Golden Eagles take the fight to Georgia Saturday
Game can be seen on Georgia's Pay-Per-View
or listen on Golden Eagle Sports Network
Click here for infomration on the TTU Alumni Association gathering at the game Saturday
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second time this season, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will step up a level to take on a FBS opponent, this time visiting the Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference for their Homecoming game.
The Golden Eagles will head to Athen,s Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Kickoff in Sanford Stadium is at noon CST. Fans can listen to the game on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, or can watch the game on Pay-Per-View (click on link at bottom).
A member of the Football Championship Subdivision, Tech played at Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference in September for the team's first FBS contest of the year.
Tech has played an FBS opponent every year since 1997, and has faced two FBS foes in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009. Overall, the Golden Eagles have playaed 23 FBS oppoents since 1984.
Coach Watson Brown’s Golden Eagles (5-3 overall/4-2 OVC) have won four of their last five games since the game at KSU in September and are currently listed in the middle of the group of “others receiving votes” in the FCS National Polls.
Tech’s most recent game against an SEC opponent came two years ago when the Golden Eagles lost at Auburn, 35-3.
Tech is coming off a 20-13 Homecoming victory over Tennessee State, a game which allowed Tech to post a 3-0 record against the other Tennessee schools in the conference and clinch the Sgt. York Trophy, now in its third year.
Redshirt freshman Caleb Mitchell forced two turnovers which led to first quarter scores and was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week. Tim Benford was tabbed the OVC co-Offensive Player of the Week after grabbing five passes for 122 yards including the game-winning 28-yard toss from Lee Sweeney with three minutes to play.
The expected crowd of more than 92,000 would be the second-largest crowd to watch an OVC team.
Records in 2009: Tennessee Tech is 5-3 overall
/ 4-2 Ohio Valley Conference
Georgia is 4-4 overall / 3-3 Southeastern Conference
Series Record: Georgia leads the series, 1-0
Last Meeting: Georgia 63, Tennessee Tech 0 (1943 in Athens)
Golden Eagle Sports Network (Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson, Brandon Goodwin)
also Free Teamline (Call 1-800-846-4675 - team code 0654)
Pay-Per-View Television: CSS
Live Stats: Georgiadogs.com
Last Week: Tech defeated Tennessee State, 20-13; Georgia lost to Florida, 41-17
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Georgia - www.georgiadogs.com
THE SERIES WITH UGA
THE ‘43 BULLDOGS -- The Georgia Bulldogs handed Tech a 63-0 loss back in 1943, the only meeting between these two schools on the gridiron.
TOUGH SLATE -- The Golden Eagles of 1943 faced a tough schedule, playing Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, along with Sewanee and two games against Milligan. Tech was outscored 137-7 by the three SEC schools.
UGA CONNECTION -- Tennessee Tech has played against Georgia in several other sports, most notably men’s and women’s basketball. In fact, UGA women’s basketball head coach Andy Landers is a Tennessee Tech graduate.
FIRST AND 10
ROCKY TOPS -- Tennessee Tech heads into the weekend with five wins, tied for the most of any Division I football program in the state of Tennessee. Here are the current records of Tennessee’s nine Division I schools:
Tennessee Tech 5-3
Middle Tennessee 5-3
UT Chattanooga 5-3
Austin Peay 3-5
UT Martin 3-5
Tennessee State 3-5
STEPPING UP -- For the second time this season, the Golden Eagles step up a division to face a FBS opponent. Earlier this year the Golden Eagles dropped a 49-7 contest at Kansas State.
FOUR OF LAST FIVE -- The Golden Eagles have won four of their last five games to improve to 5-3 overall.
LEAGUE HONORS -- Redshirt freshman Caleb Mitchell was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week, and sophomore Tim Benford the co-Offensive Player of the Week for their roles last week in Tech’s 20-13 win over Tennessee State,.
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, neither team scored in the second quarter.
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. Neither team has scored in the third quarter the past two weeks. Tech owns a 65-46 edge in the first quarter and a 55-27 margin in the second. The Golden Eagles also own a slim 55-54 edge in the fourth quarter.
TURNOVER TURNAROUND -- Last year Tech finished the year with a minus 20 turnover margin. Through eight games this season, Tech is a plus 4 in turnover margin, which ranks second in the conference and 32nd in the nation.
LEADING INDICATORS -- Want an early indication that the Golden Eagles will win the game? Check the score at halftime. Tech is 5-1 this season when leading at the half. The Golden Eagles are 4-0 this year when scoring at least 21 points.
SGT YORK TROPHY -- The Golden Eagles clinched the 2009 Sgt. York Trophy with their 20-13 win last week over Tennessee State, giving Tech a 3-0 record against the three OVC schools within the state of Tennessee. The award, now in its third year, goes to the Tennessee OVC team with the top record in the series among the four -- Tech, Austin Peay, UT Martin and Tennessee State.
