|September 23, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||1OT||Final|
|ETSU||TD||09:25||Austin Herink 3 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)|
|ETSU||FG||10:40||JJ Jerman 25 Yd|
|MER||TD||07:03||Chandler Curtis 39 Yd Pass From Kaelan Riley (Cole Fisher missed kick)|
|MER||TD||10:10||CJ Leggett 2 Yd Run (Cole Fisher kick)|
|MER||TD||01:11||Tee Mitchell 2 Yd Run (Cole Fisher kick)|
|ETSU||FG||11:22||JJ Jerman 49 Yd|
|ETSU||TD||04:41||Blake Rodgers 1 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)|
|MER||FG||15:00||Cole Fisher 29 Yd|
|ETSU||TD||15:00||Jajuan Stinson 25 Yd Pass From Austin Herink|
|Stats at a Glance||MER||ETSU|
|3rd Down Conversions||2-10||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||257 (15-22)||284 (26-33)|
|Rushing (Att)||149 (37)||103 (41)|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 22, 2017) – Coming off setbacks to a pair of top-10 teams, the ETSU football team looks to bounce back into the win column this weekend when the Buccaneers host Mercer at William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
THINGS TO KNOW FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
ABOUT THE BUCS
After defeating Limestone in their season opener earlier this month, the Bucs (1-2, 0-1) have suffered losses to No. 1 James Madison (52-10) and No. 10 Citadel (31-25).
Saturday marks the second straight home game for the Blue and Gold … The Bucs play four of their first six games at Greene Stadium.
Following his 19-tackle performance last Saturday against The Citadel, redshirt junior linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) was named Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week … The 19 tackles are the most by a SoCon player this season, while ranking second among FCS players.
As a unit, the Buccaneer defense ranks third in the SoCon in total defense (361.0) and first in passing defense (145.7) … Offensively, ETSU and Mercer are the two teams in the conference who have scored on all their trips in the red zone this season.
Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) ranks fourth in passing yards per game (179.7) … Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) is tied for seventh in receptions per game (3.7) … JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) is tied for second in field goals per game (1.00) and ranks fourth in scoring among SoCon kickers (5.3).
Weigel, River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) and Kaman Cooper (Warner Robins, Ga.) rank in the top-10 among SoCon players in tackles per game … Weigel is second (11.0), Boruff is tied for third (10.3) and Cooper is tied for eighth (8.7) … Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) is tied for second in tackles for loss per game (1.67) and Paul Hunter (Denton, Texas) is also tied for second in interceptions per game (0.67) … Player and Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) are both tied for third in forced fumbles (0.33).
ETSU has forced at least one takeway in each of its first three games this season ... Paul Hunter has two interceptions this season, which ties him for the most by a single player in a season since the return of the program in 2015, when former cornerback Tavian Lott reached that same number of interceptions ... Overall, ETSU has now forced at least one turnover in eight straight games and in 18 of its last 21 contests.
T0 30 AND BEYOND…
ETSU put up 31 points in the season opening win over Limestone, marking just the fifth time in 25 games the Blue and Gold reached the 30-point mark … When the Bucs reach that number, ETSU is 5-0 in those contests since restarting the program in 2015 … Furthermore, ETSU has won its last 14 games when scoring at least 30 points with the last setback coming on Nov. 4, 2000 when Wofford defeated the Bucs, 35-31.
ETSU TO PLAY TENNESSEE IN 2018
In February of 2015, ETSU announced the Buccaneers will play Tennessee on Sept. 8, 2018 at Neyland Stadium ... ETSU will earn a game guarantee of $500,000 for playing the Volunteers in Knoxville.
MORE FUTURE OPPONENTS FOR THE BUCS
In addition to playing Tennessee in 2018, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on April 8, 2016, that the Buccaneers will be playing both Vanderbilt and Appalachian State starting in 2019 ... The Bucs will also play at Vanderbilt in 2021 and at Appalachian State in 2024 ... ETSU also announced in June that the Blue and Gold will travel to Athens in 2020 to take on Georgia in Sanford Stadium ... The Buccaneers will earn a game guarantee of $550,000 against Georgia.
