LAS VEGAS --- Tennessee State saw Grambling State score on five consecutive possessions in the first half of the inaugural Silver Dollar Classic to lead the way to a 49-14 victory over the Tigers Saturday night.
The TSU Tigers fell victim to the big-play passing of Bruce Eugene in the opening half as the GSU Tigers built their big lead. After an opening drive that resulted in a missed field goal, Bruce fired three scoring passes and had built a 21-0 before the TSU Tigers would break into the scoring column.
Sugar Sanders broke loose on a 38-yard scoring run for TSU and Joey Hudak's PAT made the score 21-7 near the nine-minute mark of the second quarter.
However, Grambling came back to add two more TD's in a three-minute span to close out the first half scoring and make the tally 35-7 at intermission.
The TSU Tigers came out quickly in the second half to drive 72 yards in seven plays with Charles Anthony scoring on a 34-run. The Tigers could not sustain the momentum the rest of the second half.
GSU's second half TD's came as a result of Big Blue miscues. A fumble gave Grambling the ball at the TSU 11-yard line and set up a three-play scoring drive. The final TD came on a 12-yard fumble return with 11:37 remaining in the contest.
TSU had 251 yards total offense. Bryson Rosser was 6-20 passing for 90 yards while Kenny Irby came on in relief and was 2-8-0 for 51 yards.
Anthony crossed the 100-yard mark for the second straight game was selected as TSU's MVP.
Grambling finished the game with 558 yards total offense. Eugene was 18-41- for 422 yards in the game.
Ahmed Safeullah and Brice Smith each had eight tackles. Scott Cunningham had six tackles and three pass breakups.
The TSU Tigers and the GSU Tigers, playing each other in football for the first time since 1993, made the trip to renew their rivalry with the meeting in Las Vegas. The game did not start until 9:30 (Nashville time) and took almost four hours to complete.
TSU will play its fourth Classic game this week as the Tigers make the annual trip to play in the Atlanta Football Classic against Florida A&M.