Tennessee State Game Notes | UT Martin Game Notes
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Game 4: UT Martin (2-2) at Tennessee State (3-0)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Venue: William J. Hale Stadium
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. CT
Audio: 102.1 FM The Light
The Game: Tennessee State and UT Martin will get together for the 26th time in a series which began in 1976. UTM won the very first meeting (26-21) and has won the last two encounters, including a 28-14 decision a year ago in Martin. TSU won its first game in the series, routing UTM 55-7 in 1977 and holds a 15-10 advantage in the series. Their last win over the Skyhawks came on the road in 2013 by a score of 29-15.
Last Meeting: TSU jumped out to a quick lead, but was not able to hold on in the first game of the Sgt. York Trophy contest. The Skyhawks erased a 14-0 deficit to claim a 28-14 victory in front of 7,123 fans. TSU outgained UTM in the first quarter 130-53, only to be outgained 360-290 on the day. O’Shay Ackerman-Carter 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 relief, completing two-of-five for 19 yards, while rushing for 36 yards on three carries. Patrick Smith led the Tigers with four receptions for 70 yards and scored a touchdown. Defensively, Chris Collins led the way with 12 tackles and recorded his first career interception. Vantavious Williams added 10 tackles and joined in a tackle-for-loss.
Head Coach: Rod Reed is in his seventh season at the helm of the Tigers. During his time at TSU, he has compiled a 39-34 record, including a 31-19 mark since 2012. Reed is 10-8 in Sgt. York Trophy games and 2-4 versus UT Martin.
Tennessee State: The Tigers have not lost more than two games in a row to the Skyhawks and will look to Ronald Butler under center to snap the skid. The senior signal caller will take over for O’Shay Ackerman-Carter who will be out with a season ending injury. Butler has been listed as the backup for all four seasons, but has played in 28 games of the Tigers 36 during the time period, due to injuries and suspensions. Butler has started 13 games, eight as a freshman, when he was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference Second Team. The senior earned two starts as a sophomore, three as a junior and will get the nod for the remainder of the season. The Tigers are 7-6 in games the Tallahassee, Fla. native has started. Butler will have several weapons at his disposal, starting with an offensive line which is one of two teams in the country who have yet to allow a sack this season. The Tigers enter with an average of 177.7 yards per game and two rushers to go over 100 yards in a game this season. Erick Evans leads the team with 215 yards (4.7 ypc) on 48 carries and broke the century mark with 109 yards against Jackson State. Earl Harrison rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries at Bethune-Cookman and is averaging 7.4 yards per carry on the season (18-133). The Tigers have 13 different receivers with a reception through the first three games and are led by Patrick Smith and Steven Newbold. Smith tops all receivers with 14 catches and has gone for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Newbold has impressed in his freshman season tallying 274 on 12 receptions while crossing the end line twice. Defensively, Ebo Ogundeko leads the way with 21 tackles, 6.5 for loss, including 4.5 sacks. As a unit, the Tigers have recorded 23 tackles-for-loss and nine sacks.
UT Martin:UT Martin lost its first two games of the season, both to NCAA FBS opponents, but has won their last two contests. Troy Cook leads the offense and has completed 31-of-54 passes for 594 yards with nine touchdowns opposed to two interceptions. Ben Axline and Caylon Weathers have each hauled in 10 passes to lead the air attack. Axline has gone for 214 yards while Weathers has totaled 124. On the ground, Jaimiee Bowe has rushed for 265 yards on 60 attempts and has scored four times. Ladevin Fair has added 189 yards on 41 carries for the Skyhawks. Kevin Prather, Jr. and Kahlid Hagens have each gathered 25 tackles to lead the UTM defense. Prather has a sack and a forced fumble to team with Hagens who has one pick, two pass breakups and three pass deflections.
Radio: 102.1 FM The Light will carry the game live with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst) and Gary Dawson (sideline). Pregame will begin at 1:30 p.m. CT.