Tennessee State Football Announces 2023 Schedule

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Tennessee State football
Photo from Tennessee State football

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State football third-year head football coach Eddie George has officially announced the 2023 football schedule.

The fall slate includes five home games and two games against HBCU opponents. The conference slate includes six contests between the joint conferences of the Ohio Valley Conference and Big South.

Week 1 – Sept. 2
TSU at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stadium // South Bend, Ind.

TSU will kick off its 2023 schedule with a trip to South Bend, Ind., to take on Notre Dame on September 2. It will mark the first time in program history the Irish will face an HBCU when the Tigers make their trip north for the Irish’s 2023 home opener. TSU will become the first FCS school to play Notre Dame since the subdivision split. The game will be televised nationally on NBC.

Week 2 – Sept. 9
TSU vs. UAPB

Liberty Bowl // Memphis, Tenn.

The Tigers will take on a new opponent in the 34th edition of the Southern Heritage Classic on September 9, when they travel to Memphis, Tenn., to take on Arkansas Pine-Bluff. This will be TSU’s first year not playing Jackson State in the SHC since 1993 when they took on Grambling State in the event.

Week 3 – Sept. 16
TSU vs. Gardner-Webb

Stadium TBD // Nashville, Tenn.

Week three brings the first of two OVC-Big South matchups to the schedule, as TSU will host Gardner-Webb on September 16. This will also serve as the John Merritt Classic game. The Bulldogs are coming off a Big South Championship and two-round-deep FCS playoff run that saw them fall to William & Mary.

Week 4 – Sept. 23
Bye Week

Week 5 – Sept. 30
TSU at UT Martin

Hardy M. Graham Stadium // Martin, Tenn.

TSU will have their bye week on September 23, before they are set to play their first Ohio Valley Conference game of the season against UT Martin the following week. TSU will hit the road to Jackson, Tenn., to face the Skyhawks on September 30. UTM took down the Tigers 20-3 in last season’s matchup and have now won two straight.

Week 6 – Oct. 7
TSU at Kennesaw

Fifth Third Bank Stadium // Kennesaw, Ga.

TSU will stay on the road for week six as they will travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to take on Kennesaw State on October 7. The Owls went 5-6 last season as an FCS independent. 2023 will be KSU’s final year as an FCS program, as they are set to make the jump to the FBS in 2024.

Week 7 – Oct. 14
TSU vs. Norfolk

Stadium TBD // Nashville, Tenn. 

The Tigers will host fellow HBCU foe Norfolk State for homecoming on October 14. This will be the first matchup between the two schools since 1972 when TSU took down the NFSU 56-6. The Spartans, who compete in the MEAC went 2-9 last season.

Week 8 – Oct. 21
TSU vs. Lincoln (CA)

Stadium TBD // Nashville, Tenn.

TSU will play its third straight non-conference game on October 21 as they will welcome Lincoln University (CA), to town. Competing at the NCAA DII level, the Oaklanders went 2-8 last season.

Week 9 – Oct. 28
TSU vs. Lindenwood

Stadium TBD // Nashville, Tenn.

Week nine will mark TSU’s third straight home game as they are set to return to OVC play as they will host Lindenwood. Last season marked the Lions’ first year as an NCAA DI member and their first year in the OVC, going 7-3 (1-3 OVC). This will be the first-ever matchup between TSU and Lindenwood.

 Week 10 – Nov. 4
TSU at Charleston Southern

Buccaneer Field // Charleston, S.C.

The Tigers will face their second Big South opponent of the season on November 4, as they are set to head to Charleston, S.C., to take on Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers went 2-8 last season.

Week 11 – Nov. 11
TSU at Eastern Illinois

O’Brien Field // Charleston, Ill.

TSU will head to Charleston for the second straight week, this time to Charleston, Ill., to take on Eastern Illinois for their final road game of the season. The Tigers took down the Panthers 37-17 in Nashville last season. Draylen Ellis had one of his best games of the season as he passed for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

Week 12 – Nov. 18
TSU vs. Tennessee Tech

Stadium TBD // Nashville, Tenn.

George and the Tigers will close out the regular season on November 18, as they will host Tennessee Tech. TSU took down TTU 30-14 on the road last season. Ellis finished with 247 yards and two scores through the air, while also accounting for 61 yards and a score on the ground. Jalen Rouse topped 100 yards in the win, rushing for 126 on 20 carries.

2023 Season Tickets go on sale on March 1 and single-game tickets will be available on Aug. 10.