Southern University (8-4) vs. Jackson State (8-3)
The Sports Network
By Brandon Lawrence, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 2 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Event: SWAC Championship. Annual: 15th. Site: Reliant Stadium (71,054) -- Houston, Texas. Surface: Grass. Television: ESPN U. Announcers: Mark Neely and Jay Walker. Home Record: Southern 3-2; Jackson State 3-1. Away Record: Southern 4-2; Jackson State 4-1. Neutral Record: Southern 1-0; Jackson State 0-1. Current Win/Loss Streak: Southern 4W; Jackson State 1L. Series Record: Tied (29-29). Last Meeting: September 28, 2013 (Jackson State, 19-14 at Southern). Series Streak: Jackson State has won four of the last five meetings. Nicknames: Southern University Jaguars; Jackson State Tigers. Sheridan Broadcasting Network Poll Rankings: Southern (6); Jackson State (8). Heritage Sports Radio Network Poll Rankings: Southern (6); Jackson State (5). Sports Network Rankings: Southern (NR); Jackson State (NR). All-Time Records: Southern (553-329-25); Jackson State (432-248-16, since 1946). Head Coaches: Southern - Dawson Odums (second season, 12-9 at Southern and overall); Jackson State - Rick Comegy (seventh season, 56-35 at Jackson State, 22nd year, 164-85 Overall). SWAC Championship Appearances: Southern 4 (1999, 2003-04, 2013); Jackson State 5 (1999, 2007-08, 2012-13). SWAC Championship Record: Southern (2-1); Jackson State (1-3). All-Time SWAC Football Championships: Southern 17 (1937-38, 1940, 1946-50, 1955, 1959-60, 1966, 1993, 1997-99); Jackson State 16 (1961-62, 1972-73, 1975, 1980-82, 1985-88, 1990, 1995-96, 2007). SWAC Championship Division Record: Western Division owns an 11-3 record over the Eastern Division and has won the last five years. 2012 SWAC Championship Result: Arkansas-Pine Bluff def. Jackson State, 24-21. MVP - Willie Young, Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
GAME NOTES: Take it how you will, but perhaps Southern squeezing in a game just a week before the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship contest was a good move.
The Jaguars routed reeling Grambling State, 40-17, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, led by senior quarterback Dray Joseph, freshman running back Lenard Tillery and senior receiver Lee Doss. So instead of being idle for two to three weeks running through the motions and watching plenty of game film (which the team probably did anyway), Southern got to be in a game situation to keep the players' legs and bodies fresh.
Joseph completed 15-of-26 pass attempts for 226 yards and three touchdowns with an interception, while Tillery carried the ball 19 times for 104 yards and a first-quarter score. Doss caught six passes for 117 yards and all three of Joseph's passing scores.
Jackson State wrapped up the regular season with its first SWAC loss to Alcorn State, but the team already had its championship ticket punched by that point.
Southern and Jackson State met in the regular season, with the Tigers emerging victories by a 19-14 margin. Rakeem Sims and Clayton Moore each had a rushing touchdown in the contest, and sophomore place kicker Ryan Deising booted a pair of field goals to aid the win.
Joseph is currently 11th in the FCS in passing yards with 3,236. Jackson State does present challenges defensively, but the Tigers gave up 33 points earlier this season to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 38 to Prairie View A&M, and 48 in the loss to Alcorn State.
Southern has won its last four games, and could easily get on a roll offensively to put the Tigers in the rearview mirror. One thing's for sure - after playing back-to-back weeks in the NFL's Superdome and Reliant Stadium, the Jaguars may from now on be accustomed to a higher standard of "living."
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern 27, Jackson State 21.
12/04 11:06:38 ET