TIGERS FACE CHALLENGE OF DEFENSIVE-MINDEDBULLDOGS IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUP
Wednesday, October 9, 2002
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State football team will face the challenge of another streaking team when the Tigers travel to Alabama A&M Saturday (Oct. 12) with a game against the Bulldogs. The contest will be TSU’s final non-conference game of the season. The Tigers will also be serving as Alabama A&M’s 2002 homecoming opponent. For Tennessee State, the Tigers will look to avoid putting themselves in an early hole, which has plagued the team, the past four games. TSU has been outscored 113-34 in the opening half. Although the Tigers have outscored their opponents in the second half, the leads have been too much for TSU to overcome. True freshman Dwayne Buchanan is expected to make his third collegiate start against A&M. In his first two games, Buchanan has completed 34-60-3 passes for 495 yards and four TD’s. The Tigers have also been hampered by injuries with several key performers looking to be back in the lineup this week. Sophomore running Charles Anthony has been among those players slowed down. Anthony, nursing an ankle injury, had 69 yards on 10 carries, coming into the game in the second period. Senior transfer Sugar Sanders had to leave the game with an ankle injury. In addition, leading receiver C.J. Johnson was lost early with a thigh bruise. Both players are expected to be in the lineup this week. Jermaine Beale had 15 tackles in the Southeast Missouri game and now has 62 for the season. Cornerback Deon Giddens has 40 solo among 52 total stops. Alabama A&M has been on a roll in recent games. The Bulldogs, after opening the season with defeats to Jacksonville State (20-17) and Grambling State (23-13), have bounced back to defeat Prairie View (15-12), Texas Southern (21-14), and Southern (27-11) in last week’s Circle City Classic. The Bulldogs feature a strong defensive unit, allowing just 16 points and 296 yards a game. The 23 points given up to Grambling are the most scored against A&M this season. The Tigers have won 16 of 20 previous meetings with Alabama A&M. TSU defeated A&M 27-6 last season in the season opener in the John Merritt Classic. ###