Jackson State

Jackson State football ‘will be better than’ 2021, says Pough

Jackson State was 11-2 under Deion Sanders in 2021. But SC State head coach Buddy Pough says T.C. Taylor’s team will be better.

The 2021 Jackson State football team, coached by Deion Sanders, was one of the best in the history of the storied program. The team went 11-2, winning the SWAC Championship and making a trip to the Celebration Bowl where it lost to South Carolina State.

The two teams will meet up on Saturday in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, but it will be a much different Jackson State program. TC Taylor is now head of the program as Deion Sanders has gone off to Colorado and taken many of the key players from that squad. But South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough isn’t taking new-look JSU lightly. 

“This T.C. Taylor team right now will be a better football team than that football team,” Pough told Black Enterprise. “Will be a much better football team. We’ve had some experience against him in the past and it concerns us that we haven’t done all that well against the teams that he’s been a part of in the past.”

That’s a pretty bold statement given the fact the Jackson State football team went undefeated in SWAC play in 2021 and featured future NFL players like James Houston and Aubrey Miller Jr. as well as quarterback Shedeur Sanders who is now with his father in Colorado. 

Jackson State football, TC Taylor

“We went into the 2021 year thinking that we may not be able to matchup with Jackson State and a little bit afraid of the outcome, possibly,” Pough said of his team’s 31-10 win. “I think we found out we could play with them. We felt really good about how things went as the game went on.” 

Pough, entering his 21st year as head coach at his alma mater, has been known to be free-hearted in praise of his opponents in press conferences throughout his time. But he sounds pretty confident that his rookie opponent who will have as many as 70 new players.

“We know that they’ll get after us in ways that that team didn’t,” Pough said. 

That’s heavy praise from a legend. Only time will tell if it is accurate.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge will take place on ABC on August 26. 

Jackson State football ‘will be better than’ 2021, says Pough
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