The Game: The Jackson State Tigers and the Tennessee State Tigers square off for the 48th time on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (59,308 capacity). The game will be broadcast on Fox SportSouth. The contest also marks the 22nd time that JSU and TSU will face each other in the Southern Heritage Classic. JSU is 9-12 in the SHC. Tennessee State is the only team that Jackson State has faced in the SHC, TSU has faced two other teams in the SHC (Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State). In 1997, Jackson State defeated Tennessee State 31-28 before a record crowd of 61,171 spectators. During the life of the classic, the two teams have played in three overtime games with TSU owning a 2-1 advantage in extra quarters. Last season TSU snapped JSU’s two game winning streak in the series by beating the Tigers 38-12. The two previous years JSU won 33-26 (2010) and 35-29 (2011). Both teams look to build upon previous game success. JSU is coming off a conference victory over Alabama State and TSU is coming off a win over Florida A&M.
Head Coach Rick Comegy: Jackson State head coach Rick Comegy (Millersville, ‘76) enters his eighth season at the helm of the Tigers’ football program. He comes into the game with a 49-33 overall record at JSU and a 157-83 career record. Over the previous seven seasons, Comegy has led the Tigers to six winning seasons, three Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division titles and one SWAC championship. Last season the Tigers fell just short of claiming a second SWAC championship by falling 24-21 in OT to Arkansas Pine Bluff in the conference title game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to coming to Jackson State, Comegy was the head coach at Tuskegee University where he won four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships (NCAA D-II), three Pioneer Bowl crowns and a Black College National Championship (2000). In 2000 his Tuskegee Tigers recorded a perfect 12-0 record. Since coming to JSU Comegy has a 2-5 record against Tennessee State.
Scouting Tennessee State: The TSU Tigers enter Saturday’s game with a 1-1 record. TSU fell12-9 to Bethune Cookman in the season opener and bounced back to beat Florida A&M 27-7 last weekend. TSU is led by QB Ronald Butler who has passed for 263 yards and 0 TDs while completing 27 of 42 pass attempts with 1 INT. He has completed 64.3 percent of his pass attempts. TSU’s leading rusher is Tim Broughton who has 169 yards and 1 TD on 31 carries. He is averaging 84.5 yards per game. AC Leonard is the team’s leading receiver, with 9 receptions for 60 yards and 0 TD. Defensively Nick Thrasher leads the team with 15 tackles.
Tennessee State Head Coach Rod Reed: Rod Reed enters his fourth season at the helm of the TSU football program. Last season TSU finished with an 8-3 record. He began his coaching career at TSU in 2003, serving as the defensive coordinator. Reed was a four-year letter winner for TSU from 1984-88. He capped off his career by being named a Sheridan All-American during his senior year
Last JSU-Tenn. St. Meeting: When the two teams met last season, JSU suffered its most lop-sided loss, falling 38-12. Clayton Moore scored the only TD of the game for JSU on a one-yard run at the 1:32 mark in the third quarter. Ryan Deising made a field goal in the first quarter and another in the second for JSU. JSU controlled the passing game (from a yardage standpoint), recording 336 yards to 137, but TSU dominated the rushing game – going for 235 yards to JSU’s 46. The game was the second of the season and JSU had not settled on a starting signal caller, as senior Dedric McDonald started the game and finished with 152 yards – completing 14-29 pass attempts and Clayton Moore passed for 184 yards on 18-28 passing. Moore started for the rest of the season for JSU.
Next Game: Jackson State will return to action Thursday, September 19 when the Tigers host Texas Southern at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.