If the Colonels’ second-half letdown last week at Western Carolina could be described as stunning, then perhaps there were no words that could accurately depict exactly what happened Thursday night against Tennessee Tech.

“I have no idea,” senior linebacker Brandon Rosser said of Eastern Kentucky University’s 27-14 loss to the Golden Eagles. “It just happens.”

And shockingly it happened for the second time in just five days.

EKU (1-3) once again dominated the opening half and went into halftime with a lead, this time 14-7, but Tennessee Tech (1-3) stormed back to score the final 20 points of the game and knock-off the preseason pick to the win Ohio Valley Conference in the league opener for both teams. Larry Shipp scored two second-half touchdowns and Jason Foster added two field goal”Momentum is a big thing in football and we lost momentum in the second half the last two weeks,” EKU coach Danny Hope’ said. “It was a very disappointing loss.”

Almost the exact same scenario that played out last week in a non-conference road loss at Western Carolina. The Colonels marched up and down the field in the first half, but didn’t put as many points on the scoreboard as they could have. Then in the second half the momentum suddenly shifted and the Catamounts were able to score 13 unanswered points and pull out a shocking 20-17 victory.

The Colonels got a 30-yard touchdown pass from Josh Greco to Matt Schoborg with 15 seconds left in the half Thursday against Tennessee Tech, but could have gone into the break with a much bigger advantage, just like last week at Western Carolina.

EKU had 15 first downs, 268 yards of total offense and held the ball for more than 17 minutes, but fumbled the ball away twice and was flagged for five penalties — several of which negated big gains.

Taylor Long also missed a 38-yard field goal that could have extended the lead.

“It’s just a lack of execution,” EKU tight end Patrick Bugg said. “It’s more mental than physical.”

The Golden Eagles took their first lead of the game at 17-14 when Foster hit a 27-yard field goal, the first of his career, with 8:29 left in the fourth, then Shipp caught a 22-yard pass just 12 seconds later that all put wrapped up a come-from-behind win.

Foster later added another field goal with just more than two minutes left.

“The defense played as well as we needed them to,” Bugg said. “We just left them on the field too long.”

The Colonels simply could not get anything going on offense in the second half for the second straight week. Greco was picked off on the first drive of the third quarter and EKU finished with just 93 yards and six first downs after halftime. The junior quarterback, last year’s OVC Offensive Player of the Year, was pulled in the fourth quarter for Allan Holland.

Greco finished 21-of-35 for 211 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Holland was 0-of-2. EKU had four turnovers, three lost fumbles and an interception, which TTU converted into 14 points.

Davin Walker fumbled away a kick-off in the fourth quarter that led to Shipp’s second TD.

Greco gave the Colonels an early lead when he scored on a 4-yard run just 3:48 into the game. EKU held onto that advantage until Anthony Ash came up with a big play for TTU. The running back eluded several tacklers while tip-toeing up the left sideline on his way to a 66-yard touchdown run with 3:51 left in the half.

The Golden Eagles had just 126 yards of total offense in the first half, more than half of which came on Anthony Ash’s TD run.

TTU pulled even on its second possession of the third quarter. On the first play of the drive, Lee Sweeney hit Shipp on a 43-yard touchdown pass.

“We just need to spend some time together and then figure out what we need to do,” Bugg said.

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