September 28, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State367016
Eastern Kentucky71471442
1st Quarter
TSUFG10:59ZITA 28 Yd
2nd Quarter
TSUFG12:17ZITA 35 Yd
TSUFG04:59ZITA 36 Yd
EKUTD02:56BOOTH 40 Yd Run (HAYWORTH kick)
3rd Quarter
TSUTD01:59ROBERSON 8 Yd Run (ZITA kick)
4th Quarter
EKUTD14:54BOOTH 13 Yd Run (HAYWORTH kick)
Stats at a GlanceTSUEKU
1st Downs2022
3rd Down Conversions4-155-12
4th Down Conversions0-00-2
Passing (Comp-Att)270 (20-41) 146 (14-25)
Rushing (Att)112 (29) 379 (42)
Total Yards382525
Fumbles Lost10
Tigers Open Conference Play at Eastern Kentucky
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Tigers Open Conference Play at Eastern Kentucky

Tennessee State Game Notes | Eastern Kentucky Game Notes
Live Stats

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Game 5: Tennessee State (1-3) at Eastern Kentucky (2-2)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019
Location: Richmond, Ky.
Stadium: Roy Kidd Stadium (20,000)
Time: 5:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. ET
Audio: 102.1 FM
Live Stats: Sidearm

Series Information:
This is the 31st meeting with the Colonels leading the series, 23-7. The Tigers snapped the Colonels three game win streak in the series in 2016 with a 35-28 win and followed it up with a 45-21 victory in Richmond. The Tigers have won five of the last nine contests. TSU first met the Colonels in the 1982 NCAA playoffs, a 13-7 loss the EKU. TSU earned its first win between the two squads in 1998, 31-21. The Tigers victory in 2017 was the first in Richmond since a 34-20 favorable decision in 2008.

Last Meeting
The Tigers recorded four interceptions, including the final three being returned for touchdowns. Vincent Sellers earned adidas OVC Defensive Player and Newcomer of the Week with two pick-sixes. Sellers finished with eight tackles, seven solo, and a pass breakup. Terrell Bonds closed out the scoring with an interception returned for a touchdown. Michael Hughes scored on a quarterback sneak, giving the Tigers a 24-21 lead with over six minutes to play. Hughes, in his first start replacing Treon Harris, added two touchdown passes; his first career TD went to Patrick Smith before finding Steven Newbold minutes later. The Tigers rushed for 193 yards, led by Seth Rowland’s 69 yards and Andrew Knox's 63. Blair Edwards matched Sellers in tackles and solos, while adding 1.5 for loss, a sack and a pass breakup. Lane Clark put the Tigers on the board in the first quarter with a 49-yard field goal.

Head Coach Rod Reed:
Coach Reed is in his tenth season at the helm of the Tigers and holds a 54-50 record. Only two coaches have produced more wins at TSU. John Merritt claimed 174 victories in his 20 years (1963-83) for a .806 winning percentage (174-35-7), while Harry Kean spent 10 years in charge of TSU from 1944-54 and compiled a 93-15-3 record (.838). TSU is 9-1 in season openers under Rod Reed, including a 17-10 win at FBS opponent Georgia State in 2017. The lone opening day loss came at the hands of Bethune-Cookman, 12-9, at the John Merritt Classic in 2013.

Tennessee State:
TSU fell to Arkansas-Pine Bluff 37-31, on the final play of the game. The Tigers trailed 19-7 in the second quarter before Cameron Rosendahl threw three touchdown passes to even the score at 31-31 with 50 seconds remaining in the game. Rosendahl finished 27-of-42 for 334 yards with scoring passes to Chris Rowland, Al-Malik Moore and Steven Newbold. Rosendahl ranks 13th nationally in passing yards/game (301.8). Rowland matched his career-high with 13 receptions for 154 yards. The senior wide out ranks first nationally in receptions/game (10.5) and total receiving yards (667), has 42 catches through four games; is also third nationally in all-purpose yards (222.0/game). Newbold had 91 receiving yards, moving into ninth place on the TSU career receiving yards (2,114) list. Larry Wilhoite had two interceptions in the game and is tied for 11th nationally in picks (0.7/game). As a team TSU is first nationally in blocked kicks (4) and eighth in passing offense (328.0 yards/game).

