A week ago it was a near-perfect offensive performance – led by the head coach’s son.
This time it was a stifling defense – although the head coach wasn’t exactly happy with his inability to record a shutout.
Deion Sanders’ nationally ranked Jackson State team bottled rival Tennessee State, 16-3, Saturday night in Memphis at the 2022 Southern Heritage Classic.
“You have to understand who our defense is,” Sanders said when asked to rate JSU’s defensive performance. “These guys are relentless. They pick up where they left off a year ago.
“They are very dominant, relentless. When a team scores on us, it’s usually something we did. It doesn’t take anything away from Coach (Eddie) George and his team, but normally it’s something we did.
What JSU did before Coach Prime arrived was to enter into a long-term agreement to compete in the Southern Heritage Classic against the State of Tennessee and to have that contest hosted by the Liberty Bowl of Memphis, with FedEx as the title sponsor and each school has guaranteed a certain payment by the contract.
Sanders continued to lament the pact, and he said his JSU team would not participate in the Classic in the future — not on its current terms.
“I don’t know what… well, what I’m saying is we need to do better business,” Sanders told reporters in Memphis on Saturday night. “That’s what I was talking about. Whether we do it in Jackson, Mississippi or Tennessee, I’m good. I’m doing well.
“If you do business well, we will do it here. But I’m for the business of making sure these kids are straight. Not coming there and needing to stop to borrow money for gas on the way back. That’s what it’s about. I look out for the best interests of our children. That is what I am saying.”
Sanders stressed his stance was strictly business and there was no rivalry with TSU, coached by the former Tennessee Titans star, who Sanders says is a dear friend.
“As for the rivalry?” asked Sanders. “We have all just arrived. (Asking the players) Do you know anything about the rivalry? We don’t know. »
Sanders’ Jackson State program is set to host HBCU rival Grambling State next Saturday as the Tigers continue to defend their Southwestern Athletic Conference title in Prime’s first full season.