Game notes vs. Tennessee State
Homecoming game tickets on sale at Athletics Ticket Office or online
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Head coach Watson Brown
shouldn’t have any trouble getting his Golden Eagle team
motivated for the game Saturday afternoon when Tennessee Tech hosts
Tennessee State (3-4/2-1 OVC).
First of all, it’s an Ohio Valley Conference game and the Golden Eagles (4-3/3-2 OVC) are in the thick of the race for the 2009 championship.
The game is Homecoming, meaning thousands of alumni will be in the stands supporting their team.
Tech is recognizing its 2009 Hall of Fame class, which includes four former Golden Eagle football players.
It’s also a chance for Tech to clinch the Sgt. York Trophy for the first time.
Add to those incentives, Tech is trying to snap a five-game losing streak against Tennessee State and the Golden Eagles have been outscored 86-40 the past two years.
That should be enough factors to get Brown’s young team ready to play.
The Golden Eagles have won three of their last four games, including victories over both Austin Peay and UT Martin to give Tech a 2-0 record in the battle for the York Trophy.
Tennessee State, which has won the first two York Trophies, has yet to play any of the three Tennessee teams.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 28-16 victory last Saturday over Southeast Missouri, while Tennessee State had the week off and has had two full weeks to prepare for the game in Tucker Stadium.
Tickets for the game are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940) or online at TTUsports.com.
Records in 2009: Tennessee Tech is 4-3 overall
/ 3-2 Ohio Valley Conference
Tennessee State is 3-4 overall / 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference
Series Record: Tennessee State leads the series, 14-8
Last Meeting: Tennessee State 41, Tennessee Tech 14 (2008 in Nashville)
Golden Eagle Sports Network (Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson, Brandon Goodwin)
also Free Teamline (Call 1-800-846-4675 - team code 0654)
Web Streaming: OVCsports.TV (produced by TTU and WCTE)
Television: WCTE TV [live] - Donnie Cox and Bill Buntin
Live Stats: TTUsports.com
Last Week: Tech defeated Southeast Missouri, 28-16; Tennessee State was idle
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Tennessee State - www.tsutigers.com
THE SERIES WITH TSU
The Tennessee State Tigers own a 14-8 edge in the all-time series against the Golden Eagles, including five consecutive wins.
* Tech trails in the series, 6-5, in games played in Tucker Stadium.
* TSU has averaged 34.8 points in the last five games, while Tech has averaged 21 points in that span.
* The Tigers claimed a convincing 41-14 win last year at LP Field.
* Tech’s last victory over TSU came in 2002 when the Golden Eagles posted a 20-14 victory in Nashville.
* The last Tech win over TSU in Cookeville came by a 63-13 margin in 2001.
* Watson Brown is 0-2 against Tennessee State as the Tigers have outscored Tech, 86-40.
FIRST AND 10
A HAPPY HOME -- Tech is 3-0 at home this season in Tucker Stadium and looking to keep its home mark unblemished. The Golden Eagles are the only team in the OVC still unbeaten at home. Tech has posted home wins over Pikeville College, Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri.
JUST A SECOND -- The second quarter has been good to Tech this season, as the Golden Eagles have outscored their opponents 55-27 during the second period. Last week, Tech scordd 21 unanswered points at the close of the first period and first seven minutes of the second.
THIRD QUARTER BLUES -- The Golden Eagles have outscored their opponents this year in every quarter except the third, where Tech has been outscored 52-19. Last week, neither team scored in the third quarter. Tech owns a 52-40 edge in the first quarter and a 55-27 margin in the second. The Golden Eagles also own a slim 48-47 edge in the fourth quarter.
NATIONAL CHARTS -- The Golden Eagles rank in the Top 50 nationally in a handful of statistical categories, including 15th in kickoff returns and 26th in punt returns. Tech is 41st in fewest interceptions thrown, 19th in interceptions, 43rd in turnover margin, 37th in passing defense, and 46th in scoring offense.
GIVE ME FIVE -- The Golden Eagles are bidding for their fifth win of the season. It would be the most wins by a Golden Eagle team since the 2004 team went 6-5 under head coach Mike Hennigan.
LEADING INDICATORS -- Want an early indication that the Golden Eagles will win the game? Check the score at halftime. Tech is 4-1 this season when leading at the half. The Golden Eagles are 4-0 this year when scoring at least 21 points.
