TEAMS

CSN on Facebook

College Sporting News on Facebook

CSN on Twitter

Search

Subscribe to CSN

 Subscribe in a reader

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

XML Feeds

Powered by b2evolution software

« CSN MEAC Review: Winning OOC MatchupsMIAC Profiles of Excellence: Alex Hildebrandt, Augsburg College »

No feedback yet

CSN Inside The OVC: Top Teams Collide

floated rightBy James D. Horne, CSN Inside the OVC Columnist

Two first-place teams facing each other and the resumption of the Sgt. York Trophy series – plus the start of Jacksonville State’s “Ruin It For Everyone” campaign – highlight the action in the OVC this week.

There’s no question that the game between No. 18 Eastern Kentucky at No. 23 Eastern Illinois is the “Game of the Week” in the league.

...


EKU (2-1, 2-0 OVC) is the league’s two-time defending champion and has won an all-time high 20 conference championships. The Colonels’ only loss is a 19-13 defeat to the Big 10’s Indiana.

“I think the important thing for us is to focus on the things we can control and the things in the end that will come down to our winning or losing the football game,” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “Those things are the fundamentals, blocking and tacking, being in the right position and taking care of business in the right way. We can’t get caught up in all the hoopla because it’s a big game. We just have to focus on the things we can control.”

EIU (4-0, 2-0 OVC) won the two titles before EKU in 2005 and 2006, sharing it with UT Martin. The Panthers are off to their best start since 1996.

“EKU is a storied program, and they’ve been a great football program for many, many years,” EIU coach Bob Spoo said. “We understand the implications of this game, and I’m sure they do. This is going to be a great football game that we have to prepare for. We just have to correct the things that bogged us down in our last game take our best shot.”

It’s the first time since Oct. 28, 2006, that two nationally ranked OVC teams have squared off against each other (in that game No. 12 UT Martin topped No. 14 Eastern Illinois).

SGT. YORK: YEAR THREE: Tennessee State is the two-time defending Sgt. York Trophy winner with a 5-1 record in the series’ first two seasons. The trophy is contested among the four Tennessee OVC schools – Austin Peay, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin – and goes to the team with the best combined record versus those schools in a given year.

Austin Peay (1-3, 0-1 OVC) and Tennessee Tech (1-2, 0-1 OVC) play the first game of the 2009 series and both know the importance of winning the award named for Alvin C. York, the most noted soldier of World War I, who upon his return to the United States in 1919 was bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“What’s important about it is it adds something to the conference,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said. “It’s a great trophy and a nice thing to compete for. The other great thing is it adds to the rivalry these great teams in the state already have. Kudos to Tennessee State because they’ve won it twice. Our goal is the same as the other schools, we want to be in a position to win it.”

APSU is 3-3 all-time in the series, UT Martin also is 3-3 and Tech is 1-5.

“We all want to win the trophy, but Tennessee State has gotten it every year,” Tech coach Watson Brown said. “All of us want to win it. And since we’ve only won one game during (the series) it adds more to it. I love the trophy and the honor that goes with it. The conference coming up with this was a fantastic idea, and we want to win it once. But we’re trying to catch up with everyone else in the state.”

JSU SPOILERS: No. 20 Jacksonville State is ineligible for the OVC title and the playoffs because of APR issues.

But the Gamecocks (2-2), who are playing their first home game of the season Saturday, realize they can still make an impact on who eventually wins the crown.

“We have a lot of pride, and this does make a difference to us,” JSU coach Jack Crown said. “I don’t think it means any more than if we were playing for a conference championship. Some people have the idea that we’ve become deflated, but we haven’t. We understand we have as much to do with who wins that conference championship as anybody, it just won’t be us who wins it.”

UT Martin (2-2, 1-0 OVC) thinks it could be playing the best team in the league regardless of sanctions.

“I don’t think either team is thinking about (the sanctions),” UT Martin coach Jason Simpson said. “They’re a team that just about had Florida State beat and then last week they hang 6 0 on a very good team. I know they have as much, but they could be the most talented team in the league.”

OVC EXTRAS: For the second straight week, Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux accounted for five touchdowns (this week four passing, one rushing) and he is now the national leader in passing efficiency. He was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week for the third straight week, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Tony Romo did during the 2002 season; he also earned National Player of the Week honors from College Sporting News … EKU has won 21 of its last 22 OVC games dating to the 2006 season.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Saturday, Sept. 26

@Kansas State 49, Tennessee Tech 7
#25 Florida A&M 31, Tennessee State 12 (Atlanta, Ga.)
#21 Jacksonville State 60, @Nicholls State 10
*#24 Eastern Illinois 30, @Austin Peay 20
*@UT Martin 29, Southeast Missouri 22
*#20 Eastern Kentucky 23, @Murray State 13

THIS WEEK IN THE OVC
(All times central)

Saturday Games
*UT Martin at No. 20 Jacksonville State, 1 p.m. (OVCSports.TV)
*No. 18 Eastern Kentucky at No. 23 Eastern Illinois, 1:30 p.m. (OVCSports.TV)
*Southeast Missouri at Tennessee State, 6 p.m. (OVCSports.TV)
*Austin Peay at Tennessee Tech, 7 p.m. (OVCSports.TV)
*Denotes OVC games

