The Florida A&M Rattlers and the Jackson State Tigers will play in the 2021 Orange Blossom Classic, it was announced on Thursday.
Florida A&M and Jackson State will square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. The game will also be a conference matchup as the Rattlers are leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and joining Jackson State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) next season.
The Orange Blossom Classic was re-established for the 2020 season to “…enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges & Universities in the enriched community of Miami Gardens. Our event highlights the community’s exclusive interest in HBCU’s and the roles that they play in educating aspiring professionals & developing our future leaders.”
The 2020 Orange Blossom Classic was set to feature Florida A&M taking on the Albany State Golden Rams. However, the game was canceled following Albany State’s announcement that they were canceling fall sports this year.
“In light of the recent events with the current pandemic, as well as the decision from Albany State to cancel the football season, we are disappointed that we will not be able to host the 2020 Orange Blossom Classic,” said Executive Director of the Orange Blossom Classic Kendra Bulluck-Major. “The resurgence of the Orange Blossom Classic is significant to the community and we look forward to its return in 2021 which features Florida A&M University and Jackson State University.”
Florida A&M and Jackson State are scheduled to meet this season in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday, Sept. 12. The contest was added after the Rattlers’ game against the Southern Jaguars was canceled.
“We are very excited about playing Florida A&M in the 2021 Orange Blossom Classic,” said JSU Vice President & Director of Athletics, Ashley Robinson. “It’s going to be a great way to officially welcome FAMU into the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Our student-athletes are going to love the experience of playing in Miami. This continues to prove that the Jackson State brand is amongst the strongest in the nation.”
Florida A&M and Jackson State last met on the gridiron in 2018. The Tigers won that contest in Tallahassee, Fla., 18-16, to extend their lead in the overall series to 10-7-2.