Jackson State followed up last week’s offensive clinic with a field goal special on Saturday night in the Southern Heritage Classic. JSU (2-0) grinded out a 16-3 victory against a competitive Tennessee State (0-2) team, in what appears to be the final Southern Heritage Classic between the two schools.
Jackson State scored the first touchdown of the game for either team at the 2:20 mark of the fourth quarter. Shedeur Sanders hit Willie Gaines for a 27 yard pass reception to break open what had been a 9-3 game.
JSU put its final stamp on the following drive, sacking Tennessee State quarterback Draylen Ellis on back to back plays, forcing TSU to punt the ball away.
Kaleb Mosley opened the scoring up for Tennessee State with a 34 yard field goal at the 10:07 mark of the first quarter. That turned out to be the only score for TSU, who had just driven the ball down the field 58 yards in 11 plays.
As great as the Jackson State defense was for the entire game, the offense didn’t look quite as explosive one week after the FAMU victory. Give some obvious credit to the TSU defense, but Jackson State had a high amount of turnovers as well. Jackson State was credited with two fumbles lost during the game.
Alejandro Mata was the leading scorer in the game going 3-4 on field goals, accounting for all of the JSU points until the final touchdown. Mata kicked two field goals in the second quarter and one in the third.
Sanders was 30-44 passing with one touchdown and a 68 percent completion percentage. He didn’t throw an interception tonight either. Ellis was 10-24 passing at 41 percent on the night for Tennessee State. Eleven different receivers caught balls for Jackson State on Saturday with Shane Hooks leading the way with nine catches for 93 yards.
The final box score will show that Tennessee State only had two yards rushing because of the sacks that Ellis endured. He lost a net total of 68 yards behind the line of scrimmage while running back Devon Starling rushed for 70 yards.
JSU rushed for 142 yards on 37 attempts. Jackson State conversely threw the ball 44 times in what appears to be a balanced offensive attack.
Jackson State returns to Jackson for its first home game of the season next weekend against Grambling. Hue Jackson coached his way into his first Grambling win on Saturday with a 47-21 win over Northwestern State.
Tennessee State is at Middle Tennessee next weekend.
Saturday night’s attendance was listed at 51,351 people, the Liberty Bowl holds 58,325 at its capacity. Jackson State has made its intentions clear publicly it no longer intends to participate in the Southern Heritage Classic.