ETSU (1-1) vs. VMI Keydets (0-2)
Memorial Center - Johnson City, Tenn.
September 16, 2000 - 4 p.m.
Southern Conference Openers ... The Bucs are 11-10 all-time in Southern Conference openers ... ETSU is 7-3 in SoCon openers in the Mini-Dome and 7-3 in SoCon openers against VMI ... The Bucs opened last season with a 28-10 win against The Citadel in the Mini-Dome (Sept. 2).
In the Southern Conference ... The Bucs are 56-101 (21 seasons) in league games since joining the SoCon in 1979 ... Their best finish was second in 1996 when ETSU finished 7-1 in the league ... ETSU is 27-20 since 1994 and have been above .500 every year except 1998 (3-5) in that span ... The Bucs are 12-12 under Coach Paul Hamilton.
Following a Big Opponent ... The Bucs are 3-1 in the past five years following games against I-A foes ... ETSU finished last season with a 24-7 loss at Middle Tennessee State and opened this fall with a 37-20 win at Liberty ... In 1998, the Bucs lost to Appalachian State, 22-17, following a 66-17 loss at Miami ... Later that year ETSU followed a 53-6 loss at Mississippi State with a 22-19 double-overtime win against Furman ... In 1996, ETSU dropped Glenville State 49-17 after falling to East Carolina 45-21.
Rushing Leader? ... For the first time since the 1998 season, a quarterback led the team in rushing ... Todd Wells ran for 61 yards on seven carries to lead the Bucs in a 41-7 loss at Colorado State ... He also led the team with 58 yards on seven carries in a 45-24 win against Wofford on November 7, 1998.
An Opportunistic Defense ... The Buc defense has forced seven turnovers (four interceptions, three fumbles) in the first two games ... Cornerback Denario Smalls and linebacker Russ Lindgren have both snatched two picks ... Rahim El Amin, Andrew Foerster and David Johnson recovered the fumbles ... El Amins recovery came in the Liberty endzone for a touchdown ... It was ETSUs first defensive touchdown since October 25, 1997 when Mario Hankerson returned an inteception 39 yards for a touchdown in a 58-28 win against #16 Furman.
More on Turnovers ... ETSU is +3 in the turnover department this fall ... The Bucs forced five against Liberty without losing one ... Against Colorado State, ETSU threw one pick and lost three fumbles, while grabbing one interception and one fumble recovery ... ETSU was even in the turnover department last fall.
Against the Keydets ... ETSU is 10-8 all-time against VMI ... Coach Hamilton is 3-0 against the Keydets ... The Bucs have won the last four meetings and are 6-2 at home in the series ... Last year ETSU defeated VMI 26-17 in Lexington, Va ... Keydrick Gordon recorded 14 tackles to lead the defense, while Todd Wells was 15-of-23 for 119 yards.
Back in Action ... Entering the season, wide-out Corey Martin was the Bucs top returning receiver ... Martin made 17 catches for 202 yards last season (18.4/game) ... Martin didnt make any receptions against Liberty but was the Bucs top threat against Colorado State ... He caught five passes for 95 yards (19.0 yards/catch).
A Winning Combination ... Quarterback Todd Wells along with receivers Cecil Moore and Tim Turner formed a lethal combination in the season-opening 37-20 win at Liberty (Sept. 2) ... Of Wells seven completed passes, three went to Turner (all touchdowns) for 145 yards, while the other four went to Moore for 138 yards ... Wells averaged 40.4 yards per completion -- Turner (48.3 yards/ reception) and Moore (34.5 yards/reception).
Home-Dome Advantage ... ETSU has won eight of its last nine home games ... ETSU is 22-6 during the last five years in the Mini-Dome ... The Bucs went 5-1 last fall, 5-2 in 1998, 3-3 in 1997, 6-1 in 1996 and 4-0 in 1995 ... ETSU is 65-62-1 all time in the Dome.
Linebacker U? ... East Tennessee State hopes to have an All-America linebacker for the fourth consecutive season ... each of the last four years the Bucs have enjoyed a stellar linebacking corps ... gone from last years squad are two-time All-America Kevin Peterson (1998-99) and All-Southern Conference player Derek Fudge ... taking over in the middle this year is All-America candidate Rahim El Amin and All-Southern Conference candidate Cory Bolden ... linebacker Mario Hankerson earned All-America honors in 1997.
In Todd We Trust ... For the fourth consecutive season, the Bucs will look to Todd Wells as their offensive general ... Wells started his senior season in fine fashion, going 7-of-18 for 283 yards (40.4 yards/completion) with three touchdowns ... Wells, the 1997 SoCon Freshman of the Year, led the Bucs in passing (115.6/game) and total offense (123.8/game) in 1999.
Quite a Debut ... The Bucs freshman class made its mark against Liberty on Sept. 2 ... wide receiver Tim Turner had three touchdown catches and 145 receiving yards in the season opener ... Turner earned Southern Conference Freshman of the Week honors for his efforts ... running back Corey Carter carried 14 times for 34 yards ... defensive linemen Travis Williams and Brandon Calton both made four tackles.
Winning Season ... ETSU is playing for its third winning season in the past four years ... The Bucs finished last season 6-5 and went 7-4 in 1997 -- head coach Paul Hamiltons first campaign ... If the Bucs finish above .500 in 2000 it would be the fourth time in the past five years they accomplished the feat.
Leader of the Ship ... Fourth-year head coach Paul Hamilton has an 18-17 (.514) career record ... Hamilton earned 17 wins in his first three years which made him the winningest coach in that span in Buc history ... Hamilton is ETSUs 16th head coach.
1999 Recap ... After opening the season 4-0 and reaching a #13 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, the Bucs traveled to Boone and dropped a heart-breaking 23-19 decision to Appalachian State ... ETSU rebounded with a 24-12 win against Liberty and on October 18 reached its highest ranking of No. 12 ... The Bucs lost their next three games before rebounding with a win against Chattanooga, 28-14, in the home finale ... The 1999 season concluded with a 24-7 loss at Division I-A Middle Tennessee State.
Welcome To Your New Position ... Senior linebacker Russ Lindgren has adjusted very well after moving from the defensive secondary ... In his first ever collegiate game at linebacker (Liberty/Sept. 2), Lindgren made 16 tackles, forced one fumble and had one interception ... Against Colorado State (Sept. 9), Lindgren made five tackles and recorded his second interception.
Pre-Season Honors ... Three Buc players earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... Seniors Rahim El Amin (linebacker), Terrance Sims (kick returner) and Denario Smalls (defensive back) earned the distinction ... Following last season, three Buccaneer players earned All-Conference honors: Jim Beverly (center), Derek Fudge (linebacker) and Kevin Peterson (linebacker).
Quick Snaps ... Aaron Bass 78-yard punt at Liberty (Sept. 2) was the fourth longest boot in ETSU football history ... Kicker Con Chellis has made two career field goals (49 yards vs. West Virginia Tech on Sept. 11, 1999 and 48 yards at Liberty on Sept. 2, 2000) ... The Bucs had long scoring plays -- 58 yards, 28 yards, 82 yards and 59 yards -- at Liberty (Sept. 2).
On the Airwaves ... ETSU football and basketball fans can enjoy game broadcasts on WJCW-AM (910) -- the flagship station of the Buccaneer Radio Network ... Chip Kessler returns as the Voice of the Bucs after leaving the post in 1996 ... The pregame show, College Football Today, will air one hour before game time while the postgame show will run for 30 minutes following the final whistle ... Both shows are hosted by Bill Meade, program director of WJCW ... The Paul Hamilton Show airs live from The Firehouse Restaurant every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m. on WJCW.