Tigers wipe field with Tennessee Tech on Homecoming

Earl Harrison running for a touchdown. (photo: TSU athletics)

A couple of costly turnovers early saw Tennessee State University (3-3, 2-2) build momentum, and Michael Hughes made the Golden Eagles pay big time, leading the Tigers to a 41-14 Homecoming win at Nissan Stadium on Saturday evening. Tech had their three-game win streak in the series snapped by the Big Blue.

The Tigers pulled together 472 yards of offense. Hughes completed 22 of 27 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the destruction of the Golden Eagle defense. DeVon Johnson had a career-high five receptions for 138 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown catch on Tennessee State’s first offensive play. Treon Harris added 73 yards and two scores on five catches.

The Big Blue dominated, to say the least. The score was 27-0 at halftime. The Golden Eagles went three-and-out on each of their first three possessions. After they lost a fumble on their fourth, Hughes led TSU on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that made it 24-0 when Harris scored on a 7-yard catch with over 12 minutes left in the half. Earl Harrison’s 3-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers a 41-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Tennessee Tech (0-7, 0-4) did score. Junior running back Andrew Goldsmith threw a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Melvin Holland Jr. to break the scoring drought with over eight minutes remaining in the contest. Freshman QB Bailey Fisher, later, added a one-yard touchdown run for their final score, scoring all 14 of their points in the fourth.

Fisher ended the game with 188 yards passing on 16 of 30. He also led Tech on the ground with 14 carries for 22 yards. The Golden Eagles were held to just 79 yards on the ground, its lowest rushing total of the season.

A bright spot for the Golden Eagles was that kicker Nick Madonia added his 60th and 61st PATs, taking sole possession of Tech’s consecutive PAT record. However, Madonia had chances to put Tech on the scoreboard with three field goal tries, but went 0 for 3, missing from 58, 47 and 40 yards.

The Big Blue return to action in two weeks, on the 3rd of November, when they travel to Southeast Missouri. Kickoff is at 1 pm.