Jackson State

Shedeur Sanders drew on Jackson State experience for clutch drive

Shedeur Sanders recalled two situations at Jackson State that prepared him for the big drive vs. Colorado State.

When Colorado took the field a minute-and-a-half remaining, trailing Colorado State 28-20, Shedeur Sanders was prepared for the moment by what he experienced at his stint at Jackson State.

In the aftermath of his team’s 43-35 win over Colorado State, Sanders remembered two clutch drives that he engineered when asked about other clutch moments. 

“When my dad was going through the thing with his foot,” Sanders recalled. “My freshman year (2021) we threw a game-winning touchdown versus Southern at Southern.”

Jackson State trailed Southern 17-7 with less than eight minutes to go in Baton Rouge when freshman Shedeur engineered a six-play, 52 yard drive to cut the lead to 17-14 with 5:42 remaining. The JSU defense got the ball back and Sanders hit Malachi Wideman with a 50 yard touchdown pass to give JSU a 21-17 lead which it would not relinquish as his father watched from the sidelines, fresh out of the hospital after having two toes amputated. 

Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State
Shedeur Sanders looks to throw at the 2022 Celebration Bowl. (Steven J. Gaither/HBCU Gameday)

The second instance came a year later. Jackson State rolled into the Celebration Bowl with a 12-0 record and was expected to roll over North Carolina Central. Instead, JSU found itself in a dogfight with the MEAC champions and trailed 34-27 with 4:37 remaining in the game. Sanders engineered a 15-play, 81 yard drive that climaxed with him finding Travis Hunter for a 19-yard touchdown pass as time expired to send the game into overtime.

Jackson State would go on to lose that game as NCCU prevailed 41-34 in overtime in what would be the last game for Sanders and Hunter in JSU uniforms.

But Saturday night would be a different story. Shedeur Sanders would engineer a seven-play, 98 yard drive that saw him connect with Jimmy Horn Jr. for a 45 yard touchdown pass and then find Michael Harrison for the two-point conversion to tie the game. Colorado would go on to win the game in double overtime. 

“I already knew what was required. I’ve already been there before,” Sanders told the media. “I’m not going to be able to live with myself, honestly on a loss like that. I wouldn’t be able to sleep.”

Thanks to those learning moments the first two years of his college career at Jackson State, he won’t have to.

Shedeur Sanders drew on Jackson State experience for clutch drive
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