Five home games, two FBS foes highlight 2010 Tech football schedule

Golden Eagles open with games at Arkansas and TCU,
finish by hosting two of the league’s top teams

Click here to view the 2010 schedule

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech football team returns to prime time this fall with a couple of Thursday night home games, hosts five in Tucker Stadium, opens on the road against two FBS opponents, and faces a challenging eight-game Ohio Valley Conference slate.

Those are some of the highlights in the 11-game schedule awaiting Golden Eagle head coach Watson Brown and his squad in 2010.

Director of Athletics Mark Wilson announced the schedule this week.

While the end of the regular season features two major hurdles toward winning an OVC championship, Brown said the early portion of the slate could be the key to success.

“We’re going to have to be good early in the season to have a shot at playing for the championship late in the season,” Brown said.

“We have four goals at the start of the season,” he said. “One is to have a winning record, two is to win all our home games, three is to win the state championship for the York Trophy, and four is to win the OVC.

“If we do those four things, we reach the playoffs. Last year we reached three of the four goals, so our window for improvement is very small,” he said. “The only way this team can improve this year is to repeat those three and win the OVC championship.”

Tech will host five games in Tucker Stadium, including two Thursday night contests early in the year. Four of the five home games are against OVC opponents, all of which have been among the league’s powers this decade.

After kicking off the campaign with road games at Arkansas and TCU, the Golden Eagles open in Tucker Stadium on Thursday night, Sept. 16, by hosting Lane College from Jackson, Tenn., in a non-conference game.

 “It’s our first home game and our kids always get excited about that,” Brown said. “It’s a non-conference game, and we’ve been successful opening with non-conference opponents. We need to be ready to do that again, but it won’t be easy. It’s just four days after playing at TCU, so it will be a tough week for us. A tough week, but it will be exciting.”

In week four, Tech opens OVC play with a road game at Southeast Missouri (Sept. 25).

“We’ve got to get through those early non-conference games and have our team ready to go when we get on the bus to SEMO,” Brown said.  

The Golden Eagles are back on Overall Field for their second Thursday night battle on Sept. 30, this time with UT Martin in an OVC clash.

After two home games in September, Tech plays one at home in October before wrapping up with a pair of tough home games in November. Eastern Illinois visits for a game on Saturday, Oct. 16. Come November, the Golden Eagles could be lining up for an OVC title run when they host Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State for the final two regular season games. Defending league champ EKU visits on Saturday, Nov. 13, while Jacksonville State invades on Saturday, Nov. 20.

“If we’re not good early in the season, it will be real hard for us to be competing for the championship late,” Brown said. “We hope we have a lot at stake when those two teams come to town.”

Homecoming will be Saturday, Nov. 13, against Eastern Kentucky.

Brown’s fourth season at the helm gets underway with a couple of tough tests as the Golden Eagles play at Arkansas (Sept. 4) and TCU (Sept. 11).

“Talk about a challenge, we open the season with games at Arkansas and TCU, but we’re excited about this opportunity for our young men to play these types of opponents,” Brown said. “It’s a learning experience for our young men every time we play against that level of competition. It gives our players a chance to face the very best competition we can.”

Wilson said that games against FBS opponents are special events that the team and Tech fans have been excited about in past years.

“Playing up a level has become a tradition for Golden Eagle football and we’re excited about another opportunity to add to that tradition,” Wilson said.

The balance of the 2010 schedule finds Tech playing OVC road games at Austin Peay (Oct. 9), Tennessee State (Oct. 23) and Murray State (Nov. 6). The Golden Eagles have an open date on Oct. 30.

Tech will also bid to defend its hold on the Sgt. York Trophy in 2010, after sweeping to victories against all three Tennessee OVC schools last season. In this year’s chase for the Sgt. York Trophy, Tech plays one game at home (UT Martin) and two on the road (Austin Peay and Tennessee State).

“The York trophy is a neat thing, and I think it’s growing in competitiveness each year,” Brown said. “We know how important it is to us, and how proud we are to have won it. We know those other three are waiting to see us this year, and I think it’s tougher on us this year because of what we accomplished last year.” 

The Golden Eagles closed the 2009 season with a 6-5 overall record and claimed second place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 5-3 league record.

Season tickets are on sale for the five-game 2010 home schedule. Tickets can be ordered at the Athletic Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.

2010 Golden Eagle Football Schedule

Sept. 4 at Arkansas
Sept. 11 at TCU
Sept. 16 Lane College (Thursday)
Sept. 25 at Southeast Missouri *
Sept. 30 UT Martin * (Thursday)
Oct. 9 at Austin Peay *
Oct. 16 Eastern Illinois *
Oct. 23 at Tennessee State *
Oct. 30 Open Date
Nov. 6 at Murray State *
Nov. 13 Eastern Kentucky (HOMECOMING) *
Nov. 20 Jacksonville State *