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October 28, 20171st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State7107226
Tennessee Tech1377330
1st Quarter
TSUTD06:32SMITH 16 Yd Pass From HUGHES (CLARK kick)
2nd Quarter
TSUTD05:29SMITH 30 Yd Pass From HUGHES (CLARK kick)
3rd Quarter
TSUTD09:05SMITH 16 Yd Pass From HUGHES (CLARK kick)
4th Quarter
Stats at a GlanceTSUTTU
1st Downs1918
3rd Down Conversions9-161-10
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Passing (Comp-Att)331 (20-36) 172 (11-24)
Rushing (Att)83 (31) 160 (39)
Total Yards414332
Fumbles Lost20
Tigers Drop Road Test at Tennessee Tech, 30-26
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Tigers Drop Road Test at Tennessee Tech, 30-26


Game 8:
 Tennessee State 26, Tennessee Tech 30
Records: TSU (4-4, 1-4 OVC), TTU (1-7, 1-4 OVC)
Venue: Tucker Stadium
Location: Cookeville, Tenn. 
Weather: Cloudy, 42

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Patrick Smith caught a career-high three touchdown passes, but the Tennessee State football team suffered a 30-26 defeat on the road at Tennessee Tech at Tucker Stadium in Ohio Valley Conference action on Saturday afternoon. TSU falls to 4-4 (1-4 OVC), while Tennessee Tech moves to 1-7 (1-4 OVC).

TSU quarterback Michael Hughes finished 20-for-36 for 331 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Smith had seven catches for 152 yards and two scores with Steven Newbold also adding seven catches for 108 yards.

Defensively, LaQuarius Cook totaled nine tackles and an interception for the Tigers. Dajour Nesbeth recorded an interception on the afternoon as well.

After falling behind 20-7, TSU scored 17 consecutive points to take a 24-20 lead with 9:05 left in the third quarter. Tennessee Tech quickly responded with a touchdown later in the quarter to retake the lead for good.


  • Tennessee State outgained Tennessee Tech, 414-332
  • The Tigers passed for over 300 yards for the first time this season
  • TSU picked off two Tech passes, increasing their season total to 11
  • The defense accumulated 8.5 tackles for loss, including one sack


  • Michael Hughes finished 20-of-36 for 331 yards and three touchdowns
  • Hughes set career highs in yardage and touchdown passes
  • Patrick Smith recorded season highs in receptions (7) and yards (152) while registering a career high three touchdowns
  • Steven Newbold hauled in seven passes for 108 yards
  • This marks the second time Newbold cleared the century mark this season (117 vs. Florida A&M)
  • Seth Rowland led the rushing attack with 62 yards on 15 carries
  • LaQuarius Cook led the defense with nine tackles, seven solo
  • Ebo Ogundeko, Justin North and Chris Collins all finished with eight tackles
  • Collins and Ogundeko each finished with 1.5 tackles for loss
  • Cook and Dajour Nesbeth each pulled down their second interceptions of the season
  • Ogundeko earned his first sack since week two
  • Lane Clark went 1-for-2 in field goals, missing his first attempt since the opener at Georgia State


  • Tennessee Tech scored on all three possessions in the first quarter
  • Tech used a 40-yard field goal by Nick Madonia and a 27-yard halfback pass for a touchdown to build a 10-0 lead
  • The Tigers responded with an eight play, 63 yard scoring drive to cut the score to 10-7
  • Michael Hughes capped off the drive with a 16 yard scoring toss to Patrick Smith
  • TSU faced a 3rd and 17 at its own 30 to start the drive
  • Hughes hit Smith for 38 yards to the Tech 30, setting up the touchdown four plays later
  • Tech added to its lead with a 37-yard Madonia field goal to take a 13-7 lead
  • TSU was held to minus-10 yards rushing, 48 yards total in the quarter


