ATLANTA --- Tennessee State saw a blocked field goal returned 95 yards in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in the game as Florida A&M edged the Tigers 10-7.
Leading 7-3, TSU kicker Joey Hudak had his second field goal of the game blocked by the FAMU interior line. Levy Brown picked up the kick and returned it to the TSU 5-yard line before pitching the football to Julian Worley who ran in the final five yards. Juan Vazquez's PAT gave the Rattlers the 3-point margin which they kept the rest of the way.
TSU had one turnover and could not mount a scoring threat the remainder of the game. The Tigers gave the ball over to FAMU on downs with under a minute to play near the midfield stripe.
?We had key opportunities to make a big play, but we did not make them,? said TSU head coach James Reese. ?We have to get our passing game corrected.?
The Tigers out-gained the Rattlers 291 yards to 171 and kept possession almost 37 minutes. Running back Charles Anthony rushed for 159 and scored TSU's lone touchdown. It marked the fourth straight game that Anthony has crossed the 100-yard mark to begin the season.
However, the Tigers were just 34-12-1 through the air for 138 yards. Starter Riley Walker was 28-8-1 for 99 yards.
The game was a defensive struggle form the start. Florida A&M broke the scoreless tie on Juan Vasquez's 42-yard at the 6:33 mark of the second period. The Rattlers drove 26 yards in nine plays to set up the field goal.
TSU answered with a go-ahead touchdown. The Tigers marched 73 yards in seven plays. Charles Anthony scored on a 13-run. Joey Hudak's PAT made the score 7-3 at the 3:13 mark which stood until the blocked field goal attempt.
The Tigers will look to regroup next Saturday as they host Tennessee-Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference opener at 6 p.m. in the Coliseum.