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Friday, October 17, 2003
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State Tigers will look to keep their Ohio Valley Conference record unblemished as they play host to league newcomer Jacksonville State. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Saturday in the Coliseum. The Gamecocks and Tigers will battle for the first time on the football field. The Gamecocks have jumped into the league race in their first year, bringing a 2-1 conference record to town. "Jacksonville State is a solid team," said TSU coach James Reese. "They take advantage of opportunities and we must avoid mistakes that have hurt us at time." Among the statistics that jump out about the Gamecocks is their turnover ratio. JSU is plus-12 in the department this season. JSU also has the top rushing team in the OVC. The Tigers return home and look to continue the momentum gained in last week's big win at Tennessee Tech. The Tigers erased a 14-point halftime and scored two TD's in the final six minutes to post the 27-23 win. The Tigers are first in the league in total offense, total defense, scoring defense, and scoring offense. TSU junior running back Charles Anthony leads the OVC in rushing with 861 yards through six games. Sophomore Bryson Rosser is expected to get the starting nod at quarterback. Rosser directed the rally last week and threw three TD passes, including two in the final six minutes. C.J. Johnson was on the receiving end of two of the scores, including a season long 68-yard reception. TSU's defense allowed Tech just two yards and one first down in the second half last week. Linebacker James Dumervil is the reigning OVC Newcomer of the Week for his 16-tackle performance against the Golden Eagles. Jacksonville State moved to the OVC from the Southland Conference. Before moving to I-AA, JSU was a long-time NCAA College Division power and won the Division II National Championship in 1992.