Tennessee State Game Notes | Austin Peay Game Notes
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Game 7: Tennessee State (4-2, 1-2) vs. Austin Peay (3-3, 2-1)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Stadium: Nissan Stadium (69,143)
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Audio: 102.1 FM
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Series Information: This is the 20th meeting with the Tigers leading the series, 13-6. 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 11 meetings have 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 are currently on a five game run, including a last second 41-40 win in Clarksville in 2016.
Last Meeting: Steven Newbold caught a touchdown pass with 1.7 seconds left in the game to give TSU a 41-40 road victory. Ronald Butler engineered a six-play, 81-yard drive with less than a minute remaining. Butler threw four touchdown passes and added two rushing score as he compiled 342 yards of total offense. Antonio Justice, Jr. led the Tigers’ defense with nine tackles, 1.5 for loss and one sack. APSU opened the scoring, only to see the Tigers respond with Butler teaming up with Newbold for the first of their two touchdown hookups. Tennessee State followed with a scoring pass from Butler to Mahlon Medley and the first of Butler's rushing scores to take a 20-9 lead. Austin Peay scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the half to close to within one point, 20-19. The second half began with Butler hitting Patrick Smith for a 39 yard strike to add to the lead. Butler followed with an 84 yard dash for his second rushing touchdown, extending the lead to 34-19. The Governors scored 21 straight points to take a 40-34 lead with 1:05 remaining. Newbold finished the game with four receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
Head Coach Rod Reed: Reed is in his eighth season at the helm of the Tigers. During his time at TSU, he has compiled a 47-39 record, including a 38-24 mark since 2012, and is 23-32 in OVC play. Reed is the third winningest coach in Tennessee State Football History. John Merritt claimed 174 victories in his 20 years (1963-83) at TSU for a .806 winning percentage (174-35-7). Harry Kean spent 10 years in charge of TSU from 1944-54 and compiled a 93-15-3 record (.838). Coach Reed has compiled a 12-10 record in Sgt. York Trophy Games.
Tennessee State: TSU claimed its first conference win of the season and improved to 4-2, 1-2 in OVC play, with a 45-21 win at Eastern Kentucky. The Tigers picked off EKU quarterbacks four times in the game, including the final three being returned for touchdowns. Vincent Sellers earned adidas OVC Defensive Player and Newcomer of the Week with two pick-sixes, to go along with eight tackles, seven solo, and a pass breakup. Terrell Bonds closed out the scoring with an interception returned for a touchdown.
One play before Sellers’ first pick, Michael Hughes scored on a quarterback sneak to give the Tigers a 24-21 lead with just over six minutes to play. Hughes, in his first start, added two touchdown passes. The sophomore signal caller recorded his first scoring pass of his career to Patrick Smith before finding Steven Newbold minutes later. The Tigers were successful running the ball as they rushed for 193 yards, led by Seth Rowland’s 69. Andrew Knox totaled 63 yards on the ground, while Sabree Curtis ran for 39. Blair Edwards matched Sellers with eight tackles and seven solos. Edwards tacked on 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup. Lane Clark put the Tigers on the board in the first quarter with a 49-yard field goal. The distance tied for the 10th longest in TSU history and was the second 49-yarder for the kicker this season. Patrick Smith pulled in four receptions, giving him 141 in his career. Smith moved past Patrick Robinson (1989-92, 140) into sixth all-time at TSU.
The Tigers are ranked 13th in Total Defense in FCS play allowing 280.8 yards per game. The Big Blue now ranks fifth nationally with four defensive scores and is 16th in interceptions with eight.
Austin Peay: The Governors enter at 3-3, 2-1 in the OVC, after dropping a 34-14 contest to Jacksonville State. APSU continues to lead the OVC, and is ranked 12th nationally, after being held to 106 yards rushing a week ago. Kentel Williams tops the Govs ground attack with 409 yards on 68 attempts, averaging 68.2 yards per game and 6.01 per carry. At quarterback, JaVaughn Craig is a duel threat completing 38-of-71 passes for 366 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Craig also has 364 yards rushing on 53 carries and has crossed the goal line six times. The defense is led by Gunnar Scholato and Jeremiah Mitchell. Scholato tops the squad with 53 tackles, 3.5 for loss and an interception. Mitchell brings support with 50 stops, 2.0 for loss and a forced fumble. Jaison Williams has been a force up front with seven tackles for loss, including 5.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries.
Last 10 Results:
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
2007 - Tennessee State 33, Austin Peay 32 ot
Radio: 102.1 FM will carry the game live with Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst), Craig Ladd (Scoreboard) and Gary Dawson (sideline). Pregame will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT
OVCDN: Howard Gentry Jr. will serve as play-by-play along with Derek Fleming who will provide analysis.
Head Coach Rod Reed
- On his team
“I was really proud of the way our kids responded. After going down 0-2 in the conference, going on the road to a place we hadn’t played well at all, being about to go there and come away with a victory, it was a hard-fought contest. I think we started fast in that game and it helped us. We knew going in at halftime that that team was going to continue to fight. Coach Elder does a good job with those guys. That game was much closer than the score indicated. The last six minutes really decided that game. Our kids prepared well. Our coaches prepared well, and we were able to clean up a lot of things with penalties and whatnot. We were able to move the ball more efficiently on offense and defensively, we played well in the first half. Other than the third quarter, I thought we played really good defense.”