PEACH PRODUCTS -- The Tech roster features 15 players from the state of Georgia:
Blake Adams (Atlanta)
Jordan Adams (Union Grove)
Carter Crutchfield (Dalton)
Travis Dungee (Powder Springs)
Andrew Higgins (Duluth)
Jerry King (Stone Mountain)
Tre Lamb (Calhoun)
Barry Lenon (Suwanee)
Jake McIntosh (Dalton)
Corbin Miles (Tyrone)
Dedrick Miley (Valdosta)
Kelechi Ordu (Stone Mountain)
Kelvin Quarles (Atlanta)
Kevin Roberts (Union Grove)
Scott Schweitzer (Alpharetta)
NATIONAL RECOGNITION -- Junior defensive back Dustin Dillehay received recognition from all over after his performance at UT Martin (Oct. 10). 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 31st in the nation and second in the OVC for fewest turnovers lost with 12.
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.
GIVE ME SIX -- The Golden Eagles are bidding for their sixth 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.
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.
A HAPPY HOME -- Tech is 4-0 at home this season in Tucker Stadium with one home date remaining (Nov. 21 against Murray State). Tech is looking to post an unbeaten home mark for the first time since going 5-0 in 2001 and for only the fourth time in Tucker Stadium since it opened in 1966. The other two unblemished home records came in 1971 (5-0) and 1972 (6-0). Tech has posted home wins over Pikeville College, Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State.
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?
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. 16. Wilmore is one of just four former college football players to become an astronaut. One of the others is John Glenn.
Notes on TECH'S OFFENSE
TO PROTECT AND SERVE -- Tech’s offensive line has done a solid job in pass protection, allowing just 12 total sacks through the first eight games. That ranks Tech third in the league and 33rd nationally.
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 19 “explosions” this season, with 15 passing plays of 25 yards or more and four rushing plays of better than 20 yards.
SEEING RED -- Once Tech reaches the red zone, the Golden Eagle offense has been very efficient, scoring 19 out of 24 times for 79 percent. Tech has found the end zone for 17 of those 19 scores.
OVC HONOR -- Sophomore receiver Tim Benford was named co-Offensive Player of the Week after accounting for 122 of Tech’s 265 yards of total offense against Tennessee State. Benford had five catches, including the game-winner with a 28-yard TD against double coverage with three minutes remaining. It was Benford’s third career 100-yard receiving game, and second of this season.
ADDING UP -- Senior quarterback Lee Sweeney has passed for 1,466 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Sweeney ranks fifth in the OVC in passing yards and sixth in both total offense and 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 183.2 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 6,347 yards of total offense and 6,855 passing yards, both school records.
ON OVC LADDERS, TOO -- Lee Sweeney is climbing the charts among the all-time top quarterbacks in OVC history. Last week, he passed Tony Romo and Brady Wahlberg and move into third for career completions (592). He is seventh in career passing yards with 6,855 and needs 209 to catch Kelly Holcomb in sixth place.
OVC CAREER COMPLETIONS
1. Chris Swartz, MOR (1987-90) 774
2. Stewart Childress, MUR (2000-03) 649
3. Lee Sweeney, TTU (2006-) 592
4. Tony Romo, EIU (1999-02) 584
Brady Wahlberg, UTM (2002-05) 584
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-) 6,855
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 47 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
FINDING PAYDIRT -- Sweeney has thrown TD passes in 24 of his 37 career games and has thrown for at least two touchdowns in 16 games. He tossed a pair of 28-yard scores against Tennessee State.
IN EVERY SINGLE GAME -- Tim Benford has caught passes in all 19 games of his Golden Eagle career. He has made four or more catches in 13 of those 19 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.
HE’S NOW NUMBER NINE -- Sophomore Tim Benford has climbed to ninth in career receptions. He comes into the Georgia game with 93 receptions.
HE’S PASSED 1,000 -- Sophomore Tim Benford has raised his career total to 1,280 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 2,425. He needs 258 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 1,096 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 with 672 all-purpose yards. He has a team-best 438 yards rushing, along with 83 receiving and 151 on kickoff returns. In 19 games, Gay has accounted for 1,448 all-purpose yards with 627 rushing, 108 receiving and 713 in kickoff returns.
PAYDAY FOR NO. 24 -- Senior Cedric Wilkerson 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. Through eight 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 for 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 caught his third TD of the year in the first quarter against Tennessee State. Allen has 11 catches for 218 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, Allen has 34 receptions for 613 yards.
TWO FOR ALDEN -- Sophomore Alden Olverson has caught seven passes for 113 yards, with two going for 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. He had six carries for 38 yards against Tennessee State. Blair ranks third on the team in rushing with 112 yards.
