Tennessee State adds Howard, MVSU to future football schedules

By Kevin Kelley -

The Tennessee State Tigers have added the Mississippi Valley State (MVSU) Delta Devils and Howard Bison to their future football schedules, FBSchedules.com has learned.

Copies of contracts for games with Mississippi Valley State University and Howard University were obtained from Tennessee State University via a state open records request.

Tennessee State will play a single home game against Mississippi Valley State at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2024. The Tigers will pay the Delta Devils a $100,000 guarantee for the contest, according to the copy of the contract.

The Mississippi Valley State contest will serve as Tennessee State’s annual John Merritt Classic, an annual football game that is “…dedicated to honoring the legacy of John Ayers Merritt, the renowned football coach who led Tennessee State University’s Tigers from 1963 to 1983.”

Tennessee State and Mississippi Valley State first met on the gridiron in 1982 and have played eight contests overall. The Tigers won the most recent matchup in 2019, 26-20, and now lead the overall series 5-3.

Tennessee State will begin a home-and-home series with the Howard Bison on the road at William H. Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19, 2024. The series will conclude with the Tigers hosting the Bison for Homecoming at Nissan Stadium the following season on Oct. 18, 2025.

In their first and only meeting on the gridiron back in 2001, Tennessee State defeated Howard 45-0 in Nashville.

Kennesaw State Game Canceled

Tennessee State and Kennesaw State began a home-and-home football series this season in Kennesaw on Oct. 7. The second and final game of the series was scheduled to be played in Nashville on Sept. 21, 2024, but the contest has been canceled, according to a copy of a document obtained from TSU.

Per the document, Kennesaw State will pay Tennessee State a $150,000 cancellation fee.

The game was canceled because Kennesaw State is moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and will begin competing in Conference USA in 2024.

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