Tenn. – Tennessee State jumped out to a quick lead, but was not able to hold on against UT Martin in a key Ohio Valley Conference and Sgt. York Trophy contest. The Skyhawks erased a 14-0 deficit to claim a 28-14 victory in front of 7,123 fans as UTM celebrated their homecoming.
TSU (3-2, 0-2) outgained UTM (3-2, 2-1) in the first quarter 130-53, only to be outgained 360-290 on the day.
O’Shay Ackerman-Carter returned to the lineup after sitting out the Florida A&M game with an injury and finished 14-of-24 for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Ackerman-Carter left the game late in the second quarter due to injury, only to return in the fourth.
Ronald Butler entered in place of Ackerman-Carter completing two of five for 19 yards. Butler was effective for TSU on the ground rushing for 36 yards on three carries, including a 30-yard scamper. The run was the longest of his career.
Patrick Smith led the Tigers with four receptions for 70 yards and scored for the fifth consecutive game.
The Tigers struck big on its second possession of the game. On a third-and-three from their own 45, Ackerman-Carter found Chris Sanders-McCollum down the right sideline for 40-yards to the UTM 15 yard line. Two plays later, Tom Smith received a seal-off block from right guard Kevin Kenton allowing him to cut back for a nine yard scoring run. The senior running backs second touchdown of the season gave TSU an early 7-0 advantage with 9:35 on the clock.
Ackerman-Carter struck again six minutes later as he teamed up with Patrick Smith to find the end zone on a 33-yard pass play. The redshirt-freshman quarterback pump-faked, giving Smith time to allude his defender. The receiver outreached the defensive back at the three-yard line and crossed the goal line for his sixth touchdown of the season. The scoring play gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigers defense held the Skyhawks off the board and prevented quarterback Jarod Neal to no completions in five attempts through the first 15 minutes. It was the first time the Skyhawk quarterback had been held without a completion to open a game in his career.
UTM would get its offense going as they outscored the Tigers in the second quarter and evened the score at halftime, 14-14.
UTM continued its surge by opening the second half by holding the ball for the first 7:42 of the third quarter. The Skyhawks traveled 66 yards on 14 plays to take a 21-14 lead.
The Big Blue was not able to take advantage of good field position after a pair of turnovers. After the first scoring drive of the game, kicker Lane Clark recovered a fumble on the kickoff after William Cooper and Trevion Duncan jarred the ball loose from the Skyhawk returner. The Tigers were forced to punt three plays later despite starting at the UTM 36.
In the second half, Chris Collins intercepted Neal at the UTM 46 with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter. The Tigers would again come out empty-handed as a penalty helped the drive stall forcing the Tigers to punt the ball back to the Skyhawks.
UTM added some insurance with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 5:36 remaining in the game. The Tigers received the ball two more times before the end of the game, but were not able to get any closer.
The Tigers return to Nissan Stadium for the first time in six weeks to host Eastern Illinois for Home Coming 2015. The OVC contest will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Game time: 2:37 p.m. CT … Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy and with a slight breeze … Coin Toss: TSU won the toss and received the first half kick-off … TSU Captains: O’Shay Ackerman-Carter, Joe Bowens, Dinsdale Jackson … Patrick Smith caught his sixth touchdown of the season … He has now caught at least one touchdown in all five games this season … TSU held UT Martin without a completion in the first quarter … Ronald Butler’s 30-yard rush in the third quarter was the longest of his career … Saturday marked the 25th all-time meeting between TSU and UT Martin … TSU now leads the all-time series, 15-10.
TSU Head Coach Rod Reed
“I thought we came out and we started fast and we jumped up 14-0, and I think we kind of got relaxed. We’ve got a young football team. We’ve got to learn how to close the deal. We gave up too many big plays in the secondary and we weren’t able to contain them. I thought the defense played admirably today at times, but we gave up a couple too many big plays.”
-- On how TSU played today
“We’ll continue to grow from this. We’re not dead. I think this is a learning experience for us as a team and as a staff. We’ll go back to the drawing board, and we’ll find a way to figure this thing out and be ready for Eastern Illinois next week.”
-- On bouncing back
TSU Red-shirt Junior Linebacker Van Williams
“I feel like we came out and forced a couple three-and-outs, but then they started to convert on a few third downs way too much. You can’t win games when they are converting on third and longs.”
-- On how the defense played
TSU Red-shirt Freshman Quarterback O’Shay Ackerman-Carter
“I feel like we started fast. I feel like we settled down as a team. Once they got back into it, we started putting our heads down and that can’t happen.”
-- On TSU’s performance