Maroon Tigers Ready For Saturday’s 82nd Annual Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic

Date Released: October 6, 2017

The oldest football classic among historically black colleges and universities this year will be one of the most interesting.

Morehouse (3-2, 1-0) heads to Columbus, Ga., for the 82nd Annual Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic Saturday, even though the two teams have actually played 112 times. Tuskegee has won 20 of the last 24 meetings between the schools, with Morehouse last winning in 2011, a year in which the Maroon Tigers made the Division II national playoffs for the first time.

But this year, Morehouse has a much-improved offense and sports the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s top-ranked defense. And this begins what Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman calls the crucial “second season.” It is the middle portion of the season that could determine whether a team can qualify for a playoff or championship game berth.

“The month of October, the fate of your season is determined,” he said. “And it always gets started with the toughest challenge in Tuskegee. We’d like to be able to start the month on a good note and get a win.”

Tuskegee, the leader of the SIAC West Division, has three wins and two losses so far this season and are coming off a 28-23 win over Lane last week. The week before, they were routed by Findlay 61-0.

The Maroon Tigers are in a second-place tie with Fort Valley State and Clark Atlanta as they chase Albany State in the SIAC East Division.

Freeman said that while the game isn’t a divisional contest, it does serve as a measuring stick for his program and is one that helps set the tone for the entire Morehouse fall semester.

“A win would be very special,” he said. “We haven’t beaten them in seven years, the last time coming in 2011. That win just lifted our entire season. Our buses pulled back onto campus around 9 p.m. that night, and we had fans there cheering and just excited about the victory.

“It’s not an East Division game, but it’s still against one of the storied programs in the conference and we played them pretty tough last year,” Freeman added. “We feel like we have a better team this year.  We just want to put together a complete ball game and walk away with the victory.”

Kickoff Saturday in Columbus is at 2 p.m. local time at Columbus’ A.J. McClung Stadium.

Last Modified: October 6, 2017, 20:10 PM, by: Synera Shelton

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