BIG BLUE TO HOST SOUTHEAST MISSOURI FOR HOMECOMING "04
NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State University celebrates Homecoming 2004 by hosting Southeast Missouri State University in an Ohio Valley Conference contest. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday in the Coliseum The Tigers will be looking to keep one streak intact while hoping to break another one. TSU has won its last eight homecoming games, a streak that began with a win in 1996. The Tigers are out top snap a five-game losing stretch this season. TSU (3-5, 1-3) has had tough luck since winning its first three games to start the season. Injuries are beginning to play a key role for the Tigers. No less than eight starters are expected to miss or are questionable for the homecoming game. Southeast Missouri (2-6, 2-3) was hit by the injury bug, especially on the defensive side of the football early in the season. Southeast opened the season by playing three straight road games, at I-AA top-ranked Southern Illinois and against two Division I members of MAC. Since opening the challenging schedule, the Indians have picked up a pair of wins a four-overtime 51-48 victory over Samford and a 35-7 homecoming win last week against Tennessee-Martin Tennessee State got off to the fast start against Eastern Illinois, but the hosts were able to come back and hand the Tigers a 34-24 defeat last week. Riley Walker, who was making his third start of the season, went out of the game in the second period with TSU leading 17-7. Walker suffered a knee injury and is doubtful for this week's game. Bryson Rosser, the Tigers' starting signal caller the first five games, is expected to get the nod this week. Junior Fred Burnette has emerged as the Tigers top receiver with 29 receptions for 477 yards and four touchdowns. The Tiger offense is led by senior All-American running back Charles Anthony. Anthony has rushed for 1,229 yards and scored 11 rushing touchdowns this season. Anthony averages 5.7 yards per carry. The Tigers could be without their two leading tacklers for the homecoming game. Middle linebacker James Dumervil, a preseason All-OVC selection, is expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Transfer defensive back Jamar Landrom, had moved into the team leadership tackles, but could also be out with a sprained knee. The unit was already without starters Carlos Jones and Justin Williams. Williams was the OVC leader in pass interceptions. In addition, the kicker/punter Joey Hudak is questionable with a back injury sustained in last week's game. The Tiger defense will be facing a Southeast passing attack that is ranked 11th nationally among I-AA schools. The Indians average 270 yards per game through the air. Senior Andrew Goodenough ranks third nationally in average completions per game with 25.3. Southeast has strong special teams play led by sophomore punter David Simonhoff. Simonhoff ranks second in the nation in punting, averaging 46.4 yards per punt.Tennessee State has an all-time record of 61-10-1 on homecoming. The Tigers won every homecoming game from 1962-86. TSU's last loss on homecoming was a 28-24 upset to Tennessee Tech in 1995.