COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – At this time of year, nearly every
college football coach in the country is excited about the upcoming
season. Tennessee Tech's Watson Brown is no exception as he heads
into his seventh season at the helm of the Golden Eagles.
But the schedule that awaits the 2013 Golden Eagles has a good
portion of concern mixed in with the excitement Brown is feeling.
Considering the teams and destinations listed on Tech's 12-game
slate, it's understandable.
Tech will host six outstanding home games in Tucker Stadium, faces
a non-conference slate that includes a visit to Wisconsin of the
Big Ten Conference and a new foe in Indiana State, and conference
road games at some of the most difficult places to play.
The 12-game Golden Eagle football schedule was announced this week
by head coach Watson Brown and TTU Director of Athletics Mark
"This is a really good, really tough schedule," Brown said. "In
fact, it might be one of the toughest and best home schedules in
"We play four in-state schools and possibly two that will be
ranked that are the out-of-state teams coming here," he added.
And, what a season it will be with Tech facing challenges every
Tech opens with a Thursday night home game against Cumberland
University, and then faces back-to-back road games at Wisconsin and
Hampton. Two home games against Tennessee State and Indiana State
lead into the month of October, which includes road games at the
OVC's two Kentucky schools, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky.
During the month, Tech host visits from a pair of strong OVC foes
in UT Martin and Jacksonville State.
November includes two straight road games and an open date before
the regular season finale in Tucker Stadium against Austin
The season gets underway under the lights in Tucker Stadium with
an Aug. 29 visit by the Cumberland University Bulldogs, a team that
also opened the 2007 Tech home schedule and drew the largest
opening day crowd in Tucker Stadium history. Cumberland will be
under the direction of first-year head coach Donnie Suber, who took
over the program in January when Dewayne Alexander joined Brown's
Under Alexander, Cumberland ended the 2012 season ranked 19th
nationally in the NAIA Football Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll.
The Bulldogs finished the year 8-3 overall, the second eight-win
season in three years, making the Bulldogs the winningest college
football program in the state of Tennessee (among 17 institutions)
over the last three years.
"This will be a game we had better be prepared for," Brown said.
"They will be prepared, there's no question about that. We should
see a really nice crowd for this game."
In week two, Tech steps up a classification Sept. 7 to play at
defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin, the second Big Ten challenge
for the Golden Eagles in three seasons. The Badgers demolished
Nabraska, 70-31, in the Big Ten championship game before falling to
Stanford, 20-14, in the Rose Bowl. It will be the third consecutive
season that Tech faces a Rose Bowl participant.
The game will be played in historic Camp Randall Stadium, with a
sell-out crowd of 80,321 expected.
"This will be our second Big Ten team, and we're really looking
forward to it," Brown said. "They have a new head coach (Gary
Anderson from Utah State), so we don't know a lot about the team.
We do know that they've been a hard-hitting, power team. We don't
expect that to change.
"One of the major reasons that I love these (FBS) games is that I
think we've played better on the road in the conference because of
the big-time atmosphere we've played in the past few years," Brown
From the Midwest to the East coast, the Golden Eagles follow
their Wisconsin contest with a visit to Hampton University on Sept.
14. Last year, Tech got ahead early, then weathered a comeback
effort from the Pirates for a 41-31 victory.
"This will be a good game," Brown said. "They are a very good
looking team that is loaded with great athletes. We got up quickly
against them but they made it a good game last year."
Tech returns home Sept. 21 to open the OVC slate against Tennessee
"This will be the first time since I've been here that we've
opened our conference schedule at home," Brown said. "It will be a
change for us, and we're really excited about that. We're playing a
York Trophy game early, which is something else we've never
"We've had some really outstanding games against Tennessee State
recently," he said. "The last two games combined have seen a total
three points difference, and I expect another close game this
The Golden Eagles will have a little score to settle in this one.
The Tigers defeated Tech, 21-20, as time expired last season in
Nashville on a play that OVC officials later announced should not
With back-to-back home games for the only time in the season, Tech
remains in Tucker Stadium Sept. 28 to host a brand new opponent
when Indiana State visits. The Sycamores boast two of the best
offensive players in the nation and could be an FCS Top 25 team.
Last year, ISU posted a 7-4 overall record that included a 17-14
road victory at FCS championship game participant North Dakota
After hosting Indiana State, Tech settles into a stretch of
seven OVC games, including three at home. It begins with a game
Oct. 5 at Murray State, where Tech suffered a 70-35 loss last
season to the Racers. Tech's home schdule resumes wth a
Thursday night visit from UT Martin on Oct. 10. The Golden Eagles
edged the Skyhawks in overtime when a botched PAT cost UTM the OVC
The Golden Eagles play at Eastern Kentucky on Oct. 19, host
Jacksonville State for Tech's annual Homecoming game on Oct. 26,
then face road games at defending OVC champion Eastern Illinois
(Nov. 2) and Southeast Missouri (Nov. 9). The team has an open date
on the agenda on Nov. 16, before the regular season wraps up when
Austin Peay visits Tucker Stadium on Nov. 23. The Golden Eagles
fell to the Governors last year in Clarksville when a fourth
quarter rally came up short.
Starting times and special events will be announced later.
Season tickets may be ordered now by visiting the Athletics Ticket
Office in Eblen Center or calling (931) 372-3940.