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INDIANAPOLIS — Quarterback Michael German had a successful return from injury, Tennessee State’s defense was as good as ever and the Tigers earned another shot at Eastern Illinois.

Tennessee State beat Butler 31-0 in Saturday’s first-round of the Football Bowl Subdivision playoffs advance to a 1 p.m. Saturday game at Eastern Illinois, which as the Ohio Valley Conference champion and tournament’s No. 2 seed had a first-round bye.

The afternoon win ended a 19-game playoff losing streak for the OVC going back to 2000 when since departed Western Kentucky advanced.

After going 12 years without a playoff win the OVC had two in one day as Jacksonville State routed Samford 55-14 that evening.

Tennessee State, 10-3 and ranked 17th in the FCS, is now looking to avenge a 34-16 Oct. 26 loss to now 11-1 and No. 2 Eastern Illinois.

German did not play in that game because of a broken collarbone.

In his first game back since Oct. 12 German completed 14 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tennessee State defense held the Butler, 9-49, to 257 yards of total offense, forced three turnovers and notched its first shutout since beating Southeast Missouri 31-0 on Nov. 11, 2006.

Butler was the first team from the non-scholarship Pioneer League to participate in the FCS playoffs, which expanded to 24 teams this year.

Tennessee State now ranks fourth in the FCS and leads the OVC in scoring defense allowing 15.5 points per game and total defense allowing 277.2 yards per game.

Eastern Illinois is the national leader scoring 48.8 points per game and total offense at 599.1 yards per game.

Meanwhile, the TSU offense gained 415 and quarterback Michael German completed 14-of-24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Michael German tossed two touchdown passes and Ryan Mitchell had two touchdown receptions as Tennessee State routed Butler 31-0 in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.

German connected with Mitchell for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and with Wesley Samuels for a 17-yard score in the second as Tennessee State (10-3) built a 17-0 halftime lead.

The Tigers extended their lead to 31-0 in the third quarter with a 26-yard interception return for a score by Daniel Fitzpatrick and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Ronald Butler to Mitchell.

Tennessee State advances to face conference foe and No. 2-seeded Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7, which beat the Tigers 34-16 earlier this season.

Butler gained just 257 total yards in its first FCS playoff game in program history. The Bulldogs were the first-ever team from the Pioneer Football League to make the playoffs.

Gamecocks romp

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - The renewal of the Jacksonville State-Samford rivalry turned out to be one of the most lopsided outcomes in the history of the series that began in 1905.

The 20th-ranked Gamecocks scored on six of their first seven possessions and routed No. 18 Samford 55-14 in a first-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game at Burgess-Snow Field.

Jacksonville State limited the Bulldogs to only two first downs and 17 total yards in the first half en route to a 38-0 lead at intermission.

Samford did not get into Jacksonville State territory until early in the third quarter.

Next for the Gamecocks (10-3) is a second-round match-up against former Southland Conference foe McNeese State (10-2), the tournament’s No. 6 overall seed.


Last Saturday’s scores

New Hampshire 45, Lafayette 7

Furman 30, South Carolina State 20

Coastal Carolina 48, Bethune-Cookman 24

Fordham 37, Sacred Heart 27

Tennessee State 31, Butler 0

Sam Houston State 51, Southern Utah 20

South Dakota State 26, Northern Arizona 7

Jacksonville State 55, Samford 14

Saturday’s second round

Fordham (12-1) at Towson (10-2), noon

Coastal Carolina (11-2) at Montana (10-2), 1 p.m.

New Hampshire (8-4) at Maine (10-2), 1 p.m.

Tennessee State (10-3) at Eastern Illinois (11-1), 1 p.m.

Furman (8-5) at North Dakota State (11-0), 2:30 p.m.

South Dakota State (9-4) at Eastern Washington (10-2), 3 p.m.

Jacksonville State (10-3) at McNeese State (10-2), 6 p.m.

Sam Houston State (9-4) at Southeastern Louisiana (10-2), 7 p.m.

Dec. 13 or Dec. 14 quarterfinals

Coastal Carolina-Montana winner vs. Furman-North Dakota State winner, TBA

New Hampshire-Maine winner vs. Sam Houston State-Sutheastern Louisiana winner, TBA

Jacksonville State-McNeese State winner vs. South Dakota State-Eastern Washington winner, TBA

Fordham-Towson winner vs. Tennessee State-Eastern Illinois winner, TBA


Dec. 20 or Dec. 21


Jan. 4 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, 1 p.m.


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