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With 42 days to go until the pigskin (officially) flies through the air for the first time, we'll be previewing all 10 TTU opponents here on TTUsports.com.
Countdown to camp: 17 days
Countdown to season opener: 42 days
Countdown to home opener: 47 days
Who: Maryville College Scots
What: Game 2, Home Opener
When: Thursday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m. CT
Where: Tucker Stadium, Cookeville, Tenn.
Events: Communiversity Night, First Tennessee Poster Night
For many Golden Eagle fans, the Thursday night game against Maryville College on Sept. 8 will be their first opportunity to see the team in action, and the game could provide some fireworks -- literally. Following the game, a dazzling fireworks display is scheduled to light the night sky over the TTU campus.
But, between the lines the Golden Eagles will take on a potent Maryville Scots team that is looking for an upset when they move up to the Football Championship Subdivision to face Tech for the first time since 1948. Tech and Maryville met three times during the decade of the 40s, with the Golden Eagles winning all three.
Founded in 1819, nearly 100 years before Tech was established, Maryville College is a member of the NCAA Division III USA South Conference. Head coach Tony Ierulli is in his ninth season with the programs, posting a 4-6 mark a year ago and a 35-45 record in his eight years.
Seven returning all-USA South performers return in 2011 to
headline the Scots, including all-America candidate Wesley Idlette
at wide receiver. Quarterbacks Tim Conner and Dustin Williams have
combined to pass for more than 4,000 career yards and 30
touchdowns. Idlette, a 6-1, 185 pound senior, is one of eight
experienced receivers who return, bringing more than 3,800
receiving yards and 287 career recptions, while the team's
backfield will feature runningbacks Travis Felder and Chad Brooks.
Brooks, a 5-foot-8, 185 pound sophomore, had 304 yards on 71
carrie. Felder, a 5-6, 195 pound sophomore, added 295 yards on 82
Defensively, Jamie Owen, Blake Barnes, Bud Christy, G.L. Waynick, Alex Anderson and Kane Crowell return a combined 399 career tackles over their tenure in the orange and garnet. Owen, a 6-foot, 215 pound defensive end, was second on the team with 59 total tackles last year including 11 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 quarterback sacks. Barnes, a 6-2, 255 pound senior tackle, had 55 total tackles and topped the team with 13.5 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks. Christy and Anderson each posted two interceptions last season.
The game will be a homecoming for two members of the Maryville roster. Senior Brad Eich, a 5-10, 260 pound offensive center, is a graduate of Cookeville High School who played for the Cavaliers. Joining the Scots in 2011 will be Bryson Welch, a freshman defensive back who prepped at Monterey High School.
Reciever Wesley Idlette