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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Division 1-AA Jacksonville State visits MSU

    MSU+dog+safety+Slovakia+Griffith+wraps+up+Oregon+running+back+Allan+Amundson+in+the+Bulldogs+Aug.+31+game+at+Oregon.+Griffith+and+the+Bulldogs+will+meet+Jacksonville+State+for+the+first+time+on+Saturday.
    MSU dog safety Slovakia Griffith wraps up Oregon running back Allan Amundson in the Bulldogs’ Aug. 31 game at Oregon. Griffith and the Bulldogs will meet Jacksonville State for the first time on Saturday.

    The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will roll into Starkville this Saturday night with a record of 1-0 after beating Alabama A&M 20-17 in a last-second field goal kick by Steven Lee. Jacksonville State is a 1-AA team that comes out of the Southland Conference. Last year the Gamecocks began their season winning five out of their first six games, but finished losing their last five games to have an overall record of 5-6. “Toward the end of the season, we got lined up against three NFL-caliber quarterbacks and we were vulnerable in our secondary,” head coach Jack Crowe said, “I think we could conceivably have an offensive edge over some people in the league (Southland Conference) because of several things, one which is our returning senior quarterback.” Crowe is speaking of Pre-Season All Conference quarterback Reggie Stancil who passed for 1,800 yards and worked his way into the Gamecocks top five in passing and total offense in a career. Not only a passer, Stancil can scamper when pressured by the defensive line. Last year Stancil rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
    Joining Stancil in the backfield is Pre-Season All-American and Walter Payton candidate Rondy Rogers. Rogers accumulated a school record of 1,400 yards, along with 13 touchdowns. Rogers had six 100-yard rushing games in the 2000-2001 season, not to mention a 200-yard rushing show against Tennessee Tech.
    “I think Rondy is the best running back in America,” Crowe said without hesitation. “I think there is so much a player can do for a team and I think he is talented enough to accept an enormous task. He has the talent to take over a game.” Rogers led the conference with 128.8 yards per game and finished 14th in the final NCAA rankings.
    On the offensive line, Jax State will have to replace four seniors: a tight end, a guard, a tackle and a center. This is where the Gamecocks strength weakens. A good offensive line leads to a good running back and a good quarterback. The line is the sole protector of each one of these players, and the Gamecocks are going to have major trouble protecting them. Coach Jack Crowe is looking at it from a positive aspect.
    “Losing those players is difficult, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job of developing something close to last year’s unit.”
    Jermaine Hoyt and Markee Coleman will be the only seniors on the Gamecock defense.
    Hoyt is a 6-foot-2-inch, 285-pound tackle that was second on the team in sacks last year. He has saw action in all Jax State games since his true freshman season. Markee Coleman, the other senior on the Gamecock defense, is a part of the 2002 Pre-season All Conference team. The 5-foot-11-inch, 192-pound free safety led Jax State in tackles last year with 73 (47 solo).
    The Gamecocks punter, Richie Rhodes, averaged 45 yards a punt last year and had three sail for over 70, with a long of 74. Neika Willis is back from a great season in which he averaged 24 yards per return. Willis makes the field much shorter for the offense.
    Last year the Gamecocks were brought to the national spotlight when kicker Ashley Martin made history as the first female to ever score a point in an NCAA football game. Martin got national exposure on multiple television shows throughout the year.
    This will be the first year that Jacksonville State has ever clashed with an SEC opponent, and head coach Jack Crowe has a piece to say on the big game: “I think we’re playing a team that’s won a lot of football games, had an off-year last year, but the three seasons before that have gone to bowl games. Obviously, this is a well-coached and very talented football team. I’m sure the most talented football team JSU has ever played.” Coach Crowe has a total record of 0-3 against all SEC opponents. This will be the first time he will come up against MSU.
    “We’re going to be challenged by their physicalness and their running game. We’re going to get challenged with the speed of their wide receivers. We’re going to get challenged by the environment. Their fans are going to meet them there and try to bring them back as the SEC race starts.

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Division 1-AA Jacksonville State visits MSU