The talk and anticipation is over as Jackson State (1-0) and Florida A&M (0-2) finally kicked off the 2022 Orange Blossom Classic. It was JSU from the very beginning as the Tigers dominated FAMU 59-3.
After a FAMU three and out on its opening possession the Tigers marched down the field behind its new look offensive line. Shedeur Sanders was a perfect 6-6 passing on the 12 play 69 yard drive. Jackson State went up 7-0 after Sanders found Shane Hooks for an eight yard touchdown pass. Dallas Daniels caught two passes during the drive for 13 yards. Travis Hunter, the nation’s top recruit that signed with Jackson State out of high school, started at cornerback and did not play wide receiver in the game.
The effort from Daniels would pay off in the second quarter when he was on the receiving end of an eight yard back shoulder fade from Sanders. That nine play 72 yard drive put JSU up 14-0. At that point in the game Sanders was a perfect 14-14 passing.
As FAMU continued to struggle against the Jackson State defense, the Jackson State offense motored on. After Kevin Coleman returned a FAMU punt across midfield the Tigers quickly struck again. In just two plays Sanders pushed his passing to a perfect 16 for 16 ultimately finding Rico Powers for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 21-0.
Jackson State defense creates turnovers
Sanders threw his first incompletion at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter on the next offensive possession. The very next play Isiah Land got his first sack of the day bringing down Sanders. It turned out to be the first three and out on the day for Jackson State.
Things took an odd turn for FAMU under the five minute mark of the second quarter on a Rattler fourth down. Facing a fourth and one, the Rattlers brought in Rasean McKay for his first action at quarterback replacing Jeremy Moussa. Instead of running, McKay dropped back in shotgun to pass and had the ball stripped away. JSU was only able to convert the turnover into a field goal, but it was another small win for what was a dominant first half for Jackson State.
The Rattlers were finally able to get some points before the half on the ensuing drive. Moussa led FAMU to a couple of first downs and the drive ended with a 43 yard field goal from Jose Romo-Martinez. Jackson State went into the break leading 24-3.
Tigers continue to roll after halftime
Jackson State opened up the third quarter with more of the same that we saw in the first half. The Tigers opened up the third with a ten play 76 yard drive that ended with a ten yard touchdown pass to Hooks.
On the ensuing drive the Jackson State defense put its first points of the day on the board. Kev’Ric Wiggins intercepted a Moussa pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown, making it a 38-3 game.
Jackson State continued to do whatever they desired on offense. The lead ballooned to 45-3 on a seven play 89 yard drive that ended with Hayden Hagler scoring a touchdown on his first reception of the game.
In the fourth quarter the defense put more points on the board when Aubrey Miller scooped up a fumbled snap from McKay and raced 19 yards into the end zone. That made the score 52-3 with 11:19 remaining in the game.
Shedeur Sanders wouldn’t see any more action for the rest of the day. J.P. Andrade came in for relief of Sanders as the No. 2 quarterback for the Tigers. Sanders finished the day 29 for 33 passing, racking up 323 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 17 yards.
While Sanders was done, the scoring was not. Herman Smith III scooped up a blocked punt attempt from FAMU and scurried into the end zone to make it a 59-3 game. That ended the scoring for the game as Jackson State dominated FAMU for the entire game in this year’s Orange Blossom Classic.