NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State University Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips has announced the addition of Virginia University of Lynchburg to the Tigers 2017 football schedule. The Big Blue will face the Dragons on Nov. 4 at Hale Stadium as part of TSU’s 11-game slate.
Phillips also disclosed the date of the John Merritt Classic. The game will take place during the home opener on Sept. 30 as the Tigers take on Eastern Illinois at Nissan Stadium in the annual classic.
The season begins with a trip to Atlanta, Ga. for a contest with FBS opponent Georgia State on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Georgia State Stadium, formerly Turner Field.
“Our traditional Labor Day weekend opening plans were adjusted in order to play a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent,” Phillips said. “Playing the Panthers provides us with the opportunity to garner high visibility for our athletic program and the university as a whole, as well as provide us with additional revenue.”
Phillips also stated that teams have been secured for the John Merritt Classic for the next two years.
“We have secured Bethune-Cookman and Hampton for the John Merritt Classic for the 2018 and 2019 seasons,” Phillips commented.
Following the opener with Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 1, 2018, TSU will then travel to Memphis to face Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic before traveling east to face Hampton. The Tigers will then begin Ohio Valley Conference play, stepping out once for a trip to Vanderbilt in their final non-conference game.
In 2019, the Tigers will host Hampton from the MEAC, who will make their first appearance in the John Merritt classic on Aug. 31 at Nissan Stadium.