It's no secret that over the past decade-and-a-half, Savannah State has been a punchline in not just HBCU football, but college football overall.
SSU is hoping those days are coming to an end.
The program picked up its biggest win since joining the MEAC in 2010 last week when it took down perennial conference power Bethune-Cookman, 16-10 in overtime. The win was just the program's second conference and FCS win since 2011.
The team's jubilation following the win took new coach Eric Raeburn by surprise.
(Photo Credit: savannahnow.com)
"To see how excited they were, how happy they were..I guess I took that for granted a little bit," Raeburn said on Tuesday. "I coached some teams that almost always won."
Indeed, Raeburn does come from a winning background. He spent the last eight seasons at Wabash College, going 78-13 while leading the school to the NCAA Division III playoffs five times during that stretch.
With a potential season-boosting win under his belt, Raeburn is looking forward to instilling that winning spirit in his Tigers, whom he said he felt suffered from a lack of confidence when he arrived this spring.
"I told our coaches we're going to have to be coaches and cheerleaders," Raeburn said.
Now the challenge he and his assistants face are getting their players ready to focus on Florida A&M, another traditional MEAC power who is now looking for its first win.
"We've got to turn the page," Raeburn said regarding looking forward.
And if you are a Savannah State fan or supporter, nothing could make you happier than that.