SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - After the program’s first winning season in more than two decades and going unbeaten in conference play, the Savannah State football program is hoping to prove that was no fluke in 2020.
“I think we’ll have an opportunity to compete every week. There’s a lot of teams on here that are good football teams,” Quinn says. “I’m just sitting on G, waiting on O right now.”
The Tigers released their fall slate Tuesday, now revised with the loss of Florida Tech from the schedule. The Panthers dropped football Monday, effective immediately. Head coach Shawn Quinn says the Tigers are working to add a tenth game as soon as possible.
“We’re going to play a tenth game definitely,” Quinn says. “Obviously, it’s hard to get a game in less than a day. But we’ve had a number of teams reach out to us.”
Quinn says the Tigers had no notice of FIT’s decision to drop football until the Panthers made the announcement. But he says he has little doubt SSU will play a complete schedule this fall. He says there are a number of possibilities, but one against an in-state, Division II power that especially intrigues him.
“Valdosta State. We’d like to play each other. We’ve been trying to get that worked out for the last six months,” Quinn says. “Myself and their head coach [Gary Goff] want to get that done. So we’ll see where that goes.”
A matchup with the Blazers could work out for SSU. Like the Tigers, Valdosta State has an open date on September 5 and must also replace Florida Tech on their schedule.
For now, Savannah State will open the season September 12 at Livingstone College.
HOME SWEET HOME IN 2020
SSU will play six home games in 2020, including five straight between September 19 and October 17. That’s the most for the program in more than ten years.
“It reminds me of being at LSU where we had around eight home games a year, and just a few on the road,” he says. “I think it’s an advantage for us to play at our place, especially when it’s hot. Hopefully, we’ll have some great crowds in there, have some fun, and get it funky in there and get it loud.”
After the season opener against Livingstone, it’s the five-game homestand which features four SIAC matchups. That stretch also includes Homecoming on October 17 when the Tigers host Clark Atlanta.
One of those home games is against Morehouse. The game against the Maroon Tigers was originally scheduled to be played in the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis. The Classic has been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so SSU and Morehouse agreed to play the game in Savannah.
SSU then faces two key SIAC East foes on the road, visiting Albany State on October 24 and Fort Valley State on Halloween.
The Tigers then close out the regular season with a visit from Edward Waters on November 7.
The SIAC Championship Game is scheduled for November 14. The Tigers have it listed on the schedule, and Quinn says it’s the end goal for his team that was unable to participate last season because of the transition to Division II despite being unbeaten in conference play.
“Albany State represented our side last year for whatever reasons the conference chose, so we’re not the defending champs,” Quinn says. “So we’ve got to find a way to get in that game some how, some way. It’s always good to have a carrot out there.”
SAVANNAH STATE 2020 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
September 5- Open
September 12- at Livingstone
September 19- Central State
September 26- Morehouse
October 3- Benedict
October 10- Virginia University of Lynchburg
October 17- Clark Atlanta (Homecoming)
October 24- at Albany State
October 31- at Fort Valley State
November 7- Edward Waters
November 14- SIAC Championship Game