No. 18 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (2-1, 2-0 OVC) at No. 23 Eastern Illinois Panthers (4-0, 2-0 OVC) • O’Brien Field (10,000) • Charleston, Ill.
THE BACKGROUND: Series Record: ……………………………………… Eastern Kentucky leads 9-7
Last Meeting: ……………………….. Eastern Kentucky won 20-7 (10/25/08)
Dean Hood at Eastern Kentucky: …………………………………… 10-5 (2 yrs.)
Dean Hood Overall: …………………………………………………………………. same
Bob Spoo at Eastern Illinois: ……………………………….. 136-109-1 (22 yrs.)
Bob Sp oo Overall: …………………………………………………………………… same
Eastern Kentucky Last Week: …………………….. W, 23-13 at Murray State
Eastern Illinois Last Week: ……………………………W, 30-20 at Austin Peay
THE PRIMER: This game marks the first time since Oct. 28, 2006 that two ranked OVC teams have played each other (that time No. 12 UT Martin topped No. 14 Eastern Illinois and both teams went on to share the OVC title that year). EKU and EIU have played 16 times including every year since 1996 when the Panthers joined the conference. Eastern Kentucky has won the last two meetings, 28-21 in 2007 and 20-7 a year ago. The two teams have combined to win the last four OVC championships.
THE PREDICTION: EKU 27, EIU 24

No. 20 Jacksonville State Gamecocks (2-2, 0-0 OVC) • Paul Snow Memorial Stadium (15,000) • Jacksonville, Ala.
THE BACKGROUND: Series Record: ……………………………………. Jacksonville State leads 24-6
Last Meeting: ………………………………….. UT Martin won 31-30 (10/23/08)
Jason Simpson at UT Martin: ………………………………………..23-16 (4 yrs.)
Jason Simpson Overall: …………………………………………………………… same
Jack Crowe at Jacksonville State: …………………………….. 73-74 (15 yrs.)
Jacksonville State Overall: ……………………………………….. 59-44 (10 yrs.)
UT Martin Last Week: ……………………… W, 29-22 vs. Southeast Missouri
Jacksonville State Last Week: ……………………. W, 60-10 at Nicholls State
THE PRIMER: Last season, UT Martin forced Jacksonville State kicker Gavin Hallford to miss an extra point in the rain with 4:38 to play and held on for an exciting 31-30 victory in front of a national audience on ESPNU. The triumph kept UT Martin’s OVC title hopes alive but kept JSU from a share of the title and most likely kept the Gamecocks out of the FCS Playoffs last year. JSU head coach Jack Crowe is 7-2 in conference openers and 7-2 in home openers since 2000.
THE PREDICTION: JSU 30, UTM 28

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (1-3, 0-2 OVC) at Tennessee State Tigers (1-3, 0-0 OVC) • LP Field (67,500) • Nashville, Tenn.
THE BACKGROUND: Series Record: ……………………………………. Southeast Missouri leads 9-8
Last Meeting: …………… Southeast Missouri won 27-20 in OT (10/25/08)
Tony Samuel at Southeast Missouri: …………………………….12-26 (4 yrs.)
Tony Samuel Overall: . ………………………………………………. 46-83 (11 yrs.)
James Webster at Tennessee State: …………………………….22-27 (5 yrs.)
James Webster Overall: ………………………………………………………… .. same
Southeast Missouri Last Week: ………………………… L, 29-22 at UT Martin
Tennessee State Last Week: … L, 31-12 vs. No. 25 Florida A&M (in Atlanta)
THE PRIMER: The two teams have played 17 times previously with SEMO holding a 9-8 advantage. Last year the teams (playing for the first time since 2006) played a close game with the Redhawks coming out on top 27-20 in overtime. TSU, ranked No. 19 at the time, led 17-3 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter before Southeast battled back.
THE PREDICTION: TSU 30, SEMO 21

Austin Peay Governors (1-3, 0-1 OVC) at Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (1-2, 0-1 OVC) • Tucker Stadium (16,500) • Cookeville, Tenn.
THE BACKGROUND: Series Record: ……………………………………. Tennessee Tech leads 25-16
Last Meeting: ………………………………. Austin Peay won 31-28 (10/25/08)
Rick Christophel at Austin Peay: ………………………………….. 10-1 6 (3 yrs.)
Rick Christophel Overall: …………………………………………………………. same
Watson Brown at Tennessee Tech: ………………………………. 8-18 (3 yrs.)
Watson Brown Overall: ……………………………………… 102-169-1 (25 yrs.)
Austin Peay Last Week: …………………… L, 30-20 vs. #24 Eastern Illinois
Tennessee Tech Last Week: ………………………… L, 49-7 at Kansas State
THE PRIMER: Austin Peay travels to Tennessee Tech in what is the 42nd meeting between the conference foes. The game marks the first of the Sgt. York Trophy series this season, which pits the four OVC schools in Tennessee against one another. Austin Peay has won each of the last two meetings, both by a field goal. In fact, three of the last four meetings have been determined by a touchdown or less. Tennessee Tech’s last victory in the series came in 1997, a 36-3 triumph in Clarksville (the teams did not play from 1998-2006). Head coaches Watson Brown and Rick Christophel have coached on the same staffs at each of these schools: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Austin Peay, Cincinnati, Rice and UAB.
THE PREDICTION: APSU 27, Tech 14

MY PREDICTION RECORD
OVERALL:26-3
LAST WEEK: 6-0