It has been 18 years since Tennessee State head coach Eddie George played in Nissan Stadium as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
On Saturday, it was the venue where he got his first win as head coach of the.
TSU (1-2) played a complete game in a 41-7 victory over Kentucky State.
As his retired No. 27 jersey hung in the rafters, coach George celebrated his first win at TSU. “Getting that first win feels good as a head coach,” George said. “You can never say I didn’t win, so that feels good.”
On offense, senior transfer Quarterback Geremy Hickbottom finished the game with four touchdowns, including a 12-yard rushing touchdown in the rout of the Thorobreds. On the day, Hickbottom threw for 264 yards and rushed for 24 more to cement his role as starting quarterback. Running back Devon Starling bolstered the run game with a season-high 144 yards Saturday, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
“We knew that Geremy would be the guy,” George said. “We just had to get him used to getting the reps in at practice. He had a great week last week. I could sense that he was going to have a breakout game. He was making the right calls, he was making the right decisions, he was throwing the ball with accuracy and certainty and that was exciting to see.”
The Tigers defense held Kentucky State to 132 yards of offense, led by junior linebacker Jahsun Bryant with 5 tackles.
All-Ohio Valley Conference kicker Antonio Zita started TSU’s first-half scoring frenzy with a 22-yard field goal in the first quarter. Senior tight end Rodell Rahmann scored back-to-back touchdowns to end the first quarter and start the second quarter and finished the day 65 yards.
Hickbottom threw an 18-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Dayton Johnson, his first score as a Tiger, and rushed for another touchdown to give TSU a 31-0 lead at the half.
Zita started the second half with another field goal, this time for 34 yards, to extend the Tigers’ lead to 34-0. KSU did get on the board in the second half, with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter but it was too late, TSU dominated the game from start to finish.