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Tennessee Tech to provide test for Cavaliers

Kevin Mays • Sep 11, 2019 at 9:24 PM

Virginia-Wise faces one of its toughest challenges Saturday when the NCAA Division II Cavaliers travel to Cookeville, Tennessee, to face Tennessee Tech, of the FCS Ohio Valley Conference.

“It’s a big challenge, there’s no doubt about that,” UVa-Wise coach Dane Damron said. “Our kids are excited about it and excited about playing an FCS school and are excited about seeing what we can do.”

The game, which is the first football meeting between the two schools, has a scheduled 7 p.m. (Eastern) kickoff and will be carried on ESPN+.

SO FAR THIS SEASON

UVa-Wise enters the game with a 1-0 mark following last weekend’s season-opening 40-22 win over Chowan.

Tennessee Tech suffered its first loss of the season last Saturday with a 48-17 loss to Miami (Ohio).

The loss dropped the Golden Eagles to 1-1 on the year. Tennessee Tech opened its season on Aug. 31 with a 59-58 double overtime win over Samford.

LOTS OF PASSING

Tennessee Tech likes to put the ball in the air with sophomore quarterback Bailey Fisher.

In two games, the Golden Eagles have racked up 953 offensive yards with most of them (633) coming from the passing game.

Fisher has completed 40 of 60 passes for 503 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

GOOD TO BE HOME

The UVa-Wise game was a late-scheduling decision for Tennessee Tech. Golden Eagles coach Dewayne Alexander said he was glad the scheduling worked out with the Cavaliers because his team faces three straight road games after Saturday.

“Going into Saturday’s game, we’re hope to improve in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams,” Alexander said. “Just like any other game we play, Saturday’s game is more about Tennessee Tech than our opponents.”

Metrius Fleming has highlighted Tech’s special teams so far with kickoff returns of 52 and 42 yards.

The defensive unit is anchored by senior defensive back Shannon Fayne, who has led the team in tackles for the last two seasons, linebacker Aderick Moore and senior defensive lineman Xavier Schlueter.

PLAYING STRENGTHS

UVa-Wise will counter on offense with running back Terrence Lambert, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Troy who gained 99 yards rushing last weekend, including a 62-yard touchdown run.

Sophomore J’Quan Anderson, a transfer from Glenville State, also will provide strength at the running back spot, while sophomore Tanner Bernard is at quarterback.

Bernard completed 13 of 23 passes for 142 yards with two touchdowns in the win over Chowan.

On the defensive side, linebacker Buster Henderson brings senior leadership, while redshirt junior defensive back Marcus Tarrer looks to add to the team-leading 10 tackles he recorded last weekend.

Demetrius Mann, this week’s South Atlantic Conference special teams player of the week, is always a threat on special teams and defense. He returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown last week and also recorded a blocked kick and interception.

Marquis Hamilton is also a special teams threat for the Cavaliers. He had a 66-yard kickoff return last weekend against Chowan.

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