Tennessee State Game Notes | Austin Peay Game Notes
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State returns to Hale Stadium for the first time this season as they host Austin Peay on Saturday, Oct. 31. It is Kids Day at the on campus venue with kick-off set for 2:00 p.m. Both teams enter looking for their first Ohio Valley Conference win for the season. The Tigers are 3-4, 0-4 in conference play, after falling at No. 13 Eastern Kentucky, 45-21. The Governors dropped a home contest to No. 1 Jacksonville State, 27-7, and is now 0-8, 0-4 in the OVC.
The game can be seen on the OVC Digital Network with Howard Gentry, Jr. and Daniel Fitzpatrick. Audio broadcast can be heard on 102.1 The Light with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst) and Gary Dawson (sideline) providing coverage beginning with the pregame show at 1:30 p.m. CT.
This marks the 18th meeting between the two rivals with the Tigers holding an 11-6 advantage. The teams first met in 1988, a 16-12 victory for the squad from Clarksville. TSU earned its first win in the series a year later, 38-10.
The last nine meetings have run in streaks of three. TSU won a trio of games from 1996-2008, only to see the Governors reel off three of their own from 2009-11. The Tigers are currently on a three game run over the past three seasons, including a 31-27 come from behind win at APSU in 2014.
APSU built a 20-9 lead through the first three quarters during, only to see the Tigers score 22 fourth quarter points to earn the win. Michael German threw the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left to help Tennessee State snap its five-game losing streak.
The Tigers trailed 17-3 at halftime, but German threw four second-half touchdowns to lead the comeback.
On the go-ahead scoring drive, German found Ryan Mitchell over the middle to convert a third-and-15 and later hit Isaiah Freeman to make good on a second-and-10. His final throw was caught by Freeman on a five-yard slant to seal the win for TSU.
German finished the game 30-of-46 for a career high 395 yards, 287 in the second half, in addition to the four scores. Weldon Garlington caught eight of German’s passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers enter the 2015 contest on a three-game losing streak. The Tigers were outgained 549-351 by Eastern Kentucky, but were still able to hit some big plays. Redshirt-sophomore Patrick Smith went over a hundred yards for the third time this season with 119 yards on a career high nine receptions. Smith scored on a 64-yard passing play, tying his second longest reception of the year which he set against Jackson State. His longest play of the season came on an 84-yard pass play against No. 1 Jacksonville State.
TSU got on the board midway through the third quarter when Erick Evans broke loose for a 62-yard touchdown run. The jaunt was the longest run for the Tigers since Darion Hall went for 63 yards against Central State in 2013. The last time a Tiger back completed a run of such a distance versus a Division-I opponent was in 2010. Preston Brown took the ball on the second play from scrimmage and sprinted 71-yards for a touchdown against Florida A&M.
Ronald Butler has played in six games this season, starting three, and has completed 53.9 percent (62-of-115) of his passes for 813 yards and eight touchdowns, opposed to seven interceptions. Butler has played in 25 games during his career, starting 13 - eight as a freshman and two as a sophomore. The junior leads the OVC and is ranked 22nd in the country averaging 13.11 yards per completion.
Telvin Hooks is making his way up the TSU record books. The running back is sixth on the all-time list for attempts with 371, as he has surpassed Antonio Heffner (2006-08), Melvin Waters (1987-90) and Steve Griffin (1983-86) this season. The senior has totaled 1,621 yards in his career and is just outside of the top 10 in TSU history. Hooks is within 53 yards of three members of the list; Lee Derricks (1,641), Nathaniel Simpson (1,655) and Larry Kinnebrew (1,673).
Red-shirt sophomore Patrick Smith continues as the favorite target for TSU quarterbacks with 656 yards on 35 catches, averaging 18.7 yards per catch and 93.7 yards per game. Smith has seven touchdown receptions on the year, ranking second in the OVC and 11th in the country.
Defensively, Chris Collins leads with 55 tackles, 24 solo, while Rodney Edwards tops the Tigers with 8.0 tackles for loss and has totaled 31 tackles, a sack, a pass break-up and a quarterback-hurry. Edwards leads the OVC, and is ranked sixth in the country, with two fumble recoveries.
Austin Peay is led by red-shirt freshman Kendall Morris who has a team high 84 carries for 436 yards and three touchdowns. Morris is ninth in the OVC averaging 54.5 yards per game. Trey Taylor has completed 101 passes of 195 attempts for a 51.8 rate and has tossed four touchdowns to four interceptions.
Jared Beard, Wesley Thomas and Rashaan Coleman are each in double-digits in receptions. Beard tops the Govs receiving corps with 36 grabs for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Thomas follows with 21 catches for 140 yards, while Coleman has hauled in 17 passes for 137 yards and has crossed the end line twice.
Defensively, the Govs are led by Damien Whitfield with 51 tackles, 32 solos, and 1.5 for loss. Roderick Owens is second only to Whitfield in tackles with 47, but has been the top pass defender, causing six breakups and snagging two interceptions. Nicholis Matiere-Bay tops APSU with 5.5 tackles-for-loss, while totaling 26 tackles.