After a 24-13 victory in the Soul Bowl, this season for Jackson State football will be remembered in history.
The Tigers finished the regular season Saturday ranked first among HBCUs after going undefeated from start to finish. JSU needs to win the SWAC championship on December 3 against a team that won’t be determined until Southern plays in the Bayou Classic next Saturday in order to qualify for the Celebration Bowl, the de facto HBCU national title game.
However, rather than speaking from experience, JSU coach Deion Sanders sounded like a coach fresh off a defeat on Saturday. Sanders hinted at Alcorn’s restricting the JSU offense to a season-low 258 yards as one of the things that went wrong during the 11-point victory. It was a rough game, and both teams’ defenses were excellent. Shedeur Sanders, the Jackson State quarterback, was attacked by Alcorn State for starting and playing despite being injured in last week’s Alabama A&M game. Sanders dropped back to toss the ball while he was escaping death in this game. Sanders was sacked five times while not rushing for his life. Additionally, he threw one interception, and wide receiver Shane Hooks lost the ball after catching it in Alcorn territory.”We succeeded, but as you can see, Deion Sanders wasn’t entirely satisfied with the result. A few of the sacks involve the quarterback gripping the dang ball as well. You must be physically strong and able to run the ball successfully. We must succeed. Many teams are coming up and playing us one-on-one with seven players in the box. We have a lot of chances to succeed outside, therefore we must.”
Travis Hunter steps in to help with that.
Travis Hunter, a freshman two-way player, had his coming-out celebration the previous week, and Saturday was the follow-up.The Tigers left Lorman with a victory thanks to Hunter, the top recruit in the nation for 2022, who returned an interception for a score and toe-tapped for a touchdown reception from Sanders of 19 yards.
Hunter had an interception and a touchdown reception in the same game for the second consecutive week, but his pick-six on Saturday clearly demonstrated why every big team in the nation wanted to sign him. Hunter displayed premier athleticism while being elusive, making defenders miss, and changing the course of the game. Without Hunter, JSU won’t probably prevail on Saturday.”Many scouts and agencies nominated Travis (Hunter) as the greatest player coming out of high school last year,” Sanders added. “He is demonstrating this to you. It’s not a fraud or a falsehood; Travis Hunter is who he always is on stage. You are simply getting the chance to see him in good health.”
Initially, Hunter’s touchdown catch was deemed to be an incomplete pass. Sanders was promptly informed by Hunter that a challenge should come next. It was a crucial moment for a team that continues to win despite apparently weekly repairs to other areas of weakness. “Sanders replied, “I don’t think the productivity we showed today is consistent with history. To me, that sounds like complacency. And offensively, that is where we are.”