The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Turnover margin falls in minus fifteen

Caleb Mitchell caught two passes Saturday, only the passes were not intended for him.

He jumped in front of two passes, coming up with two interceptions as Tennessee Tech defeated Eastern 34-20.

The first of his two interceptions was a big one, as TTU found itself trailing 7-0 until Mitchell returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown.

Mitchell’s two interceptions were two of the five total turnovers Eastern committed Saturday.

His second interception came with less than three minutes to go in the game, ending a long Eastern offensive drive that had marched 42 yards down the field.

On the night, Mitchell also had one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, one sack and seven total tackles.

Once again, Eastern’s turnovers plagued its offense as the Panthers fell to 0-7 this season.

Before Saturday’s game, Eastern was last in the Ohio Valley Conference in turnover margin. After Saturday’s game, a minus-10 margin worsened to minus-15.

Each of Eastern’s quarterbacks who saw action threw two interceptions. Freshman quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo started the game, but was taken out after going 5-of-9 with two interceptions.

Red-shirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Large entered the game after that and went 17-of-30 with two interceptions. Large threw for the Panthers’ only offensive touchdown – a four-yard touchdown pass to red-shirt senior tight end Cody Bruns.

When Large or Garoppolo were not making mistakes through the air, they were getting sacked. TTU came up with eight sacks Saturday – seven, which came when Large was quarterback.

Mitchell came up with one of the sacks on Large. On Mitchell’s sack, he forced Large to fumble the ball. This was one of TTU’s two forced fumbled in the game, but the only one that the Golden Eagles came up with.

TTU swung the game in its favor when it scored three consecutive touchdowns at the end of the first half and start of the second half.

“I thought our defense played outstanding other than a few drives,” defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni said.

The Golden Eagles’ running game was a big part of the team’s success as it ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns, compared to Eastern’s 39 yards on the ground.

TTU made up for a lack of offense in the passing game with its big day on the ground. Five different players ran for more than 10 yards. TTU junior running back Jocques Crawford was the most effective on the ground, running for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

TTU sophomore quarterback Tre Lamb ran for the third touchdown the team had on the ground. Lamb rushed for 17 yards on the ground, while he was 8-of-20 through the air for 64 yards.

“I think our cornerbacks showed that they are two of the best in the conference,” Bellantoni said.

Eastern will return home Saturday for Homecoming. The Panthers will play Murray State 1:30 p.m. at O’Brien Field.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected]

Turnover margin falls in minus fifteen

Turnover margin falls in minus fifteen

Henry Harris from Southeast Missouri stops defensive back Nick Beard as he makes his way down the field Oct. 2, at O’Brien Field. (Danny Damiani

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