JSU MVS Action

Jacksonville State wide receiver Josh Pearson celebrates with teammate Jacksonville State quarterback Zerrick Cooper after a TD during the JSU vs Mississippi Valley State football game Saturday at JSU. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

Postgame analysis of Jacksonville State's 71-0 win over Mississippi Valley State:



Jacksonville State coach John Grass says often that the Gamecocks want to make opposing offenses one-dimensional. He wants JSU to take away the run and force other teams to throw.

On Saturday, JSU made Mississippi Valley State no-dimensional. The pass defense was effective, but the run defense was even more so.

JSU allowed minus-8 rushing yards, which is the fewest since moving to Division I in 1995. The Gamecocks limited Murray State to minus-3 yards last year and Southeast Missouri to zero in 2016.

Flag on the play

After earning 14 penalties in the season opener against North Carolina A&T, Jacksonville State got flagged only five times for 50 yards in Saturday's win.

The Gamecocks entered the game as the most penalized team in the Ohio Valley Conference, but they didn't get flagged once in the second half.

Two of the five penalties Saturday came after over-celebrating early touchdowns.

Choice for JSU

Jacksonville State junior Jalen Choice has started both games this year, which are the first two starts of his career.

He's led the team in tackles in both of them. A valuable reserve for the Gamecocks for the previous two seasons, Choice had nine stops against North Carolina A&T and six Saturday against Mississippi Valley State.

Two of his tackles Saturday came behind the line.


Rushing offense — A: Jaelen Greene, Michael Matthews and Uriah West looked solid, and quarterback Zion Webb broke off a couple of nifty games. As with just about every category, JSU had Mississippi Valley State overmatched by a lot.

Rushing defense — A: The Gamecocks stuffed Mississippi Valley State unlike they've done any team in the past 23 years. Is there a grade higher than A?

Passing offense — A: The season is only two games old, but so far, the Zerrick Cooper/Josh Pearson passing combo looks nearly as reliable as the Eli Jenkins/Josh Barge duo that helped JSU to the 2015 national title game.

Passing defense — A: Gamecocks safety Traco Williams got his first career interception, which set up a touchdown. The defensive front, led by Monty Young and Connor Christian, applied plenty of pressure to the MSVU passer.

Special teams — A: Cade Stinnett was solid as he usually is. Jason Pierce nailed a pair of punts inside the 20-yard line, and Daniel Byrd did a nice job fielding MSVU punts.

Coaching — A: The Gamecocks' staff successfully got the team to the stadium on time, and on this day, that's about all they needed to do. We're kidding, of course, as JSU's players looked well prepared and ready to make it an easy Saturday for their coaches.

Overall — A: The Gamecocks did as they should've done to an undermanned Mississippi Valley State team — they beat the stuffing out of them. JSU regained a bit of confidence with the Ohio Valley Conference schedule beginning Sept. 23 against Tennessee Tech.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.