Photo: Jocques Crawford (1) and Cass Barnes (8) will get starts Saturday against Eastern Kentucky
Click here to view/download TTU football game notes (PDF)
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- One week after facing one of the Ohio Valley Conference's most powerful offensive teams at Murray State, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles face a completely different challenge Saturday when they host one of the top defensive units in the league.
The Golden Eagles will meet Eastern Kentucky in a 1:30 p.m., Homecoming battle in Tucker Stadium. Eastern Kentucky ranked first in the OVC in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense.
The Colonels and Golden Eagles bring identical 4-5 overall records into the contest and are in pack of teams fighting through a tangle in the middle of the OVC standings. Tech is 3-3 in OVC play following a 44-13 loss at Murray State last Saturday while EKU is 3-2 inside the league after knocking off previously unbeaten Jacksonville State, 49-37.
The Colonels have yielded an average of only 79.2 yards per game on the ground, nearly 50 yards per game better than the next OVC team in that category. EKU is also first in quarterback sacks with 18 in five league games.
The Colonels also boast effective special teams, ranking first in the OVC in punting and kickoff returns.
Tech ranks first in the league in kickoff coverage, so that could be a focal point in the game.
Last year, playing in Richmond, Ky., early in the season, the Colonels turned a late interception return for TD into a 17-7 victory. It made EKU's lead in the all-time series 49-17.
Tech is 43-35-1 all-time in its Homecoming games since 1930, but last year's 20-13 win over Tennessee State was the teams first since 2005.
Through the years, Tech has hosted EKU for Homecoming eight times with the Colonels winning six times. The two haven't met for Homecoming since 1989, a 21-20 Eastern Kentucky victory.
Tickets for the game are available online or at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940), or at the stadium on Gameday.
Records in 2010:
Tennessee Tech is 4-5 overall / 3-3 Ohio Valley Conference
Eastern Kentucky is 4-5 overall / 3-2 Ohio Valley Conference
Series Record: EKU leads the series, 49-17
First Meeting: 1937
Last Meeting: EKU 17, Tech 7 (Sept. 19, 2009)
Current Streak: EKU won last three
Golden Eagle Sports Network (Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson and Brandon Goodwin)
also Free Teamline (Call 1-800-846-4675 - team code 0654)
Television: WCTE TV (Tim Scruggs and Tony Maxwell)
Live Stats: www.TTUsports.com
Last Game: Tech lost at Murray State, 44-13; Eastern Kentucky beat Jacksonville State, 49-37
Web Stream: OVCsports.TV
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Eastern Kentucky - www.ekusports.com