Defense leads UTM to 21-16 win over Tennessee St.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Keith Jones returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and Tennessee-Martin’s defense sparked the Skyhawks to a 21-16 victory over Tennessee State on Saturday.

Jones’ third-quarter return gave UTM a 14-3 lead. Tony Bell recovered a fumble forced by Nick Dance, and two plays later Jarod Neal threw 7 yards to Corey Rogers for a 21-3 advantage with 1:31 left in the third.

Mike German, who threw for 314 yards, rallied Tennessee State (4-4, 1-3) with fourth-quarter touchdown passes of 26 yards to Weldon Garlington and 75 to Ryan Mitchell, the latter coming with 4:37 left. But the Skyhawks then ran out the clock. Mitchell had a career-high 156 yards receiving.

The Skyhawks (3-5, 2-3) led the entire game after Reuben Duckworth ran for a 10-yard score, his first career touchdown, for a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

The Tigers had a 367-210 advantage in total yardage.