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Tigers host Tennessee Tech
Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Nashville, Tenn. - After four consecutive games on the road the Tennessee State University Tigers will return home to face Tennessee Tech in OVC action.

The match-up is scheduled for Saturday, October 23rd, for Kids Day at LP Field with kick-of slated for 6 p.m.


Radio: Big Blue Sports Network (WVOL 1470 AM - Nashville, Tenn. / WOJG 94.7 FM - Jackson, Tenn. / WMRB 910 AM - Columbia, Tenn.)

Television: WAZOO Sports Network (TV-30, Nashville, Tenn.)

 Web Stream: OVCsports.TV (Pay-Per-View)

*Links will be available on game day


TSU (3-4, 0-3 OVC) and TTU (3-4, 2-2 OVC) will match-up for the 24th meeting in the all-time series with the Tigers holding the advantage, 14-9.

The game is critical in the Sgt. York Trophy series, which is contested between the four OVC schools from the state of Tennessee. The Tigers held the award in its first two seasons before surrendering the trophy last year to the Golden Eagles in a 20-13 loss in Cookeville.


The loss snapped a TSU five-game win streak over TTU on the gridiron.


The Tigers dropped their second straight with a 24-0 loss at No. 3 Jacksonville State in conference play at Houck Stadium.

TSU posted 219 yards but racked up 14 penalties for 117 yards. The Tigers' offense could not get in gear going 2-of-12 on third down. Despite holding the one of the league's top offensive attacks to 273 yards, it was the first time the Tigers had been shutout since 2005 when they suffered a 49-0 loss to Eastern Kentucky.



TSU remains among the OVC in several key categories but continues to lead the conference in total defense (305.3 ypg), pass defense efficiency (49.7 percent), and sacks (23).


TTU has won their last two games with conference wins at Austin Peay, 34-21, two weeks ago, while picking up a 34-20 home victory against Eastern Illinois.

The Golden Eagles opened conference play against Southeast Missouri State and UT Martin losing both games by a total of five points. TTU dropped the meeting at SEMO, 23-21, and loss to UTM, 27-24, at home.

Their only other victory comes over Lane College, 43-0, with the Dragons conceding the victory during a weather delay. The Golden Eagles opened the season with two losses to top BCS teams, and then ranked No. 17 Arkansas, 44-3, and Texas Christian, 62-7.

TTU has been able to execute during critical moments on offense. They post a league best in 4th down conversions going 8-of-10 and red zone offense, scoring on 16-of-17 attempts for 94 percent scoring 12 TDs and 4-of-4 field goals.


Dante' Thomas leads the offense and is second in the conference with 87.4 yards per game and 6.1 yards per rush. He rushed for 96 yards last week while breaking the 100-yard plateau in the previous two games.

He posted a career-high in rushing (186), carries (24) and TDs (2) in the Tigers 37-7 win over North Carolina A&T. He earned CFPA D-I Performer of the Week honorable mention for that performance

All-America and OVC defenders, Eugene Clifford and Rico Council, lead the defense and are the Tigers' top tacklers combining for 104 stops posting 52 apiece.

Clifford is the co-leader in the OVC in passes defended (10) and third in interceptions (4) picking up one last week.

Council, with 52 tackles on the season, moved up the career tackle list to third all-time with 182. He was named the OVC's Defensive Player of the Week twice this year after amassing 15 tackles in the loss to SEMO. He is currently second in the OVC with four sacks on the year.

For the Golden Eagles, they are led by several players including preseason offensive picks in wide receiver Tim Benford, guard Slade Adams, and tackle Malcolm Jones.

Benford leads the conference in receiving with 430 yards on 22 receptions and five touchdowns. He is averaging 19.5 yards per catch and 71.7 yards per game.

The offense includes this week's OVC Newcomer of the Week in running back Joaques Crawford. He carried the ball 19 times for a career-high 127 yards (6.7 yards/carry) and two touchdowns over EIU.

Matt Barker has been perfect for the Golden Eagles kicking game hitting a perfect 15-of-15 in extra points and 6-o-6 in field goals. Barker was named OVC Specialist of the Week (10/10) for his performance in week six.

On defense, Marcus Edwards and Caleb Mitchell highlight the unit after both were named OVC Co-Defensive (10/17) and the Sporting News Co-National Player of the Week in the win over EIU.

Edwards leads the conference in sacks with 7.5 averaging 1.3 per game and is second in tackles for losses with 8.5.