Two of the most storied HBCU football programs meet up in what could possibly be the final time in the rivalry’s history when Jackson State faces Tennessee State.
Jackson State has been victorious in each of its last two meetings against Tennessee State, including a 38-16 win last season.
With a win in their upcoming matchup, JSU would secure three straight wins over TSU for the first time since they won four straight from 1994-1997.
Both teams are coming off impressive debuts with very different results. Jackson State was dominant in a 59-3 win over Florida A&M while Tennessee State fell short 36-29 against nationally ranked Eastern Washington.
Jackson State looks to improve to 2-0
Jackson State had a nearly flawless performance in all facets of the game in their season-opening demolition of Florida A&M.
The Tigers put up 471 yards of total offense while limiting Florida A&M, who had 335 offensive yards against North Carolina, to just 155.
Jackson State scored eight touchdowns in the game, including two defensive scores and one off a blocked punt.
Sophomore quarterback Shedeur Sanders was sensational in his season debut recording 335 passing yards on a super efficient 29-of-33 passing and a career-high five touchdowns. He completed his first 17 passes in the game tallying three of his five touchdowns in the first half.
Sanders could be in for another big game against a Tennessee State defense that allowed 348 passing yards against Eastern Washington.
The defense showed they remain strong despite several players from their championship unit moving on from the team forcing four Rattler turnovers in the game.
The Tigers did an incredible job stopping the run limiting the Rattlers to just 34 net rushing yards on 28 attempts. Stopping the run will be key against a Tennessee State team that amassed 290 rushing yards in their season opener.
How Tennessee State secures the upset
Tennessee State is coming off what was an impressive offensive performance led by junior running back Devon Starling.
The former OVC Freshman of the Year kicked off the season with a career-high 207 rushing yards scoring a touchdown.
The Tigers also got a good performance out of Austin Peay quarterback transfer Draylen Ellis who had 257 passing yards on 17-of-27 passing scoring two touchdowns.
Ellis got help from his top two receivers Zack Dobson and Cam Wyche who combined for 13 catches for 227 yards scoring each of the team’s two receiving touchdowns.
The Tigers will need their best performance of the season to get the upper hand against an elite Jackson State defense.
Tennessee State’s defense will also need to have a much better outing than they did in the game against Eastern Washington.
Tennessee State allowed 474 yards of total offense. That does not bode well for TSU against a Jackson State offense that specializes in their passing game. If the Tennessee State defensive backs are unable to contain the opposing receivers, this will be yet another blowout win for Jackson State.