NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State concludes the 2002 football season when the Tigers host Eastern Kentucky in a special Thursday night game in the Coliseum. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
The Tigers will look for a positive note to carry into the off-season program. TSU will be facing an Eastern Kentucky team being led by veteran coach Roy Kidd for the final time. Kidd is retiring after the season, a career that spans 39 years.
TSU has just eight senior members of this year’s squad. The Tigers playing their last games include senior linebacker Jermaine Beale, wide receiver Patrick Jenkins, defensive lineman Robert Davis, defensive lineman Marcel Goodloe, defensive back Isa Rahman, tight end Steve Farmer, running back Sugar Sanders, and wide receiver Chris Simmons.
The Tigers have lost a pair of six-point decisions in each of their last two games in the Coliseum. TSU played nationally-ranked Eastern Illinois to the wire before losing 54-48 on Nov. 2 and had a late rally attempt held back last week against Tennessee Tech in a 20-14 setback.
The Tigers injuries continue to be a problem heading into the finale. Dwayne Buchanan returns to the lineup after last week’s starter, Kenny Irby, went down with an injury. The Tigers are also without starting center Rashad Shaw who was lost last week with a stress fracture in his leg. Rahman has been out with a knee injury.
EKU is 7-4 on the season. The Colonels had their bids for at least a share of the OVC title damaged with a 35-21 loss to Southeast Missouri on Nov. 9.