In just 72 days, Southern will travel a stone’s throw away from its campus to play LSU in football for the first time ever despite the schools being located in the same city.
The historic and cultural ramifications of the game — which will take place on Sept. 10 at Tiger Stadium — have not been lost on those associated with either program, including Southern head coach Eric Dooley.
Speaking to an audience at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club on Thursday, the longtime HBCU coach was well aware of the significance of the matchup for both teams and the city.
“I do know that I have some Tigers in the room, but we will see you guys on September 10, Dooley joked in front of a diverse college football fan audience. “It should be a good occasion. It should be the best thing to happen to Baton Rouge.”
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Dooley, who was previously an assistant at Southern under the legendary Pete Richardson, recalled the city holding an inclusive championship parade for both schools in 2003 after LSU won the then-BCS national championship and Southern took home the SWAC title and Black college football national championship.
“I thought that was the best thing I’ve ever seen … a celebration of a championship, he said about the celebration. “It didn’t matter what color — blue and gold or purple and gold — it didn’t matter. The fans were there to celebrate both teams. And I thought that was something to remember.”
The kickoff for the historic matchup is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on SEC Network.