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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech bids for its fifth consecutive victory Saturday evening when the resurgent Tennessee State Tigers visit Tucker Stadium, but there’s much more at stake for the Golden Eagles than a winning streak.
Tech not only hopes to improve to 2-0 in the chase for the 2011 Sgt. York Trophy, the Golden Eagles also seek to keep pace in the Ohio Valley Conference championship race. Tech enters the game 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the OVC, tied for the top spot with preseason favorite Jacksonville State.
The series history bodes well for Tech, which has won the last two against Tennessee State. Through the years, every winning streak has reached at least three games in this series between in-state rivals.
However, recent history will put a little charge in the Golden Eagles, who had an idle weekend last Saturday while Tennessee State was crushing defending league champion Southeast Missouri, 55-3.
The game will feature two high-powered offenses led by talented, efficient quarterbacks. Tech’s Tre Lamb and TSU freshman Michael German are tied for first in the OVC in passing efficiency. Lamb needs 303 passing yards to achieve the Top 10 in TTU career passing yardage. German, meanwhile, has won back-to-back Newcomer of the Week awards from the OVC.
Another Tech milestone on the horizon finds senior receiver Tim Benford with 26 career touchdown catches, just one shy of Larry Shipp’s school record of 27. Benford ranks first in the league in both receptions and receiving yards per game.
TSU’s passing attack features Calvin McNairl, who is sixth in receiving yards. Devin Wilson is fourth in receptions per game.
Tech’s ground game features senior Dontey Gay, who ranks first in the OVC in rushing yards per game, total offense and scoring TDs. The Tigers have two ball carriers among the top eight in the OVC. Trabis Ward is fourth, averaging 86.5 per game while Dante’ Thomas is eighth with 69.3 per game.
The Golden Eagles are looking for their first five-game win streak since the final four games of 2000 and the opener in 2001. The last time Tech won five straight in one season was in 1999, when they finished 5-5 overall.
Tech is also trying to go to 4-0 in the OVC for the first time since 1999 under coach Mike Hennigan.
Tickets are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Saturday is Scout Night at the stadium, with free admission to all Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts either in uniform or showing scout ID. Scouts can also purchase tickets for their family members for one dollar ($1) each.
An added feature for the night will be a dual performance at halftime by two great marching bands as the Tennessee Tech Marching Band welcomes the Tennessee State Aristocrat of Bands.
Records in 2011:
Tennessee Tech is 4-1 overall / 3-0 Ohio Valley Conference
Tennessee State is 2-4 overall /1-2 Ohio Valley Conference
Last Week: Tennessee Tech was idle; Tennessee State defeated Southeast Missouri, 55-3
Last Year: Tech won, 21-10
Series Record: TSU leads, 14-10
Special Events: Scout Night / TSU Marching Band is special halftime guest
Golden Eagle Sports Network (Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson, Brandon Goodwin)
also Teamline Direct (Dial 216-502-3200 / enter team code 0654) - $5 per game
Internet: www.Magic985.com for audio stream
Live Stats: www.TTUsports.com
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Tennessee State - www.tsutigers.com
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