The Tennessee Tech Football team (1-2) will wrap up their three-game road stand with this weekend’s game as they face the Northern Iowa Panthers (1-2) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Saturday.
The Panthers are ranked 10th overall in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches’ poll and are coming off a 46-7 win against Northern Colorado.
“There’s no weaknesses at all, they look like an Indiana State offense, which we struggled with, and their defense is similar to TSU’s. They’re ranked for a reason,” said head coach Watson Brown on the Watson Brown Show.
Tech lost last week’s contest to rival Tennessee State 10-7 in Nashville, Tenn. For the second week in a row, Tech’s offense has failed to score any points.
Even though Tech didn’t pull out the win, Brown seems confident in his team’s ability to turn around their struggles.
“We were better Saturday. There were some offensive things better Saturday, they might not have shown, but there were. We’re getting close,” said Brown.
The Golden Eagles’ defense scored the lone touchdown against the Tigers when senior safety Austin Tallant returned an interception in the first quarter.
Tech’s defense only allowed three points off a 26-yard field goal, as the Tigers also scored their only touchdown off an interception return at the end of the first quarter.
They were led defensively by senior safety Marty Jones who had eight total tackles and a forced fumble.
Jones is working extra hard this week to prepare for the Panthers and their high-powered offense that is averaging 31 points per game this season.
“There really isn't any time off this week, it all starts with a really physical practice Tuesday because they're a team that will try to come out and run the ball all over you,” said Jones.
The Panthers have a strong running back in David Johnson. Johnson rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown in their game against Northern Colorado last week.
“Defensively, he's the focus of this weekend's game plan, and we need to stop him to have a chance to win the game," said Jones.
The atmosphere will be very unfamiliar to the Tech team, as they will be playing inside a dome.
“Talking to other people who have played them in there, you can’t hear yourself speak,” said Brown about the conditions inside the UNI Dome.
Although the stadium presents a challenge, the Golden Eagles are excited about the experience.
“I don't know how many of our guys have played in a dome before, but this one in particular is smaller and built to be really loud. I don't think getting excited will be a problem whatsoever," said Jones.
After their game against the Panthers, the Golden Eagles will return to Tucker Stadium to face the Murray State Racers Saturday, Oct. 4.