ABOUT AVERAGE -- Tech has not relied much on the run this season, so going against a defense that doesn’t yield much on the ground isn’t that scary for the Golden Eagles this Haunted Halloween Homecoming game. Tech is averaging 94.1 yards per game rushing, which is eighth in the OVC, while Tennessee State is 28th in the nation and second in the OVC against the run, allowing just 108 yards per game.
SGT YORK TROPHY -- The Golden Eagles are 2-0 in the three-game series for the 2009 Sgt. York Trophy and can clinch the award with a win over Tennessee State. Meanwhile, it’s only the first game in the series for the Tigers, who have won the award each of the first two years. The award goes to the Tennessee OVC team with the top record in the series among the four -- Tech, Austin Peay, UT Martin and Tennessee State.
NATIONAL RECOGNITION -- Junior defensive back Dustin Dillehay received recognition from all over after his performance at UT Martin. Dillehay was named the OVC’s Defensive Player of the Week and was also named the National Defensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network and one of four National All-Stars by the College Sporting News.
HOLD ON TO THE BALL -- The Golden Eagles rank 25th in the nation
and second in the OVC for fewest turnovers lost with 10. Tennessee
State, meanwhile, is just behind, ranking 26th with 11 lost
turnovers. The Golden Eagles are 43rd in the nation and third in
the OVC in turnover margin.
THE SENIOR CLASS -- Tennessee Tech’s 2009 roster includes only nine seniors. Three of them are fifth-year seniors and three more are in their fourth season as a Golden Eagle. One senior is in his second season at Tech, and two seniors are newcomers to the program. Tech’s
2009 seniors (and the number of years on the roster before 2009):
* Linebacker Derek Dickerson (0)
* Defensive end Brendon Fisher (4)
* Tight end Brandon Harris (3)
* Defensive end Kelvin Quarles (0)
* Cornerback Taron Ryce (3)
* Offensive tackle Calvin Smith (4)
* Quarterback Lee Sweeney (3)
* Linebacker Derrian Waters (4)
* Runningback Cedric Wilkerson (1)
ALL-AMERICANS -- Two Golden Eagles have earned the distinction of All-America status. Junior Taylor Askew is an Academic All-American and junior Kelechi Ordu is a Strength All-American. Junior Henry Sailes has earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors.
YOUTH IN TWO-DEEP -- The two-deep lineup includes 15 freshmen and 20 first-year Golden Eagles.
CAPTAINS APLENTY -- Coach Watson Brown has decided to have his team elect captains prior to the 2009 season, and the Golden Eagles have chosen four defensive players. The team captains are Brendon Fisher, Kelvin Quarles, Taron Ryce and Derrian Waters.
RJH AWARD WINNERS -- Sophomore Tim Benford is only the third player to win the Robert Hill Johnson Award and come back and play the next year. The others were Larry Schreiber (1968 and 1969) and Larry Shipp (2006 and 2007).
ACADEMIC SUCCESS -- During last Spring semester, the Golden Eagle football team placed 26 players on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. This season, 14 of those players are back on the field.
STARTS WITH AN “A” -- Golden Eagle junior offensive guard Taylor Askew has been named first-team Academic All-District each of the past two years, and he’s currently on the ballot to claim his third honor. The CoSIDA Academic-All-America team is sponsored by ESPN The Magazine. Askew owns a perfect 4.0 grade average, and last season received the OVC Academic Medal for posting the highest GPA among all football players in the league.
SEASON MARKS -- Tim Benford broke one school record and tied another in his freshman season. He set the record for most receptions in a season (68), and tied the mark with 10 TD receptions [also held by Larry Shipp (2007) and Derek Lee (2002)]. His 782 receiving yards ranked as the seventh highest season in school history.
CAREER MARKS -- So far this season Lee Sweeney has established new Tech career records for most passes attempted, most passes completed, most touchdown passes, most touchdowns responsible for, most passing yards and most yard of total offense.
PRESEASON HONOR -- Junior Charlie Seivers was named to the preseason all-OVC team.
MINOR CHANGES -- Watson Brown’s 2009 coaching staff remains nearly completely intact from last year, with one new coach and three new assignments. Sidney Powell joined the staff during the summer and will handle the Tech cornerbacks. Meanwhile, Thomas Cox moves from receivers to the offensive line and Justin Shannon takes over the receivers.
