The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle football team opened their season with a crushing 41-14 loss at the hands of the Western Illinois Leathernecks.
All off-season, the Golden Eagles talked business. Many of their players were fixated on one goal: win a championship. While this loss does not eliminate that goal, it is a learning experience and a wakeup call for the Golden Eagles.
The Leathernecks were ranked No. 25 in the Football Championship Subdivision, so the Golden Eagles knew they were going to have to execute their playbook and minimize mistakes made on the field.
“They are a really good football team,” Marcus Satterfield, Tech head coach, said. “I do not like to lose, and we did not just lose, we got destroyed tonight. They are a very well coached football team.”
The Leathernecks had 343 total yards of offense, 298 of which were rushing yards. WIU running back Vic Johnson, a Cookeville native and former All-State high school running back, scored on his return to town with a 16-yard touchdown run.
Senior linebacker Elliot Normand put together a career best on defense with 18 total tackles.
“The defense prides itself on stopping the run. We pride ourselves on getting turnovers, which we did not do. We have a lot of things we need to figure out. We have a good team, a good defensive line, we just have to get them in long yardage,” Normandy said.
The Golden Eagles also had young talent who had minimal in-game experience. The biggest example is starting quarterback Andre Sale, who is a redshirt freshman, went 11-for-22 with 223 passing yards.
The Golden Eagles ended up lost again Saturday to Kennessaw State in Georgia with a final score of 27-14, failing to complete a fourth quarter comeback.
Tech will continue its road trip at 0-2 with their next game on the road against Ball State in Indiana on Sept. 16.