Nashville, Tenn. – This fall brings a lot of excitement as the Tennessee State University Athletic Department announced its 2012 football schedule on Thursday.

The Big Blue will play 11 games and re-news rivalries with three HBCU programs. TSU will also play five home games during the 2012 campaign.

TSU opens the season with long-time rival Florida A&M at LP Field in the 14th annual John Merritt Classic on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Rattlers and Tigers are renewing a rivalry that was briefly halted last season. September’s meeting will be the 50th between the two historic programs.

The following weekend on Sept. 8, the Tigers face rival Jackson State for the 20th time in the 23rd annual Southern Heritage Classic presented by Fed Ex.

TSU reignites some historic memories in honor of the University’s 100th centennial celebration. The Tigers welcome in-state rival Austin Peay to Hale Stadium, affectionately known as the Hole, on Sept. 15.

From there, Tennessee State visits Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 22 for the seventh time and the first meeting since 1987.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the Big Blue are meeting for the first time on the girdiron during the Tigers’ annual Homecoming celebration on Sept. 29 at LP Field.

TSU resumes OVC action when Eastern Kentucky travels to Nashville on Oct. 6. The Tigers embark on a two game road swing at Southeast Missouri (Oct. 13) and Jacksonville State (Oct. 20).

Senior Day 2012 is slated for Oct. 27 when Tennessee Tech visits the Music City. The Tigers close out the season with trips to Murray State (Nov. 3) and UT Martin (Nov. 17).

Tennessee State is coming off 5-6 overall mark in 2011 and a fifth place finish in the OVC (4-4), moving up four spots from the 2010 season.

“We are very excited about the schedule this season,” said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “This schedule allows TSU to connect with some of our historic rivals, while rekindling fond memories of Hale Stadium. The team is headed in the right direction under head coach Rod Reed and we look forward to the 2012 campaign.”

Season ticket prices and details, as well as game times will be announced at a later date.


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