Seven TSU Tigers Named To All-OVC Football Teams

Seven members of the Tennessee State football team earned All-OVC honors as the Tigers finished their season on Nov. 19 with a win against Texas A&M-Commerce.

Of the seven Tigers selected, two players–senior defensive tackle Terray Jones and transfer defensive end Terrell Allen–landed on the All-OVC First Team Defense. Senior wide receiver JJ Holloman was selected to the Second Team Offense, while Jahsun Bryant (ILB), K’Vaughan Pope (OLB), and first-year Tiger Bryce Phillips (CB) landed on Second Team Defense. Kaleb Mosley rounds out the Tiger All-OVC performers as he was named Second Team Specialist as a kicker.

First-year linebacker Pope and juco transfer Phillips were also named to the All-Newcomers team.

Jones wreaked havoc on offensive linemen all season long alongside teammate Allen. Jones finished with a career-high 37 tackles on the season (12 solo, 25 assists). He tallied four sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, forced one fumble, and had three quarterback hurries. Jones finished with a season-high eight tackles against Murray State, while he recorded seven tackles, 2.0 for loss, and one sack against Lane College.

Transfer defensive end Allen made a big impact from his defensive end position in his first year as a Tiger. He finds himself on the All-OVC First Team Defense after earning second-team honors last season at Austin Peay. Allen finished the year with 36 tackles (20 solo, 16 assists), while leading the team in tackles for loss (12.0), and finishing tied-in sacks with 4.5. He also swatted down two passes and had seven quarterback hurries. Allen dominated UTM’s offensive line, collecting nine tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. He finished with 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks against EIU.

First-year wide receiver Holloman lands on the Second Team Offense after leading TSU in receptions (33) and yards (353). The senior from Georgia had one receiving touchdown. Holloman’s best performance came against Murray State as he hauled in nine passes for 94 yards.

Senior linebacker Bryant closes his TSU career with Second Team Defensive honors after leading the Tigers in tackles. Playing and starting in all 11 games, the Nashville native racked up a career-high 88 tackles (39 solo, 41 assists) in his final season. He finished with 5.0 tackles, for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Ohio State transfer and first-year OLB Pope finds himself on the Second Team Defense with fellow teammate LB Bryant. Pope finished tied for second on the team in tackles with 62 (29 solo, 33 assists). He tallied four sacks, .5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.

Playing in all 11 games in his first year as a Tiger after transferring in from Santa Ana College, cornerback Phillips rounds out TSU’s All-OVC Second Team Defense selections. The California native led the team in pass breakups with 10, while collecting 35 tackles (27 solo, eight assists).

In his first season handling both punting and kicking duties, Mosley made a smooth transition in taking over for former All-OVC kicker Antonio Zita. He earns Second Team Specialist as a kicker. Mosley finished the year 15-of-21 on field goal attempts, while also knocking through 18 extra point attempts. Mosley had a long of 51 against Lane and had a 47-yarder against TAMUC in the season finale. He finished 3-of-3 against EIU and TAMUC.

Tennessee Vs. Vanderbilt Matchup Sold Out As Commodores Look For Bowl Eligibility

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt football’s final game of the 2022 regular season against rival No. 9 Tennessee at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville is sold out.

The Commodores (5-6) will host the Volunteers for the 117th meeting between the rivals on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network.

Vandy is coming off of two historic SEC wins against Kentucky and Florida–their first multi-conference win season since 2018. A win for Clark Lea‘s Commodores will make the team bowl eligible for the first time in four years.

As previously announced, tailgate parking lots are also sold out. The university is encouraging ride sharing for fans who have not already purchased parking.

Fans looking to purchase tickets should visit StubHub, the official secondary marketplace of Vanderbilt Athletics.

Game Day Reminders

  • FirstBank Stadium observes a clear bag policy.
  • Vandyville will run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. feature live music, food, kids zone and more.
  • Concessions will be adding multiple points-of-sale in anticipation of the sell-out crowd.

TSU’s Darius Harper Jr., Kaleb Mosley Earn OVC Player Of The Week Honors

Tennessee State University (TSU) football’s Darius Harper Jr. and Kaleb Mosley both took home Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week awards after their performances in the season finale win over Texas A&M-Commerce (TAMUC).

Harper earned Defensive Player of the Week, while Mosley earned his third Specialist of the Week honor.

Harper, a Nashville native played his final game as a Tiger against TAMUC and saved, arguably, his best performance for last. The senior finished with a career-high five tackles and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a TD, a 20-yard fumble recovery, and a pass breakup.

