Tigers Step Out of Conference Play to Host Virginia University Lynchburg
Friday, November 3, 2017
Tigers Step Out of Conference Play to Host Virginia University Lynchburg
Photo by Matt Maxey

Tennessee State Game Notes | Virginia University Lynchburg Stats
2017 Tennessee State Media Guide | Live Stats

Social Media: #BigBlueRising

Twitter: @TSU_Tigers | Instagram: @TSUTigers
Facebook: Tennessee State University Tigers

Game 9: Tennessee State (4-4) vs Virginia University Lynchburg (0-7)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Stadium: William J. Hale Stadium (15,000)
Time: 2:00 p.m. CT
Audio: 102.1 FM
Live Stats: Statbroadcast

Series Information: This is the first meeting between Tennessee State and Virginia University Lynchburg. The Dragons are a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association. The Tigers faced Georgia State in the opening week of the season, making this the second time in 2017 the Big Blue has faced a new opponent. TSU claimed a 17-10 win over the Panthers.

Last Time Out: The Tigers lost a heartbreaker at Tennessee Tech, 30-26. The turnover bug bit TSU four times in the contest, including a pair of Michael Hughes interceptions on the final two drives of the game. The two mishaps clouded a career performance for Hughes as he completed 20 passes in 36 attempts for 331 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback connected with seven different receivers, but completed 14 of his passes to Patrick Smith and Steven Newbold. Smith caught seven balls for 152 yards and was the recipient of all three scoring tosses from Hughes. Newbold hauled in seven passes as well, going for 108 yards. Seth Rowland led the ground game, carrying the ball 15 times for 62 yards. Defensively, the Tigers made some big plays to help TSU comeback from an early deficit. Dajour Nesbeth notched three pass breakups, but his interception in the second quarter with his squad trailing 20-7, led to a touchdown, cutting the lead to six. On the next defensive series, LaQuarius Cook out fought a Tech receiver for an interception, which led to a field goal just before the break. Freshman safety Vincent Sellers tried to leave a mark on the game with a big hit late in the game, stopping a TTU runner in the end zone for a safety, bringing the Tigers within four.

Head Coach Rod Reed: Coach Reed is in his eighth season at the helm of the Tigers. During his time at TSU, he has compiled a 47-41 record. Reed is the third winningest coach in Tennessee State Football History. John Merritt claimed 174 victories in his 20 years (1963-83) at TSU for a .806 winning percentage (174-35-7). Harry Kean spent 10 years in charge of TSU from 1944-54 and compiled a 93-15-3 record (.838).

Tennessee State: TSU currently ranks ninth nationally in total defense allowing 285.1 yards per game. The Big Blue is eighth in FCS play in pass efficiency defense (105.73). The Tigers are ninth across the country allowing 165.6 Passing Yards. With two picks at Tennessee Tech, TSU now has 11 on the season and ranks 18th in the nation.

Virginia University Lynchburg: The Dragons enter the game at 0-7 after falling 65-0 to the University of Virginia-Wise. Thomas Jones has handled the majority of the snaps under center and has thrown for 476 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 51 of 123 passes. Kevin McBride and Corye Smith, Jr. have been the favorite targets for the VUL quarterbacks. McBride has caught 15 passes for 98 yards and a score, just ahead of Smith who has pulled in 14 balls for 159 yards. Thomas Newton has been a threat on special teams, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns this season. Defensively, Willie Holloway and Dah-Quan Edrington lead the Dragons in tackles with 33 and 31, respectively. Holloway has registered 9.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks. Edrington has a sack and has added 6.5 TFL’s.

Chasing History: Patrick Smith continues to climb the ranks in the Tennessee State record book. Smith moved from fifth to third place on TSU's career touchdown list with 28 in his career. Smith also moved from sixth to fifth place in TSU history in both career receptions (149) and career receiving yards (2,450). The senior passed Larry Dorsey (1972-75, 26 TD’s) and Golden Tate (1980-83, 27) in career touchdowns, while moving into seventh all-time in Ohio Valley Conference history. Smith jumped Corey Sullivan (1996-99, 145) in receptions at TSU and Patrick Robinson (1989-92, 2,439) in receiving yards.

OVC Receiving Touchdowns - Career
1. Erik Lora, EIU (2009-13) - 35
2. Chris Wright, EIU (2009-12) - 32
    C.J. Johnson, TSU (2000-03) - 32
4. Harold Roberts, APSU (1967-70) - 31
5. Paul McRoberts, SEMO (2012-15) - 29
    Walter Powell, MUR (2010-13) - 29
7. Patrick Smith, TSU (2015-present) - 28
8. Tim Benford, TTU (2008-11) - 27
    Larry Shipp, TTU (2004-07) - 27
10. Quentin Sims, UTM (2011-12) - 26
      Terrance Tillman, MUR (1998-00) - 26
      Willie Ponder, SEMO (2001-02) - 26
      Adam Drake, EIU (2011-14) - 26

Radio: 102.1 FM will carry the game live with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst), Craig Ladd (Scoreboard) and Gary Dawson (sideline). Pregame will begin at 1:30 p.m. CT

OVCDN: Howard Gentry, Jr. will serve as play-by-play along with Derek Fleming who will provide analysis.