With speculation swirling that its head coach would be bolting for another job, Jackson State did what it has done the previous 11 times since the Orange Blossom Classic in September.
Be the best team on the field.
Despite reports that Deion Sanders would be the next head coach at Colorado, the Tigers (12-0) put the distractions behind them and scored on their first four offensive possessions to jump out to a 26-0 lead and cruise to a 43-24 victory over Southern to win the program’s second consecutive SWAC championship on Saturday night.
Jackson State moves on to face MEAC champion NC Central in the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17 in Atlanta, Georgia.
SWAC Offensive Player of the Year Sheduer Sanders threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns and receiver Shane Hooks hauled in five catches for 104 yards and two TDs in what was a 445-yard offensive performance.
The defense, one of the top units in the FCS, didn’t play its best game, giving up 415 total yards. But led by SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Aubrey Miller, JSU forced five turnovers.
On the other side, Southern (7-5) got a spark from backup quarterback Bubba McDaniel, who threw for 220 yards, rushed for 162 more, and scored three total TDs in the loss.
The official attendance at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium was 53,754.