Coming off a bye, the JSU Gamecocks (5-2,1-2) went on the road in a OVC matchup to the campus of Tennessee Tech to play the Golden Eagles (3-5,0-4). Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech have faced 17 times (JSU leads 10-6), and after winning the last three, the Gamecocks looked to extend their streak against the Golden Eagles.
The Gamecocks were victorious, winning 34-14. Improving their record to 6-2 and 2-2 in conference play. Tech dropped to 3-6 and 0-5 in conference play.
The Gamecocks defense stepped up and only allowed 280 yards for the Eagles, making it the third straight game in the series they have been held to less than 300 yards.
”We had a really good day defensively,” said head coach Bill Clark. “The defense played great and the offense did what they were supposed to.”We probably took some educated risks, which is what we want to do,” added Clark. “That’s how (the defense) is supposed to look. I’m just really proud of the way our guys played – they worked their butts off for two weeks.”
Jermaine Hough forced a fumble on TTU’s first possession, the first forced fumble of his career.
Offensively, the Gamecocks continued to do what they have done all season and scored a bunch of points, on the ground and the air. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle West had a great day, after an injury to Eli Jenkins in the second quarter. West was 11-of-17 for 138 yards and threw two touchdowns. The backup quarterback threw his first career collegiate touchdown. DaMarcus James ran for 126 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks. Eli Jenkins, also ran for a touchdown and was 7-11 for 77 yards before he left the game with an injury.
Anthony Johnson was the leading receiver for JSU, catching five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. True freshman Earl Calloway caught his second pass of his career for his first touchdown of his young career. When asked about Kyle West’s play in the post game press conference, Coach Clark said, “Kyle West does exactly what you want a backup quarterback to do … he stays prepared,” Jenkins and West combined 18-of-28 for 215 yards. Running back DaMarcus James’ 36-yard completion to Anthony Johnson in the first quarter made him the seventh different Gamecock and the fourth non-QB to attempt a pass for JSU this season.
Hamish MacInnes and Griffin Thomas etched their names in the JSU records. MacInnes had a punt that went 86 yards, making that the longest punt in school history. The punt broke the school record, previously held by Zach Walden’s 2006 81 yard kick. MacInnes’ punt is the longest of FBS punters this season.
Griffin Thomas added two field goals to the score and now has 18 in 2013, tying him for second-most in school history in a season. Thomas extended his streak of games with at least two field goals to seven.
Jax State now has a 61-22 record against OVC opponents since joining the league in 2003, which is the highest winning percentage of any school in the league. The 2013 Gamecock senior class now has a four-year record of 28-14.
The Gamecocks go on the road next week to Clarksville, TN to take on winless Austin Peay.