Tra’Darius Goff and Maleek Hall received Ohio Valley Conference honors for their exceptional play in Tennessee Tech’s 31-29 victory over Murray State Sept. 26. Goff was awarded OVC Defensive Player of the Week, while Hall was awarded OVC Special Teams Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week by the College Sports Madness website.
Goff, a senior linebacker from Columbia, Tennessee had a standout game and currently ranks ninth nationally in tackles per game with 12.3. He had 14 tackles against MSU, including a tackle-for-loss, sack and forced fumble. His biggest accomplishment was forcing Jeremy Harness, a MSU receiver, out of bounds at the 2-yard line with 1:51 left in the game, guaranteeing a Tech victory.
“When I ran the guy out of bounds, the only thing going through my mind was ‘Make a play.’ After I saw it was a reverse, I took an angle so I would have a chance to make a play,” said Goff. “It feels good to be recognized (by the OVC) and makes me want to go to practice every day and get better.”
Hall, a junior cornerback from Clarksville, Tennessee, played a key role in Tech’s victory. He blocked a field goal at the end of the first quarter as well as a PAT, which forced MSU to go for an unsuccessful two points at the end of the game. Hall also had 10 tackles, his career best, and three pass breakups. He is tied for first in blocked kicks out of all FCS players nationwide.
Hall had a lot of positive things to say about the team’s victory against MSU.
“It was very special. We got out with a win. My teammates played a big role as well it wasn’t just me,” said Hall. “The offense had a heck of a game; they put up a lot of points. The defensive line played well they stopped the run a lot so all of that was awesome.”
“It was really special for Coach Brown,” said Hall of head coach Watson Brown. “He’s been here eight years and hasn’t beaten them yet at their place, so it was a special moment to see Coach Brown very happy that we got our first OVC win as well as beating Murray at their place.”
Goff and Hall couldn’t have picked a better week to make their mark on the football field. Tech is MSU’s longest-running rival in history, and until this season, Tech hadn’t defeated MSU on the road since 2006.
Hall and Goff will be back in action with the rest of the Golden Eagle football team Saturday, Oct. 3 for a home game against University of Tennessee at Martin at 6 p.m.