(WMC) - Southern Heritage Classic is described as an "awesome feeling" by those who play in it, but for Jackson State, last year's loss was far from awesome.
"I know they played them last year and Tennessee State beat them, and I think they've been disappointed ever since that ball game," Jackson State's new head coach, Harold Jackson, said.
Six turnovers do not make a fun experience, but the team will look to improve this year.
For running back Rakeem Sims and linebacker Ariane McCree, it's their fourth classic and they know all about the game's pageantry.
"The atmosphere is very awesome, man. We got a lot of fans that come up every year and they do us well," Sims explained.
"The intensity is very high, when you play in the game, you want to give it your all. You want to give every effort, just go hard," added McCree.
This year, Jackson State brings with it a new head coach and offensive coordinator, Tim Chang, into the mix.
Head coach Jackson spent nearly 20 years in the NFL as a wide receiver. The first thing he did at Jackson State was install an exciting offense.
"I wanted something that people could enjoy, watching an exciting offense," said Jackson. "I thought about Tim Chang. I've been knowing Tim for a while. I was very fortunate to get Tim and the players love him."
Jackson hired Chang, who at one point was the record holder for most passing yards in Division 1 football.
"Coach Jackson has given me a lot of freedom to run the offense the way he feels like I envision it, so I'm just trying to put our guys in the best position to succeed," Chang said.