A NICE CHANGE -- 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 seven catches for 58 yards and two are for touchdowns.
Notes on the TECH'S DEFENSE
NO PASSING ZONE - The Golden Eagles rank 28th nationally and second in the Ohio Valley Conference in passing defense, allowing 170.7 yards per game through the air.
PICKING UP PICKS -- After getting six interceptions all of last season, the Golden Eagles have 13 interceptions in the first eight games this year. Tech ranks second in the OVC and 11th nationally in interceptions per game.
CAREER LEADERS - Senior Taron Ryce is tops on the team in career tackles with 187. Ryce, Dustin Dillehay and Brendon Fisher have each topped 100 in career tackles, and Jake McIntosh need six to hit that plateau. Here is how the returnees rank in total tackles:
Active Player (yr) Tackles GP
Taron Ryce (Sr.) 187 41
Dustin Dillehay (Jr.) 118 30
Brendon Fisher (Sr.) 104 39
Jake McIntosh (So.) 94 17
Richmond Tooley (So.) 90 20
Kelechi Ordu (Jr.) 83 26
Dedrick Miley (Jr.) 82 30
Charlie Seivers (Jr.) 81 29
Caleb Mitchell (Fr.) 61 10
Justin Vann (So.) 60 16
Howard Griffin (So.) 59 13
Corbin Miles (Jr.) 57 28
Justin Hilliard (Jr.) 53 27
Dwight Evans (So.) 44 19
Travis Adkins (So.) 43 20
Kedrick Towles (So.) 37 12
Brandon Harris (Sr.) 25 27
MUCH IMPROVED - In his first two seasons combined, Dustin Dillehay had 35 total tackles. So far this year, he has 53 to lead Tech and rank seventh in the OVC.
DILLIGENT DILLEHAY - Dustin Dillehay picked off his third pass of the season against SEMO (Oct. 24), returning it 29 yards. Last week against Tennessee State (Oct. 31), he tied for team honors with 13 total tackles. Dillehay ranks fourth in the conference and 42nd nationally in interceptions per game. Dillehay made a career-high 14 tackles at UT Martin. 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 on his way to...
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 15th in the nation in passes defended with 11 including three 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. Last week against Tennessee State, he got his third interception of the year. 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 fifth on the team with 43 total tackles, second on the squad with seven passes defended, and third in interceptions with two. 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. Ryce has 187 career tackles and six career interceptions, both tops among active players.
WELCOME BACK, CALEB - Redshirt freshman Caleb Mitchell had a sensational game against Tennessee State and was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week, as well as the Newcomer of the Week. He forced a pair of first quarter turnovers that led to Tech’s first two touchdowns, and finished the game with 13 total tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, two passes defended, an interception, a fumble caused, a fumble recovered and two quarterback sacks. Mitchell had eight tackles against Southeast Missouri, giving him 21 in the last two games. He currently ranks second on the team with 53 tackles, and is 14th in the OVC. He is third on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss, and third in interceptions with two. 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 two weeks ago against Southeast Missouri in a reserve role and made five tackles, and last week he made eight stops against Tennessee State. 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 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. He currently ranks fourth on the team with 42 total tackles. One of the team’s most improved players in the spring, last season he made a total of 17 tackles (with a career-high of six).
PLENTY OF POLISH -- Jake McIntosh made eight tackles in the win over Tennessee State, and currently ranks third on the team and 17th in the OVC in tackles, making 49 stops in eight games. Last year he finished with 45 total tackles in eight games. Earlier this year he tied his career-high with nine tackles to lead Tech in the game 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 last year with nine tackles against both Eastern Kentucky and UT Martin.
JUSTIN TIME - Sophomore Justin Vann moved into the starting spot at BANDIT linebacker when Derrian Waters suffered a knee injury earlier in the year, and has become a stalwart performer. 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 seventh on the team with 39 total tackles.
WATERS READY -- Senior co-captain Derrian Waters has been cleared to play, recovering from a knee injury that has sidelined him for seven games.
HE WAS A FORCE - Junior Dedrick Miley tops Tech’s defensive linemen with 34 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. The junior from Valdosta, Ga., had a strong game against Austin Peay (Oct. 3) with six total tackles including a tackle-for-loss and one quarterback sack, and he also blocked a fourth quarter PAT attempt that preserved a 24-23 Golden Eagle lead.
FILLING IN JUST FINE - Junior linebacker Kelechi Ordu filled in well for injured starter Howard Griffin for the past four contests. He made six tackles including one tackle-for-loss against Austin Peay and two tackles with a half tackle-for-loss against UT Martin. At Eastern Illinois (Oct. 17), Ordu led the Golden Eagles with 12 tackles, one less than his career-best (13 against Concordia in 2007) and equal to his entire 2008 tackle total of 12. He notched his second consecutive double-digit game with 10 tackles against Southeast Missouri (Oct. 24), including two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback sack, while also causing a fumble. For the season, Ordu has 40 total tackles. He leads Tech in tackles-for-loss with 5.5.
