2023 Football

Jackson State football gets to practice under lights

Jackson State will play under the lights next Saturday on TV, but Thursday night a facility upgrade helped it practice under them.

JACKSON, Miss.  –  The two-time defending Southwestern Athletic Conference Champion Jackson State football team worked under the lights for the first time this season Thursday at the Walter Payton Center.

Earlier this month, JSU Acting President Dr. Elayne H. Anthony approved funding for lighting on the practice field and around the newly surfaced track to provide athletes a way to beat the record August temperatures in preparation for the season.Thursday night, first-year head coach T.C. Taylor took his team under the lights.

“It’s big to be able to do this,” Taylor said. “Being a player here from 1997-2001, I can remember we really only had one pole of lights that we could come out here and work under, but we still came out here and got it in. To have everything lit up out here, it hits home as an alum and you saw the energy it gave our football team. I’m grateful to Dr. Anthony for making it happen.”

The lights gave the Tigers the opportunity to replicate the afternoon-to-evening transition that next Saturday’s Cricket MEAC-SWAC Challenge Kickoff Challenge will present with the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff against South Carolina State at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta on ABC.

Jackson State football head coach TC Taylor.

“We wanted to get out here and give them a feel of what it’s going to be like next Saturday,” Taylor said. “I thought they grasped it, understood it, and came out here with the energy I wanted to see. We just have to take this into the football game next week.”

Next week’s season opener is one of four evening kickoffs Jackson State football will have in the first five games of the season. The ability to work late into the evening in practice allows Taylor and the Tigers to prepare to play at night in the season’s first month.

“It’s huge to be able to create those game-like moments and situations for your football team,” Taylor said.

“They’re going to play at an unbelievable pace. That’s just what they do. That’s what this football team is bred to do. They’re going to play with energy. These coaches do a good job of scouting teams and getting those looks that we need for our defense, offense, and special teams. When you can create the atmosphere and environment of what is kind of going to be like – even when we got started tonight, the Sonic Boom came down the street –  that’s what it’s going to be like come next week.”

Jackson State football gets to practice under lights
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