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October 06, 20181st2nd3rd4thFinal
Tennessee State7146734
Austin Peay72114749
1st Quarter
TSUTD00:00ROWLAND 23 Yd Pass From CROFT (ZITA kick)
2nd Quarter
TSUTD08:56CAUTHEN 3 Yd Pass From CROFT (ZITA kick)
TSUTD03:43ROWLAND 65 Yd Pass From CROFT (ZITA kick)
3rd Quarter
TSUFG09:03ZITA 38 Yd
TSUFG00:16ZITA 33 Yd
4th Quarter
TSUTD11:22ROWLAND 4 Yd Pass From HUGHES (ZITA kick)
Stats at a GlanceTSUAPSU
1st Downs2918
3rd Down Conversions8-185-14
4th Down Conversions2-30-0
Passing (Comp-Att)325 (24-51) 189 (7-15)
Rushing (Att)164 (43) 258 (49)
Total Yards489447
Fumbles Lost40
Tigers Return to OVC Play at Austin Peay
Friday, October 5, 2018
Tigers Return to OVC Play at Austin Peay
Photo By Sam Jordan - TSU Athletics

Tennessee State Game Notes | Austin Peay Game Notes
2018 Tennessee State Media Guide | Live Stats

Social Media: #BigBlueRising

Twitter: @TSU_Tigers | Instagram: @TSUTigers
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Game 6: Tennessee State (2-1, 1-0) at Austin Peay (2-3, 0-2)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018
Location: Clarksville, Tenn.
Stadium: Fortera Stadium (7,000)
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Audio: 102.1 FM
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Series Information: This is the 21st meeting with the Tigers leading the series, 13-7. 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 Govs snapped the Tigers five game win streak in the series in 2017 with a 21-17 win at Nissan Stadium. The prior 11 meetings had run in streaks for the teams. 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 then went on a five game streak, including a last second 41-40 win in Clarksville in 2016.

Last Meeting: Tennessee State fell at the hands of Austin Peay, 21-17, at the 2017 Homecoming. TSU overcame a 14-3 second-half deficit, taking a 17-14 lead on a 66-yard DeVon Johnson touchdown catch with 10:18 left in the fourth. The Governors responded with a touchdown run with 1:26 left for a 21-17 lead and held the Tigers on their final drive. Senior linebacker Chris Collins tallied 12 tackles to pace the TSU defense, while senior cornerback. Terrell Bonds added his second interception of the season for the Tigers. Quarterback Michael Hughes finished 10-of-19 for 148 yards and a touchdown pass to Johnson. Long snapper Thomas Newberg also caught a touchdown pass from wide receiver Patrick Smith on a trick play in the third quarter.

Head Coach Rod Reed is in his ninth season at the helm of the Tigers and holds a 51-43 record. Coach Reed earned his 50th victory against Bethune-Cookman and became just the third coach in Tiger history to reach the milestone. John Merritt tops the list with 174 victories in his 20 years (1963-83) for a .806 winning percentage (174-35-7), while Harry Kean spent 10 years in charge of TSU from 1944-54 and compiled a 93-15-3 record (.838). The Big Blue is 8-1 in season openers under Reed, including a 17-10 win at FBS opponent Georgia State in 2017. The lone opening day loss came at the hands of Bethune-Cookman, 12-9, at the 2013 John Merritt Classic.

Tennessee State: The Tigers fell short at SEC foe Vanderbilt, 31-27. TSU led by three at halftime before falling behind 24-13 heading into the final stanza. Demry Croft tossed the last of his three touchdown passes to Andrew Knox to help TSU regain the lead. After the Commodores answered the Tigers drove down the field in the waning moments, before the Tigers stalled on the opponent’s 15 yard line. Croft finished the game 22-of-31 for 269 yards and rushed for a team-best 41 yards. The junior transfer currently ranks seventh nationally in passing efficiency (172.7), 13th in completion percentage (67.7%) and 16th in passing yards/completion (14.55). Treon Harris recorded his first 100-yard game as a receiver, hauling in eight passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Steven Newbold notched his first touchdown of the season on a five-yarder to open the scoring in the game. The offense ranks 11th nationally in passing offense (480.7 yards/game) and has only one interception the year. Dajour Nesbeth had 10 tackles and returned an interception 65 yards to setup the first touchdown of the game. Nesbeth currently ranks third nationally in passes defended (2.3/game) and seventh in interceptions (0.7/game).

Austin Peay: The Governors is 0-2 in OVC play after dropping a 48-32 decision at Jacksonville State. The Govs scored the first nine points of the game and were within one score at the end of the third quarter. Jeremiah Oatsvall threw a career-high four touchdown passes and accounted for 294 yards of total offense (245 passing, 49 rushing) in the contest. Kentel Williams added 54 yards on the ground, as APSU finished with 143 yards rushing. The Governors rank 15th nationally in rushing offense (241.8 yards/game). DJ Montgomery caught a pair of touchdown passes, giving him three on the season. Malik Davis picked off a pass and added eight solo tackles for the game. Austin Peay has recorded an interception in four-straight games. Gunnar Scholato leads the team with 43 tackles. Punter Devin Stuart, ranks first in the OVC in punting average (42.7).

