2023 Football

John Merritt Classic: Tennessee State hosts Gardner-Webb

Tennessee State and Gardner-Webb, both coming off wins, face off in an intriguing John Merritt Classic with no recent history.

OVC football continues Saturday evening when Tennessee State and Gardner-Webb battle. Both teams are coming off wins. TSU beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a 24-14 contest, while Gardner-Webb defeated Elon. These teams haven’t played in recent years, so things could get interesting in this one.

Tennessee State (1-1 Overall)

The Tigers’ season thus far has resulted in a 1-1 record. Their offense has had its fair share of struggles this season. In total, they’re only scoring an average of 13.5 points a game. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers’ defense allows 35.0 points per game on average.

Tennessee State

Jalen Rouse led the team in Tennessee State’s last game. Rouse rushed for 91 yards in the team’s win.

Tennessee State loves to target their backs, with 25% of their receptions coming from the running back position.

Tennessee State went 4-7 in 2022. They’ll want to capitalize on this opportunity, as this is the first time they’ve had home-field advantage all year. Tennessee State is 0-0 in OVC games.

Gardner-Webb (1-1 Overall)

The Runnin’ Bulldogs will come into this contest with a 1-1 record on the season. Getting points on the board certainly hasn’t been an issue for Gardner-Webb, as they are averaging 29.0 points per contest. On the other side of the ball, the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ defense is giving up an average of 36.0 points per game.

Matthew Caldwell is looking to continue the play he showcased in Gardner-Webb’s last game. Caldwell threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s win.

Gardner-Webb leans on their passing game to drive their offense. They throw the ball on 60% of plays while rushing on the other 40%.


Photo Courtesy: Kobi Everett/Garder-Webb Athletics

Gardner-Webb enters after putting up a 7-6 campaign in 2022. They’re 0-1 on the road, after giving up 45.0 points in their only away game this season. This is the first OVC game for Gardner-Webb.

Gameday AI content is produced using Artificial Intelligence technology powered by Boost Sport before being approved and published by HBCU Gameday.

John Merritt Classic: Tennessee State hosts Gardner-Webb
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To Top