By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Through his presentations and conferences this week, Tennessee Tech head coach Marcus Satterfield has said continuously that while the Golden Eagles have an 0-5 record through the start of the 2017 campaign, there's still six games remaining on the schedule.
The Golden Eagles certainly still have plenty to play for as they head to Charleston, Ill., this week for an Ohio Valley Conference showdown with Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Roger Ealey and Dylan Vazzano will provide the coverage for the Golden Eagle Sports Network.
While Tech has started 0-5, the record is a bit of a misnomer. Included in that stretch are two teams that were ranked in the Football Championship Subdivision polls (No. 4 Jacksonville State and No. 15 Western Illinois, while Kennesaw State is receiving votes in the poll.), as well as a Football Bowl Subdivision contest against Ball State.
However, the reality of the situation is that the Golden Eagles are indeed 0-5, but the team has no desire to back down as they look for their first win this season this weekend.
Listening to the coaches and players, both agree that the pieces are in place for a strong finish to the 2017 campaign, which starts with a two-game road trip to Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri in consecutive weeks, followed by their open date, before the Golden Eagles come home for three of their last four games.
The Panthers have won eight of the last 10 meetings with Tech, and the Golden Eagles are 3-8 all-time in Charleston. EIU has won 17 of the 23 all-time meetings. Eastern knocked off Tennessee State in double overtime last week, as well as Southeast Missouri the week before, with identical 19-16 scores. Along with Austin Peay and Jacksonville State, the Panthers are among the three unbeaten teams in OVC play.
Scotty Gilkey Jr. earned OVC Offensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week honors as he helped lead the Panthers to their win over TSU. He rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns – a nine-yard score in the first quarter, then a one-yard push in the second overtime for the game winner.
Nick Horne was also named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week with 12 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.
EIU won last year's meeting in Cookeville, 30-24.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information