DID YOU KNOW?
NEW ADDITION PENDING -- Assistant coach Matt Schmitz and his wife, Carrie, are expecting their first child in November.
SHUTTLE PILOT -- Former Golden Eagle linebacker Barry Wilmore, a member of the TTU Sports Hall of Fame, will be the pilot of the next NASA Shuttle, set to launch Nov. 12.
Notes on OFFENSE
TO PROTECT AND SERVE -- Tech’s offensive line has done a solid job in pass protection, allowing just 11 total sacks through the first seven games. That ranks Tech in a tie for second in the league (along with Southeast Missouri), just behind leader Tennessee State.
LITTLE TIME OFF -- The starting five in Tech’s offensive line are seeing the majority of snaps. The workhorses up front include center Malcolm Jones, guards Taylor Askew and Slade Adams, and tackles Scott Schweitzer and Calvin Smith. Sophomore Ryan St. John has seen some time in a support role. Andrew Higgins was seeing time at tackle but has been sidelined the past few games with an injury.
LIGHT THE FUSE -- The Golden Eagle offense has produced 15 “explosions” this season, with 12 passing plays of 25 yards or more and three rushing plays of better than 20 yards.
DRIVE TIME -- Tech’s offense has put together at least one scoring drive of 65 or more yards in six of seven games this season.
SEEING RED -- Once Tech reaches the red zone, the Golden Eagle offense has been very efficient, scoring 15 out of 18 times for 84 percent. Tech has found the end zone for 13 of those 15 scores.
ADDING UP -- Senior quarterback Lee Sweeney has passed for 1,278 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He has nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Sweeney ranks fifth in the OVC in passing yards, sixth in total offense and seventh in pass efficiency. He has hit the 300-yard mark passing six times, including 318 at UT Martin (Oct. 17). Sweeney has 13 games of 200 yards or more passing. Tech is 7-6 in games when Sweeney hits the 200-yard mark. He is averaging 182.6 yards per game this season.
SENIOR GUNSLINGER -- Lee Sweeney entered his senior season as the starter at quarterback, something that hasn’t happened too often through the years. Since 1990, it is only the fifth time that a senior came into the year as the starting quarterback. The others have been Mike Jones (1994), Andre Cabalero (1997), Grant Swallows (2001) and Robert Craft (2004).
THE RECORD BOOK -- Lee Sweeney has accounted for 6,094 yards of total offense and 6,544 passing yards, both school records.
ON OVC LADDERS, TOO -- Lee Sweeney is also climbing the charts among the all-time top quarterbacks in OVC history. He currently ranks fifth in career completions with 580, needing just five more to surpass Tony Romo and Brady Wahlberg and move into third. He is seventh in career passing yards, jumping past TSU’s James Wade last weekend. He needs 397 to catch Kelly Holcomb in sixth place and is 534 from equalling TSU’s Leon Murray.
OVC CAREER COMPLETIONS
1. Chris Swartz, MOR (1987-90) 774
2. Stewart Childress, MUR (2000-03) 649
3. Tony Romo, EIU (1999-02) 584
Brady Wahlberg, UTM (2002-05) 584
5. Lee Sweeney, TTU (2006-) 580
6. Michael Proctor, MUR (1986-89) 578
7. Jefferson Adcock, SAM (2004-07) 505
8. Kelly Holcomb, MTSU (1991-94) 501
9. Ray Nelson, SAM (2003-04) 500
10. Josh Greco, EKU (2004-07) 478
OVC CAREER PASSING YARDS
1. Chris Swartz, MOR (1987-90) 9,028
2. Michael Proctor, MUR (1986-89) 8,682
3. Tony Romo, EIU (1999-02) 8,212
4. Stew Childress, MUR (2000-03) 7,581
5. Leon Murray, TSU (1997-99) 7,201
6. Kelly Holcomb, MTSU (1991-94) 7,064
7. Lee Sweeney, TTU (2006-) 6,667
8. James Wade, TSU (1989-92) 6,613
9. Justin Fuente, MUR (1998-99) 6,394
10. Brady Wahlberg, UTM (2002-05) 6,247
CAREER TD MARK TO LEE -- With two TD passes against UT Martin, Lee Sweeney broke the career record. He has now thrown 45 career touchdown passes. He passed the career record, which was originally set at 38 by Robert Craft (2001-2004).
