Friday, September 9, 2005
MEMPHIS --- Tennessee State and Jackson State renew their competitive football rivalry when the two teams get together in the 16th Southern Heritage Classic. Kickoff for the nationally-televised game on BET (Black Entertainment Television) is set for shortly after 6 p.m. from the Liberty Bowl. The TSU Tigers have been waiting a week for their return to game action. The Tigers made costly turnovers in a 27-14 loss to Alabama A&M, that included seeing a pass intercepted and returned 100 yards on the game's final play. While first-year head coach James Webster was disappointed with the defeat in his first game on the TSU sidelines, the Tiger leader was pleased with his team's effort and the progress made during this week's practice. "We are on track and we are laying a foundation for a successful program," said Webster. "We were disappointed with the loss, but we are looking to correct our mistakes and play against a fine Jackson State team on Saturday. We are ready to play another game." The Tigers saw all of their turnovers turn into A&M points in the defensive struggle. TSU had 226 yards of total offense to A&M's 233. TSU and JSU played an exciting contest to the wire last season. All-American running back Charles Anthony was on the receiving end of a scoring pass in the final seconds to lift TSU to the 21-20 win. Special teams almost doomed the Tigers as JSU's Cletis Gordon had both a punt and kickoff return for a TD. This season's game matchup could be another defensive contest. JSU marched 85 yards in its opening possession last week, but managed just thereafter in a hard-fought 20-7 setback to 13th -ranked Hampton University in the Detroit Labor Day Classic. TSU quarterback Bryson Rosser threw for one TD, but had a pair of interceptions and was sacked three times. The Tiger offense will look for more consistency this week. Fred Burnette had receiving TD while redshirt freshman Javarris Williams had a TD run. TSU holds a slight 19-18-1 lead in the series. TSU has captured the last two meetings.