ETSU’s 11 opponents this year currently have a win percentage of .531, while its first three opponents – Limestone (2-1), #1 James Madison (3-0), #13 Citadel (3-0) – are a combined 8-1 (.889) through the first three weeks of the season.
SOCON PLAYING THE BEST IN 2017
The SoCon is the only conference in college football that will take on both the reigning FCS and FBS national champions this season. In addition to ETSU squaring off against JMU, The Citadel will face Clemson on Nov. 18.
RED ZONE SUCCESS
ETSU has enjoyed a lot of red zone success since the start of the 2016 season ... Over that time, ETSU is 32-of-35 (91%) in red zone scoring ... The Bucs have scored 176 points during these 35 trips (20 TDs/12 FGs) ... Of the 20 TDs, 12 have been rushing and eight passing.
Mercer enters this weekend’s SoCon game with a 1-2 overall record and 0-1 mark in conference play … The Bears are coming off a 24-10 setback at FBS No. 15 Auburn last Saturday where Mercer forced five turnovers – including a program record four fumble recoveries.
Mercer is receiving votes in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll
The Bears opened the season with a 48-7 win over Jacksonville on Aug. 31, while falling to FCS No. 10 Wofford 28-27 on Sept. 9.
Mercer’s offense is averaging 28 points per game and holding its opponents to less than 20 points per game
The Bears’ defense has forced eight takeaways this season (six fumble recoveries/two interceptions)
Mercer is 13-for-13 in red zone scoring (10 touchdowns/three field goals), while converting on 43% of its third down chances (19-of-44)
The Bears return seven offensive starters, five defensive starts and two specialists from a year ago
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kaelan Riley has started all three games … Riley is 52-for-86 with 519 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions … Riley has also rushed 26 times for 84 yards and three touchdowns
Riley has completed passes to 11 different receivers … Junior Marquise Irvin leads the team with 16 completions for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Sam Walker has 11 receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns
Mercer was picked to finish fifth in the SoCon Preseason Poll, while seven players earned preseason all-conference honors
This marks the fifth year of football for Mercer and the fourth in the SoCon
Saturday marks the third all-time meeting between ETSU and Mercer … The two programs have played in back-to-back seasons with the Bears winning both contests … Mercer won the 2015 meeting 52-0, while the Bears held on for a 21-13 victory last November in Macon … In last year’s setback, the Blue and Gold out-gained Mercer, 372 to 367, but the Bears rallied for 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and sealed the win with an interception at the goal line in the final minute … Last season, Austin Herink was 25-for-37 with 267 yards and one touchdown, while Drake Powell finished with eight catches for 143 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown reception … Jajuan Stinson has 73 rushing yards on 15 carries in two career games against Mercer (4.9 yards per carry) … Dylan Weigel has posted back-to-back 11-tackle games against the Bears, while Austin Gatewood has 17 tackles in two career games versus the Bears.
Saturday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app … David Jackson will handle the play-by-play duties, while former ETSU quarterback and Hall of Fame member Mark Hutsell will be the color analyst and Kasey Marler will handle sideline reporting.
The Buccaneer Sports Network (BSN) will provide ETSU fans with complete pregame, in-game and postgame coverage on the radio. Games air live on the Bucs’ flagship station WXSM-AM 640 and affiliate station 104.9 FM NASH ICON.
The BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long ETSU Football Tailgate Show, followed by the Carl Torbush Pregame Show Powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopaedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.
The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst and former ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm, sideline reporter Robert Harper, and studio hosts Mike Gallagher and Andy Jackson will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.
Following each game, fans can tune into the General Shale Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews, and other post-game information.
In addition to following the Bucs on your mobile device and/or tablet with live audio and video, fans can get up-to-the-minute stats by following the action via StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices via ETSUBucs.com.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available … Tickets can be purchased by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at (423) 439-3878, online or on gameday at the ticket gate … Single-game tickets range between $20-30.
ETSU hits the road as the Bucs take on Furman next Saturday, Sept. 30 in Greenville, S.C. … Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Paladin Stadium.
For complete information on ETSU Football, follow the program via social media on Twitter (@ETSUFootball), Instagram (@ETSUFootball), Snapchat (@ETSUFootball) and on Facebook (ETSU Buccaneer Football).
For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.