The Tennessee Tech football team looks to win its first Homecoming game over Eastern Kentucky since 1955 as the Colonels come to Tucker Stadium on Saturday.The Golden Eagles (4-5, 3-3 OVC) are looking to recover from injuries that forced nine starters to miss last week’s game at Murray State. Tech dropped that contest 44-13.
“We could still be in trouble [this week],” head coach Watson Brown said.
“We’re frustrated to have this many injuries.”
Five offensive playmakers are listed as either out or doubtful for this week’s game. Among those is sophomore quarterback Tre Lamb who was forced to sit out last week with a knee injury.
According to Brown, Lamb is “nip and tuck” this week, leaving senior Cass Barnes with the starting job.
Barnes threw for 203 yards and an interception last week against Murray State and rushed for 37 yards on 15 carries and one fumble.
On Homecoming, Tech is 43-35-1 all-time since 1930. The only time the Golden Eagles did not hold a homecoming game was in 1944, when they played just three games due to World War II. Tech is 5-5 in its last 10 Homecoming games.
EKU (4-5, 3-3 OVC) is coming off of one of the biggest upsets of the year, topping number two Jacksonville State 49-37 last week in Richmond, Ky.
“Eastern [Kentucky] is a good football team,” Brown said, “but when their offense gets going, they’re really good.”
The Golden Eagles are 2-6 all-time against EKU during Homecoming in Cookeville with Tech’s two wins coming in 1953 and 1955.
“We’re pretty thin,” junior Joc Crawford said, “but hopefully we’ll pull together and pull off a victory this weekend.”
A 238-pound running back, Crawford has rushed for a team-high 443 yards and six touchdowns on 93 carries since transferring from Kansas.
“I’ve only got two games left,” he said, “so I’m going to make the best of them”
EKU has lost its last eight road games extending back to last season. The Colonels lead the league in rushing defense, allowing less than 80 yards per game, but are last in pass defense, giving up more than 310 yards/game.
“We’re playing one of the better teams in the league,” Brown said. “Our players know Eastern Kentucky is good.
“They could be the best team in our league on any given day.”
Despite all his team’s injuries, Brown remains optimistic.
“We’ve got a chance to win the game,” he said.
Saturday’s contest marks the first time the Golden Eagles will host EKU for Homecoming since 1989. The Colonels took the win in that game 21-20.
Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Tucker Stadium. Admission is free for all Tech students with a valid ID. To reserve a space in the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park, contact Misty Pearson, director of Corporate Sales and Marketing for Tech Athletics by calling 931-372-3937.
The game will also be broadcast live on the Golden Eagle Sports Network via Magic 98.5 and Free TeamLine. For more information, visit www.TTUSports.com.
Tech will end its season at home next week against Jacksonville State.
“We still have a chance to win games,” Brown said.
“It’ll be a dogfight,” he added. “Every game has been a dogfight.