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October 07, 20171st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State31402845
Eastern Kentucky0014721
1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
TSUTD10:36SMITH 11 Yd Pass From HUGHES (CLARK kick)
TSUTD02:22NEWBOLD 8 Yd Pass From HUGHES (CLARK kick)
3rd Quarter
EKUTD08:45BOYLE 1 Yd Run (WILLIAMS kick)
4th Quarter
TSUTD06:53HUGHES 1 Yd Run (CLARK kick)
Stats at a GlanceTSUEKU
1st Downs2116
3rd Down Conversions7-148-16
4th Down Conversions1-10-2
Passing (Comp-Att)106 (12-23) 246 (21-35)
Rushing (Att)193 (46) 124 (32)
Total Yards299370
Fumbles Lost00
Defense Scores Three Touchdowns in 45-21 Win at EKU
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Defense Scores Three Touchdowns in 45-21 Win at EKU



Game 6: Tennessee State 45 - Eastern Kentucky 21
Records: TSU (4-2, 1-2 OVC), EKU (1-4, 1-2 OVC)
Venue: Roy Kidd Stadium
Location: Richmond, Ky.
Attendance: 8,410
Weather: Partly Clear, 81

RICHMOND, Ky. --- Freshman Vincent Sellers returned two interceptions for touchdowns, while senior Terrell Bonds returned one for a score to help the Tennessee State football team pull away from Eastern Kentucky in a 45-21 victory on Saturday night. All three defensive touchdowns came in the fourth quarter for the Tigers.

The win is TSU’s first in Ohio Valley Conference play this season.

The Tigers (4-2, 1-2 OVC) held a 17-0 lead over EKU (1-4, 1-2 OVC) at halftime. EKU scored 21 unanswered points to seize a 21-17 lead at the start of the fourth before the Tigers took over.

Michael Hughes, who was making his first career start at quarterback, passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. TSU outscored the Colonels by a 28-7 margin in the fourth quarter.


  • The Tigers scored four touchdowns in a span of 3:42 in the final quarter
  • The defense picked off four passes, including three returned for touchdowns
  • The Tigers committed just three penalties for 24 yards in the contest
  • EKU outgained the Tigers, 370-299
  • TSU rushed for 193 yards on carries


  • Vincent Sellers tied an NCAA FCS record with two interceptions returned for touchdowns
  • The feat has been accomplished by 27 other players, last by Ray Mitchell of UNI on Nov. 23, 2013
    Michael Hughes earns his first collegiate start
  • Hughes completed two of his first three attempts, before tossing an interception at the EKU two yard line
  • Hughes finished with three touchdowns – two passing, one rushing – as he completed 12-of-23 for 106 yards, while running for nine yards on seven carries
  • Ebenezer Ogundeko returned to action after missing the last two contests
  • Ogundeko was injured on the first play of the game in the third contest of the season versus Florida A&M
  • The senior defensive end finished with four stops and three quarterback hurries
  • Lane Clark tied for the 10th longest field goal in TSU history with a 49-yarder late in the first quarter
  • The distance matched Clark’s distance versus Florida A&M (9/16) and his mark at Southeast Missouri (11/19/16)
  • Andrew Knox entered the contest with a career seven carries for eight yards; and 49 combined yards
  • Knox rushed 12 times for 64 yards in the contest
  • Seth Rowland led TSU in rushing with 69 yards on 11 attempts
  • Patrick Smith pulled in four receptions, giving him 141 in his career
  • Smith moves past Patrick Robinson (1989-92, 140) into sixth all-time at TSU
  • Steven Newbold matched Smith with receptions and scored his second touchdown of the season
  • Sellers and Blair Edwards led the defense with eight stops, seven solos
  • Edwards added 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup


  • Jason Morrow recorded his first career interception to halt the Colonels first offensive possession
  • The pick-off of a screen pass gave the Tigers the ball at their own 40 yard line
  • TSU drove down to the EKU 21, prior to the Hughes interception
  • After a three-and-out, the offense moved into field goal range for Lane Clark
  • Clark converted from 49 yards for the second time this season
  • Another defensive stop gave the Tigers the ball at the 24 yard line
  • On the final play of the quarter, Hughes rushed for 13 yards on a 3rd and 11 to extend the drive
  • TSU out gained EIU, 97-29
  • The Big Blue held the Panthers to minus-one yards rushing


