Monday, September 13, 2004
NASHVILLE --- With its first Ohio Valley Conference victory under its belt, the Tennessee State football team now looks forward to its annual trip to Memphis to tangle with long-time rival Jackson State University in the Southern Heritage Classic. Kickoff is 6 p.m. from the Liberty Bowl. A crowd of close to 60,000, plus a national television audience on Black Entertainment Television (BET) will witness the 39th meeting between the two schools. The TSU Tigers will look to move a game ahead in the series that is tied at 18-18-2. The Tennessee State Tigers are off to a 2-0 State. TSU opened the season with a 42-7 win over Alabama A&M in the John Merritt Classic and came back to open the OVC portion of its schedule with a 27-13 win over Tennessee-Martin last Saturday. Running back Charles Anthony leads Division I-AA after two games with 363 yards and has tallied three TD's thus far. The Tigers will look for more production from their passing game completing 13-33-0 passes for 158 yards and a pair of TD's. One positive for the Tigers is that they have not committed a turnover after the first two games. The Tigers broke a streak of 32 games with at least one turnover in the season-opening win over Alabama A&M. The Tiger defense limited UTM to just 249 yards total offense, far below their league-leading defensive average of 320 yards that led the OVC last season. Senior linebacker James Dumervil had nine tackles while defensive end Paul Thomas had seven stops, including two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. The Jackson State Tigers are off to a 0-2 start. JSU opened the season with a 38-29 loss at Hampton, which is currently the top ranked team in the SBN Black College Poll. JSU then battled I-AA 21st ranked Northwestern (La.) State to the wire before falling 28-20 last Saturday night in Mississippi Memorial Stadium. The Tigers lost quarterback Robert Kent, who spent time in the Tennessee Titans preseason camp this summer. Brian Green is the new signal caller and has completed 28-69-2 passes for 361 yards and one TD after his first two starts. The JSU Tiger defense has allowed an average of 380.5 yards per game. Linebacker Joseph Scott has tallied 23 tackles after two games. Tennessee State started last season's game with strong special teams and defensive play and then the offense started rolling as the Tigers defeated Jackson State 44-14 last Sept.13. The Tigers led 16-6 at halftime on the way to posting the victory. Note: In addition to the nationally-televised game, the game can be heard in Nashville on WNSR-AM (560) with Howard Gentry, Jr., and Albert Dawson calling the action.