COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – While the Tennessee Tech defense gave it everything they had on a rainy Saturday night, the Jacksonville State offense was the side that shined, controlling the clock with a monster running game and possessing the ball for over 41 minutes.
The Golden Eagle offense struggled to find its rhythm during the game due to a strong night of coverage from the Gamecock secondary. The JSU pass rush made its presence felt on the night, continuously forcing Tech quarterback Tre Lamb out of the pocket and into several rushing and scrambling situations.
Lamb finished second in the Golden Eagle rushing attack with 41 yards on the ground. Junior running back Bud Golden led the way for Tech in the ground game, gathering 45 yards on seven carries. Junior running back Doug Page picked up his first and second career rushing touchdowns during the contest.
Quarterback Marques Ivory led the JSU attack on the day, throwing for 268 yards and a score on 15-25 passing. Running back DaMarcus James paced the JSU ground game, which totaled 268 yards on the ground, with 130 yards and a trip to the endzone.
Tre Lamb threw for 171 yards in the game and also added a rushing touchdown to his ground game. Junior Da'Rick Rogers led the Golden Eagle receiving corps with five receptions for 78 yards.
Senior defensive back Caleb Mitchell scored his second career defensive touchdown in the game, returning an interception off of Coty Blanchard 49 yards for to put the Golden Eagles up 14-0 in the first quarter.
Sophomore Austin Tallant led the Tech defense with 17 tackles on the evening, a career-best for the young DB out of Alcoa, Tenn. Also putting together a career night was freshman defensive back William Dillard, who racked up 12 tackles for the Tech defense.
Tra'Darius Goff, a sophomore linebacker out of Columbia, Tenn., gathered 12 tackles for his best mark as a Golden Eagle. Senior linebacker Howard Griffin gathered seven stops in the game, finishing the night with 199 career tackles to date. Senior defensive end Tommie McBride also gathered a career-best mark in tackles on the night, making 10 for his first career double-digit tackling game.
The Golden Eagles will take advantage of a much-needed break, not returning to action until Oct. 20 when they take on the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky at Tucker Stadium in a 7 p.m. CT tilt.
* Tech will face off with Jacksonville State Gamecocks for the 15th time in the series, with JSU owning a 9-5 advantage.
* Last season the Golden Eagles eaked out a 21-14 victory in Jacksonville, Ala. to earn their second straight win in the series.
* Making their first career starts for the Golden Eagles tonight are linebackers Malcolm Mitchell and Blake Adams.
* Senior linebacker Howard Griffin needs just eight tackles to record 200 for his Golden Eagle career.
* TTU and JSU have played one overtime game against each other, six years ago. The Gamecocks pulled out the 17-10 win.
* In the 14 previous meetings no Golden Eagle ball carrier has rushed for 100 yards against Jacksonville State
* Four times Tech receivers have caught balls for over 100 yards receiving in the series history.
* Today's Golden Eagle captains: Will Johnson and Tre Lamb.
* JSU wins the coin toss and will defer to the second half.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES
* Senior quarterback Tre Lamb with a fantastic QB delay and rushes for a 16-yard gain. First down Tech.
* Tech forces a three-and-out on the Gamecock's first drive of the game. Freshman Ladarius Vanlier is back to receive the punt. Fair catch.
* Sophomore receiver Cody Matthews with a fantastic one-armed grab for a gain of 34 yards.
* Junior recevier Da'Rick Rogers makes it consecutive first downs for the Golden Eagles with a 17-yard catch.
* TOUCHDOWN!!! Tre Lamb rushes it in from one yard out to put the Golden Eagles up 7-0.
* Tech covered 69 yards in just five plays and one minute and 22 seconds.
* Freshman defensive back Jimmy Laughlin with a great QB hurry to force an incomplete on third down. JSU will attempt a 24-yard field goal.
* IT'S NO GOOD!!! The Gamecocks miss the field goal attempt and Tech takes over on the 20-yard line.
* INTERCEPTION!!! Senior defensive back Caleb Mitchell steps in front of a Cody Blanchard pass and returns the ball for 49 yards and a Golden Eagle touchdown!
* Mitchell gets his seventh career pick. Tech has won four of the five games in which he has intercepted a pass. It is the second time he has returned a pick for a touchdown in his career.
* End of the first quarter. Tech leads Jacksonville State 14-0.
SECOND QUARTER NOTES
* JSU punts and it hits a Tech defender in the foot. The Gamecocks recover and will take over on their own 19-yard line.
* Tech forces a three-and-out and JSU kicks a 34-yard field goal.
* The Golden Eagles still lead 14-3. 13:42 left to play in the second quarter.
* Junior linebacker Blake Adams, who made his first career start today, downs the Tech punt at the three-yard line.
* Caleb Mitchell with a great pass break-up to force third and 10.
* JSU kicks a 32-yard field goal. Tech leads 14-6 with just over six minutes left in the second quarter.
* Ladarius Vanlier returns the kickoff 41 yards to set up the Golden Eagles beautifully.
* Jacksonville State sneaks into the endzone on a four-yard run by DaMarcus James.
* Tech leads 14-13 with 38 seconds to go in the half.
* Half-time. Tech leads 14-13.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES
* JSU begins the second half with the ball.
* After gaining a quick first down, the Gamecock drive stalls and they will punt.
* The Golden Eagles are really moving the ball here early in the third quarter. Just one yard away from a score.
* TOUCHDOWN!!! Junior running back Doug Page nabs his first career rushing touchdown to put the Golden Eagles up 21-13 with just over 10 to play in the third quarter.
* JSU with a 38-yard field goal. Tech now leads 21-16 with 6:23 to play in the third quarter.
* Lamb with back-to-back first down runs to move the Golden Eagles into JSU territory.
* And then Lamb hits Rogers on a 42-yard bomb . Tech just eight yards away from another score.
* TOUCHDOWN!!! Doug Page with his second career rushing touchdown! This one from one yard out.
* Golden Eagles now lead 28-16 with 4:07 to play in the third quarter.
* JSU with the quick answer. Tech's lead is now down to five. The Golden Eagles up 28-23 with 3:48 to play.
* The Gamecocks returned the kickoff inside the Tech 30 and then scored on the first play they ran.
* Junior punter Chad Zinchini with a another monster punt. He is averaging nearly 52 yards per punt tonight.
* Jacksonville State scores on a huge 86-yard touchdown pass. JSU now leads 30-28 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
* At the end of the third quarter, Jacksonville State leads 30-28.
FOURTH QUARTER NOTES
* The Tech defense holds strong yet again and forces the fourth JSU punt of the game.
* Big third down here for the Tech defense.
* JSU forced to punt again. Tech takes over at the 23-yard line with 9:06 to play.
* Jacksonville State defeats Tennessee Tech 37-28.