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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Most followers of the Ohio Valley Conference figured the league race would be decided during the final weeks of the season...and it still probably will.
However, not many looked at the game Saturday in Cape Girardeau, Mo., as having a major impact on who will emerge as the 2010 OVC Champion.
Tennessee Tech, which has not claimed an OVC title in 35 years, visits Southeast Missouri, which has never claimed an OVC crown, and both teams are looking to come out of the fray with designs on the throne.
SEMO is coming off a stunning 24-21 win at FCS No. 5 Southern Illinois last Saturday to improve to 2-1 overall. Tech, meanwhile, has had 10 days (and a little more) to prepare for the game after downing Lane College, 43-0, last Thursday night. The Golden Eagles are 1-2 overall with their two losses coming at FBS No. 17 Arkansas and No. 4 TCU.
"In order for us to have a chance to play for an OVC championship at home at the end of the season, we have to win early in the year on the road," said TTU head coach Watson Brown.
"These next three weeks are critical for our team," he said.
Tech has won four in a row from SEMO, including a 28-16 victory last year in which the Golden Eagle defense intercepted three passes in Tucker Stadium.
Linebacker Kelechi Ordu had a sensational game against the Redhawks a year ago. He caused a fumble and had 10 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback sack.
Cornerback Richmond Tooley also had a big night as his interception helped turn the tide in Tech's favor in a close contest.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Houck Stadium. It's SEMO's first home game of the year.
Records in 2010:
Tennessee Tech is 1-2 overall / 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference
SEMO is 2-1 overall / 1-0 Ohio Valley Conference
Series Record: Tech leads the series, 11-7
First Meeting: 1991
Last Meeting: Tech 28, SEMO 16 (Oct. 24, 2009)
Current Streak: Tech has won last 4
Golden Eagle Sports Network (Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson, Brandon Goodwin)
also Free Teamline (Call 1-800-846-4675 - team code 0654)
Live Stats: None
Web Stream: KFVS12.com
Last Game: Tech defeated Lane, 43-0; SEMO defeated #5 Southern Illinois, 24-21
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Southeast Missouri - gosoutheast.com