DEEP UP FRONT -- The Golden Eagle defensive front boasts loads of depth. At BEAR, Charlie Seivers and Brendon Fisher are both listed as co-starters. Justin Hilliard and Dedrick Miley are sharing time 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 161 total tackles, led by Miley with 34. Adkins and Quarles have 29 each, Fisher has 28, Verge 21 and Seivers 16.
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.
NEW FACES -- Several first-year players are having an impact on the defense, led by Kelvin Quarles with 29 tackles. Also showing up among team leaders in tackles among the newcomers are Marty Jones (23), Matt Moran (22) and LeDarrius Verge (21). Moran is tied for fifth on the team with 4.0 tackles-for-loss. Jerry King also has 21 tackles, but is lost for the season with a knee injury.
Notes on TECH'S SPECIAL TEAMS
BLOCK PARTY -- Sophomore Justin Vann blocked a punt against Tennessee State, Tech’s fifth blocked kick of the year and the 13th in three seasons under Watson Brown. Senior Dedrick Miley has blocked three kicks this season. 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 six current players who have blocked kicks are:
Justin Vann (Punt vs. Tennessee State)
Dedrick Miley (FG at Eastern Illinois)
Dedrick Miley (FG at Eastern Kentucky)
Dedrick Miley (PAT vs. Austin Peay)
Travis Adkins (PAT at Louisville)
Justin Hilliard (PAT at Austin Peay)
Kedrick Towles (field goal vs. 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 10.1 yards on 10 punt returns this season. He returned two punts for 36 yards against Southeast Missouri, including a season-best 22-yard burst. Last week, his 10-yard fourth quarter return set up the game-winning touchdown from the TSU 28.
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 and he made a couple of huge plays in the win over Tennessee State. First, after the snap sailed over his head, Lennartz retrieved the ball deep in Tech territory and unloaded a kick that carried nearly 70 years -- it went for a 41-yard punt. Late in the game, his kick was downed inside the TSU five, eventually leading to Tech’s game-winning TD. 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. Lennartz has punted 22 times and is averaging 41.6 per kick with nine of his kicks (41 percent) downed inside the opponent’s 20.
AND UP NEXT
GAMECOCK GAME -- The Golden Eagles return to Ohio Valley Conference play for their final two games, beginning with a road trip to Jacksonville State next Saturday (Nov. 14).
MAKE IT 38 STRAIGHT — The Golden Eagles have not been shut out in Watson Brown’s career as TTU head coach, scoring in all 30 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 38 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
OVC Largest Crowds
* denotes OVC game
104,488 Eastern Illinois at Penn State, 10/10/09
85,754 Tennessee Tech at Auburn 11/3/07
85,265 UT Martin at Auburn 11/8/08
77,527 Murray State at Wisconsin 9/4/98
72,453 Southeast Missouri at Arkansas 10/14/06
70,185 Tenn. State vs. FAMU (in Atlanta) 9/20/03
67,712 Tenn. State vs. FAMU (in Atlanta) 9/25/04
67,167 Tenn. State vs. FAMU (in Atlanta) 9/28/02
66,512 Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky 9/1/2007
63,306 Murray State at Kentucky 9/6/2003
62,455 Tenn. State vs. FAMU (in Atlanta) 9/23/00
62,305 SEMO at Missouri 9/6/08
61,171 Tenn. State vs. Jackson State (in Memphis) 9/13/97
Largest Tech Road Crowds
Attendance (Year, Site, Result)
1) 85,754 (2007, at Auburn, 35-3, L)
2) 48,094 (2009, at Kansas State, 49-7 L)
3) 41,132 (1999, at Tenn. State, 19-25, L)
4) 40,155 (2002, at Iowa State, 58-6, L)
5) 38,694 (2008, at Louisville, 52-10 L)
6) 32,000 (1984, at Kansas State, 28-12 L)
7) 29,702 (1988, at East Carolina, 52-13 L)
8) 28,525 (2001, at Air Force, 42-0 L)
9) 26,123 (2005, at No. Illinois, 42-3 L)
10) 26,101 (2003, at Memphis, 40-10 L)
10) 26,000 (1951, at Kentucky, 72-13 L)
11) 25,546 (2004, at South Florida, 21-7 L)
12) 24,361 (2008, at Tennessee State, 41-14 L)
13) 24,177 (1994, at Marshall, 24-10 L)
14) 23,743 (1995, at Marshall, 45-14 L)
15) 22,123 (1985, at UN-Las Vegas, 35-7 L)
16) 21,326 (2000, at Ohio University, 52-14 L)