Coming off a their homecoming loss to Jacksonville State, UTM rebounded with a road win against Tennessee Tech, 28-17.
Early in the first half, the Skyhawks found the end zone with a quarterback keeper from Jarod Neal from the one-yard line. The Golden Eagles quickly responded with a 39-yard field goal, which would be the only points Tennessee Tech put up in the first half.
With 14:07 remaining in the second quarter running back DJ McNeil broke off a 32-yard touchdown. This was the start of a 21-0 run in the second quarter for the Skyhawks (4-2, 2-1 OVC), which included a one-yard run from Abou Toure and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Butler.
Despite allowing 28 points in the first half, the Golden Eagles pitched a shutout in the second half.
Tennessee Tech quarterback Jared Davis, who replaced Darian Stone early in the first half, guided the Golden Eagles into the end zone with 9:52 left in the third with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cody Matthews. Early in the fourth, Davis struck again with a 5-yard to Zack Ziegeler, but that would be the end of Tennessee Tech’s attempted comeback.
“I was proud of our kids to go on the road for our third game in 12 days to get a win and stay in the conference race,” said head coach Jason Simpson. “In the first half, we couldn’t have drawn it up any better. In the second half we got a little tight and got ahead of ourselves a little bit but we will take 4-2 and 2-1 in the conference. I thought Jarod Neal played outstanding at quarterback – he is learning under fire and I was real proud of him to get the win.”
Dylan Favre, who has started the last four games, was inactive due to a minor leg injury. In his absence, Neal made his second start of the season going 21-of-29 for a career-high 270 yards and one passing touchdown, plus one on the ground, his second rushing touchdown is as many weeks.
McNeil rushed for a career-high 171 yards on 24 carries. with one touchdown on the day.
Butler hauled in 4 catches for a team-high 83 yards and one touchdown.
On defense, linebacker Tony Bell led the team with 10 total tackles with two sacks, both team-highs.