November 23, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State010131437
Tennessee Tech14130027
Scoring
1st Quarter
TTUTD12:02GOLDSMITH 3 Yd Run (ZAIDAN kick)
TTUTD10:14GOLDSMITH 9 Yd Run (ZAIDAN kick)
2nd Quarter
TTUFG10:24ZAIDAN 23 Yd
TTUFG06:06ZAIDAN 32 Yd
TSUTD03:10ROWLAND 35 Yd Run (ZITA kick)
TTUTD02:04GIST 45 Yd Pass From FISHER (ZAIDAN kick)
TSUFG00:18ZITA 30 Yd
3rd Quarter
TSUTD11:05ROBERSON 14 Yd Run
TSUTD06:46ROWLAND 32 Yd Pass From ROSENDAHL (ZITA kick)
4th Quarter
TSUTD06:34CORBIN 3 Yd Run (ZITA kick)
TSUTD04:44BELL (ZITA kick)
Stats at a GlanceTSUTTU
1st Downs2720
3rd Down Conversions4-93-13
4th Down Conversions0-11-5
Passing (Comp-Att)225 (23-30) 171 (12-23)
Rushing (Att)198 (42) 262 (50)
Total Yards423433
Penalties10-675-50
Turnovers10
Fumbles Lost10
Interceptions00
Possession25:3434:26
Tigers Charge Back to Claim Win at Tennessee Tech, 37-27
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Tigers Charge Back to Claim Win at Tennessee Tech, 37-27
Photo by Sam Jordan

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Game 12:
 Tennessee State 37, Tennessee Tech 27
Records: TSU (3-9, 2-6), TTU (6-6, 3-5)
Venue: Tucker Stadium
Location: Cookeville, Tenn.
Weather: Cloudy, 53
Kickoff Time: 1:39 p.m CT
Game Duration: 3:13
Attendance: 2,728

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee State stormed back from a 20 point first half deficit to claim a 37-27 victory at Tennessee Tech on the final day of the season. The Tigers trailed 20-0 and 27-7 in the first half before outscoring TTU 30-0 over the final 32 minutes of the contest.

With the win the Tigers grabbed a share of the Sgt. York trophy with Austin Peay and UT Martin for the second consecutive year and the third time in four years. APSU will retain possession of the trophy due to tiebreak rules.

Seth Rowland put his stamp on the game with a pair of impact plays. The senior running back put the Tigers on the board with a 35 yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter to make the score 20-7. Rowland then helped seal the Golden Eagles fate with a blocked punt late in the fourth quarter at the Tech 15, allowing Jordan Bell to pounce on the ball in the end zone to give TSU the 37-27 advantage.

The defense pitched a shutout in the second half against the Golden Eagles allowing just 108 yards after surrendering 325 total yards in the first half. It was the first time the Big Blue has shutout a team in a half since the first 30 minutes of the Homecoming win over Tennessee Tech a season ago.

The Tiger defense was led by Justin Brown, Josh Green and Dajour Nesbeth who all recorded double digit tackles. Brown and Green tallied 11 stops while Nesbeth added 10. Green had seven solo tackles, including one for loss. Brown teamed with Jeremiah Caine for a sack with less than five minutes to play.

Cameron Rosendahl finished the game with 225 yards after completing 23-of-30 pass attempts. Rosendahl completed 12 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown to Chris Rowland and another seven for 56 yards to Steven Newbold. The senior quarterback closed out the year by setting the TSU single season record for completions with 241 (Brian Ransom, 1981 – 221). Rosendahl passed offensive coordinator Shannon Harris (3,008 in 2001) to finish second in yardage with 3,023, 159 shy of Ransom’s total in ’81. He also posted the second best completion percentage at 61.2.

Rowland and Newbold closed out their careers as fifth and sixth, respectively, in receiving yards at TSU. Rowland also became just the second player to catch at least 100 passes in Ohio Valley Conference history. His 104 receptions this season tied current Los Angeles Ram Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington, 2014) for 18th in FCS play. It also moved him past Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State) who finished with 103 catches in 1984 and 102 catches in 1983. The mark is also the most by a player from an HBCU in the history of FCS play.

