Annual Purple/Gold game wraps up spring practice Saturday

For fans who cannot attend the Purple/Gold Spring Game Saturday in Tucker Stadium, Tennessee Tech Athletics and the Ohio Valley Conference will provide an alternative — the game will be streamed live on OVCsports.TV at no charge. The game in Tucker Stadium is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with the web stream available at 12:50 p.m.

This will be the first time in history that an OVC spring game will be streamed online.

Tech will produce the web stream, which will include audio commentary by junior Communications major Brandon Goodwin.

The free web stream can be found on OVCsports.TV, or through a link on TnTechOracle.com.

Viewing the web stream is offered free of charge by the OVC and Tech, but viewers will need to register to access the game.

The Golden Eagles have 77 players on the roster for Spring practice, including 58 returning who have major playing experience.

The roster includes eight scholarship seniors, plus two walk-on seniors.

In addition, the roster lists 15 juniors, 39 sophomores and 13 freshmen.

A total of 23 players are back who were in the starting lineup last season, including 10 positions on offense and nine on defense.

On the offensive side, the only starters lost were right guard Derrick Outlaw and left guard Scott Eller.

Defensively, the team must replace starters Corey Reed at linebacker and safeties Maurice Smith and Xavier Purdy.

On special teams, Tech returns placekicker Justin Kraemer and punter Nick Campbell, but must replace long snapper/holder John Ross Hudson.

Spring practice includes nine players who were not on the field during the fall, including a few who joined the program in January.

Newcomers this spring on offense include senior wide receiver Ryan Gaines, freshman wide receiver Demetrous Garrett, sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Higgins, and sophomore tight end Cory Powers.

Defensive newcomers include freshman defensive back Chris Dickerson, senior linebacker Derek Dickerson, freshman linebacker Matt Moran, senior defensive lineman/linebacker Kelvin Quarles, and freshman defensive lineman LaDarrius Verge.

The Golden Eagles are beginning preparation for their 88th season of Tennessee Tech football.

Tennessee Tech was founded in 1915 and football began play in 1922.

The Golden Eagles have an all-time record of 369-440-31 (.457).

This will be Tech’s 61st season during the “modern era” since joining the Ohio Valley Conference in 1948.

Tech football teams are 289-342-9 (.458) during the modern era, and have won nine Ohio Valley Conference titles.

The Golden Eagles will play at Kansas State University in September and at the University of Georgia in November.

The game against K-State of the Big 12 Conference is set for Saturday, Sept. 26, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

For the Wildcats, the contest against Tech falls between a road game at UCLA and a neutral site Big 12 conference opener against Iowa State in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

The game against Georgia of the Southeastern Conference is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

For the Bulldogs, the contest is sandwiched between games against SEC rivals Florida and Auburn.

Tech is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

The Golden Eagles played at Auburn in 2007, Tech’s first game against an SEC opponent since facing both Vanderbilt and Tennessee in 1951.

The contest at Auburn drew a crowd of 85,754, the largest crowd to see an Ohio Valley Conference team play football.

Last year, Tech played two FBS foes, visiting both Louisville and Western Michigan.

The 2009 schedule opens with a home contest against Pikeville College on Sept. 10.

Other home games include OVC opponents Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, and Murray State.