The Golden Eagle football team (2-1,1-0) is set to host the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (0-2,0-0), this Saturday in its first conference home game of the season.
Tech holds the lead in this series 11-8, but the Redhawks came away with the victory in their last encounter, 23-21, last season in Cape Girardeau.
“This should be a great game to watch,” Tech Head Coach Watson Brown said on Tuesday. “You better beat SEMO. They’re not a team that’s going to beat themselves. They don’t turn the ball over, they don’t have a lot of penalties, you’ve got to beat them.”
Brown said that SEMO’s 0-2 record “means nothing” as far as preparing to play them.
“[Tech’s win last weekend] means nothing to turn around and lose at home,” he said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tucker Stadium and the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park opens at 4 p.m.
“I encourage everyone to come out because this is such a big game,” Brown said. “I believe a good crowd could cause a seven point swing in the ballgame.”
The game will also air on WCTE-TV and the Golden Eagle Sports Network.
Although SEMO is off to an 0-2 start, their statistics show they still have a dangerous, high-powered offense led by senior dual-threat quarterback Matt Scheible. He is on pace to become the first quarterback in OVC history to have 4,000 career passing yards and 2,000 career rushing yards. He currently has 3,587 and 1,735 respectively.
Tech is coming off a big road win last weekend where they defeated the Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-2,0-1) in the OVC opener in Charleston.
Defense was the story in that game as they forced four turnovers and held the Panthers to negative six yards on the ground.
The defensive unit was led by senior defensive back Richmond Tooley, who led the team with 10 tackles and three pass deflections. Tooley was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
“He’s been the best corner in our league already this early in the season,” Brown said of Tooley. “If there’s a better one, I haven’t seen him yet…I’m very proud of Richmond.”
Senior wide receiver Tim Benford received national recognition by being named to the College Football Performance Awards for the second week in a row.
Benford caught eight passes for 124 yards.
The victory also gained attention for the program as a whole as they received 41 points in The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll and seven votes in the FCS Coaches Poll.