LEE FOR THREE -- Lee Sweeney has thrown three touchdown passes five times in his career:
2009 - Austin Peay
2008 - Austin Peay
2007 - Samford
2006 - Murray State
2006 - Tennessee State
NO SCORES -- Tech has won three times when Lee Sweeney did not throw a touchdown pass, and two have been against Southeast Missouri (in 2008 and 2009). The other time was over Concorida in 2008. Sweeney has thrown TD passes in 23 of his 36 career games, and has thrown for at least two touchdowns in 15 games.
IN EVERY SINGLE GAME -- Tim Benford has caught passes in every game of his Golden Eagle career. He had one catch for 21 yards against SEMO, ending his streak at 17 conscutive games with at least two receptions. He has made four or more catches in 12 of those 18 contests. Benford enjoyed a sensational start to his career last year, leading Tech in receptions (school-record 68), receiving yards (782) and touchdowns (10) on his way to earning 2008 OVC Freshman of the Year honors.
NEEDS TWO CATCHES -- Sophomore Tim Benford needs two receptions to climb into the top 10 in career catches. He comes into the game with 88 receptions. In 18 games, Benford has 88 catches for 1,158 yards.
HE’S PASSED 1,000 -- Sophomore Tim Benford has raised his career total to 1,158 receiving yards.
OVER 2,000 -- Henry Sailes has climbed over the 2,000-yard mark in his career for all-purpose yards. He now has 2,409. He needs 274 to climb into Tech’s career top 10.
HITTING 1,000 -- Henry Sailes has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in kickoff returns for his career. He has 1,077 yards to rank second in school history behind Gerald Bentley with 1,418.
MAN WITH A PURPOSE -- Last year, Dontey Gay finished third on the team in all-purpose yardage with 776 yards. This season, he is tops on the squad and 10th in the OVC with 604 all-purpose yards, an average of 86.3 per game. He has a team-best 395 yards rushing, along with 58 receiving and 151 on kickoff returns. In 18 games, Gay has accounted for 1,380 all-purpose yards with 584 rushing, 83 receiving and 713 in kickoff returns.
PAYDAY FOR NO. 24 -- Senior Cedric Wilkerson (photo above) has carried the ball 19 times this season and four have been for touchdowns.
NUMERO UNO -- Antonio Robinson had the biggest game of his career against Austin Peay (Oct. 3), posting career-high numbers with nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He grabbed a 21-yard pass from Lee Sweeney in the second quarter to give Tech a 17-3 lead, and in the fourth quarter made an acrobatic grab in the end zone to push the Golden Eagles on top 24-17. Through seven games this year, he is second to Tim Benford in number of receptions with 15 for 217 yards and two touchdowns. For his career, Robinson has 39 catches fro 532 yards.
CALLING COLIN -- Junior Colin Allen earned a start at wide receiver against Eastern Illinois and responded with a team-leading six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. He has 10 catches for 190 yards and is one of three Golden Eagle receivers with two touchdown catches. For his career, Allen has 33 receptions for 585 yards.
ANOTHER FOR ALDEN -- Sophomore Alden Olverson grabbed his second career touchdown pass in the game at EIU, a 29-yard toss from Lee Sweeney. Two of Olverson’s six catches have resulted in touchdowns.
SPREADING THE WEALTH -- So far this year, 14 different receivers have caught passes, two more than all of last season. Seven of the 14 are wide receivers, two are tight ends and five are runningbacks.
GRIN AND BLAIR IT -- Sophomore Jimmie Blair made his Golden Eagle debut against Pikeville and took Tech on a four-play, 53-yard fourth quarter scoring drive. Blair had all four carries in the drive, including a 35-yard run and a 15-yard touchdown. He finished with seven carries for 62 yards. Blair ranks third on the team in rushing with 74 yards.
HOGUE TIED -- Sophomore Jamere Hogue moved from outside linebacker to tight end following his freshman season and has been a solid contributor as the starter in 2009. At Kansas State he made his first career reception -- a 19-yard touchdown for the Golden Eagles’ only score, finishing the game with two catches for 26 yards. Against UT Martin, Hogue had his third reception of the year, a five-yard TD pass from Lee Sweeney. He has six catches for 50 yards and two are for touchdowns.
