A conference championship, a share of the Sergeant York Trophy, and Tech’s first-ever playoff appearance are on the line as the Golden Eagles (6-3, 5-2 OVC) host the Austin Peay Governors (3-7, 2-5 OVC) in a high-stakes game Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at Tucker Stadium.
A win in this game would clinch Tech’s first OVC title since 1975 and send them to the FCS playoffs for the first time ever by way of an automatic berth.
“It’s come down to one game,” head coach Watson Brown said. “Everybody wants to play for a championship. Now we’ve got our shot. We’ve had a really good year and that could turn into a great year with a win Saturday.”
A loss would not put the Golden Eagles out of contention, but they would need losses by Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky as well.
Tech could also earn a share of the Sergeant York Trophy— a trophy given to the OVC school in Tennessee with the best head-to-head record— with a win. The actual trophy would go to Tennessee State, however, because of tiebreaker rules.
Although they have had a losing season, Austin Peay could also clinch the York Trophy with a win and they would get to take home the award.
“(Austin Peay) has a lot to play for in the Sergeant York Trophy,” Brown said. “This is not the best time in the world to play them because they’ve just got their quarterback back. We’re going to catch their best shot and their best shot is good enough to beat us. We may be ranked but this is a toss-up game Saturday.”
Tech holds the all-time lead in this series 27-16 including wins in four of the last six meetings and the last two in a row. The Golden Eagles came away with a 34-21 victory in last year’s meeting in Clarksville.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a key win last weekend where they defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, 28-21, on the road. The game marked the first win over the Colonels during Brown’s tenure here, and the team’s first win in Richmond since 2000.
“We hung around and hung around and ended up winning'” Brown said about the game.
Junior quarterback Tre Lamb led the charge by completing 16 of his 20 pass attempts for 126 yards, rushing for 70 yards on 16 carries, and scoring three touchdowns. His last, a rushing touchdown from four yards out with 6:35 left in the game, proved to be the game winner.
The running back tandem of junior Adam Urbano and senior Dontey Gay was also a major contributor. Urbano ran for 137 yards and also led the team in receiving yards, while Gay scored his OVC leading 14th rushing touchdown.
The win kept the Golden Eagles in the FCS Coaches Poll where they are ranked no. 21 and put them back in the Sports Network/Fathead.com Poll where they sit at no. 23.
The Governors are coming off their fifth-straight conference loss after losing to Murray State 56-24 last weekend.
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