Jacksonville State falls amid solid OVC showing
(STATS) – Beating an FBS team continues to be one of the few things that eludes Jacksonville State coach John Grass.
The No. 5 Gamecocks fell at Georgia Tech 37-10 on Saturday, which dropped their fourth-year coach to 0-4 against the FBS. He’s 31-0 in all other regular-season games.
Jacksonville State led 7-3 late into the first half on Bryant Horn’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Krenwick Sanders, but Georgia Tech gained control after option quarterback TaQuon Marshall passed for three scores in a 7-minute, 20-second span, starting with a go-ahead 27-yarder to Ricky Jeune with 1:20 left in the second quarter.
“We want to be a physical team, and I thought we played physical today,” Grass said. “You don’t hold them to that, rushing the football 210 yards, and not have good effort. I thought we got the ball on the ground really good, so we did some good things. We did some good things kicking-game-wise; besides the last punt, we punted the ball pretty good, our coverage was good on punts.
“Offensively, we lined up and ran the football. We ran it for 116 yards, so you’ve got to be proud of that. That’s an ACC defense. We’re not supposed to be able to line up against that and do those things. So we just put it behind you and move on to the next day and look to get better.”
The four FBS losses under Grass are one more for the Gamecocks than the non-FBS losses as he’s 34-7 overall. He’s guided them to three straight OVC titles as well as an FCS runner-up finish in 2015.
Despite Jacksonville State’s defeat, OVC teams have been making a solid showing against FBS opponents this season. The conference getting just one playoff bid last year – after it had two in 2014 and ’15 and three in ’13 – probably didn’t sit well with the teams chasing the Gamecocks.
Also on Saturday, Eastern Kentucky led Kentucky at halftime before falling 27-16. UT Martin was ahead of Ole Miss until the final minute of the first half before the Rebels pulled away to a 45-23 victory.
The Week 2 results came on top of Tennessee State’s 17-10 FBS win over Georgia State in the opening week of the season, which earned the Tigers a No. 23 ranking this week. Also, Eastern Kentucky hung within 31-17 of Western Kentucky and Austin Peay, which hasn’t won since 2014, only fell 26-14 to Cincinnati.