Notes on the DEFENSE
NO PASSING ZONE - The Golden Eagles rank 37th nationally and second in the Ohio Valley Conference in passing defense, allowing 176.9 yards per game through the air.
FILLING IN JUST FINE - Junior linebacker Kelechi Ordu has filled in for injured starter Howard Griffin for most of the game against Austin Peay as well as the UT Martin and Eastern Illinois contests. He made six tackles including one tackle-for-loss against the Govs and two tackles with a half tackle-for-loss against the Skyhawks. At EIU, Ordu led the Golden Eagles with a 12 tackles, one less than his career-best (13 against Concordia in 2007) and equal to his entire 2008 tackle total of 12. Last week, he notched his second consecutive double-digit game with 10 tackles against Southeast Missouri, including two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback sack, while also causing a fumble. For the season, Ordu has 37 total tackles to rank fifth on the squad. He leads Tech in tackles-for-loss with 5.5, placing him 17th in the OVC.
DEEP UP FRONT -- The Golden Eagle defensive front boasts loads of depth. At BEAR, Charlie Seivers and Brendon Fisher are BOTH listed as starters. Justin Hilliard and Dedrick Miley return in the middle at the ANCHOR spot, and each has started. On the other end, at the ROCK position, sophomore Travis Adkins is back and is joined by freshman LaDarrius Verge. That group combined for 175 total tackles last year, led by Seivers (65), Miley (33), Fisher and Hilliard (32 each). So far this season, those six players have combined to make 143 total tackles, led by Miley with 32. Fisher and Quarles have 27 each and Adkins has 24.
HE WAS A FORCE - Junior Dedrick Miley tops Tech’s defensive linemen with 32 total tackles to rank eighth on the team. He is second on the squad with 5.0 tackles-for-loss and leads the Golden Eagles with four quarterback sacks. Miley had six tackles against SEMO. The junior from Valdosta, Ga., had a sensational game against Austin Peay. He made six total tackles including a tackle-for-loss, one quarterback sack, and blocked a fourth quarter PAT attempt that preserved a 24-23 Golden Eagle lead.
CAREER LEADERS - Senior Taron Ryce is tops on the team in career tackles with 184. Ryce, Dustin Dillehay and Brendon Fisher have each topped 100 in career tackles. Here is how the returnees rank in total tackles:
Active Player (yr) Tackles GP
Taron Ryce (Sr.) 184 40
Dustin Dillehay (Jr.) 105 29
Brendon Fisher (Sr.) 103 38
Jake McIntosh (So.) 86 16
Richmond Tooley (So.) 84 19
Charlie Seivers (Jr.) 80 28
Dedrick Miley (Jr.) 80 29 Kelechi Ordu (Jr.) 80 25
Justin Vann (So.) 60 16 Kedrick Towles (So.) 56 15
Corbin Miles (Jr.) 56 27
Howard Griffin (So.) 51 12
Justin Hilliard (Jr.) 49 26
Caleb Mitchell (Fr.) 48 9
Dwight Evans (So.) 41 18
Travis Adkins (So.) 38 19
Brandon Harris (Sr.) 24 26
DILLIGENT DILLEHAY - Dustin Dillehay picked off his third pass of the season last week against SEMO, returning it 29 yards. Dillehay ranks fourth in the conference and 29th nationally in interceptions per game. He also leads Tech and ranks 12th in the league in tackles per game. Dillehay made a career-high 14 tackles at UT Martin and added seven at EIU. The former walk-on stepped forward to see extended playing time in the secondary last year and is the starter at rover this fall. Against Pikeville, Dillehay had his first career interception and returned a punt 27 yards. He then added a 41-yard INT return for touchdown at UT Martin.
NATIONAL HONORS -- Junior defensive back Dustin Dillehay was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Sports Network and a National All-Star by College Sporting News on Oct. 12 after his outing against UT Martin. Dillehay had 14 tackles (10 solo) and intercepted a pass that he returned 41 yards for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the Golden Eagles 35-28 road victory. With his team leading 28-21, Dillehay picked off UTM quarterback Cade Thompson and returned the ball 41 yards for a score to put the Golden Eagles up 35-21 with 8:11 to play.
