Click here to read/download TTU vs. EKU game notes
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- With their backs to the wall, the Tennessee Tech football team heads to Richmond, Ky., to take on the league-leading Eastern Kentucky Colonels Saturday at noon CT. The Golden Eagles (5-3/4-2 OVC) must claim a win at EKU to maintain any hope of winning the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference championship.
"There are two teams remaining who have their destiny in their own hands, Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky," said fifth-year Golden Eagle coach Watson Brown. Wins by the Golden Eagles Saturday at EKU and the following week in the regular season finale against Austin Peay would give Tech the tie-breaker and an automatic visit to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
It's an uphill battle for the Golden Eagles, who have seen the Colonels win four years in a row. Eastern Kentucky owns a commanding 50-17 advantage in the all-time series between the two.
To make matters even more difficult, injuries have forced the Golden Eagles to make adjustments to their lineup. Among the changes, starters Will Johnson (rover) and Demetrous Garrett (receiver) are doubtful.
Still, Tech heads into the game with plenty of weapons in all three phases of the game.
On offense, quarterback Tre Lamb is among league leaders in passing and total offense, while Tim Benford tops the conference in both receptions and receiving yards. In the backfield, Tech can employ a one-two combination of Dontey Gay and Adam Urbano. Gay tops the OVC in scoring and ranks among leaders in rushing, while Urbano -- finally healthy after missing six games -- rushed for 119 yards last week on only nine carries.
On defense, senior Jamere Hogue has developed into one of the team's most effective linemen in the past few weeks. Junior Howard Griffin paces a linebacking crew that also includes veterans Jake McIntosh and Justin Vann. In the secondary, Richmond Tooley, Caleb Mitchell and Corey Watson have been effective.
Special teams are led by punter Nick Campbell and placekicker Zack Sharp, and the coverage teams that have done an outstanding job of limiting opponents on punt and kickoff returns.
The game can be heard live on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, with Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson and Brandon Goodwin making the calls.
Records in 2011:
Tennessee Tech is 5-3 overall / 4-2 Ohio Valley Conference
Eastern Kentucky 6-3 overall / 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference
Last Week: Tech lost to Murray State, 38-37; EKU beat Jax State, 52-48
Last Year: Eastern Kentucky won, 42-29
Series Record: EKU leads, 50-17
National Rankings: Tennessee Tech is 25th (Coach’s); Eastern Kentucky is 25th (TSN)
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.ekusports.com
Tennessee Tech - www.TTUsports.com
Eastern Kentucky - www.ekusports.com
Social Media: TTU Sports (Facebook); @TTUGoldenEagles (Twitter)