Football: VU schedules TSU for 2006

Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt and Tennessee State, located three miles from one another, will play football for the first time ever in 2006.

Officials of both universities said the game will be played Saturday, September 23 in Vanderbilt Stadium.

The announcement gives Vanderbilt a 12th game during the 2006 season and provides an exciting cap for a seven-game home schedule that also features a season opener against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and a finale against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Vanderbilt administrators were pleased to make the announcement, which came Thursday night at the reception for new Tennessee State President Melvin Johnson hosted by Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee.

"Vanderbilt and Tennessee State are neighbors and partners in many ways, so a meeting on the football field is a natural extension of that relationship," Gee said. "We want this game to be a celebration for the whole community."

Commodore Football Head Coach Bobby Johnson said the recent NCAA decision providing a 12th game starting next year gave both teams an opportunity to add plenty of excitement to the Middle Tennessee collegiate football landscape.

"I know a lot of people have worked hard to make this happen and I believe it's going to be an incredible night of college football for this community. It should serve as a showcase for both universities," Johnson said.

David Williams II, Vanderbilt's Vice Chancellor of Student Life and University Affairs, said both schools have met earlier in men's and women's basketball and baseball. "It makes sense to play neighbors. Potentially, Vanderbilt and Tennessee State is a great rivalry. I think this shows that both universities are working together closely. It should be a great game," Williams said.

Besides the games against TSU, Middle Tennessee and Tennessee, the 2006 Commodore home schedule also includes outings with South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Kent State.

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