By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Tennessee Tech football team gets set for a Homecoming battle with Austin Peay on Saturday, there's still plenty on the line. A Golden Eagle victory puts Tech in the driver's seat for the Sergeant York Trophy, and following a 30-26 win over Tennessee State last week, a chance to build some momentum to head into the offseason with.
Saturday's game starts at 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast by ESPN3 as the Ohio Valley Conference's Game of the Week with Kevin Ingram and Bob Belvin providing the call. Roger Ealey and Dylan Vazzano will provide the broadcast duties for the Golden Eagle Sports Network on 98.5 KISS FM.
Here's what head coach Marcus Satterfield had to say about the matchup during this week's press conference:
Saturday marks Tennessee Tech's 87th annual Homecoming game. Tech won its first in 1930 with a 57-0 victory over Lincoln Memorial. The Golden Eagles have won their last three Homecoming games, including a 27-26 win over Southeast Missouri in 2014, a 42-24 win over Austin Peay in 2015 and a 21-20 win over Southeast Missouri in 2016. This is the fifth time Tech will host Austin Peay on Homecoming, with the Golden Eagles taking a 2-2 record against the Governors. Tech is 46-39-1 on Homecoming.
SERGEANT YORK UPDATE
With Tennessee Tech's 30-26 win over Tennessee State last week, the Golden Eagles open their run for the Sergeant York Trophy with a 1-0 mark. Austin Peay, who has defeated State and UT Martin, will clinch the trophy for the first time with a victory over the Golden Eagles. Tech, meanwhile, can claim the trophy with wins over Austin Peay and UT Martin on Nov. 18.
This is the 51st meeting between Tech and Austin Peay. The Golden Eagles hold a 32-18 advantage in the series, winning the last four games and seven of the last eight. The two teams first met in 1938 with Tech winning the first six games. Tech also had a six-game winning streak between 1971 and 1976. The Governors' longest winning streak in the series is five between 1982 and 1986. In Ohio Valley Conference play, the Golden Eagles are 26-18 against APSU. Tech defeated the Governors 41-7 last season in Clarksville.
SCOUTING THE GOVERNORS
Austin Peay is coming off of a 73-33 loss at Central Florida, the Governors' third Football Bowl Subdivision opponent of the season. APSU was originally scheduled to be idle, but was granted a waiver by the NCAA to add the 12th game after Central Florida lost a scheduled contest after early fall hurricanes ... Jeremiah Oatsvall leads the Govs in passing with 795 yards and five touchdowns on 58-of-98 passing ... Kyran Moore is their leading receiver with 23 catches for 373 yards and two touchdowns ... Kentel Williams is APSU's leading rusher with 602 yards and two touchdowns on 87 carries, while QB JaVaughn Craig has six rushing TDs ... Defensively, Gunnar Scholato has 75 tackles, including 8.5 for-loss with half a sack, an interception, a pass breakup, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. Also of note, Jaison Williams has 37 tackles with 10.5 for-loss and 8.5 sacks for 37 yards.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Tech won its first game of the season last week against Tennessee State, avoiding its first winless season since 1986 and third in the team's 95-year history ... The Golden Eagles have three games remaining in the campaign ... Tech has been outscored 235-125 this season, but the majority of its points have come in the second half ... Andrew Goldsmith leads Tech in rushing with 496 yards and two touchdowns on 86 carries, while Yeedee Thaenrat has rushed for 355 yards and two scores on 103 carries ... Quarterback Andre Sale has thrown for 1,520 yards this season on 123-of-209 passing, averaging 217.1 yards per game ... Five Golden Eagles have thrown at least one pass this season, including Goldsmith, who connected on a 27-yard touchdown strike to Dontez Byrd.
Senior wide receiver Dontez Byrd caught five passes for 111 yards and one touchdown against Tennessee State. For the 2017 campaign, Byrd has 56 catches for 829 yards, 104 yards shy of tying the school record for yards (933) he set in 2016. Byrd is on pace for a school-record 77 catches (Byrd set the record last year with 74) and 1,140 yards with three games remaining.
Sophomore linebacker Aderick Moore was named the OVC's Defensive Player of the Week with his game against Tennessee State. Moore recorded 12 stops, including two sacks for 22 yards and five tackles-for-loss for 30 yards. Moore's TFL total was the second most in a game nationally this season. Moore also forced a fumble and broke up a pass.
Next Saturday, the Golden Eagles will hit the road for the final time in 2017 as they travel to Murray State. Tech will then close out the season the following week as it hosts UT Martin.
Photo by Tony Marable