1-4 , 0-2
2-3 , 1-1
Game Recap: Football |
TUSKEGEE, Ala. – The Tuskegee University football program forced three interceptions, got key plays on special teams and did just enough on offense to claim its first shutout win since October 20, 2018 as the Golden Tigers declawed the Panthers, 21-0.
Tuskegee moved the ball seemingly at will on the ground, racking up 228 rushing yards to Clark Atlanta’s 53.
A critical factor in the contest was the ability for the defenses to get off the field on third down. Skegee consistently kept drives alive by converting 6-of-13 (46.2%) of its third down attempts while CAU was not nearly as efficient (3-for-13, 23.1%) to go along with three failed fourth down conversions.
- Final Score: Tuskegee 21, Clark Atlanta 0
- Records: Tuskegee (2-3, 1-0 SIAC) | Clark Atlanta (1-4, 0-2 SIAC)
- Location: Tuskegee, Alabama – Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium
- Series History: Tuskegee Leads 63-16-2
- Winning Streak: Tuskegee (W11) | Clark Atlanta’s Last Win: October 28, 2006 (10-6)
How It Happened
- Ivonte Patterson began the day with a 25-yard carry to get the Golden Tigers to midfield but ultimately led to a punt.
- CAU followed that up with a quick three-and-out in which TU would turn into three first downs before Ryan Duff placed a perfectly executed coffin corner punt that rolled out of bounds at the two.
- Three more Panther plays later, the Golden Tigers were staring at great field position on the CAU 38, but Zye’Kee Pruitt intercepted Bryson Williams and ended the drive.
- Clark Atlanta finally got some offensive momentum, moving the ball to within range for a long-distance field goal try as Fernando Lobo had the length. Alas, he pushed it wide left, and we remained scoreless.
- Craig Wells entered the game at quarterback to start the last series of the quarter, handing off to Patterson twice for 15 yards and rushing once himself for five to get Skegee to the opposite side of the 50 at the end of the period (0-0).
- TU’s drive stalled once the game rolled over into the second period, but Duff trapped Clark Atlanta inside its own five for the second time in the first 16 minutes of the contest.
- Yet another CAU three-and-out ensued, punctuated by a Wesly Appolon sack.
- Not much of note would happen over the following seven minutes and change until Skegee took over with 3:47 left in the half at the TU 36.
- Seven plays, 64 yards and two chunk passing gains later and Tuskegee found the end zone. A 27-yard sideline catch by Steven Hodges got Coach Slater’s offense down to the Clark Atlanta 36, setting the stage for Latrevien O’Neal. The 6-foot-1 tight end broke a tackle on a crosser then outraced two Panther defenders to the pylon for a 21-yard Golden Tiger touchdown with just 37 seconds to go in the first half (7-0).
- The Panthers could not muster anything on the opening possession of the second half and TU seemed to be gaining some steam on its first drive, however, O’Neal got the ball jarred free on a bone-shattering hit by Cameron Ivey, who recovered the ball for CAU.
- In the game of football, one play can make-or-break an outcome which was no more apparent than two plays later. Kobi Mitchell, son of Super Bowl XXXV Champion and Tuskegee alumni Anthony Mitchell, received a house call as he followed a convoy of blockers on his way to a 55-yard pick six to deflate the Panthers sideline (14-0).
- Clark Atlanta seemed to have a rebuttal as it immediately marched right back down the field and faced a 4th-and-2 from the TU 31. It’s best possession of the day was thwarted from the snap as Carl Matthews and Shawn Cross blew the play up in the backfield before it ever got started as CAU turned it over on downs.
- CAU would not lay down lightly, returning the favor in the same situation as Patterson was stuffed on fourth and one just across the 50-yard marker shortly thereafter.
- The good vibes stemming from the visitors sideline turned sour quickly as an acrobatic leaping interception by R. Isaac Smith (Ronald Smith) squashed plans of scoring.
- The third concluded with Tuskegee in possession at their own 40.
- Tuskegee essentially put the win on ice to begin the final frame when Bryson Williams faked to the running back on the read-option and coasted past the defense for a 31-yard scamper to put TU ahead by three scores (21-0).
- The next Panther drive ended abruptly with the Skegee secondary’s third interception of the ballgame as Carl Matthews snatched Elijah Odom’s pass at the Tuskegee 33.
- TU would get one last opportunity to put points on the board when it lined up for a 43-yard field goal attempt, but Clark Atlanta’s Trey Wilson got his paw on the low-angled kick and blocked it.
Tuskegee Top Performers
- Kobi Mitchell’s first career interception could not have gone any better, zig-zagging his way through traffic en route to a 55-yard touchdown.
- Ivonte Patterson did not find the end zone for the first time in three weeks but still put-up sensational numbers, putting together 148 yards on 25 carries (5.9 per rush) to go over the century mark in back-to-back-to-back outings.
- Ryan Duff has a valid argument for Tuskegee’s Game MVP, drilling four punts that landed inside the Panther 20-yard line as he constantly flipped the field to give the offense time to find its footing, especially in the first half.
- Shawn Cross and Wesly Appolon co-led the defense in tackles with nine apiece as the former quadrupled his previous season-high and logged his first 1.5 tackles for loss of his career while the latter nabbed his first sack as a Golden Tiger.
- Despite only attempting 14 passes, Bryson Williams set a new career-best for QBR, posting a 136.57 rating with nine completions and his second career touchdown toss. He also rushed for a career-high 46 yards while averaging 9.2 yards per carry as well.
- It was a banner day for Coach Tyler-Frazier’s secondary as the unit broke up four passes to go along with the three picks.
- Defensive linemen JQuan Hicks and Freddrick Austin both got home with sacks on the afternoon, combining for 16 yards lost in the process.
- It was a quiet day for the wide receiver room as Steven Hodges and Latrevien O’Neal were the only two wideouts to have multiple grabs (two each). They did make the most of their opportunities however, as Hodges averaged 25 yards a pop while O’Neal went for 30 yards plus his first career touchdown.
- Craig Wells made his NCAA debut in the first quarter, picking up 18 yards with his legs and three with his arm.
- Kedrick Greene made a surprise appearance in the backfield on a few occasions, showing quickness with nine yards on four totes.
- The blocked field goal by Clark Atlanta snaps a 20-game streak of not having a field goal or punt attempt batted down.
- For the first time since October 8, 2016, Tuskegee recorded three interceptions in a ballgame.
- The Golden Tigers’ defense held its second straight conference opponent to just nine first downs and less than 200 yards of offense.
- This was also the first time this year that TU held an opponent under 100 rushing yards.
TU now sets its sights on the 85th annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic next Saturday inside the venerable Legion Field with a 7 p.m. kickoff.