  • TTU opened the second stanza with a two play drive, ending in a 31-yard touchdown run, jumping out to a 20-7 lead
  • Dajour Nesbeth sparked the Tigers with a 26 yard interception return to the Tech 37
  • After a pair of Seth Rowland runs, Hughes found Smith across the middle for 30 yards and the second touchdown connection of the game for the duo
  • The Lane Clark extra point pulled TSU to within six at 20-14
  • The Big Blue defense stepped up again with its second interception in as many drives
  • LaQuarius Cook out fought a Tech receiver for a pass at the TSU 41 with 2:46 remaining in the half
  • The Tigers moved 53 yards on nine plays to set up a 23-yard field goal by Clark to make the score 20-17, in favor of the Golden Eagles
  • TSU outgained TTU 119-70 in the second quarter
  • The Golden Eagles led the Tigers in total yardage at the break, 207-167


  • The Tigers opened the second half with a nine play, 86 yard, touchdown drive
  • Hughes and Smith teamed up for the third time of the game, this one from 16 yards out
  • Hughes kept the drive alive with a 28 yard run on 3rd and 12 from the Tiger 12 to the 40
  • The offense kept rolling with pass plays of 19 and 33 to Newbold and Smith, respectively
  • Hughes also found Mahlon Medley for 16 yards, one play before the scoring play which gave TSU its first lead, 24-20
  • The Tiger defense forced a three-and-out, but forced a fumble on the punt, leading to a touchdown regain the lead, 27-24
  • TSU was unable to even the score on its next drive as Clark’s 41 field goal attempt sailed wide left
  • The Tigers totaled 163 yards in the quarter and held Tech to 51
  • TSU led in yardage, 330-258, after three quarters


  • TTU added a field goal with 6:31 remaining in the game, extending the lead to 30-24
  • On the Tigers next possession, Hughes found Chris Rowland down the left sideline for 28 yards on a 4th and 4 moving into Tech territory
  • TSU drove down to the Golden Eagles 19 before Hughes was intercepted in the end zone
  • The defense gave TSU another chance as Vincent Sellers stopped a TTU runner behind the goal line for a safety, making the score 30-26
  • TTU solidified the game by picking off Hughes for the second consecutive series


  • Captains were Lane Clark, Patrick Smith, Ebo Ogundeko and Chris Collins
  • TSU won the coin toss and deferred the opening kickoff
  • Weather at kickoff was 42 degrees and cloudy
  • TSU wide receiver Patrick Smith moved from fifth to third place on TSU's career touchdown list with 28 in his career. Smith also moved from sixth to fifth place in TSU history in both career receptions (149) and career receiving yards (2,450). 
  • Running back Seth Rowland and tight end Miles Cavitt made their first career starts
  • Tennessee State is 18-13 in the all-time series versus Tennessee Tech
  • The Tigers are now 4-2 away from home this season

WHAT’S NEXT: The Tigers will step out of OVC play to host Virginia University Lynchburg on Nov. 4 at Hale Stadium. The game will be the first contest in 'the Hole' this season. 

Wide Receiver Steven Newbold

- On the offense
“I thought we did some really good things. We capitalized on the mistakes, so the offense did pretty good today.”

- On the connection with Michael Hughes
“The connection got stronger as the season went on. We just need more chemistry though.”

- On moving on
“The best thing we can do is just keep our head up and just try to keep winning on and finish the season strong.”

Quarterback Michael Hughes
- On three touchdown passes to Patrick Smith
“Pat is definitely one of the best receivers in the country. We worked a lot in the offseason, and today we finally got to connect. He got open and he saw what I was seeing. We connected, and we scored. It was great to see him catch a few touchdowns today.”

- On connecting with Steven Newbold
“Newbold is really smart on the field. We talk a lot. We communicate on the field. I’m proud Newbold got seven catches. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. There was some stuff we missed, but it’s only up from here.”

Defensive End Ebo Ogundeko
- On the defense
“I feel like we could have played a lot better. We started off pretty slow and it’s all up to us as the players to lock in and start off fast. We need to finish strong as well. We started to play better in the beginning of the second quarter, but we just need to play better as a defense and just finish out the season strong.”

- On the turnovers forced by the defense
“Those are big. Our coaches always emphasize on getting turnovers. Coach (Garry) Fisher and Coach (Rod) Reed both put an emphasis on getting turnovers. That helped us out, but we just have to play better in all three phases.