After not enjoying a winning season since 2017, Tennessee State is looking to pull itself from the doldrums by putting together a 2023 campaign that will end with more victories than losses.
Tennessee State posted a 4-7 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the OVC in 2022. The Tigers were slated to finish 5th in the preseason Big South-OVC football poll.
Getting the upcoming season started on a positive note will be a daunting task for coach Eddie George and the Tigers as they head to South Bend to take on No.13 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off a dominant 42-3 shellacking of Navy last week.
The Irish feature potential Heisman candidate Sam Hartman at quarterback. The Wake Forest transfer was the most prolific passer in Demon Deacons history, throwing for 12,967 yards and 110 touchdowns. In his debut for the Fighting Irish last week against Navy, Hartman completed 19-of-23 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite the tall order they face, George let it be known that he and his team did not plan on making a token appearance in South Bend.
“We’re not just trying to take the check, [and] come up there with our hat in hand. We’re coming up there to play football, want to go out there and compete [because] on any given Saturday, anything can happen.”
Notre Dame football will reportedly pay Tennessee State a $1 million guarantee when the Tigers visit South Bend.
Win or lose, the Tigers’ third-year coach felt this Saturday could be a learning experience for his team.
“One way or another, we are going to learn a lesson. Whether it is a win or a loss, it’s going to pay off for us in the long run,” said George.