September 23, 20171st2nd3rd4th1OT Final
1st Quarter
ETSUTD09:25Austin Herink 3 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)
2nd Quarter
ETSUFG10:40JJ Jerman 25 Yd
MERTD07:03Chandler Curtis 39 Yd Pass From Kaelan Riley (Cole Fisher missed kick)
3rd Quarter
MERTD10:10CJ Leggett 2 Yd Run (Cole Fisher kick)
MERTD01:11Tee Mitchell 2 Yd Run (Cole Fisher kick)
4th Quarter
ETSUFG11:22JJ Jerman 49 Yd
ETSUTD04:41Blake Rodgers 1 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)
MERFG15:00Cole Fisher 29 Yd
ETSUTD15:00Jajuan Stinson 25 Yd Pass From Austin Herink
Stats at a GlanceMERETSU
1st Downs2322
3rd Down Conversions2-106-14
4th Down Conversions0-00-0
Passing (Comp-Att)257 (15-22) 284 (26-33)
Rushing (Att)149 (37) 103 (41)
Total Yards406387
Fumbles Lost10
Bucs look to bounce back against Mercer on Saturday
Bucs look to bounce back against Mercer on Saturday
Friday, September 22, 2017

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. 


  • U.S. Army Golden Knights to perform: The Golden Knights are the United States Army's official aerial parachute demonstration team, and they will perform just prior to Saturday’s game. Fans are asked to be in their seats by 3:10 to see the Golden Knights begin their performance. Athletics would like to say a special thank you to ETSU ROTC Lt. Col. Shawn Dodge for making this performance possible. 
  • Family weekend set for later this week: Family weekend will coincide with the Bucs home football game with Mercer this weekend. This special promotion is a way for parents and family members to connect with their student and celebrate all that makes East Tennessee State University a special place. Three days of events designed to connect the family to the ETSU community, Johnson City, and their student’s ETSU experience. Family members can register for all events or just a few HERE
  • Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service – The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will continue to provide the “Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service” for all home football games at the new William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. Centrally located at the Alumni Pavilion area on the west side of the ETSU parking garage and convenient to Lots 21 and 22, the Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service will consist of golf carts that will provide rides to the stadium for disabled fans and those with mobility issues. The carts will begin service one hour prior to kickoff and take fans from the Alumni Pavilion to the Bank of Tennessee East Entrance roundabout. The carts will also provide service from the roundabout back to the Alumni Pavilion area at the conclusion of the game. Signs designating the pickup area prior to games will be visible on game days. The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics asks that only fans in physical need of this service utilize the shuttles. 
  • Men’s golf and men’s tennis recognitions – Both the men’s golf and men’s tennis teams will be recognized during Saturday’s game for their championship seasons back in the spring of this year. 
  • Buc Walk – The traditional Buc Walk will take place two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff, so Saturday’s walk will begin at 1:15 p.m. 
  • Tailgating – Parking lots around William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium will open for tailgating at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Fans are reminded that the family-friendly Food City Zone will open at 12:30 p.m. 
  • Public Parking – Parking for the general public will be available in the parking garage and in Lot 22 (located behind Bojangles on Go Bucs Trail). Parking is $10 per car. Click here for parking map. Students are reminded they can still access normal student parking by displaying their parking pass and ID.
  • Clear Bag Policy – The new stadium will have a clear bag policy, which can be viewed in more detail by clicking here.
  • Game Time App – Remember to download the official ETSU Game Time App for IPhone and Android devices. This one-stop app provides answers to many game day questions as well as other information regarding the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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



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 and click on the football page.