Milligan vs. ETSU: The History of "State Week"
By: Aaron Jones
It is well known that Milligan University once boasted a football team. This short period of Milligan's history lasted from 1920-1950 before the football program was terminated for financial reasons. One of the biggest marks of the Milligan football program was the crosstown rivalry with East Tennessee State University (ETSU), or East Tennessee Teacher's College at the time.
ETSU and Milligan met up in football 15 times: 1920-22, 1933-1941, and 1948-1950. 7 of the games were Milligan victories, 6 ETSU Victories, and 2 draws. The two teams competed for the coveted State-Milligan "Keg", a small barrel that was the trophy for the winner. In fact, Milligan's last ever football game was a 6-6 draw to ETSU in 1950.
The week of the ETSU game was a source of tremendous excitement around Milligan. The week was dubbed "State Week", and this week leading up to the game would involve pranks being pulled between students of the two institutions.
Buffalo 1949 (Buffalo Yearbook Staff, Milligan College, Tenn., 1949)Photos from "State Week", 1948
Pep Rally following a Victory over State, 1958 (1958)Students celebrate a victory over ETSU, 1958
Milligan College Football Team (1950-1951)Roster photo of the last Milligan football team (1950-1951)