Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown

Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown


Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois, Saturday, 2:00

Tennessee State heads into the second round of play to face conference foe Eastern Illinois.  Last week, Tennessee State easily beat Butler 31-0 to advance to the rematch.  Eastern Illinois has been virtually unstoppable this season, soundly beating FBS member San Diego State 40-19, and their only loss was by four points to Northern Illinois, who currently sits at 14 in the BCS standings.  They have run over teams this year, scoring at least 34 points in every game, topping 50 six times.  In their last matchup with Tennessee State, the Panthers won 34-16 putting up 567 yards of total offense.  Senior QB Jimmy Garoppolo leads the high scoring offense.  He has thrown for 4,489 yards this season.  At his disposal are a talented group of receivers, led by senior Erik Lora.  Lora caught 102 passes for 1,339 yards and 17 touchdowns this year.  Also in the group are Adam Drake, who has 1,145 yards receiving, and Keiondre Gober, who has 838 yards.  While it is a pass heavy offense, Shepard Little and Taylor Duncan have rushed for 1,306 and 809 yards respectively.  The Panther’s offense is statistically the best in the nation, as they lead the country in total and scoring offense, and are second in passing offense.

Tennessee State will have their hands full trying to stop it.  They turned in an impressive performance last week against Butler, posting a shutout where they intercepted three passes and shut down an offense that was in the top 20 nationally.  Stopping Eastern Illinois will be a much tougher task.  Tennessee State has one of the best defenses in the country, ranking 4th in total defense and 5th in scoring defense and have picked off 20 passes this season, led by Daniel Fitzpatrick who had eight interceptions.  In their last meeting, they weren’t able to stop the Panthers and gave up 34 points, as Garoppolo threw four touchdowns.  Eastern Illinois is just too good offensively to lose this game.  Tennessee State hasn’t thrown the ball well this season, although Michael German did pass for 200 yards and two scores against Butler, and relies on their run game.  Eastern Illinois hasn’t had the best defense this year, but they have forced turnovers at a good rate.  Because of the ability of Eastern Illinois to score at will on anybody, they should easily win this game.

Projected Score: Eastern Illinois 44, Tennessee State 18


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