Tigers push forward to Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic
Thursday, September 9, 2010


Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State University coming off a season-opening win will travel to Memphis, Tenn. to take on Jackson State in the 21st Annual Southern Heritage Classic.

The game will take place on Saturday, September 11, at the Liberty Bowl with a 6 p.m. kick-off.


Television: Fox Sports South - (TAPE DELAYED) Check local listing for station ID 

Radio: Big Blue Sports Network (WVOL 1470 AM - Nashville, Tenn. / WOJG 94.7 FM - Jackson, Tenn. / WMRB 910 AM - Columbia, Tenn.)

WBOK 1230 AM (New Orleans) - classicsportsradio.com 

Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN)

*Links will available on game day


This will be the 44th meeting between the TSU Tigers (1-0) and the JSU Tigers (1-0). TSU holds the series advantage 23-18-2 defeating JSU last season in the Classic, 14-7, with the game coming down to a defensive play in the final seconds.

In last year's meeting, TSU finished with 260 yards of offense including 217 rushing yards.  Dante' Thomas had 13 carries for 67 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.On defense, TSU held JSU to 71 rushing yards while collecting four sacks, 10 pass break-ups and two interceptions. Last year's starting quarterback and current wide receiver, Calvin McNairl was named the Classic's MVP.

CLICK HERE TO READ STORY... TSU has won seven straight over JSU and currently holds a 131-70-8 record versus current schools in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.


Since 1990, TSU posts an 11-7 record against JSU and an overall 11-9 record in the Southern Heritage Classic playing the event since its inception. The Big Blue made their first appearance with a 23-14 win over JSU. They have played in every SHC, matching up with JSU in 18 games while playing Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State once.


The Tigers are coming off a season-opening victory over Alabama A&M at home in the John Merritt Classic last week. The Tigers defeated AAMU, 24-17, holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the first half. The Tigers' defense did not give up a score until late in the fourth quarter recording seven sacks and two interceptions. CLICK HERE TO READ STORY


The Tigers jumped into the HSRN HBCU Top Ten with their win over AAMU. TSU is currently No. 6 pushing the Bulldogs out of the top ten. AAMU was ranked No.6 before the start of the season.

In the highly recognized Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Football Poll, TSU ranks No. 5.


Jackson State finished 2009 with a 3-7 (3-4 SWAC) record but opened 2010 defeating Delta State at home in the W.C. Gorden Classic, 32-17. JSU totaled 501 total yards on offense including 404 yards through the air.


All-Americans Eugene Clifford and Rico Council lead TSU's defense. Council posted a team best nine tackles (5 solo, 4 assists) and 1.5 sacks with Clifford recording eight stops (5 solo, 3 assists) and an interception.

Clifford, who was named to ten All-America preseason squads including the All-OVC preseason team, was voted the JMC Defensive MVP.

Among the Tigers' seven sacks last week, All-OVC Preseason selection Donte'e Nicholls posted two while adding a pair of tackles.

On special teams, Rayshawn Weatherspoon stepped into the spotlight returning the opening kick-off 89 yards. He amassed 127 yards on two returns and was named the OVC Special Teams Player of the Week.


For the Tigers attack with one game in, JMC Offensive MVP, Jeremy Perry, went 11-of-21 for 127 yards, throwing two touchdowns to Joseph Hills. Hills led the receivers with five receptions for 67 yards.

On the ground, Preston Brown rushed for a score to go with 68 yards on 18 carries. Dante' Thomas averaged 5.7 yards per carry from 47 yards on seven carries.

JSU's newcomers made their presence known to open 2010. Casey Therriault and Tim Dandridge received SWAC weekly honors for their performance in their season opener. Therriault was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week and Dandridge was named the SWAC Newcomer of the Week.

Therriault threw for 404 yards and three TDs to lead the Tigers in his debut while completing passes to nine different receivers. He was named the Offensive Player of the Game.

Dandridge intercepted two Delta State passes, returning one for a 30 yard TD. He also recorded eight tackles (seven solo) and had a tackle for a loss of four yard. He garnered the defensive MVP for the game.

Five other notable players highlight Jackson State making the SWAC's preseason teams. The list includes: Donovan Robinson (First Team - DL), Kerry Hoskins (First Team - DB), Anthony Johnson (First Team - DB), Antonio Colston (Second Team - OL), and Terrael Williams (Second Team - OL).


The entire Tennessee State University Football team and staff will visit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 1:30 p.m.

"Not only do we feel it is important to extend our appreciation and service to the Nashville area, but, we feel we are ambassadors for the entire state of Tennessee," said head coach Rod Reed. "A lot of our players and coaches have ties to the city of Memphis and for some, the city is home. We wanted to take this opportunity during the Classic weekend to visit St. Jude. We enjoyed our visit to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital earlier this year and some of the players thought it would be a great idea to visit the children at St. Jude."


The success of the Southern Heritage Classic, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009, has resulted from countless hours, days, months and years of behind the scenes effort to make it a first-class entertainment event, not just a football game between traditional rivals Jackson State and Tennessee State.

In fact, the game is the highlight of a weekend of activities that includes a coaches luncheon and a VIP Party; Blues, Gospel, Classic R&B and Classic Comedy concerts; the Ed "Too Tall" Jones Golf Classic; a Classic Parade featuring the Jackson State and Tennessee State marching bands; a fashion show and brunch; a tailgate party and the always popular battle of the bands with the top high school show bands and dance teams from the Mid-South competing.