Harper intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 44 yards for a score, while his second went for a return of 28 yards. His biggest play of the game came on the final play of the contest as he broke up a would-be game-tying touchdown pass from TAMUC.

Mosley had a bounce-back performance to earn his third Player of the Week award as he was also playing in his final game as a Tiger. Mosley was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goal attempts (47, 36, 25) and had an extra point to finish with 10 points. The dual-threat specialist had a nice day punting the ball, with nine punts for 350 yards. He had a long of 55 and averaged 38.9 yards per punt, with one landing inside the 20-yard line.

TSU finishes their season with a 4-7 record. The Tigers took home five OVC Player of the Week awards during the season.

Vanderbilt’s Wesley Schelling Named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt long snapper Wesley Schelling is the latest Commodore to receive a conference honor as he’s been named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Nashville native recovered a fumble for a touchdown in Vandy’s win over Florida, while also executing all nine long snaps.

Schelling became just the fifth FBS long snapper since 2003 to record a touchdown. His recovery on a muffed punt gave the Commodores their fourth non-offensive touchdown of the season.

The product of Pearl-Cohn’s football program has executed on all 90 long snaps this season and all 205 in his career. He was fourth team Preseason All-SEC according to Phil Steele entering 2022 and is a three-time Academic All-SEC Selection.

Schelling becomes the fourth Vandy player to take home a conference player of the week honor this season, joining Mike Wright (Nov. 14, Offensive), AJ Swann (Sept. 19, Freshman) and Jayden McGowan (Sept. 5, Freshman). It’s the most weekly awards in one season for Vandy since 2018.

The Commodores (5-6) will look to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018 as they will finish the 2022 regular season on Saturday when No. 9 Tennessee visits FirstBank Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

Former Vanderbilt Athletic Director Paul Hoolahan Dies At Age 72

Paul Hoolahan. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Former Vanderbilt athletic director Paul Hoolahan died Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the age of 72.

Hoolahan took over the athletic department when Roy Kramer left to serve as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. During his tenure at Vanderbilt, Hoolahan led a significant modernization and improvement of the department’s business operation, fundraising efforts and facilities.

He then left Nashville to take over as executive director of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, a position that he held until he retired in 2019. Hoolahan cemented the Sugar Bowl as one of the top postseason games in college football. The contest hosted five national championship games in the Bowl Championship Series before joining the New Year’s Six bowls and the rotation to host College Football Playoff semifinal games.

A native New Yorker, Hoolahan played football at North Carolina, which is where he got his start in athletics administration before arriving joining Vanderbilt.

Hoolahan is survived by his wife, Katherine, and three daughters: Kate, Molly and Megan.

Lipscomb Clinches Win Over Belmont, Ending Battle Of The Boulevard Drought

Photo: Courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics

The Lipscomb Bisons walked away from the 149th installment of the Battle of the Boulevard victorious, beating Belmont 77-75 in an exciting early season matchup at Allen Arena.

The game saw 16 lead changes and big performances by Belmont’s freshmen Cade Tyson and Ja’Kobi Gillespie, who scored 15 points and 12 points, respectively. Meanwhile, sophomore Bison Trae Benham helped lead the way for Lipscomb, scoring 21 points and having seven rebounds.

However, Jacob Ognacevic‘s layup with just one second left on the clock handed Lipscomb the win over their street sharing rival. Ognacevic came off the bench to score 16 points.

With the win, Lipscomb snaps a six-game losing streak to Belmont.

The first half was back and fourth with neither team running away, but two good free throws, a layup and a jumper for Lipscomb closed the half with a 37-34 lead.

Belmont opened the second half fast, going on a 12-2 run scored by Tyson, senior Ben Sheppard and graduate transfer Drew Friberg. Belmont took a 10-point lead with 14:40 left in the game, but great work by Benham and Ognacevic helped narrow the lead.

From there, neither team took more than a seven point lead. Lipscomb commanded with about four minutes left, forcing Belmont’s young team to play catch-up.

With the win, Lipscomb takes a 76-73 series lead all-time over the Bruins in one of the most historic local rivalries in all of college basketball.

Lipscomb, now with a 2-1 season, will head to South Bend, Indiana to face Notre Dame on Friday (Nov. 18). Belmont, now 1-2, also returns to action on Friday when they face Tarleton State in the first round of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.

Vanderbilt Football Wins First SEC Matchup After 26-Game Losing Streak

Mike Wright. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

For the first time in three years, the Vanderbilt Commodores have won a game against an SEC rival with a 24-21 win over No. 24 Kentucky on Saturday (Nov. 12).

