Tennessee State University is off to its best start since Eddie George took over the program in the spring of 2021. Saturday’s homecoming win over Norfolk State improved the program’s record to 4-2 as it wrapped up the first half of its season.
While George was happy about the win, and for the crowd of 13,975 people that showed up to Nissan Stadium, he is far from satisfied.
“I’m hoping that next week we’ll have the same crowd that was here today. It was great,” George told the media after the game. “I would have loved for it to have been packed for the entire game, not just up to halftime when the bands left. But we’ve got a special group. I want our fanbase to really embrace that.”
The Heisman Trophy-winner and former NFL All-Pro running back questioned whether or not the school’s fanbase loves the sport.
“I don’t know if they really love football. I just don’t know,” George said frankly. “I’ve been here for three years and there’s only been a couple of games they’ve come to — that many people — and been excited. I don’t know if they truly love the game. Because we are winning.”
Eddie George challenged people to support the program moving forward.
“It makes a big difference when you’re cheering on third down when you’re making noise, and the energy,” he said. “It’s hard as coaches, it’s hard as players, to constantly build up that energy. We need our home crowd.”
The game against Norfolk State was highly anticipated not only for a battle of two HBCU programs, but also because of two of the premiere HBCU marching bands in football. While George says he gets the bells and whistles, he wants the fans to support the program until the end — no matter who it plays.
“I really would love for them to embrace us and support us — no matter who we play,” George continued. “It doesn’t have to be another HBCU. It doesn’t always have to be a party with liquor, wings and all that in the parking lot. I get it. I’ve been there. But if you are a real fan of football and you’re really supporting Tennessee State football and the student-athletes — come in the game and support us. And we’ll all party at the end.”
Tennessee State University has five games remaining in its season. None of them are against HBCUs, but three of them are at home at Nissan Stadium.