Will be third SEC opponent in four years for Watson
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For the second year in a row and the third time in four years, the Tennessee Tech football team will venture into the Southeastern Conference for a game against an FBS opponent.
Coach Watson Brown’s Golden Eagles will play at the University of Arkansas to open the 2010 season, with the game slated for Saturday, Sept. 4, in Fayetteville. The game will be played in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“We’re excited about this game and another opportunity for our young men to play against an FBS opponent,” said Golden Eagle head coach Watson Brown. “Each game we’ve played against that level of competition has been a learning experience, it has given our players a chance to face the very best competition we can face, and it gives each player memories they will take with them for the rest of their lives."
“These games are also very important financially for our football program and the Tennessee Tech Athletic Department,” Brown said.
Tech played at the University of Georgia this season, a game that drew more than 92,000 fans to rank as the second-largest crowd to ever watch an OVC team play. In 2007, the Golden Eagles played before more than 85,000 at Auburn, which was the largest OVC attendance at the time.
Following a $110 million renovation in 2001, the Arkansas stadium increased its seating capacity from 51,000 to 72,000.
“We are delighted to announce this game and add it to our 2010 schedule,” said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “It has become a tradition for Tennessee Tech football to play these games against FBS opponents, and the game against Arkansas will continue that tradition."
“It’s an experience that our players and our fans always enjoy,” Wilson added. “Whether it’s Auburn or Georgia or Arkansas, playing this caliber of opponent provides the team with a tremendous challenge and gives them some lasting memories, and it is also an important aspect of our financial picture.”
The Arkansas Razorbacks improved to 7-4 on the 2009 season Saturday with a 42-21 win over Mississippi State, behind another sterling passing performance by record-setting sophomore quarterback Ryan Mallett. With the regular season finale at Baton Rouge against LSU and a bowl game invitation left, Mallett is expected to continue his assault on the Razorback passing records.
Starting time for the game at Arkansas has not been announced, pending next year’s TV schedules.
The Golden Eagles closed the 2009 season with a 45-14 win over Murray State Saturday, allowing Tech to post a 6-5 record and claim second place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 5-3 league record.