After bringing home the Sergeant York Trophy last week against Tennessee State, the Golden Eagle football team travels to Athens to take on Southeastern Conference foe Georgia. The Bulldogs are coming off of a thrashing by Florida last week 41-17, and have won just one of their last four.
Georgia will also be without its top receiver in A.J. Green. Green makes up for nearly half for the Bulldog receiving yards and touchdowns on the year.
The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, enter the contest winning four of their last five and are currently receiving votes for a top-25 ranking.
Tech (5-3. 4-2 OVC) remains just one game back in the Ohio Valley Conference standings with two games remaining.
Tech shouldn’t have any motivation problems going into Athens as it is excited to play in front of a big crowd.
“We play in a small stadium, so it will be a big boost for us to show our skills in front of a lot of people,” said sophomore receiver Tim Benford.
Last week against TSU, the Golden Eagles played a very impressive game, racking up 265 yards of offense on just 49 plays. Senior quarterback Lee Sweeney threw 12 of 23 for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the contest.
For their efforts against the Tigers, two Tech underclassmen were awarded with the title of OVC Player of the week.
Benford actually shares Co-OVC Offensive Player of the Week honors with Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, but it doesn’t take away from his five-catch, 122-yard performance in the Golden Eagles’ 20-13 Homecoming victory against Tennessee State.
Benford’s fifth catch was also the game-winning touchdown pass from quarterback Lee Sweeney, as the sophomore wideout beat two defenders in the back of the end zone to haul in the scoring strike with 3:08 left in the contest.
“It’s a good feeling,” Benford said. “It’s a big thing in the league.”
It’s the third 100-yard game for Benford, and he now has receptions in all 19 games in which he has played.
Caleb Mitchell, a redshirt freshman, forced two turnovers in the opening quarter against the Tigers. He collected an interception in the first quarter, and also forced a fumble which he recovered in the same period.
For the game, Mitchell picked up 13 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, two sacks, and two pass break-ups.
Mitchell’s performance earned him conference Defensive Player of the Week, along with Newcomer of the Week honors. Mitchell called the award “Exciting”. “I played a good game,” he said, “I’m glad I could do that for us. “
Another Golden Eagle player picked up an off-the-field award, as junior guard Taylor Askew earned first-team Academic All-District honors for the third consecutive year. The Knoxville native has a 4.0 grade-point average while majoring in political science.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is slated for noon at Sanford Stadium, which has a capacity of 92,746 and is expected to be sold out for the Bulldog homecoming.
The matchup will be broadcast live on Magic 98.5 and can be viewed on Pay-per-view.
Tech will travel to Jacksonville State on Nov. 14, and then wrap up the season at home on Nov. 21st against Murray State.