  • Hughes hit Patrick Smith for an 11 yard scoring pass with 10:36 remaining
  • The touchdown was the first for Hughes and the 25th for Smith
  • The defense once again stood tall as they stopped EKU on a fourth-and-short at the TSU 36
  • Blair Edwards shot through the middle and hit the EKU runner short of the line to gain
  • After the defensive stop, the Tigers drove 64 yards on 11 plays for Hughes second passing touchdown of the game
  • Hughes connected with Steven Newbold in the corner of the end zone giving the Tigers a 17-0 lead with 2:22 remaining in the half
  • TSU rushed eight times for 41 yards on the scoring drive, including 25 yards on four carries by Seth Rowland
  • Sabree Curtis added 15 yards on three attempts
  • EKU drove 53 yards in the final two minutes of the half, only to have their field goal attempt from 41 yards out, sail wide left
  • At the half, TSU outgained EKU 191-119


  • EKU used 10 plays to move 82 yards for their first score of the contest; a one yard sneak
  • The Colonels added a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tim Boyle to Ryan Markush to cut the lead to 17-14 with 1:05 left in the third quarter
  • The Colonels controlled the ball, outgaining TSU 168-25 in the third stanza


  • EKU used a 36 yard pass play on the final play of the third quarter to set up a score three plays into the final quarter
  • The six yard touchdown pass gave the Colonels their first lead of the game, 21-14
  • The Tigers answered with a 13 play, 88-yard scoring drive, which took over six minutes off the clock
  • Hughes called his own number and powered in from the one to give the Tigers a 24-21 lead with 6:53 to play in regulation
  • Hughes hit Smith for 17 yards and teamed up with Miles Cavitt for another 12 yards to start the drive
  • The quarterback sandwiched a seven yard pass to Newbold between runs by Seth Rowland (17,7) and Curtis (11) moving to the EKU 24
  • A pass interference call helped the Tigers advance to the Colonels two yard line, setting up Hughes’ rush three plays later
  • The defense added some insurance as Vincent Sellers stepped in front of an EKU pass attempt and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, making the score 31-21
  • Sellers added an exclamation point with his second pick-six, this time a 44-yard return
  • A Coby Weiss extra point made the score 38-21
  • For good measure, Terrell Bonds followed with a pick-six of his own on the next series
  • The 36-yard return, along with a Mitchell Boudreaux extra point produced the 45-21 final score

WHAT’S NEXT: The Tigers return to Nissan Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14 to host Austin Peay for homecoming. The game is set for a 6:00 p.m. CT kick-off.


  • Tennessee State received votes is this week’s STATS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Top 25 polls.
  • Captains for TSU were Lane Clark, Ebo Ogundeko, Chris Collins and Patrick Smith
  • TSU won the coin toss and elected to defer the opening kickoff.
  • Weather at the time of kickoff was 81 degrees and cloudy.
  • Saturday marked the first time TSU held an opponent off the scoreboard in the first half this season.
  • TSU is now 7-23 in the all-time series versus EKU.
  • The Tigers improve to 3-14 against EKU in Richmond, Ky.

Safety Vincent Sellers
- On the defense
“We had to come out with the ‘w’ for Coach Fisher. He put together a great scheme for us. We had good practices all week. The scout team had been running their plays, and we just came out and we executed.

- First thoughts after getting the INT
“I was thinking, ‘man, I have to score.’ Once I got in the end zone, I couldn’t do anything but thank God. It was a wonderful feeling.”

- On getting the first Ohio Valley Conference win
“It means a lot. I’ve been hoping that we get this win for the seniors. I play this game for them right now. We just have to keep it going.”

Offensive Lineman Thomas Burton
- On getting the first Ohio Valley Conference win
“It means a lot. Coming off two losses back-to-back, that’s never a good feeling. It feels great to bounce back like we did.”

- On the offense
“As far as the offense, today we came out and we wanted to make a statement running the ball. I feel like we did just that.”

Quarterback Michael Hughes
- On the offense
“I’m glad we were able to click tonight. We did a great job preparing for the game this week, and I’m just glad we came out here and executed all of the plays that we needed to execute to get this win.”

- On getting the first OVC victory
“It means everything. I’m just glad these guys are happy. I just want to get the ‘w’ for the team. That’s all that matters at this point.”

- On his first start
“It started off a little rough, but I finally got into the groove of things. I took care of the ball and did what I had to do. I did my part – it was great.”