Since February, Sanders and JSU have made it known that they wouldn’t be returning to Memphis for the HBCU classic. Sanders has repeatedly stated that the game just isn’t worth it for his team. After pulling out of the game, JSU was sued and eventually acquiesced to playing the game this season, but going forward, according to Sanders and the JSU brass the game is a wrap.
While talking to reporters following the defensively dominant 16-3 win, Sanders answered questions for about 20 minutes.
“You gotta understand … our defense. These guys are relentless. They’re picking up where we left off a year ago.
“They’re very dominant, relentless. When a team scored on us, it’s usually something we did. That’s not taking anything away from coach Eddie George, and his team, but normally it’s something that we did.”
The Tigers held Tennessee State to 140 total yards, and they recorded eight sacks. After scoring 59 points in a dismantling of the FAMU Rattlers, Coach Prime leaned on defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and his fast, aggressive and attacking defense to lead the charge in Memphis.
— B (@BBlaze305) September 12, 2022
Sanders Reiterates Intent To Not Return To Classic Unless Wholesale Changes Are Made
Never one to hold his tongue in getting his point across, Sanders talked about why his team won’t be returning to Memphis.
“I don’t know what … well what I’m saying is we’ve got to do better business. That’s what I was talking about. Whether we do it in Jackson (Mississippi) or Tennessee, I’m good, I’m good.
“If you get the business right, we’ll do it here. But I’m for the business, making sure these kids are straight. Not coming out there and needing to stop and borrow some gas money on the way back. That’s what this is about. I’m looking out for the best interest of our kids. That’s what I’m saying.”
Sanders has been vocal about having more home games instead of the neutral-site classics, because of the crowd that JSU can draw. There were over 51,000 people in Memphis for the Southern Heritage Classic, largely on the strength of JSU’s presence. Maybe Deion is speaking of a home and home series where each school benefits from the revenue and makes the trip to each other’s home stadium.
— LIGHT ON COLLEGE SPORTS (@LightOnSports) September 11, 2022
Sanders Says Cut Out The Rivalry Lost Stuff: We Just Got Here
A lot of the noise has been made about the 29-year rivalry ending between the two schools.
Sanders shot that down quickly, saying: “As far as the rivalry? All of us just got here. … [Asking players], You know anything about the rivalry? We don’t know anything about that.”
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) September 11, 2022
It’s safe to say Coach Prime could not care less if the game is played again, but if it is, he wants to ensure that more attention is paid to detail on the business end.
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