Last Saturday, the scoreboard proclaimed the Gamecocks’ dominance over Austin Peay: 42-10.
In the major win against the Govs, the Gamecocks came out with a seven-game winning streak between the two teams since the series resumed in 2007.
It was the impressive feats of junior DaMarcus James that boosted the team’s scoring as he alone scored five touchdowns. James rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries and broke a school record for rushing touchdowns in a single game. He now has 23 career touchdowns and 17 for this season.
Although Jacksonville State (7-2) got off to a slow start initially with the offense only accumulating 18 yards in their first three possessions against the Governors’ low ranked defense, it only took the start of the second quarter for things to change.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle West completed nine straight passes and eventually led the Gamecocks to a lead of 28-3 before halftime.
West did not just depend on DaMarcus James to help with their scoring, he also turned to freshman wide receiver Josh Barge who caught nine passes for 115 yards lifting his season total to 569 yards breaking a freshman record held by Bubba Long from the 1966 season.
The impressive Gamecocks’ defense limited the Govs to less than 300 yards of total offense, doing so for the second straight week against their opponents. While the defense gave up 104 yards early, they quickly rebounded and held the Governors to 141 for the remainder of the game.
It was the defense that scored first for the Gamecocks when junior Rashod Byers picked off Austin Peay’s quarterback and made a 95 yard return for a touchdown. It was not the only interception of the night as senior Rob Gray returned one to the 3-yard line during the second quarter.
JSU’s 245 yards of total offense allowed is the lowest amount of yards in a game by an opponent since Austin Peay gained only 157 on Oct. 23, 2010.
James made his first three touchdown runs in the second quarter and after JSU returned to the field after halftime he made his fourth on the longest JSU drive of the night. The drive was a 10-play 61-yard drive that ended with James scoring.
It was then that the Governors managed to score their first and only touchdown of the game and then saw DaMarcus James finish the night with his fifth and final score coming from 40 yards out with 23 seconds remaining in the quarter.
This is the 11th straight winning season for the Gamecocks which is the longest in school history. JSU also has the highest winning percentage in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 62-22 record against league opponents since joining the conference in 2003.
JSU will play host to Eastern Kentucky (6-3) this Saturday which marks their first home game in four weeks. The game begins at 3 p.m. and is Military Appreciation Day, where a person with a military ID will receive free admission for them and a guest.