JACKSON – When your team has three 100-yard receivers, a 100-yard rusher, a quarterback that throws for more than 400 yards and you have not made any turnovers, there is generally little doubt that your team has finished ahead on the scoreboard.
“When you have 424 passing yards and nearly 530 in total offense, you think you would be in the ball game,” said JSU head coach Harold Jackson. “We just have to go back to the drawing board and get some things fixed up.”
Unfortunately, while Jackson State was rolling up gaudy offensive numbers, Southern was doing even more when it had the ball.
The Jaguars had 591 yards of total offense, scored touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns, and raced out to a 27-0 lead that the Tigers could not overcome in a 42-28 loss in front of 29,521 fans at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium Saturday night.
“Coming off the bye week, we wanted to really win this ball game,” Jackson said. “We just were not able to put everything together (offense, defense and special team).”
With the loss JSU falls to 3-5, 1-4 record while SU finished with a 5-3, 4-1 mark.
“I think we are still a good team,” said senior defensive back Ryan Griffin. “We had a couple of special teams mix ups that led to two touchdowns and we lost by two touchdowns. We just have to put a complete game together.”
JSU signal caller La Montiez Ivy threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns, but the Jaguars scored four touchdowns – one passing, two rushing, and one on a punt return before the Tigers ever found the end zone. Dan Williams (nine catches, 113 yards) hauled in the first JSU score with 1:42 left in the first half to get JSU on the board.
The Williams touchdown grab set off a wild sequence before the teams went into the locker room. Southern returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, but 18 seconds later, Ivy connected with Tobias Singleton (six catches, 105 yards) on a 64-yard scoring pass that made the score 33-14 at the half.
While the third quarter was silent offensively, Southern found the end zone again early in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. Still, JSU continued to battle. Freshman running back Robert Johnson had a coming out party, rushing for 101 yards and his first collegiate touchdown – a five-yard dash with 7:10 remaining in the game.
Ivy connected with Singleton again, this time from three-yards out, with 28 seconds left to set the final margin.