Tennessee State pitches shut out against Eastern Illinois, 28-0

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28 TSU

Eastern Illinois Logo



Coach Eddie George and the Tennessee State Tigers blanked the Panthers of Eastern Illinois 31-0.

The Tiger defense led way, limiting the Panther offense to just 187 yards of total offense( 115 in the air and only 72 rushing), forced 9 punts and held EIU to an abysmal 2-17 on third down.

The TSU defense was also aggressively opportunistic, forcing four Eastern Illinois turnovers, picking off three passes and forcing a fumble.

On the other side of the ball, quarterback Geremy Hickbottom continued his solid play, completing 14 of his 24 pass attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns. In our preview, I said that Devon Starling would have a big game , and that he did , rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Eastern Illinois was threatening to score with about three minutes left in the first quarter when Eddie Graham intercepted Otto Graham in the end zone. The Tigers defense would turn Eastern Illinois again when James Green picked off Graham and returned it 47 yards, setting the TSU offense at the Panthers two-yard line. Two plays later, Geremy Hickbottom took it in from 1-yard out to put Tennessee State up 7-0, with the PAT, a lead they would take into the half.

In the third quarter Graham would complete his third pass to a Tiger defender, this time the recipient was Joshua Green.

The TSU offense would take advantage of great field position when a Zack Dobson 24-yard punt returns them up at the Eastern 18-yard line needing only one play to get in the end zone when Hickbottom ran it in to put the Tigers up 14-0.

Tennessee State would build their lead to 21-0 early in the fourth quarter when an 8 play, 64-yard drive when Hickbottom connected with Zaire Thornton on a 16-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers defense forced their fourth turnover of the afternoon causing Kendi Young to cough up the pill, which was recovered by Jashun Bryant. Five plays later a seven yard run from Devon Starling put the Tigers in the end zone for the fourth time and put TSU up 28-0, closing out the scoring on the day.

The win, which was the third straight for the Tigers, was their first three game winning streak in the OVC since 2017.

Next week is homecoming for TSU and they will take on Murray State. Kickoff is set for 5pm CST.

Team Statistics

Game StatsTSUEIU
Total Yards308187
Pass Yards161115
Rushing Yards14772
Penalty Yards7-524-25
1st Downs1811
3rd Downs4-132-17
4th Downs0-13-3
TSU11:22 – TSU – HICKBOTTOM, Ger 1 yd run (ZITA, Antonio kick), 2 plays, 2 yards, TOP 0:2370
TSU04:12 – TSU – HICKBOTTOM, Ger 18 yd run (ZITA, Antonio kick), 1 plays, 18 yards, TOP 0:07140
TSU13:02 – TSU – THORNTON, Zaire 16 yd pass from HICKBOTTOM, Ger (ZITA, Antonio kick) 8 plays, 64 yards, TOP 4:39210
TSU09:47 – TSU – STARLING, Devon 7 yd run (ZITA, Antonio kick), 5 plays, 45 yards, TOP 1:43280

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