MARTIN, Tenn. — The Tennessee State University football team suffered its first loss in over a month as the Tigers dropped its final OVC road contest, 41-20, to 11th-ranked UT Martin on Saturday afternoon at Graham Stadium.
In a matchup that had FCS Playoff implications on the line, it was the Skyhawks who indeed used their home field advantage to a tee. UT Martin finished with 422 yards of total offense and rushed for 298 yards.
Devon Starling did most of his damage running routes, as the running back finished with 117 reception yards on 12 catches. He also ran for 78 yards on 16 attempts.
Neither team mustered much offense in the first quarter as the top two defensive teams in the OVC held the line. However, the Skyhawks opened up the scoring in the early in the second quarter with a 13-yard TD pass from Keon Howard to Randy Fields.
Antonio Zita put three points on the board for the Tigers with a 28-yard field goal. Zita now has 54 career field goals (3rd in OVC history).
UT Martin finished the half with two touchdowns in the final 2:35 to take a 21-3 lead at the half.
James Lowery added three more points for the Tigers with the lone points of the third quarter, a 26-yard field goal.
The final 15 minutes saw five touchdowns beginning with a five-yard rush to the end zone by Starling to cut the deficit to 21-13. Once again, Martin spread their lead on a 21-yard QB sneak by Howard with 6:23 left to play.
The Tigers had momentum swinging their way when Hickbottom found Johnson for a 12-yard TD with 1:48 left to play. Just like the second quarter, UT Martin scored twice in a the final 1:32 of play to extend its lead to 41-20.
Howard finished with 124 yards passing and Zak Wallace had 123 yards rushing for the victorious Skyhawks.
TSU will close out the home and OVC portion of the schedule when the host Austin Peay next Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.
|14:09 – UTM – FIELDS, Randy 13 yd pass from HOWARD, Keon (LARCO, Tyler kick) 9 plays, 69 yards, TOP 4:44||0||7|
|06:59 – TSU – ZITA,Antonio 28 yd field goal 11 plays, 45 yards, TOP 7:00||3||7|
|02:35 – UTM – HOWARD, Keon 1 yd run (LARCO, Tyler kick), 9 plays, 75 yards, TOP 4:24||3||14|
|01:21 – UTM – WALLACE, Zak 22 yd run (LARCO, Tyler kick), 3 plays, 26 yards, TOP 0:56||3||21|
|06:14 – TSU – LOWERY, James 26 yd field goal 5 plays, 18 yards, TOP 1:59||6||21|
|11:08 – TSU – STARLING,Devon 5 yd run (LOWERY, James kick), 8 plays, 69 yards, TOP 2:57||13||21|
|06:23 – UTM – HOWARD, Keon 21 yd run (LARCO, Tyler kick blocked), 9 plays, 75 yards, TOP 4:45||13||27|
|01:48 – TSU – JOHNSON,Dayron 12 yd pass from HICKBOTTOM,Ger (LOWERY, James kick) 10 plays, 65 yards, TOP 4:30||20||27|
|01:32 – UTM – WALLACE, Zak 36 yd run (LARCO, Tyler kick), 2 plays, 44 yards, TOP 0:15||20||34|
|00:11 – UTM – FORD, John 75 yd interception (LARCO, Tyler kick)||20||41|