MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Southern Heritage Classic is back, and fans who made this a tradition were excited about its return.
“We’ve been coming here ever since we were knee-high,” said TSU fan Kamya Mcguire.
The football match-up, of Tennessee State University and Jackson State University, both teams led by former NFL stars, pulled in nearly 50,000 spectators and first-time fans.
“I’m super excited to be here and support the team and see what Deion Sanders can do," said first-time fan Olivia Mars.
The anticipation of the game grew as other fans were interested to see if Heisman winner Eddie George could repeat history and add to the 17 – 10 series lead TSU holds.
Despite JSU winning in 2019, TSU won this battle for the prior six years consecutively.
But Saturday night the TSU Tigers entered the game 0-1 on the season.
JSU 1-0, many fans felt that the Jackson State Tigers would walk away with the win.
“Recently, we haven’t had much success here in Memphis but hopefully today this turns the tide and we can leave with a victory,” said JSU fan Richard Monroe.
But TSU fans held out hope new head coach Eddie George could rally to his tigers together for a win against his good friend.
“TSU 21 to 10," said Michelle Scott.
“That’s it, that’s it,” said Kristie Johnson-Newman.
JSU was first on the board Saturday with a 14-yard touchdown in the first.
TSU got on the board in the second to tie it at seven.
A field goal sent the JSU tigers into halftime up 10-7.
But there was another annual battle at the liberty bowl Saturday.
“There is no battle of the bands, there’s only one band, the sonic boom of the south, and they will rock the house tonight,” said JSU alum Gracie Norman-Pitts.
“No, aristocrat has it tonight, hands down. The fifth quarter will be the aristocrats tonight,” Michelle Scott added.