The Tennessee State Tigers returned home from a tough road loss to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks to host the Murray State Races in a battle of two teams fighting to move up from the bottom of the standings.
The Tigers opened up the scoring with 4:33 in the first quarter, as Te'Kendrick Roberson scampered five yards to cap off a season-long 12 play, 97 yard drive by the Tigers. The Racers would come back to answer with a drive off their own, capping it off with a 11 yard touchdown pass from Preston Rice to James Sappington to tie the game.
At the end of one, the game was even., but in the second quarter is when the Racers separated themselves from the Tigers. Murray State would get two more touchdown passes from Preston Rice in the first half while the Tigers were only able to score on a field goal as they trailed at halftime 21-10.
The Tigers were productive all day offensively, as Roberson ran the ball well and Chris Rowland was getting open and making plays, but what plagued them offensively throughout the game was turnovers. Tigers quarterback Cameron Rosendahl had three interceptions in the game and Roberson and Rowland both lost a fumble, giving TSU five turnovers for the day.
The Tigers would only score one time after the half, pulling to within seven in the fourth quarter. However, after two missed chances to drive and tie the game from the Tigers, the Racers sealed the game with 2:27 left, as Jared McCray would race 58 yards for paydirt, putting the Racers up 31-17.
The Tigers fell once again in the OVC and the biggest theme was turnovers. After this game, the Tigers have committed eleven in the last three games.
"The turnover bug is gonna kill any team. You cannot put the ball on the ground. That's something we have to take more seriously," said senior wide receiver Chris Rowland.
Rowland did his part in trying to help his team win, with a school record 14 receptions for 146 yards. He also did his part in helping the turnovers with one lost fumble at the end of the first half.
It has been a rough season for the Tigers so far, with only one win on the docket. With that being said, Coach Rod Reed and his team are not giving up.
"Right now we are playing for pride. You didn't see any quit in this team out there. You saw them scratching and fighting all the way until the end.
The Tigers don't have long to think about this game though. The Austin Peay Governors come to town next weekend for Homecoming.
Chris Rowland Press Conference"
Coach Rod Reed Press Conference:
Notes on game: Chris Rowland moved into the Top 10 in receptions for a season for Tennessee State, climbing from 11th to 3rd by himself with his performance today. He has reached over 100 yards receiving for the sixth time in seven games.