IT’S TOOLEY TIME -- Sophomore Richmond Tooley has emerged as a leader in the Tech secondary and ranks as one of the most effective defensive backs in the OVC. He ranks third in the OVC and 12th in the nation in passes defended with 10 and also has two interceptions. He had his first career interception at Eastern Kentucky, halting an early Colonel drive with a pick in the end zone. Tooley also broke up three passes in the EKU contest. Against Austin Peay, Tooley had 12 total tackles and broke up three passes. His second pick of the year came against Southeast Missouri and turned the momentum in Tech’s favor. He started eight games last year as a true freshman and ranked fifth on the team with 56 total tackles with three passes defended.
QUITE NICE, RYCE -- Senior Taron Ryce ranks fourth on the team with 39 total tackles and second on the squad with seven passes defended. Ryce had eight tackles, including a tackle-for-loss, broke up three passes and claimed his fifth career interception in the game at Eastern Illinois. Last week against SEMO, he made three tackles and broke up two passes.
WELCOME BACK, CALEB - Redshirt freshman Caleb Mitchell made eight tackles against Southeast Missouri and currently ranks third on the team with 40 tackles. He played the first couple of games last year as a true freshman before suffering an injury at Louisville and missed the rest of the year, earning medical redshirt status.
HOWARD’S RETURN -- Sophomore linebacker Howard Griffin returned to the lineup last week in a reserve role and made five tackles. He returned from an injury that sidelined him for three games. Griffin was leading the team with 29 tackles when he was sidelined with the injury. He has missed most of the Austin Peay game and the entire UT Martin and EIU games. Griffin had a career-best 11 tackles against Eastern Kentucky and also caused a fumble. He made eight stops at K-State. One of the team’s most improved players in the spring, Griffin is listed as the starter at BULL linebacker. Last season, he made a total of 17 tackles (with a career-high of six). This year he has exactly double that total with 34 tackles to rank seventh on the team.
PLENTY OF POLISH -- Jake McIntosh currently ranks second on the team and 22nd in the OVC in tackles, making 41 stops in seven games. He tied his career-high with nine tackles to lead Tech at Kansas State. He started eight games and ranked among the top tacklers in the OVC last year, and was second in tackles among all OVC freshmen. He set his career-high with nine tackles against both Eastern Kentucky and UT Martin, and finished the year seventh on the squad with 45 total stops.
A NEW BANDIT - With the knee injury to Derrian Waters, sophomore Justin Vann has moved into the starting spot at BANDIT linebacker. Vann had four tackles against both Pikeville and Eastern Kentucky, then made a career-best eight stops at K-State. He was in on five stops against Austin Peay, UT Martin and Southeast Missouri. He ranks sixth on the team with 35 total tackles.
NEW FACES -- Several first-year players are having an impact on the defense, led by Kelvin Quarles with 27 tackles. Also showing up among team leaders in tackles among the newcomers are Jerry King (21) Matt Moran (20) and Marty Jones (19) tackles. LeDarrius Verge is right behind with 18 stops. Moran is third on the team with 4.0 tackles-for-loss.
OH, CHARLIE -- Charlie Seivers had four tackles and caused a fumble at K-State, then made six tackles, including one tackle-for-loss and a quarterback sack against Austin Peay. Last season, Seivers led Tech and ranked sixth in the OVC with five quaraterback sacks. He was 27th in the league in total tackles with 65, and also led Tech with 10.5 tackles-for-loss for 47 yards. He had a career-best 12 tackles against Eastern Kentucky, along with 2.5 tackles-for-loss and a quarterback sack. Seivers was voted to the preseason all-OVC squad for 2009.
Notes on the SPECIAL TEAMS
CALL HIM THE BLOCKER -- Senior Dedrick Miley has blocked three kicks this season, and Tech has now blocked 12 kicks in three seasons under Watson Brown. The Golden Eagles blocked a pair of field goals at Eastern Illinois. Miley has blocked field goals against both Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky, and a PAT attempt against Austin Peay that possibly turned the game in Tech’s favor in the fourth quarter. Tech blocked three kicks in 2008, two on PAT attempts and one on a field goal try. The five current players who have blocked kicks are:
Dedrick Miley (FG at Eastern Illinois)
Dedrick Miley (FG at Eastern Kentucky)
Dedrick Miley (PAT against Austin Peay)
Travis Adkins (PAT at Louisville)
Justin Hilliard (PAT at Austin Peay)
Kedrick Towles (field goal against EIU) Taron Ryce (PAT against Austin Peay)
MANY HAPPY RETURNS -- Henry Sailes has two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Tech’s Kickoff Return TDs since 1960:
Player Year Opponent Yds
Henry Sailes 2008 UT Martin 87
Larry Shipp 2007 Samford 88
Henry Sailes 2007 Murray State 76
Larry Shipp 2007 Concordia 97
Larry Shipp 2007 Cumberland 87
Lorenza Rivers 1987 Youngstown 99
Billy Blaylock 1982 NE Missouri 83
Mike Vise 1977 UN-Omaha 90
Lamar Mike 1977 East Tennessee 93
Lamar Mike 1976 East Tennessee 96
Dickie Fulton 1973 East Tennessee 100
Larry Schreiber 1967 Middle Tenn. 90
Jim Schaeffer 1961 Eastern Kentucky 95
SAILES DEEP TO RECIEVE -- Junior Henry Sailes leads Tech and is averaging 14.0 yards on six punt returns this season. He returned two punts for 36 yards against Southeast Missouri, including a season-best 22-yard burst.
