HBCU Game of The Week: Southern Heritage Classic

By Tony McClean, BASN Editor In Chief
Updated: September 11, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Ct. (BASN) — While this week’s featured game matches two winless teams, it’s best not to focus so much on the records. Yes, Jackson State (0-1) and Tennessee State (0-1) both lost last week. But it’s safe to say that both teams will be in the hunt of their respective conference races.

The teams will meet Saturday night in the 20th Southern Heritage Classic in the Liberty Bowl at Memphis.

Ranked No. 10 in the latest BTRC/BASN HBCU FCS Coaches Top 10 Poll, JSU will be looking to bounce back from their 45-7 loss to Mississippi State in the first ever gridiron contest between the SEC and SWAC.

TSU lost their season opener last week 24-7 to Alabama A&M.

Jackson State will be looking to reverse a six season trend against Tennessee State. Since 2002, when JSU won 31-28, TSU has dominated the series, winning six straight and three straight over JSU Head Coach Rick Comegy.

TSU leads the all-time series 23-18-2. The two teams first meet in 1949 when TSU defeated JSU 48-13. The game can be watched seen on Comcast, Dish Network, and DirecTV. It can also be heard on the Internet at www.classicsportsradio.com at 6:30 p.m. ET.

OTHER KEY GAMES (all times ET)

(1) S.C. STATE (1-0) at BETHUNE-COOKMAN (0-1), 4 pm

Fresh off their 34-31 victory against Grambling State, the top-ranked Bulldogs return to the state of Florida for their MEAC opener to meet the Wildcats. BCC is looking to bounce back from their home loss to Shaw. SCSU has won four of their last five meetings vs. BCC, including three straight.

(7) NORFOLK STATE (1-0) at (9) NORTH CAROLINA A&T (1-0), 6 pm

The Spartans are 1-0 after a 28-10 win over Virginia State last Saturday, while the Aggies also won their season-opener, 19-10, at Winston-Salem State. NSU has won four of their last five meetings vs. A&T, including three straight.

(6) HAMPTON (1-0) at (4) ALABAMA A&M (1-0), 7 pm

In another battle of unbeatens, the Pirates and the Bulldogs meet for the first time ever. Hampton is 12-7 all-time against the SWAC. It’s A&M’s first game against a MEAC opponent since a 28-7 loss to Howard in 1992.

THURSDAY’S RESULT

(2) FLORIDA A&M 34, WINSTON-SALEM STATE 10

Curtis Pulley threw for three touchdowns and LeRoy Vann had two punt returns for scores to lead host Florida A&M to a win over Winston-Salem.

Pulley completed 17 of 21 passes for 209 yards for the Rattlers (2-0), who never trailed in the game. Florida A&M took a 21-3 lead in the third quarter after Vann scored on punt returns of 95 and 80 yards.