- On facing Austin Peay
“We’ve got Austin Peay coming in. They’re a well-coached football team, and they give you fits with their different sets and motion – things of that nature. They’ll be extremely prepared defensively. Offensively, they just play sound football. They’re going to keep the ball in front of them. They play the gaps really well. It’s always been a struggle with us and The Peay. It’s kind of a rivalry game, and it came down to the last play of the game last year. I heard Will (Healy) talk about it being our Homecoming, and that was just because of how it fell on the schedule. We didn’t pick a Homecoming opponent. I can tell you that. That’s a good football team over there, and they’ve shown that.”
- On the play of Michael Hughes
“We’ve still got two really good quarterbacks. Both of those guys will play. Mike (Hughes) came in and did a really good job. He helped us move the ball down the field. I think our offensive line played better this past game. We were able to run the football. I’ve moved Andrew Knox into that tailback position, and with our big offensive line, it looked better. Being able to run the ball really helped us in the throw game, and I think that really helped Mike out.”
APSU Head Coach Will Healy
- On Facing TSU
“Big game this week. We’re trying to make sure we turn the page quickly and move on to a really good Tennessee State team that we feel like is extremely talented. You turn on the film and they’ve got tremendous size. They look like SEC bodies and have really good speed. They’ve got good weapons especially on offense. Our work will be cut out for us in all three phases. I think they are a complete team.”
- On TSU’s personnel
“You look at their kicker, he’s a weapon for them. In close games, he’s a weapon for them. He’s been extremely consistent, and he’s got a strong leg. Defensively, I think what they’re doing schematically is really good. Obviously, they’ve got tremendous talent on that side of the ball as well. There aren’t many holes that you can find. They play hard, and they’re physical. Everyone knows what their wide outs can do on the offensive side of the ball. When you’ve got two quarterbacks who can do what they’re doing – Hughes and Harris – it’s difficult to defend and prepare for because you have to prepare for both of them. I worked with Russ Ehrenfeld for four years at Chattanooga, and I know how good of a job he does with the offensive lineman – how well prepared they’ll be and how hard they play. They look like sporting good mannequins.”
- On Facing TSU on Homecoming
“Good news for us is this is our first Homecoming game this year. It felt like last year, every away game was a Homecoming game. We’re getting into that challenge again, and we look forward to the challenge. We’re looking forward to playing in Nissan Stadium. It will be a lot of fun for our kids, and it’s an opportunity for us to face what we feel is a top 25 football team.”
Sophomore Running Back Andrew Knox
- On carrying the ball a career high 12 times
“Going into last week, we knew that EKU was going to be real physical. I was getting a lot of reps earlier in the week at tailback and I knew my number was going to get called. I just had to make the best out of my opportunities.”
- On the play of the offensive line
“The offensive line did an outstanding job. We, as a running back crew, have been working extra with the linemen getting on the same page, being sure where our holes are and just making sure we are being physical. The o-line really stepped it up for all four quarters.”
- On breaking a two-game skid
“This shows the type of character we have on this team. We lost the previous two games, but that did not let that bring us down. We knew what type of team we were and the type of team we want to be, so we will just keep on pushing. We feel we can win games as long as we do our jobs.”
Senior Defensive Tackle Jason Morrow
- On the play of Vincent Sellers
“The interceptions by Vincent were big. We had a lot of chances to catch a couple, but when we finally got them, it was big. Two interceptions by a freshman, that’s big. When a rookie steps up like that, it’s amazing.”
- On first career interception
“I have to thank Chris Collins and the whole defense for calling it out. Then it was all reaction. I just happen to be in the right place to make a play.”
- On ending the skid
“The loss to EIU will motivate us for the rest of the season. When you lose like that, it takes a part of you. When you put up that much effort and it goes down to the wire like that, it just left a sore spot inside of everybody on this team.”
Senior Cornerback Terrell Bonds
- On defensive performance
“It started with preparation during the week. We went out and executed the game plan. It the third quarter, we went through a lot of adversity giving up 21 points, but we came together as a defense. At the end, we made a lot of plays.”
- On giving up 21 straight points against Eastern Kentucky
“It was a momentum swing. We just went back to the sideline and made some adjustments. We just capitalized on some plays and ended the game strong.”
- On the four interceptions
“They were great plays. Morrow made a great play. Sellers played his technique. When he got the ball, he just did what he is supposed to do.”
Senior Defensive End Ebo Ogundeko
- On returning to action
“It felt great. The main goal was to be back out there with my brothers. I feel like the last two or three seasons I have been letting my team down. I just recognize continuous patterns. I feel when I am out there I bring added leadership. The main thing is to be out there every single game to be out there with my brothers.”
- On his performance
“I still need to continue rehabbing and my strength programs so I can get faster. I just need to get used to the knee brace and getting the reps. I just keep on growing.”
- On preparation and coaching staff
“We have to stay locked in and stay aggressive. We did the last game for Coach Fisher (who coached at EKU). Some of the guys on this team don’t have fathers and people to look up to. In my mind, since I did not have a father, besides GOD, I just look at these coaches and you want to make them happy. They are figures in our life that try to help us out. There is no better feeling. If we make them happy, then we make ourselves happy.”