The events of Sept. 11 overshadowed anything to do with collegiate football.
The Classic’s Sept. 15 date was quickly called off as the nation mourned. When the Classic did return, it was two months later: Thanksgiving Day.
And what a Classic it was.
Before 28,690 fans, TSU quarterback Shannon Harris threw for 360 yards and seven – yes, seven – touchdowns. That set a Tennessee State record for most touchdowns in a game, and most of the scoring came in the first half.
By halftime, the mountain was simply too huge for JSU to climb.
In the Memphis newspaper, JSU coach Robert Hughes was quoted the next morning: “I’ve never seen a first half like that, not since I’ve been coaching. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
For its part, JSU was stumbling with six turnovers in the first half alone. Combined, those turnovers lead to 31 points for their opponents, who scored on seven of their nine possessions in the first half.
The Classic set a record for points scored in a game and was the regular season-ender for both teams: JSU at 7-4, TSU at 8-3.