After staring off 3-1 this season, Vandy has lost five consecutive SEC games, including a close 17-14 loss to Missouri. However, this win over a ranked Kentucky team showed the resilience that head coach Clark Lea‘s team has.

Lea’s first season with the team was a forgettable one, with only two winning games the entire season. He has now doubled that and added a conference win to his growing resume.

Clark Lea. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

“There were opportunities for them to make assumptions about the outcome. We got behind late, but they just kept fighting. I think when you stay in the fight and you believe, good things happen. They were able to make it happen in the end,” an emotional Lea said in a postgame interview with SEC Network.

Senior quarterback Mike Wright had a great performance against the Wild Cats going 12 of 23 in passing for 184 yards with an interception,. He also ran for 126 yards, scoring a rushing and a passing touchdown.

The Commodores were down 21-17 with nearly five minutes left in the game when Wright led Vandy down the field to win the game. He completed a 40-yard pass to Quincy Skinner Jr. on fourth-and-11 to the Kentucky 9 yard line, setting up the winning score.

His performance against Kentucky won him a SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor.

“There’s going to be a lot to clean up but we like to learn from wins and I’m proud of Mike,” Lea added. “Mike’s had a tough year personally, but he’s fought through that, stayed with his teammates and prepared every week. He’s made some big plays for us this season, and he came up with a big one there at the end to connect with Will Sheppard. I thought he really did some nice things to keep us in the game early.” He continued, “I’m proud of all the guys. They earned that. It’s been a long run, and they earned it.”

The Commodores have just two games left this season staring with its matchup against Florida on Saturday, Nov. 19, followed by No.5 Tennessee on No. 26. Both games will be at FirstBank Stadium.

Vanderbilt Unveils Details For Ingram Center For Student-Athlete Success

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt has announced the creation of the Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success, which will be funded with part of the lead gift to the Vandy United campaign made by longtime supporter and Board of Trust member John R. Ingram.

Housed within the McGugin Center, this initiative represents a restructured approach to how Vanderbilt Athletics will support academic, personal and career development.

“The Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success symbolizes the continued promise of the Vandy United campaign to give our student-athletes every opportunity to succeed,” says Candice Storey Lee, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director. “Thanks to John Ingram’s generosity, the Center will help today’s champions become tomorrow’s leaders. It’s fulfilling to see this vision come to fruition after lengthy and intensive planning, including significant time and energy personally invested by John.

“Our student-athletes are incredible and deserve our very best. The Ingram Center is one tangible example of what ‘our very best’ looks like.”

This past year, in addition to winning two conference championships, an individual national championship and competing in a world championship, Vanderbilt student-athletes were honored as SEC Community Service Award winners and CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, as well as a Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship.

All Vanderbilt student-athletes will benefit from the Center’s planning and mentorship, and will receive personalized support tailored to meet their specific needs. Examples include financial literacy, leadership training, domestic and international service-learning opportunities, internships, personal branding and name, image and likeness support, and entrepreneurship development. Under the direction of Associate Athletic Director Alison Wenzel, the center will combine the efforts of current student services and student-athlete development staff in one entity.

“The Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success is an innovative approach to providing a holistic experience for student-athlete,” explains Wenzel. “We will walk alongside them though their journey at Vanderbilt and provide resources so they can explore their passions. Who are they, what drives them, and where will they find success after Vanderbilt—all of these questions and more will be answered through the student-athlete support services provided by the Ingram Center.”

Additional staff will soon join Vanderbilt’s team, and the network of support will also include collaborations with alumni, campus partners and local community members.

“At its core, Vandy United reflects the university’s commitment to the lifelong growth and development of everyone in our Vanderbilt community,” says Chancellor Daniel Diermeier. “The Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success fits this vision perfectly by harnessing the collaborative power of faculty, coaches, staff, alumni and the Nashville community to support student-athletes as they strive for excellence on and off the field.”

Honored earlier this year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame as its Tennessean of the Year, in part for his work bringing Major League Soccer and GEODIS Park to the Nashville community, Ingram has been a longtime advocate for the transformative potential of the student-athlete experience at Vanderbilt. A member of Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust, he echoed the chancellor’s sentiments.

“Vanderbilt student-athletes are exceptional young people with bold dreams,” Ingram notes. “It is our responsibility to invest in them and ensure that we deliver them to their next destination prepared to reach their potential. I am honored to support this initiative ”