2023 Football

Tennessee State wins thriller over tough Gardner-Webb team

James Lowery kicked a 50-yard field goal to win the John Merritt Classic

Tennessee State snuck past Gardner-Webb on Saturday evening by a final score of 27-25.

Statistics 1 2 3 4 OT Total

Da’Shon Davis had three catches for 64 yards and one touchdown to lead Tennessee State. Davis got help as well, particularly from Deveon Bryant and Jalen Rouse. The Tigers found success in key moments as they collected 341 total offensive yards on the day.

Running back Narii Gaither starred in the ground game for Gardner-Webb, racking up an impressive 152 yards on 17 carries. The offense particularly had trouble on third down, they converted just five third downs in 22 attempts.

Key Metrics to Victory: Tennessee State

  • Play selection – leaned on the pass game, with a 56-44 pass-run split with 45 passing attempts and 35 rushing attempts
  • Possession – controlled the ball for 31:08 (52% of the game)
  • Third down success – converted on 35% of third downs (7-20) while Gardner-Webb converted just 23% (5-22)
  • Red zone efficiency – converted on 100% of red zone trips as opposed to Gardner-Webb’s 50% efficiency
Tennessee State vs Gardner-Webb

TSU earned a good win against a tough conference rival. The Tigers’ next game is a Sept. 30 matchup with UT Martin at Hardy M. Graham. Gardner-Webb’s record dropped to 1-2 with the loss. The Runnin’ Bulldogs will travel to Dowdy-Ficklen for their next chance at a win, a Sept. 23 battle with East Carolina.

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

Tennessee State wins thriller over tough Gardner-Webb team
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