VIDEO: Mike Turner Press Conference
VIDEO: 2016 Tusculum Highlights
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (5-3, 3-2 South Atlantic Conference) and Tusculum (4-4, 2-3 SAC) resume the second oldest rivalry in the state of Tennessee Saturday at 1 p.m. with both teams looking to bounce back from losses in week eight.
Both teams lost their homecoming games last week. The Eagles to North Greenville 31-21, Tusculum to Catawba 40-13.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on local television. WKNX, The Knox will broadcast a joint Eagle Sports Network production for the Saturday, Oct. 28 contest.
"I think that this is a great complement to our program and that we will have that availability," head coach Mike Turner said of appearing on TV. "I think that it is great for our kids, alums, and fans to be able to see the game on television. I hope that we get a great crowd in the stadium and that is number one. To support these kids who are playing hard and I think that they are representing Carson-Newman very well. This is an important game for us, we want to get back on the winning track. We are so close and if we can avoid the key mistakes then we can be the kind of football team we want to be."
Fans will be able to locate the game on the following providers.
- Over-the-air - channel seven
- Comcast – channel four
- Charter – channel seven
- AT&T U-Verse – channel seven
- WOW – channel 10
- Dish Network – channel seven
- DirectTV – channel seven
The game will also be streamed via the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.
The Voice of the Eagles Adam Cavalier and former Carson-Newman linebacker Eric Cain will have the call.
2016 AFCA Good Works Team Member Dan Gallman will join Michael Wottreng and Leannda Carey for the Eagle Sports Network's radio broadcast of the game on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live starting with the AEC Tailgate Show at noon.
Carson-Newman leads the all-time series with the Pioneers 34-11-2, which dates back to 1904.
"Tusculum is a great opponent and the proximity of the two schools makes for a great rivalry," Turner said. "I've been impressed watching those guys on video. They run to the football and they execute on offense with a transfer quarterback. Any time we play a rival like Tusculum we get after it."
Tusculum beat C-N last year, snapping a seven-game win streak for the Eagles in the series, the longest win streak for the Eagles in the series in the modern era and the second longest all-time.
The Eagles won 10 straight contests from 1935-1950, missing a handful of years because of World War II. Carson-Newman outscored Tusculum 359-20 over that stretch. The Eagles shutout TC in eight of those meetings.
Tusculum hasn't defeated Carson-Newman in Jeff City in 81 years. The Pioneers last win at Mossy Creek came in 1934, 3-0. The Eagles then went on that aforementioned 10-game winning streak.
The Pioneers have never won a game in Burke-Tarr Stadium, where the Eagles are 10-0 in the series.
With a 4-4 record, Tusculum sits on the cusp of its first winning record since 2014 when it went 6-5. Second-year head coach Jerry Odom has turned the program's offense around from a year ago when it ranked toward the bottom 10 of most statistical categories, while the Pioneer's defense has continued its opportunistic trends under the former Jacksonville coach.
Tusculum leads the conference in defensive touchdowns with three and is top 20 in the nation in fumbles recovered and turnovers forced.
"The key for us on offense is that we take care of the football," Turner said. "It only takes one (turnover) to lose a ballgame. On the other hand it takes one by your defense here or there at the right time to win a ballgame. Football hasn't changed, it's all about field position and taking care of the football. We do run a little bit more of a risk type offense where you have to read the defense and pitch the ball at the right time. We have to be very careful in taking care of the football."
Boise State transfer quarterback Alex Ogle accounted for 3 touchdowns and threw the game-winning 2-point conversion in win at Newberry two weeks ago en route to being named SAC and TSWA Offensive Player of the Week. Ogle ranks third in the league with 220 yards passing per game.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will look to slog themselves out of the offensive doldrums they found themselves in in the week eight loss to North Greenville.
Carson-Newman was held under 300 yards of total offense for the first time since Oct. 1, 2016 and a 17-14 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne. The Eagles also only rushed for 106 yards, the lowest total since a 37-3 loss at Lenoir-Rhyne in 2013.
"We talked to them yesterday about the verse in the book of James. You should rejoice when hard times come, you should rejoice when it sometimes becomes frustrating because that grows character," Turner said. "If you endure those times and make positives out of them then that raises up your character. Especially, a football team that is young and tender as this one is, we've had some hard times.
"We've been one snap away from winning some ballgames. You got to understand that those are going to come and the scripture talks about rejoicing when this time comes. You can endure and you can overcome them. We are trying to raise up young men that they are going to leave this place one day and hopefully be better young men because they were a part of this program. We had a great video for them yesterday that talked about how it is not about taking a hit but how you hit back after taking a hit. Philosophies are great but you have got to put them into action. You got to believe that you can be this good and you got to believe that your teammates and as a whole team can be this good. We are building some great things for next year and the next year and there is no doubt about it. I want great things to happen for them this year."
Both Carson-Newman and Tusculum are similar in that the majority of their games have been dog fights. Aside from last week's 40-13 Pioneer loss to Catawba and TC's week-two 39-12 win over Shorter, all of Tusculum's games have been decided by a pair of possessions. The Pioneers lost by one in their opener to North Greenville and by six in overtime to Limestone.
Meanwhile, the Eagles' three losses have come by a combined 18 points. In all three games, Carson-Newman had the football in the fourth quarter with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
With a victory, Carson-Newman would clinch its 35th winning season in the last 38 years.
Carson-Newman wide receiver Dorren Miller (Roswell, Ga.) can begin eyeing the top 10 best receiving seasons in Carson-Newman football history. The senior wideout needs 67 yards to catch Darren Hughes for the 10th most receiving yards in a single season in C-N history.
With six TDs, one more would tie him with Tim Gaines, Tank Black and Ques Rumph for the eighth most receiving touchdowns in a single season in C-N football history. Carson-Newman hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since 1972 (Tim George) and only has three such players in its history.
Miller would need to average 102 yards per game over the next three weeks to hit that bench mark, which would not be unheard of for him. Miller averaged 124 yards per game from weeks two through four of the season.
Also on record book watch is linebacker Sha'Heem Stupart (Taylors, S.C.). He needs 11 tackles to become the seventh man in program history to hit the 300-tackle plateau for a career. Another 15 tackles would help him catch consensus All-American linebacker and current running backs coach Mike Clowney for sixth on the all-time list.