Last 10 Results:
2017 - Austin Peay 21, Tennessee State 17
2016 - Tennessee State 41, Austin Peay 40
2015 - Tennessee State 20, Austin Peay 6
2014 - Tennessee State 31, Austin Peay 27
2013 - Tennessee State 31, Austin Peay 6
2012 - Tennessee State 34, Austin Peay 13
2011 - Austin Peay 37, Tennessee State 34
2010 - Austin Peay 26, Tennessee State 23
2009 - Austin Peay 24, Tennessee State 21
2008 - Tennessee State 37, Austin Peay 34

TV: ESPN3. Bob Belvin will serve as play-by-play along with Kevin Ingram who will provide analysis.

Radio: 102.1 FM will carry the game live with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst) and Gary Dawson (sideline). Pregame will begin at 5:30 p.m.

(on the support for Christion Abercrombie)
“I’d like to say thank you for all of the outpouring of support by all the coaches around the Ohio Valley Conference and around the nation. We’ve gotten a lot of prayers, a lot of support, a lot of phone calls, a lot of text messages from everybody. It’s been phenomenal with the support you’ve given us here at Tennessee State and me personally. I’d like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the continued prayers for Christion and his family.”

(on Christion Abercrombie)
“He’s a phenomenal guy off the field, first of all. His parents have done a tremendous job of raising him. He has a huge smile and warm heart. He’s a heck of a football player…. He’s just a wonderful kid, and my heart goes out to him.”

(on TSU’s performance at Vanderbilt)
“We went over and I thought our kids played a heck of a game over at Vanderbilt. I thought we gave ourselves an opportunity in the fourth quarter to win. When you play games like that, that’s all you can ask for. We thought we had it going and we gave up a big play late in the fourth quarter. Our offense drove it down again, and then we stalled on the 13 yard line, but our kids played their butts off in spite of a tragic situation going into the half. Our kids maintained focus and gave ourselves an opportunity to win.”

(on TSU’s quarterbacks)
It was the game flow. Demry (Croft) had it going, and I didn’t see a reason at that point to do anything different. We talked about it, and we just decided to leave Demry in. Mike (Hughes) is a big part of this football team and he’s going to be a big part of our offense the rest of the year.

(on TSU’s line play versus Vanderbilt)
I thought we played well up front. I was a little concerned with our defensive line. We had two of our starting defensive linemen out for that game, and some guys came in and did a really credible job in there. We moved them around a little bit. We had to bob and weave a little bit in there, but I thought our linebackers played downhill.”

(on facing TSU)

“I think we’ve won one out of the last 15 (matchups), so I don’t know if you can really call it a rivalry. I think it’s a great matchup obviously with the proximity. I wish all of us played all the Tennessee FCS schools. We know they’re a really good football team. That’s why we’re excited about the game. I think their talent level is exceptional. It’s a game that the last two years for us has been really close. We were very fortunate to win a year ago.”

(on Christion Abercrombie)
“Rod (Reed) has been a guy that’s been really good to me since I’ve been in this league. If I’ve needed advice, I’ve been able to call him and talk to him about things. He’s been extremely hospitable, and now your heart goes out to that program and that staff and those players because of what they’re going through. We’ve been praying (Christion Abercrombie). I think there’s a lot more to life than football, and I think this week is one of those that they’re living through right now. Everybody in that university and that program understands that loud and clear right now. I know their hearts will be heavy this week. Our hearts will be heavy this week. I’m praying for him. I know Rod always creates and preaches that culture. I think they’re living it out now with the support that they’re showing for their teammate. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

(on the challenges TSU presents)
“Obviously, we’ve seen (Micheal) Hughes plenty of times. We faced off against him last year. I think the kid they’ve got playing (Demry Croft) is pretty good. He’s got a really strong arm. He’s accurate. He extends plays. We’ve seen Hughes, so we’re a little more familiar with him. He’s more of the pocket guy with a big arm. I think either one can be successful, and you have to prepare for both. They’re dynamic on offense. Every play, they can make a big play. This is a lot like Jacksonville State last week where it’s the first time they’ve played back-to-back weeks. I’m sure they’re excited to be in a groove a little bit and get some things going. I think both quarterbacks are really good and can beat you, so we have to prepare for both.”

(on facing Austin Peay)
“As long as we lock in mentally and focus on what we need to focus on, I think we can have a good game.”

(on the prospect of being 2-0 in OVC play)
“We want to win every game, but especially in conference play. That would be big for us, especially since we’re about to hit a conference stretch. Staying on top is very important for us.

(on returning to OVC play to face Austin Peay)
“It’s a big game since it’s conference play. Last year, special teams was big in this game. If we do what we did against Eastern Illinois in the second half, then we’ll be fine.”

(on building confidence from last week’s game at Vanderbilt)
“We played a great game on Saturday from the start to the finish. The confidence that it brings in for the OVC is just great. Now we see what type of team we have and that the leadership that’s been going on is working.”

(on getting into a rhythm with the offense)
“It was slow in the first two games. I just feel like that because I made a comment about me being a good receiver, and God was just showing me a way to humble myself. That’s all it was. It was a humbling experience.”