Alcorn State would pull away in the second half as they took advantage of missed TSU opportunities throughout the game in a 44-27 decision on Saturday night at PNC Stadium.
The contest was delayed for an hour as lightning and heavy rain was in the area prior to kickoff. Once everything passed over at 8:36 p.m., TSU stopped ASU on its opening drive but special teams came into play early as ASU blocked a TSU punt which led to a touchdown and 7-0 deficit early in the first quarter. Two drives later, TSU would hold ground as the Braves missed a field goal attempt but on the ensuing drive, TSU quarterback Andrew Body was sacked and the ball landed into the hands of ASU as they would score two plays later to lead 13-0 after a missed PAT.
The Tigers would bounce back as Body found Ke’Lenn Davis for a 59-yard scoring strike with 2:57 left in the first quarter as Richard Garcia III’s PAT was good. However, ASU answered with a seven-plus minute drive and converted two third down plays to keep the drive alive as Felix Harper found C.J. Bolar for a touchdown. The PAT was good as ASU upped its lead to 20-7 early in the second quarter.
TSU kept fighting as Body connected with fellow freshman Savion Sims for a 67-yard pass to set up a Jacorey Howard’s 1-yard touchdown run and a 20-14 margin after the PAT. TSU would force an ASU punt right after but a promising drive stalled at the ASU 16 as the center snapped the ball high which led to an ASU fumble recovery.
On TSU’s next drive, ASU would fumble and TSU picked up the ball but couldn’t secure it as the Braves avoided a sure fumble return for a score. However, TSU stepped up defensively and sacked Harper on fourth down to regain possession at the ASU 38.
Both teams would trade punts as TSU drove down the field on its final drive and set itself up for a 31-yard Garcia III field goal as the Tigers trailed 20-17 at the half.
TSU punted on its opening drive of the second half and ASU converted two third down plays which led to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Harper to Juan Anthony as they led 27-17 after the PAT. The Tigers attempted to answer ASU’s score but had to settle for another field goal after a dropped pass on third down.
Down 27-20, ASU opened the fourth quarter with a 26-yard touchdown pass to move ahead 34-20. TSU would fumble on its next drive and ASU tacked on a field goal to lead 37-20. ASU added a long touchdown drive to move ahead 44-20 but TSU would find the endzone late as Dominic Franklin rushed in from 20 yards out for the final score of the night.
TSU finished with 465 yards of offense compared to 440 from ASU. Body passed for 308 yards on 17-of-28 passing while Davis caught five passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. LaDarius Owens led TSU with 88 yards rushing while Tarik Cooper led TSU with 12 tackles.
TSU is back in action next Saturday versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff for a 2 p.m. kickoff at PNC Stadium.