TOTALS

  • Tennessee State was outgained by Tennessee Tech 433-423 in total yards.
  • The Tigers produced 225 yards through the air and added 198 yards on the ground.
  • The defense surrendered 262 rushing yards and 171 yards passing.
  • Both teams averaged 5.9 yards per play.
  • TSU totaled 27 first downs opposed to 20 by TTU.
  • The Big Blue lost the Time of Possession battle, 34:26-25:34.
  • The Tigers went 3-for-4 in Red Zone opportunities while TTU was a perfect 4-for-4.
  • The Big Blue committed 10 penalties for 67 yards.
  • The Tigers were 4-of-9 on third down conversions, TTU finished 3-of-13.
  • The defense held Tech to just 1-of-5 on fourth down attempts.
  • The Big Blue produced six tackles for loss, including two sacks. 

INDIVIDUAL

  • Justin Brown and Josh Green led the defense with 11 tackles; Dajour Nesbeth added 10.
  • Green finished with seven solos, one for loss and a pass breakup.
  • Brown shared a sack with Jeremiah Caine.
  • Dante’ Ferguson Jr. made five stops, three solo, with 2.0 tackles for loss, including a sack.
  • Ferguson also broke up a pass and registered a quarterback hurry.
  • Nyle Love had a team high two hurries as he finished with six tackles, one for loss.
  • Cameron Rosendahl completed 23-of-30 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown.
  • Chris Rowland caught a game high 12 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown.
  • Steven Newbold hauled in seven passes for 56 yards while Al-Malik Moore caught three passes for 22 yards.
  • Te’kendrick Roberson rushed for a touchdown as he led the Tigers with 70 yards on 15 carries.
  • Seth Rowland had five touches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

FIRST QUARTER

  • Tennessee Tech took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.
  • The turnover bug bit Tennessee State on the ensuing kickoff, as TTU recovered a fumble at the Tigers 28.
  • The Golden Eagles needed just four plays to extend the early lead to 14-0 with less than five minutes off the clock.
  • The Tigers used 11 rushes on their first possession, gaining 53 yards.
  • Te’kendrick Roberson opened the drive with a pair of carries totaling 10 yards.
  • Sabree Curtis followed with the longest run of the drive, going 16 yards to the TTU 41.
  • The Tigers used a 10 yard run by Roberson and a roughing the passer penalty to move into the red zone.
  • On a fourth down play, the Big Blue came up one yard short turning the ball over on downs at the TTU four.
  • The defense returned the favor to close out the first quarter, forcing TTU to turn the ball over on downs.
  • The Golden Eagles outgained the Tigers 165-60 in the quarter. 

SECOND QUARTER

  • TTU added a pair of field goals to take a 20-0 before the Tigers would get on the board.
  • Shawn McColley recorded runs of 10 and eight yards before Cameron Rosendahl connected with Steven Newbold for 10 yards.
  • Seth Rowland capped off the drive with a 35 yard touchdown run.
  • TTU answered back with a touchdown a minute later to take a 27-7.
  • The Tigers put their two-minute offense to work as they traveled 62 yards on 12 plays to set up Antonio Zita for a 30 yard field goal to make the score 27-10 at the half.
  • On the drive, Rosendahl completed 5-of-7 passes for 72 yards on the drive, including a 20 yard pass to Chris Rowland moving to the TTU one.
  • Tech outgained TSU 160-149 in the second quarter. 

THIRD QUARTER

  • The Tigers opened the second half with an 11 play, 81 yard drive which resulted in a 14 yard touchdown run by Roberson.
  • The senior running back started the drive with back-to-back runs totaling 11 yards and a first down.
  • Rosendahl would go to the air for a 10 yard strike to Chris Rowland before the Big Blue would return to the ground attack with four consecutive runs for another two first downs.
  • After completions to Newbold and Chris Rowland, Roberson ran around the right side and picked up blocks by Rowland and Al-Malik Moore to enter the end zone untouched.
  • The two-point conversion failed making the score 27-16.
  • Clint Dowty would pressure Golden Eagles quarterback Bailey Fisher into an incomplete pass to force a three-and-out.
  • Newbold and Moore would haul in passes to get the Tigers second drive of the half off to a solid start.
  • Roberson followed with an 11 yard blast while Rosendahl and Rowland teamed for a 14 yard pass play to the TTU 29.
  • Two plays later, the duo would team up again as Rowland caught a pass in the middle of the field and out ran three defenders to the pylon to bring the Tigers within four, 27-23.
  • The two squads would trade possessions as TSU outgained Tech 144-53 in the third stanza. 

