Just when you thought Jacksonville State was going to run away with the OVC title again, Austin Peay blew them out last week. The conference appears to be a toss up with three or four teams with a shot at the title. The order will probably change week after week for the rest of the year. The biggest surprise so far has been Tennessee Tech who is out to a 4-1 start. A win this week solidifies them as a contender as well.
BYE: Austin Peay
Conference Game of the Week:
Tennessee Tech (4-1) at Southeast Missouri State (2-2)
Where: Houck Stadium, Cape Girardeau, MO
When: Saturday October 5th, 7:00 PM
TV/Streaming: ESPN+ ($$/subscription req’d)
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
Not much was expected from Tennessee Tech this year after a combined 2-20 record over the last two season. So far, the Golden Eagles have raced out to a 4-1 start. Their opening weekend win over Samford originally looked like a decent win but over a team heading for a tough season. As we have seen over the last few weeks, that win looks even better. Tennessee Tech needs a big conference win to show that they are going to contend all year. They can get that this week on the road against a good Southeast Missouri State team.
Key Player: Tennessee Tech has been led on offense by its quarterback Bailey Fisher. On the year, Fisher has thrown for 250 yards a game and thrown for 10 touchdowns to go along with seven rushing touchdowns. On the downside, Fisher has thrown seven interceptions. Against better competition, he cannot give away possessions.
Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
The Redhawks come into the game without a key win so far. They travelled to Montana State but came up short. SEMO did beat Southern Illinois who has a win over an FBS team. More was expected of this team this year. They can still make noise in the Ohio Valley when they get into conference play. But they cannot afford any slipups against lesser teams.
Key Player: Defending Buck Buchanan Award winner Zach Hall is off to a good start in 2019. Hall leads the team with 39 tackles, three of which have been for loss. Hall will need to step his game up and lead \
Fearless Prediction: This is an interesting game that is going to be much closer than would have been predicted before the season. In fact, look for an upset here. Tennessee Tech 30, Southeast Missouri State 27.
Fearless predictions for the rest of the slate
Eastern Illinois (0-5) at Murray State (2-3), Saturday October 5th, 2:00 PM, Roy Stewart Stadium, Murray, TN, ESPN+ ($$, subscription req’d)
Neither of these teams will be playoff bound this year. Eastern Illinois will be looking for their first win, but the Racers will pick up the win at home. Murray State 20, Eastern Illinois 13
UT Martin (2-2) at Eastern Kentucky (3-2), Saturday October 5th, 3:00 PM, Roy Kidd Stadium, Richmond, KY, ESPN College Extra, ESPN3 (subscription req’d)
This is a game Eastern Kentucky has to have at home. They should walk away with an easy win. Eastern Kentucky 30, UT Martin 14
Tennessee State (1-4) at Jacksonville State (3-2), Saturday October 5th, 7:00 PM, Burgess-Snow Field, Jacksonville, AL, ESPN+ ($$, subscription req’d)
Expect to see a blowout by the Gamecocks this week. Jacksonville State 51, Tennessee State 20
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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