TSU Tigers look to rebound at home against UT Martin

Mike German threw for a career-high 364 yards and scored two touchdowns, but Tennessee State dropped its second-consecutive game to Jacksonville State, 27-20, in Hale Stadium on October 11. German completed 32-of-50 passes but also had four interceptions as a part of TSU’s six-turnover day.

Weldon Garlington was TSU’s leading receiver, setting new career-highs in catches with 11 and yards (179). The senior also hauled in a touchdown in the third quarter. Daniel Fitzpatrick finished with 10 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Senior linebackers Mike West and Nick Thrasher led TSU (4-3, 1-2 OVC) with 12 tackles apiece.

The Tennessee State offense produced its most successful opening series of the year, totaling 46 yards on 11 plays. The drive also ended with a 46-yard field goal by Lane Clark. The Tigers were driving again on their next possession, but German fumbled while winding up for a deep throw, and JSU (5-1, 3-0 OVC) recovered.

The Gamecocks took advantage of the turnover and two plays later Eli Jenkins found Bo Brummel wide-open in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. The ensuing PAT was blocked by Samquan Evans, but the Gamecocks led 6-3.

TSU was unable to keep JSU out of the end zone as DaMarcus James punched it in from two-yards out, putting his team up 13-3 with nine minutes to go in the second quarter.

Jacksonville State went up 20-3 early in the third quarter after a 10-play, 60-yard drive. James scored his second touchdown of the game at the 9:32 mark from seven yards out. The TSU offense responded with a 20-yard field goal by Clark following three failed conversions from the JSU one-yard line. A 36-yard pass from German to Garlington set up the kick that cut the lead to 14.

A 21-yard pass and a roughing the passer penalty on TSU led to a 19-yard rushing touchdown by Troymaine Pope that made the score, 27-6, with 3:32 left to go in the third quarter.

The Tigers finally scored their first touchdown a minute later when German found Garlington wide-open from 15 yards out. German then snuck into the end zone with the last play of the third, and the Tigers trailed by just seven at 27-20.

Daniel Fitzpatrick caused and recovered a fumble on JSU’s next drive, but the Tigers couldn’t turn the takeaway into points as Clark missed a 46-yard field goal. The Tigers had one more chance to tie the game, but Jermaine Hough picked off German in the end zone.

TSU hosts UT Martin on Oct. 18 at 2 pm in Hale Stadium. The Tigers face the Eastern Illinois Panthers Sat., Oct. 25 in Charleston, Ill. Kickoff is at 1:30 pm. Then they return home to host Eastern Kentucky Sat., Nov. 1 at 2 pm for Senior Day at LP Field.