After getting their first win of the season against Bethune Cookman, Tennessee State begins Ohio Valley Conference play this Saturday at Tennessee Tech.
Tennessee State excelled in all phases in its 41-17 homecoming win against the Wildcats, aided by the return of quarterback Draylen Ellis who accounted for two touchdowns.
Running back Devon Starling ran for 43 yards on 10 carries in return to form. Sophomore back Jalen Rouse turned in another strong performance, racking up 87 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
On the other side of the ball, defensive captain Gleason Sprewell also returned to action and made his presence felt. He recorded a team-leading nine tackles, including one for a loss. Sprewell also made a key stop on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line to snuff out a B-CU scoring threat.
What to know about Tennessee Tech
Although Tennessee Tech enters the matchup in the throes of a three-game losing streak, the trio of defeats all came at the hands of ranked teams. Senior running back David Gist leads the Golden Eagles in rushing on the season with 279 yards and five touchdowns.
Gist is also a capable receiving threat out of the backfield, with 14 receptions for 130 and two touchdowns on the season.
Quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall leads a Golden Eagles offense that ranks fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference (22.4 points per game) on the season and fourth in total offense (382.2 yards per game). Oatsvall has thrown for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. He has also rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Why Tennessee State will win
Tennessee Tech allows the fifth most rushing yards per game at 194.6. Tennessee State will need to take advantage of that with Jalen Rouse and Starling.
The two-headed monster that is Tennessee State run game will present challenges that Tennessee Tech will be unable to solve.
Defensively, TSU has the top pass defense in the Ohio Valley. Jeremiah Oatsvall and the Tech passing game will have its work cut out for them against a young, but improving TSU secondary. Oatsvall has thrown at least one interception in every game this season.
Why Tennessee Tech will win
The battle-tested Golden Eagles will look to attack the Tigers’ defense on the ground with Gist and their running game.
Although not the athlete B-CU quarterback Jalon Jones is, who ran for 118 yards against the Tigers, Jeremiah Oatsvall can do some damage with his feet, too.
Preoccupied with the run game will make TSU susceptible to the play-action to the multitude of receiving threats the Eagles possess. But Tennessee State is tied for the most sacks allowed in the OVC with 17 through five games. Tech is tied for the last six sacks. However, with the unsteady play of the TSU offensive line, there will be opportunities for the TTU defense to disrupt Draylen Ellis.
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