By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
MUNCIE, Ind. – Following Saturday's 27-14 loss at Kennesaw State, Tennessee Tech head football coach Marcus Satterfield essentially added a new mission statement for his Golden Eagle players.
To put it simply, no more moral victories.
"We should not be content with playing hard in the fourth quarter so the fans can cheer us on and say we did a good job," Satterfield reiterated on Tuesday during his weekly presser.
And that's something he hopes the team takes to heart this week as the Golden Eagles head to Muncie, Ind., for their annual sojourn to the Football Bowl Subdivision, this time taking on Ball State out of the Mid-American Conference.
Kickoff on Saturday is slated for a 2 p.m. Central start. The game will be broadcast locally on 98.5 KISS FM with Roger Ealey and Dylan Vazzano providing the call. It will also be televised online on ESPN3 with Jim Barbar and Mark Hermann covering the game.
Here's what Satterfield had to say about this week's matchup during today's press conference:
There's no doubt that the Golden Eagles were disappointed following the trip to Georgia as Tech gave up 27 points to the home-standing Owls in three quarters before making a late rally.
But there were still positives to draw from.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Andre Sale locked up the starting role for good with a solid outing. Despite three interceptions and a lost fumble on a snap, the Little Rock, Ark., native showed good poise in just his second career start. He ended the game with 297 yards passing as he completed 31 of his 42 attempts with two touchdown passes to D.J. Wilkes – his first two receptions and touchdowns of his young career as well.
One of the most impressive things about Sale's performance was the ability to spread the wealth, lobbing passes to 13 different Golden Eagle receivers, including six who made their first career catches in the contest.
Dontez Byrd also started a new century-yardage streak as he caught 10 passes for 109 yards and had 203 all-purpose yards in the game.
However, when it comes to the FBS matchups, history has not been on the Golden Eagles' side. Since the Division I-A/I-AA split in 1978, the Golden Eagles are 0-31 against their bigger brothers in Division I ball. And with the Cardinals touting a 2-0 record against Ohio Valley Conference competition since 2010 – a 27-10 win over Southeast Missouri in 2010 and a 41-14 win over Eastern Kentucky last year – the Golden Eagles could be facing an uphill battle.
Ball State (1-1) opened the season with a thrilling game against Illinois as the Fighting Illini out of the Big Ten scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:06 left in the contest for a 24-21 victory in Champaign. The Cardinals then followed it up last week with a decisive 51-31 victory over the reestablished UAB football program.
Last season under head coach Mike Neu, the Cardinals went 4-8, with a 1-7 record in the MAC. It was his first season as a collegiate head coach, following a successful stint in both the Arena Football League and AF2 as he was the head coach of the New Orleans VooDoo, Carolina Cobras, Augusta Stallions, as well as an assistant for the Nashville Kats back in 1998-99 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was also the quarterbacks coach for the NFL's New Orleans Saints in 2014-15, the quarterbacks coach for Tulane in 2012-13 and previously a graduate assistant for Ball State in 1994.
Riley Neal has thrown for 421 yards and three touchdowns in two games as he has completed 44 of his 68 passes, while Justin Hall has caught 10 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. Caleb Huntley has rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, while James Gilbert has rushed for three touchdowns and 115 yards on 37 carries. Jacob White leads the team with 14 tackles.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information