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TSU Powers Its Way to 55-3 Win Over SEMO
Sunday, October 9, 2011
TSU Powers Its Way to 55-3 Win Over SEMO
Nashville, Tenn. - An offensive explosion was the best way to describe Tennessee State's 55-3 demolition of Southeast Missouri in front of 6,234 at LP Field on Saturday evening.

The Tigers (2-4, 1-2 OVC) compiled a season-best 536 total offensive yards, throwing for 270 yards and rushing for 258 yards. TSU tied the most points scored since defeating Tennessee Martin in 2001. Tennessee State outnumbered the Redhawks 31-to-11 in first downs.

SEMO (1-4, 1-2 OVC), the defending Ohio Valley Conference Champions, were held to 158 offensive yards and just three points.

The win snapped a nine-game conference losing streak for the Tigers, marking their first OVC win since defeating Eastern Illinois on Nov. 19, 2009.

The vaunted rushing attack was led by tailback Trabis Ward racked up 135 yards rushing, carrying the ball 17 times and totaling two touchdowns. Senior Dante' Thomas inked 90 yards and a touchdown.           

Wideout Calvin McNairl recorded 116 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, while seven others made receptions in the contest.

Redshirt freshman Mike German had another solid passing attack, completing 20 passes in 34 attempts for 264 yards and two touchdowns. German has not thrown an interception in 102 pass attempts this season.

Defensively, the Tigers recorded five tackles for loss and a sack. Senior linebacker John Jones had two TFLs and five total tackles. Rico Council led the Tigers with seven tackles in the contest.

At the half, Tennessee State led 41-0 as the Tigers put up 406 total offensive yards in the first half, including 236 from the passing attack. The TSU defense proved to be lethal, holding Southeast Missouri to one first down and 13 yards.

The Tigers struck first with a 27-yard touchdown by Thomas to put TSU up 7-0 with 11:37 left in the first quarter. Ward added his fifth touchdown of the year with a 40-yard scamper to extend the Tigers lead to 14-0 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

German connected on his first passing touchdown in the game with a 25-yard pass to Calvin McNairl to put Tennessee State up by 21. Detorrius Shipley recovered a fumble to give the Tigers prime field position. Just 22 seconds later, TSU responded with a German to McNairl 30-yard pass to put the Tigers up 28-0.

Jamin Godfrey hit his 10th field goal of the year at 13:49 to give the Tigers a 31 point advantage. The sophomore then hit a 38-yard field goal to put TSU up by 34. Godfrey finished the game with 13 points, tying second all-time for kicking points in school history with Eric Benson (Austin Peay, Oct. 18, 2008).

Ward rushed for his second touchdown with a five-yard rush to put the Tigers up 41-0 at the half.

The Tigers added another touchdown with a German one yard rush with 14:18 remaining in the fourth.

Weldon Garlington returned a punt 91 yards to put the Tigers up 55-0. Last week, Garlington returned a kick 100-yards to score a touchdown for the Tigers.

Tennessee State returns to the road next weekend when they face No. 21 Tennessee Tech. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Cookeville.

NOTES: TSU won toss and elected to receive...Dante' Thomas scored his third touchdown of the season with his season-long rush of 27 yards....Trabis Ward added his team-leading fifth touchdown in the first quarter with a season-best run of 40 yards...TSU recovered the ball two times in the span of one minute after a fumble and a no-touch from a TSU kickoff....The Tigers' scored 28 points in the first quarter to reach the most points scored in the first half...Godfrey knocked in his 10th field goal of the season, which leads the OVC...Stephen Godbolt had five tackles on special teams, a recovered kick and deflected two passes. Freshmen Detorrius Shipley and D.J. McCellion recovered their first two fumbles in their careers in the first half...Jamin Godfrey accounted for 11 points for TSU in the first half...TSU outgained SEMO 406-to-13 in yardage and 23-to-1 in first downs in the first half...For the second week in a row, TSU did not punt until the third quarter...TSU nearly completed a shutout...Their last was against SEMO on Nov. 11, 2006...Dante' Thomas reached 1,500 yards in his career on Saturday...Thomas has 1,559 yards rushing through his four-year career at TSU, moving in the seventh all-time in school history.

TSU Head Coach Rod Reed Quotes

It was just a mentality, a mind set to play a full game. We came in at half time stressing to keep it all business. We still a lot of work ahead of us. That seemed to help us put it together. It was a full game of playing hard in all three areas of the game.

On Southeast Missouri State quarterback Matt Scheible -

We assigned a lot of hats to him. We focused on not letting him beat us. We believe they go as he goes and we just put a lot of people around him. We did a very good job to smother him.

On TSU Red-Shirt Freshman Quarterback Mike German -

Two weeks in a row he has put together some good games. He is still young. We got on him for throwing the football into the stands after his touchdown. Every time we play we want to be a class act. But he is just getting his feet wet. We are just scratching the surface on what he can do.

On Offensive Play -

We have played pretty consistent up front all year long. Tonight was no different and we protected our quarterbacks pretty well. We have a lot of guys who are capable of producing and we gave them a chance tonight.

On Defensive Play -

Outside of the Air Force game, we have played the run pretty well. Coach Roberts and the staff put together a great game plan and the guys just executed. As a former linebacker, it is great to see the defense attack the way they did tonight.

TSU Junior Offensive Center Sherman Carter

On the win --

We watched a lot of film and took a lot of coaching. When they lined up we felt like we knew what they were going to do. The scout team gave us a great look this week and the coaches set us up perfectly. As a line we were excited with the results, we can celebrate today, but now it is back to work. We want to fill like this everyday.

Southeast Missouri Head Coach Tony Samuel

Opening Comments --

We didn't play well in any of the three phases today. We didn't run the ball well, we didn't pass it well, we didn't block or tackle well. Tennessee State is a good team and you have to give them credit. They played well today. But we didn't execute like we needed to today. We'll get back to work this week and see if we can fix some of these problems.