TSU looks to extend win streak in Southern Heritage Classic
The Game: Tennessee State and Jackson State will take part in the 27th annual Southern Heritage Classic at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. TSU is 15-11 all-time in the SHC and has secured victories in 11 of the last 13 SHC contests, including the last four. This marks the 25th time the TSU and JSU have squared off in the classic and the 23rd consecutive time.
Last Meeting: Tennessee State claimed a 25-24 victory in 2015. TSU jumped out early as O’Shay Ackerman-Carter hooked up with Patrick Smith for a 64-yard touchdown. Ackerman-Carter finished with 250 passing yards and three touchdowns, while Smith racked up 107 receiving yards on four receptions. LaMontiez Ivy passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns for JSU. Defensively Justin North had a team-high nine tackles for TSU.
Head Coach: Rod Reed is in his seventh season at the helm of the Tigers. During his time at TSU, he has compiled a 38-34 record, including a 30-19 mark since 2012. Reed improved to 9-3 versus SWAC teams with the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Johns Merritt Classic and is 4-2 versus Jackson State. The win over UAPB boosted Reed’s record to 6-1 in season openers.
Tennessee State: The Tigers were one of five teams in FCS to shutout its opponent. TSU blanked its first opponent since a 31-0 victory over Butler in the first round of the 2013 FCS Playoffs; it was the first regular season shutout since 2006 (31-0, Southeast Missouri). The Big Blue amassed 461 yards in total offense and held UAPB to 168 yards. The Tigers currently rank seventh nationally in total defense. TSU registered 11.0 tackles-for-loss, the third most nationally in week one. Ebenezer Ogundeko led the way as he earned 2.5 sacks and six tackles on his way to the JMC Defensive MVP. O’Shay Ackerman-Carter was named Offensive MVP after throwing for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Ronald Butler pulled in the first touchdown pass of the game and went on to rush for another. Patrick Smith led all receivers with six catches, 100 yards and a touchdown. Lane Clark totaled 14 points on the night with three field goals (47, 38, and 23) and five extra points. Erick Evans topped all rushers with 13 attempts, 67 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson State: The Tigers begin its first season under Tony Hughes. JSU dropped a 63-13 contest at FBS foe UNLV. LaMontiez Ivy found Tevin Garrett for an 11-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7 early in the game. Ivy finished 14-of-34 for 134 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Joshua Bates led JSU with 32 rushing yards. Brandon Maiden led the defense with four tackles and a forced fumble.