A season that was brimming with promise a few short weeks ago ended with a whimper as Tennessee State was taken to the woodshed 35-0 by Tennessee Tech in a performance that Tennessee State coach Eddie George described after the game as “Tennessee Tech imposed their will and broke our spirt”
“I didn’t recognise that unit that played today”, George said as his team was dominated on both sides of the ball in a loss for Tennessee State that was the worst in the series since a 63-14 beat down in 2001.
Tennessee State got off an inauspicious start, with starter Daveon Bryant intercepted by Aaron Stafford on his first attempt of the afternoon. Tech wasted no time capitizing on the takeaway as Jordan Potts connected with Justin Pegues from 10-yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0 just 1:24 into the contest.
After TSU’s next drive fizzled out, Tech scored on their next possession when Marcus Knight scampered 61-yards to pay dirt, extending the Eagles’ lead to 14-0.
Tennessee Tech added another first quarter score when Potts ran in from 12 yards out to give the Eagles a commanding 21-0 lead.
James Lowery’s 32-yard field goal careened of the left upright, as the Tigers came up empty at the end of the 10-play drive that was the TSU’s best stretch of the day up to that point.
After a 64-yard dash from OJ Ross down to the Tennessee State 8 yard line, an unsportsmanlike on Josh Green moved the ball down to the 4-yard love
Potts connected with Brad Clark to extend the lead to 28-0.
The second quarter saw the Tigers able to stop the bleeding and shut the Eagles out , despite being outgained 118 to 38, but was unable to breakthrough themselves and were on the wrong end of a 28-0 score heading into halftime.
After Swafford picked off Ellis for the second time on the day, returning it to the TSU 15 yard line, the Ealges scored their first points of the second half when Knight bowled his way in the end zone from 6 yards to make the score 35-0.
TTU had 5 sacks in the first quarter, while on offense averaging 7.67 yards per play, scoring 21 points and racking up 115 yards of production.
Unable to convert on third down
Tennessee State was unable to sustain drives , as they were atrocious on third down. TSU was on the day, was just 3-16 on third down conversions.
An inemic Tennessee State offense.
Tennessee State came into the contest averaging 25.0 points per game and 318 yards of total offense per game and faced a Tennessee Tech defense that allows 27.8 points per game. Saturday afternoon TSU not only was shutout but was only able to generate 155 yards of total offense. The Tigers offense averaged 2.6 yards per carry in gaining just 76 yards, while only throwing for 79 yards on the afternoon.
The Tennessee State defense
TSU’s defense allowed 414 total yards of offense on the afternoon. They also failed to create a single turnover or get a single sack. They made it very relaxing afternoon for TTU quarterback Jordan Potts, as the defense rarely pressured him and he was only hit 4 times out of the 75 plays the Eagles offense ran. In only his sixth start, Jordan Potts was able to play, solid largely mistake free football, completing 16 of his 32 passes for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense also surrendered 230 yards on the ground with Tennessee Tech backs, O.J. Ross (96) and Marcus Knight (95) nearly topping 100 yards on the day.