Tech football preview: Tennessee State

The Golden Eagles will make a short trip down Interstate 40 on Saturday to take on the Tigers from Tennessee State. Tech (3-6, 1-4 OVC) is coming off a heartbreaking 31-28 loss last weekend at Austin Peay, while TSU (6-2, 3-1 OVC) suffered its first conference defeat at the hands of Southeast Missouri State by a 27-20 count.

This will be the 22nd meeting between the schools, with the Tigers holding a 13-8 edge all-time in the series dating back to 1984.

Last year’s meeting in Cookeville saw TSU jump out to a 21-7 first quarter lead en route to a 45-28 win, their fourth straight triumph in the series.

Freshman wide receiver Tim Benford is just three receptions away from breaking Tech’s single-season catches record of 55, set by Walter Hill in 1997.

Benford’s eight touchdown grabs has him two away from another single-season mark.

The standard was set in 2002 by Derek Lee and matched last year by Larry Shipp, as both hauled in 10 scoring strikes each.

Quarterback Lee Sweeney is three touchdown passes away from tying the all-time career record of 38, held by Robert Craft.

However, to do it this weekend, he will have to do it against the conference’s top defense.

The TSU squad has given up the fewest touchdowns in the OVC, and they have held opponents to 321 yards per contest, also tops in the conference.

The Tigers are led by running back Javarris Williams, who leads the conference in rushing.

Williams is averaging 102.4 yards per contest, and has a 150-yard rushing average in OVC play.

Quarterback Antonio Heffner leads the OVC in total offense, averaging 272.4 combined yards per contest.

Saturday’s contest will kick off from LP Field at 5 p.m.