ANOTHER RETURN MAN -- As if Tech doesn’t already have a handful of dangerous kick returners, sophomore Mauricio Wallace has emerged as yet another weapon. He had an 81-yard return against Eastern Illinois, and is averaging 35 yards in seven returns.
WISCONSIN’S CONTRIBUTION -- Junior punter Jason Lennartz, the only player on the Golden Eagle roster from the state of Wisconsin, has become the starter at punter. He stepped in as a mid-game replacement at Eastern Illinois (Oct. 17) and averaged 50.8 yards in five kicks, including two bombs of 69 yards each. They were not only career-best kicks, but also ranked as the 10th longest punt(s) in school history. Three of his five kicks were downed inside the EIU 20, including one of those 69-yard efforts at the EIU two-yard line. Lennartz has punted 13 times and is averaging 44.3 per kick with five of his kicks (39 percent) downed inside the opponent’s 20.
AND UP NEXT
STEPPING UP -- For the second time this season, the Golden Eagles step up a division to face a BCS opponent. Tech will play at the University of Georgia next Saturday (Nov. 7), with kickoff set for 12 p.m. ET in UGAs Sanford Stadium. Earlier this year the Golden Eagles dropped a 49-7 contest at Kansas State.
MAKE IT 37 STRAIGHT — The Golden Eagles have not been shut out in Watson Brown’s career as TTU head coach, scoring in all 29 games. The fewest points scored was three at Auburn in 2007. The last time Tech was blanked was in a 44-0 loss to Middle Tennessee State in the third game of 2006. Tech has gone 37 straight games without being shut out.
FIFTY-FIFTY — The 51 points scored against Pikeville marked the third-most by the Golden Eagles under head coach Watson Brown. Highest-scoring games under Brown:
Pts Opponent Year Final W/L
55 Concordia 2007 55-7 W
52 Samford 2007 59-52 L
51 Pikeville 2009 51-10 W
48 Murray State 2007 48-24 W
47 Cenral Methodist 2008 47-19 W
45 Cumberland 2007 45-21 W
WORKING OVERTIME — Of the 13 games in which Tech has gone to overtime, three have been against UT Martin and three have been against Murray State. The Golden Eagles are 8-5 all-time in overtime games. Tech and Tennessee State have never been forced to overtime.
GOLDEN EAGLES IN OVERTIME
The Golden Eagles are 8-5 in games that reached extra periods:
W - Tech 16, Murray State 13 (1 OT) - 10/1/88
W - Tech 20, Austin Peay 14 (1 OT) - 11/10/90
W - Tech 21, UT Martin 14 (2 OT) - 10/5/96
W - Tech 16, Murray State 13 (1 OT) -11/1/97
W - Tech 31, UT Martin 24 (1 OT) - 10/17/98
W - Tech 31, Eastern Ky. 29 (3OT) - 10/24/98
L - Eastern Ky. 23, Tech 20 (2OT) - 11/13/99
L - UT Martin 30, Tech 23 (1 OT) - 10/4/03
W - Tech 40, Eastern Ill. 37 (2 OT) - 11/6/04
L - SE Missouri 31, Tech 28 (1 OT) - 11/13/04
L - Chattanooga 30, Tech 23 (1 OT) - 9/3/05
W - Tech 20, Murray State 14 (1 OT) - 9/30/06
L - Jax State 17, Tech 10 (1 OT) - 10/28/06