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TSU Heads to Southern Heritage Classic
Thursday, September 8, 2011
TSU Heads to Southern Heritage Classic

T-State Tigers Face J-State Tigers

The Tennessee State Tigers proved they are a force to be reckoned with in their season-opener against the Southern Jaguars. The Big Blue offense ground out 512 yards of Total offense and the defense shut down the Southern running attack, limiting the Jags to just 37 yards rushing on the night.



Tennessee State got the 2011 season off on the right foot by dominating Southern 33-7 in the 13th annual John Merritt Classic in Nashville. The Tigers got off to a hot start when Joe Wylie picked off a Southern pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown to put TSU up 7-0 just five minutes into the game.

Then the Tigers rushing game got into the act and Trabis Ward scored on a fi ve yard rush to push the advantage to 13-0; Ward would finish the game with 141 yards on 18 carries (7.8 yards/carry) and two catches for 16 yards on his way to Offensive MVP honors. Dante' Thomas added 87 yards rushing and a touchdown while Ryan Berry (44 yards) and quarterback Jeremy Perry (40) yards also added good efforts on the ground.

Overall the Tigers had 342 yards of rushing offense, a new John Merritt Classic record and the third-highest FCS team mark of the opening weekend of play.

In addition to his 40 yards of rushing, Perry completed 15-of-31 passes for 148 yards and a score. Defensively senior linebacker Rico Council was named Defensive MVP of the Classic after recording nine tackles, three tackles-for-loss, two sacks and picking off a pass. He keyed a TSU defensive attack that limited Southern to just 37 rushing yards on the night.


Jackson State started its 100th year of football last Saturday with a convincing 44-2 victory over an over-matched Concordia College, a Division III school from Selma, Ala., in the W.C. Gorden Classic in Jackson.

Quarterback Casey Therriault began his senior season with another convincing performance, completing 15-of-32 passes and 218 yards and a touchdown and rushing for two additional touchdowns. Last season Therriault passed for 3,436 yards and 31 touchdowns while rushing for 10 additional scores.

Tennessee State had five sacks last week against Southern, sixth best in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Linebacker Rico Council recorded two sacks (12 yds), three tackles for loss (17 yds) and one interception. The 342 yards rushing ranks TSU third in the nation and the 37 yards allowed rushing ranks the Tigers tenth in FCS.


The Southern Heritage Classic will be shown on a tape-delayed basis, four times:


1. Sat 9/10 at 10:30pm ET/9:30pm CT

2. Sun 9/11 at 1:30pm ET/12:30pm CT

3. Wed 9/14 at 7:30pm ET/6:30pm CT

4. Thu 9/15 at 11am ET/10am CT


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