Tennessee State thumps Kentucky State 41-7 in John Merritt Classic

The zero in the win column can finally be removed for Tennessee State and new coach Eddie George got off the schneid in a big way with a dominant 41-7 win over the SIAC’s Kentucky State.

The TSU got the memo that their participation was needed in a football game as the 31 points they dropped in the first half eclipsed their offensive output for their first two games combined.

In our JMC preview, we were critical of the level or the lack thereof, of TSU quarterback play as none of the Tiger signal callers had done little to solidify themselves as the starter. Apparently that changed this week as head coach Eddie George has this to say of senior transfer Geremy Hickbottom:

“We knew that Geremy would be the guy. We just had to get him used to getting the reps in at practice. He had a great week last week. I could sense that he was going to have a breakout game. He was making the right calls, he was making the right decisions, he was throwing the ball with accuracy and certainty and that was exciting to see.”

Hickbottom seized the opportunity, looking more like the capable quarterback he was at Grambling, having his best game for the Big Blue, completing 15 of his 25 pass attempts for 265 and three score, of 10, 46 and 18 respectively.

The Thoroughbred rushing attack, which we pointed out should have been a point of emphasis for Coach George and his staff, clearly was and the defense executed the game plan to perfection. The Tiger defense stymied KSU, holding the ‘Breds to just 84 yards on 31 carries. The TSU defense did not allow Kentucky State to cross midfield until 12:10 left in the fourth quarter, when the outcome of the game had already been long decided.

For Kentucky State, they won’t have long to lick their wounds, as they resume their HBCU classic tour, this time heading to Lucas Oil Stadium to face Benedict College in the Circle City Classic September 25.

Tennessee State jumps into the Ohio Valley Conference play, hitting the road to Capr Girardeau, MO to take on Southeast Missouri State. SEMO , who is 0-3 on the young season , put their boots to Tiger backside in their last meeting in the spring 46-23. Kickoff is at 2:00 on cst.

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