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September 3, 2008

Crowd for football opener ranks Tech ninth in nation

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The season-opening crowd of 12,228 in Tucker Stadium last Thursday night has Tennessee Tech ranked among national leaders in attendance in the Football Championship Subdivision. Tech is currently ranked ninth among all FCS teams in total and average attendance.

Tech's 2008 opening day crowd fell just short of last year's record-setting opening game crowd of 12,831, but still ranks in the top 20 crowds of all-time in Tucker Stadium's 43-year history.

"The crowd for the opening game was a great way for the team to start the 2008 season," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. "Thanks to all of the fans who came out to support the team and coach (Watson) Brown. It's important that we keep that support going strong."

Tech is on the road for its next three games, visiting Louisville, Southeast Missouri and Western Michigan, before playing at home on Thursday, Sept. 25.

Texas Southern leads FCS with a crowd of 20,444 in its opener, followed by No. 2 ranked North Dakota State with 18,701. In fact, two of the eight teams ranked higher than Tech in attendance are ranked in the top four in the national poll. In addition to NDSU, fourth-ranked UMass is listed sixth in attendance (15,112).

After Texas Southern and NDSU, Florida A&M (18,088) was third, followed by Norfolk State (17,132), Liberty (15,311), UMass, Texas State (13,952) Montana State (13,767) and Tech. Sam Houston State was 10th (12,058).

The list included two other Ohio Valley Conference schools, one non-football OVC team, and one former OVC team. Samford was 19th with 8,240 fans, Murray State was 23rd with 6,385, Morehead State 26th with 5,719, and Southeast Missouri 27th with 5,475.

Where Thursday's crowd ranked
all-time in Tucker Stadium history:


Attendance (Year, Result)
1) 16,521 (1971, Morehead State 26-8 W)
2) 16,089 (1978, W. Kentucky 20-26 L)
3) 16,072 (1977, Morehead State 24-22 W)
4) 15,607 (1976, W. Kentucky 22-12 W)
5) 14,623 (1984, Tenn. State 3-33 L)
6) 14,586 (1978, Murray State 24-14 W)
7) 14,133 (1977, Austin Peay 21-24 L)
8) 13,859 (1982, W. Kentucky 14-28 L)
9) 13,627 (1980, Murray State 3-10 L)
10) 13,186 (1972, MTSU 24-10 W)
11) 13,124 (1976, UN-Omaha 56-28 W)
12) 12,831 (2007, Cumberland 45-21 W)
13) 12,746 (1978, W. Carolina 22-20 W)
14) 12,523 (1977, Youngstown 38-22 W)
15) 12,511 (1979, Morehead State 3-3 T)
16) 12,500 (1999, Murray State 11-22 L)
17) 12,310 (1981, Morehead State 35-17 W)
18) 12,237 (1998, MTSU 16-19 L)
19) 12,228 (2008, Gardner-Webb 28-12 W)
20) 12,212 (1970, E. Kentucky 13-20 L)
21) 12,204 (1972, W. Kentucky 30-10 W)
22) 12,186 (1974, W. Kentucky 10-6 W)

Tech is 13-8-1 in front of crowds of 12,000 or more in Tucker Stadium.