Eastern Kentucky:
EKU is coming off a 35-10 victory at Presbyterian. The Colonels defense is ranked second in the OVC and 25th nationally in total defense allowing 324.5 yards per game. Parker McKinney engineered four scoring drives, including passing for a pair of touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing and running for another score. Daryl McCleskey Jr. rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown. McCleskey ranks sixth nationally with 7.61 yards per carry, ninth in total rushing yards (388) and 15th in rushing yards per game (97.0). Alonzo Booth ranks eighth in the FCS in rushing touchdowns (5). The EKU defense has allowed 12 points and 252 yards of total offense per game. Steven Crowder leads EKU with 28 tackles, 14 solos, and 5.5 for loss, including 1.0 sacks. Corey Glass and Aaron Patrick follow with 21 stops apiece. Patrick leads EKU with 2.0 sacks and is second with 5.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Series Results:
2017 - Tennessee State 45, Eastern Kentucky 21
2016 - Tennessee State 35, Eastern Kentucky 28
2015 - Eastern Kentucky 45, Tennessee State 21
2014 - Eastern Kentucky 56, Tennessee State 42
2013 - Eastern Kentucky 44, Tennessee State 0
2012 - Tennessee State 23, Eastern Kentucky 20
2011 - Eastern Kentucky 33, Tennessee State 22
2009 - Tennessee State 20, Eastern Kentucky 17
2008 - Tennessee State 34, Eastern Kentucky 20
2007 - Eastern Kentucky 49, Tennessee State 7

TV: ESPN+. Greg Stotelmyer will serve as play-by-play along with Jim Tirey who will provide analysis and sideline reporter Wes Chandler.

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 4:30 p.m. CT

Head Coach Rod Reed
- On the team
“We had a rough one. We lost in the last play of the game this week to Arkansas Pine Bluff. Very disappointing performance by our defense, we have to get some things fixed on that side of the ball. Overall, I thought we played hard. We ran around. Offensively, we gave ourselves a chance to get back in the ball game and win it, but we have to get better at third downs and stopping people from converting on third downs. We’re giving up too many third and longs right now. We have to get some things fixed on the defensive side of the ball. We’ll add a couple guys back this week that should help us. But, we still have to improve defensively.”

- On entering conference play
“Well, when you get into conference play, it’s the ‘regular season.’ The other games were extremely important to us and our fan base, but this is for the OVC. When you go into conference play, these games count. Win/loss record, all games count, but these games count for what matters in where we want to get in this program. We had a great attitude at practice last night; we’re going to follow up with one today. We’re going to get ready.”

- On Parker McKinney
“Smart man. I think the kid played well. He controlled the game and didn’t turn the ball over. That’s what you want in a quarterback. You want him to manage the game, you want him to be able to hit open receivers and not turn the ball over. They have the opportunity to play a new quarterback because they’re so good in the rush game. Anytime you can run the ball as effectively as they have with the backs that they have, it’ll allow you the opportunity to play a young quarterback even earlier. It’ll give you some wide open looks when people try to crown the box. I think he did an incredible job, and I think we have to figure out how to stop their offense.”

- On what makes EKU so good at running the ball
“They’re physical and they rarely bust assignments up front. Even when you’re stunting on them, those guys do a good job of picking up things in the run game, making sure that they stay on track. They’re patient. When they want to hit it outside, they know exactly where they want to get the ball to, and when they want to get it inside they’ll hit it out the front door or roll it out the back door. They run with a lot of patience because they trust the guys up front that are blocking for them.”

- On blocking kicks
“Last week, the kicker just had low trajectory on his kicks. We’ve got a big 6-6 kid – Eastern Kentucky used to have a kid named Devin Borders that did that a lot. Malik Abdul-Haqq has the ability to be able to get his hands on some kicks, but in order to do that, you’ve got to get a low penetration into the interior line. We never take a play off in that situation and we can always gain an edge there. We’re going to continue to do that. Those guys have done a good job of not taking a play off. Khalil Jones has even touched two of those balls as well.”

- On Steven Newbold’s touchdown catch
“We see it every day in practice. It’s a great catch to a lot of people but we expect him to make those kinds of plays. He might drop the easy ones and then he’ll make the toe-tapping look easy. Steve is a special talent. He has a knack of making that sideline catch and toe-tapping. He’s a tremendous talent. We have to make an effort of getting the ball to him and Chris. If we keep doing that, we’ll be successful.”