FOURTH QUARTER

  • The Tigers defensive pressure continued to build during Tech’s first drive of the final quarter as Nyle Love recorded a pair of quarterback hurries, the final which led to a 49 yard field goal attempt.
  • The kick would sail wide right giving TSU the ball at its own 32.
  • TSU found themselves behind the sticks with a third and 12 when Rosendahl found Rowland across the middle for a 14 yard gain to keep the drive alive.
  • Two plays later, Rosendahl evaded pressure and moved out of the pocket and launched a 37 yard pass to Rowland who made an acrobatic catch at the Tech 22.
  • The Tigers continued the drive with a seven yard reception by Newbold and a 12 yard run by Shawn McColley to the three.
  • DeMarco Corbin would put the Tigers in front for the first time on the afternoon as he powered his way to the goal line on the next play.
  • TSU would force another three and out as Dante’ Ferguson Jr. flushed Bailey out of the pocket before tossing the ball to the receiver who was met with a stunning blow by Dajour Nesbeth.
  • Seth Rowland would put the exclamation mark on the series with his blocked punt.
  • Rowland tried to pick the ball up at the five and attempted to pounce on the ball in the end zone before Jordan Bell recovered the ball before going out of play.
  • The defense continued its relentless attack as Justin Brown and Jeremiah Caine teamed for a sack before stopping the Golden Eagles on a fourth down attempt.
  • Tech would get one last chance, but Ferguson made his presence felt forcing an incomplete pass on a hurry on first down and collecting a sack on second down.
  • The drive ended as a Fisher pass fell incomplete on another fourth down attempt.
  • TSU outgained TTU in the quarter, 70-55. 

NOTES

  • Kickoff occurred at 1:39 p.m.
  • Tennessee State captains of the game were Thomas Burton, Dajour Nesbeth, Steven Newbold, Chris Rowland and Lachavious Simmons.
  • Tennessee Tech won the toss and chose to receive.
  • This marks the 33rd meeting between Tennessee State and TTU.
  • DeMarco Corbin scored his fifth touchdown of the season and the 11th of his two-year career.
  • Chris Rowland’s 12 receptions ties for the fifth best performance in TSU history.
  • Rowland compiled 104 receptions on the year becoming just the second player in Ohio Valley Conference history to catch at 100 passes in a season and the 31st in FCS play.
  • The total also equals the 2014 total by current Los Angeles Ram Cooper Kupp for 19th in FCS history.
  • On the day, Rowland passed Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s totals of 102 in 1983 and 103 in 1984.
  • The receiver went for 148 yards which moved him past Golden Tate’s total of 1,307 for first in TSU history.
  • Rowland tallied 1,437 yards on the season which is also the fourth best in a season in OVC history.
  • Rowland finished with 2,578 yards in his time in Blue and moved past Patrick Robinson (1989-92, 2,439), Corey Sullivan (1996-99, 2,487) and Steven Newbold to finish fifth at TSU in career receiving yards.
  • Newbold totaled 2,534 in his four-year career and remained in sixth on the TSU career list, despite passing Sullivan.
  • Rowland finished with 194 career receptions to tie C.J. Johnson (2000-03) for second while Newbold moved into a tie for fourth with Golden Tate (1980-83) on the TSU list with 162.
  • Newbold surpassed Patrick Smith (2015-17, 157) and Lawrence Segree (1992-95, 160).
  • Newbold finished his senior campaign with 59 catches which ties him for ninth at TSU with Tyrone Butterfield (1997) and Barry Collins (1984).
  • Cameron Rosendahl became the TSU single season record holder for completions in a season with 241 as he passed Brian Ransom’s 221 set in 1981.
  • Rosendahl finished the season with 3,023 yards passing which is the second best total for a season.
  • The quarterback passed Michael German’s 2,846 in 2014, Joe Adams’ 2,848 in 1980, Leon Murray’s 3,002 in 1998 and current TSU offensive coordinator Shannon Harris’ 3008 in 2001.
  • Rosendahl also posted the second best completion percentage for a Tiger at 61.2.
  • Antonio Zita kicked his 20th field goal of the season which tied him with Taylor Long of Eastern Kentucky (2008) for fifth in OVC history.
  • Chris Rowland notched his sixth double digit reception game of the season.
  • TSU is 20-13 all-time versus Tennessee Tech.
  • Reed is 6-4 versus TTU.
  • 2019 Sgt. York Standings: Austin Peay 2-1, UT Martin 2-1, Tennessee State 2-1, Tennessee Tech 0-3.
  • APSU, UTM and TSU share the traveling trophy for the second consecutive year with the Governors retaining due to the tiebreaker rules.
  • The game was streamed on ESPN+.


