Tennessee State will travel to Cheney, WA this weekend for a highly anticipated Week 1 matchup against #13 Eastern Washington. This will be the first matchup between the two programs and could answer multiple questions surrounding both programs entering the 2022 season.
Tennessee State Head Coach Eddie George spoke with the media today on the weekly OVC Coaches Call and had this to say about the matchup with Eastern Washington on Saturday:
“The only way we are going to find out where we are right now is to play somebody outside of ourselves. This is a great opportunity to play a top ranked team in the country at their place on the road. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us and I think we’re looking forward to playing them and putting that best foot forward.”
George also spoke about the unique challenge of playing on the red turf at Roos Field:
“It’s a beautiful turf and a very noble idea. It’s great for college football to have these types of environments and stuff to talk about, but our kids still realize the field is still 50-yards wide and 110-yards long. We are really locked in and focused on that, but it is still a field and we still have to play a worthy opponent at their place. It’s going to be a fun environment, but a hostile environment… It’s a program that has been established and has winning ways.”
Tennessee State also announced former Austin Peay QB Draylen Ellis will be the starting quarterback this season. Ellis was named the Preseason OVC Offensive Player of the Year and won the 2020-21 OVC Freshman of the Year. Eastern Washington also announced Gunner Talkington as the new starting QB for the Eagles late last week as he looks to replace 2021 Walter Payton Award winner Eric Barriere.
Eastern Washington and Tennessee State will kickoff this weekend at 3pm/CT on ESPN+.