Eastern Kentucky Head Coach Mark Elder
- On the team
“I was pleased with the win. We had a bit of a slow start on Saturday. We didn’t come out of the gates really fast; it’s something we have to get a little bit better at – really on all three pages; offense, defense and special teams. We got into a rhythm and felt good about how we played the last three quarters. I was pleased to see better defense after the second and third drives. We gave up a touchdown, field goal and just about 100 yards in the first three drives and really did a nice job for the next 40-50 minutes and held them to about 100 yards during that time and really clamped them down. We got into a bit of a rhythm on offense and played offensive football in how we would want it to be. We ran the ball effectively, Darryl had over 100 yards. A bunch of guys carried the ball for us. We threw the ball around. We were pretty even when comparing running and passing yards. Was pleased with that and now we have a big challenge with Tennessee State. They’re really skilled on offense as far as their receivers. They have a bunch of them. The quarterback is playing really well. They have a couple of really strong running backs and a big offensive line. They move around really fast on defense. It’s going to be a challenge; we’re just really excited to have a home game after being on the road.”

- On Redshirt freshman quarterback Parker McKinney
“Parker did a great job. We’re going to go with him this week. We have a lot of faith in Parker. He’s played really well recently. It’s been a battle. Conner (Blount) had a really good spring and a really good camp and Parker has been a little better at the end. He did a great job for us over the weekend and we were going to put him in for a series or two, and we just kind of rolled with him and kept it going and didn’t look back. He had a good day going 14 out of 20. He was efficient with the ball and didn’t really put the ball in harm’s way. He connected on a couple touchdowns. Ran one in, and the guys on the perimeter did a nice job blocking. Hopefully, he’ll continue to play on a high level. He seems to play his best ball when the lights come on.”

- On Tennessee State
“Extremely skilled. Those two receivers - and that’s the hard part. When a team has a guy that’s really amazing, even on the level of Randy Moss, you can have a plan for him that can be effective, you can roll the coverage inside, you can clot him up, but any time you do it, you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. You can’t do that to these guys. You rob Peter and you’ve got another dude on the other side that’ll cause problems. They have two receivers on the perimeter that are really good. That makes things extremely difficult, especially when you have a quarterback that’s doing a really good job of protecting the ball. He’s a quick decision maker. He gets the ball out of his hands. It’s hard to pressure him because he thinks quick. That’s certainly a difficulty. Plus, I think they’re big and physical up front. They do a good job in the running game. Their backs run hard and have good vision. You can’t catch them in the box because they’ll get you on the run, but if you certainly get heavy on the matchups because they have two of the best perimeter guys, not only in the OVC but in the country. Rowland is leading the country in receptions.”

Junior Defensive End Mike Boykin
-On seeing action after missing games due to injury
“I got my first sack of the season, so that’s ok, but when you lose it doesn’t matter what you do in the game – you get 80 sacks in a game, you lose, you lose.”

-On getting ready for conference play
“I think we just have to execute on the field. Guys are coming in and working hard, coming in the weight room, I’m just not sure what it is. We just have to find a way to put together a win.”

-On the talented guys on defense and believing in their ability to make a difference
“You always have to believe. We have a lot of talented guys on defense. We just have to come together and execute plays.”

Senior Wide Receiver Malik Abdul-Haqq
-On the game overall
“Honestly, as a whole we needed to be locked in to what we need to do, what our assignments are, what our alignments are and make sure we’re at the right place at the right time and execute. At the end of the day it’s a team effort so we have to get together.”

-On kicking off OVC play on the road at EKU next week
“Going into every away game, you have to be mentally locked in. Your IQ has to be at its peak and you have to stay focused on the ultimate goal - going into opponents’ territory and coming back with the dub.”

Graduate Transfer Tight End Phillip Brown
-On starting Ohio Valley Conference play
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to start conference play. I feel like it’s a chance for the team morale to get a chance to get back on the field and play again. We’ll have another shot at it and hopefully we can get some things together offensively and defensively and keep rolling.”

-On faith in the offense
“Coach Harris said on paper we’re the best team in the nation. I really believe that. Seeing guys go out there and make plays offensively and defensively lets me know it’s there, we just have to put it together. We have to get this ship going. We’re talented in every position from A to Z.”