QUOTES
Head Coach Rod Reed
Opening Statement
“I’m just proud of these kids, man. We didn’t know what lineup we were going to put out there today. We had to mix and match some things and once we got some things adjusted, it took a while, but we were able to come out in the second half and shut them out defensively. And offense just stayed the course and we had some opportunities early on and our guys kept grinding and we were able to pull this out today. It’s a testament to the coaching job that these guys did, trying to get three guys ready in two days to at Line Backer. We were able to make adjustments and stop their perimeter run game. Once we stopped their perimeter run game and give us some situations, we felt pretty good about that. Hats off to my coaching staff and my players for the job they did today.”

Chris Rowland, Senior – Wide Receiver
- On his decision to play despite being out for a week and a half
“Next level is never guaranteed for anybody and this could be my last time playing football ever in a college game and I wanted to end it right and go out and be with my teammates. It’s not always about me, so I wanted to come out and give it my all for this team.”

- On his touchdown
“Once I caught it and saw the open field, I knew I had to make it. We stalled out last time I got the ball on the one-yard line, so I knew I had to make it right.”

- On all of his records in football history
“It’s an honor. Those are great guys and great athletes. They came through their schools and did great things. I am just honored to be mentioned with names like Jerry Rice and Cooper Kupp. Jerry Rice was a great HBCU player and just to be mentioned next to his greatness, that’s all I can really ask for. I want to thank God for the opportunity and for Him allowing me to play the game I love.”

- On him and his brother’s final game
“God works in mysterious ways and the fact that me and my brother score the first and last touchdown, just can’t ask for more. We worked hard all four years here and I am just glad he is getting his chance. It’s been a fun ride and playing with him has been the best thing in the world. I am happy that we got to end it together.”

Seth Rowland. Redshirt Senior – Running Back
- On his final performance
“I am very pleased with my performance. I knew this was going to be my last collegiate game. It was very emotional actually, so I knew I had to leave my mark. I wanted people to remember my name and know that I was ‘that’ guy. I was very happy with my blocked punt and that Jordan Bell was able to get the touchdown from it.”

- On the blocked punt
“Coach called for a ‘hold up’ and when I ran out everyone was calling for a ‘double-double’. I shot in and saw the punter kind of bobble it in his hands and I knew it was my ball. So, I just jumped up and put my short arms up there and I just happened to come down with it. I wanted to pick it up, but I knew if I threw it towards the end zone someone was going to get on it.”

- On him and his brother’s final game
“We’re really blessed, that’s all I can say. The Lord blessed us with great parents who never give up on us. Even when I was at a prep school, I never thought I was going to play college football and they never let me quit. I came to TSU with Chris, he is the reason that I am here, I never thought I would be here. He is the hardest worker I know; he works way harder than me. He has a lot of grit and just keeps going even when the tank is empty. Chris is the man, I told him he was going to leave his mark here and that he was going to go on to bigger and better things. He might just be one of the top players to come out of here and go to the next level. I am really excited for him and I can’t wait to train with him in the off season. We are going to work hard.”

Dajour Nesbeth, Senior - Cornerback
- On his season
“This season was a wild one. A lot of things happened that were unexpected. But I just had to keep persevering and fighting through and I feel like that showed today.”

- On how his coaches have pushed him this season
“They wanted me to step up and be a leader. Even when I wasn’t on the field, just encouraging the guys that were out there and let them know that they can make the big plays and that things are going to be alright.”

- On his final game
“I feel like I went out there and left it all out there on the field. Last game of my TSU career and it was definitely a good one.”

Cameron Rosendahl, Senior Quarterback
- On passing Shannon Harris
“I feel really good about it. When he first came to TSU he looked all of us in the eyes and told us to break his records. And I really believe he meant that, and it means a lot to break someone’s record that you look up to. He is a great coach and person and I am blessed to have learned from him.”

- On his season
“It has been rocky, but I have learned a lot. Not just about football but about life. I know I am going to be a better man moving forward.”

Justin Brown, Redshirt Sophomore – Defensive End
- On his game
“I’m just glad we put the seniors out with a win. This season didn’t go how we wanted but we just have to build on it next year.”

- On the upcoming off-season
“We need to be more disciplined, listen to the coaches more and play as a unit. We have to keep the momentum coming off of this win.”

- Words to the seniors
“I love y’all. (Dante’) Ferguson has been a huge role model for me, and I appreciate him a lot. Just keep pushing and be great in the future.”

- On becoming a leader of the team
“I am excited to embrace the role and see where this team can go.”

Dante’ Ferguson Jr., Redshirt Senior - Defensive End
- On his final game
“It feels good to end on a good note. It wasn’t the season I hoped for but I always appreciate the game.”

#BigBlueRising