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College Gridiron 365

Jackson State Earns Victory Against FAMU at the Orange Blossom Classic

Kevyn Bryant II

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Jackson State vs FAMU 2022

The Jackson State offense continued to roll as FAMU struggled against the Jackson State defense. After a FAMU punt was returned across midfield, the Tigers immediately scored again. In just two plays, Sanders threw a perfect 16 for 16 pass, resulting in a 29-yard touchdown pass to Rico Powers to make it 21-0.

The long-awaited Orange Blossom Classic between Jackson State (1-0) and Florida A&M (0-2) finally got under way. It was all Tigers from the opening bell as JSU dominated FAMU

The Jackson State offense continued to roll as FAMU struggled against the Jackson State defense. After a FAMU punt was returned across midfield, the Tigers immediately scored again. In just two plays, Sanders threw a perfect 16 for 16 pass, resulting in a 29-yard touchdown pass to Rico Powers to make it 21-0.

The Tigers went down the field on their first possession after having a terrible start due to their new offensive line. The drive lasted 12 plays and covered 69 yards thanks to six-for-six passing by Shedeur Sanders. On the following possession, Sanders connected with Shane Hooks for an eight-yard touchdown pass to give Jackson State a 7-0 lead. Dallas Daniels caught two passes on the drive for 13 yards. In the game, Travis Hunter played cornerback and did not play wide receiver as the nation’s top recruit in high school.

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On that 72-yard, nine-play drive in the second quarter, Sanders connected with Daniels for an eight-yard back-shoulder fade for a touchdown. Sanders was 14-for-14 passing at the time, putting JSU up 14-0.

In the second quarter, the Jackson State offense continued to click despite FAMU’s best efforts. On a punt return deep in Tigers territory, the Jackson State offense was back in business. In just two plays, Sanders threw an unblemished 16 for 16 pass to Rico Powers for a 29-yard touchdown, making the score 21-0.

The Jackson State Defenders create turnovers.

On the very next offensive possession, Sanders threw his first incompletion at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter. Isiah Land sacked Sanders on the very next play, which resulted in Jackson State’s first three and out of the game.

FAMU took an unusual turn in the second quarter when the Rattlers put Rasean McKay at quarterback on fourth down rather than running the ball. A fumble on fourth down gave JSU the ball, but they were only able to get a field goal out of it. It was another small victory for Jackson State in the first half, which was dominated by them.

FAMU was finally able to post some points before the half on the subsequent drive. Moussa led the Rattlers to a couple of first downs before Jose Romo-Martinez booted a 43 yard field goal. Jackson State led 24-3 at the break.

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After halftime, the Tigers kept on winning.

The Tigers opened the third quarter with more of the same that we saw in the first half. Jackson State opened up the third with a ten play, 76-yard drive that ended with a ten-yard touchdown pass to Hooks.

In the next possession, the Jackson State defense scored its first points of the day. Kev’Ric Wiggins intercepted a pass from Moussa and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown, putting the score at 38-3.

Despite the fact that Jackson State kept executing whatever they wanted on defence, the lead swelled to 45-3 on a seven play 89 yard drive that ended with Hayden Hagler scoring a touchdown on his first reception of the game.

The defense scored additional points in the fourth quarter when Aubrey Miller grabbed a fumbled snap from McKay and sprinted 19 yards for a touchdown. The game was 52-3 with 11:19 remaining at the time.

J.P. Andrade came in for relief of Shedeur Sanders as the No. 2 quarterback for the Tigers in the second half. Sanders finished with 29 for 33 passing, 323 yards, and five touchdowns, as well as 17 rushing yards.

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After Sanders finished, the scoring wasn’t finished. Herman Smith III grabbed a blocked punt attempt from FAMU and sprinted into the end zone to make it a 59-3 game. Once Jackson State dominated FAMU in this year’s Orange Blossom Classic, the scoring ended.

Photo Credit: gojsutigers.com

College Gridiron 365

Kansas State Triumphs 28-19 Over NC State in Pop-Tarts Bowl Clash

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

Kansas State emerges victorious with a 28-19 win over NC State in the highly anticipated Pop-Tarts Bowl, setting Orlando abuzz with excitement.

Despite a valiant effort in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on Thursday night, the Wolfpack fell short in overcoming an early deficit, succumbing to Kansas State with a final score of 28-19.

The Wolfpack concludes their season with a 9-4 record, narrowly missing the chance to etch their name in school history with only the second 10-win campaign. The elusive feat was last achieved in 2002 with Philip Rivers at the helm, guiding the team to an impressive 11-3 record.

Facing the challenge without their All-America linebacker Payton Wilson, who opted to sit out the game in preparation for the draft, the No. 19 NC State struggled to contain the running game early on. The Pack found themselves in a tough spot as Wildcats quarterback Avery Johnson connected with DJ Giddens for a 37-yard score on fourth down, establishing a 7-0 lead.

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With Wilson absent from the lineup, Kansas State exploited the gap, amassing 258 yards on the ground, with Giddens contributing 151 yards. Despite NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s 31-yard touchdown run against Kansas State on Thursday night, the Wolfpack was unable to seize control, never holding an advantage and only narrowing the gap to a two-point margin.

At the close of the second quarter, Kansas State maintained a lead of 21-7, with the halftime score standing at 21-10. NC State injected some intrigue into the game in the third quarter with a bit of trickery. Trent Pennix’s 60-yard touchdown run off a fake punt reduced the deficit to 21-19 with 1:50 left in the period.

The Wolfpack’s attempt to level the score was thwarted as Armstrong was taken down during the two-point conversion attempt. In his inaugural game as a freshman, quarterback Johnson, stepping in after Will Howard’s departure, threw for 178 yards, ran for an additional 71 yards, and orchestrated a decisive 15-play, 72-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

The game-clinching moment came as Jayce Brown secured an 8-yard TD pass from Johnson with a mere 2:48 left on the clock. Any hopes of a Wolfpack comeback were dashed when Parrish intercepted Armstrong on their subsequent offensive play.

Armstrong’s performance in the final game included running for 121 yards, scoring one touchdown, and passing for 164 yards. The Wildcats of Kansas State concluded the season with a commendable 9-4 record.

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College Gridiron 365

USF Bulls Secure Bowl Glory: Crush Syracuse 45-0

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

In a spectacular display of prowess, the USF football team, under first-year head coach Alex Golesh, ended its season on a high note with a resounding 45-0 victory over Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl. The win marked USF’s first bowl victory since 2017 and a significant turnaround, securing a winning record for the first time since 2018.

The Bulls’ defense played a pivotal role in the triumph, forcing four turnovers, including two scoop-and-score touchdowns, and orchestrating their first complete game shutout since 2009. Defensive MVP Daquan Evans led the charge with five tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble returned for a touchdown. Special Teams MVP Aamaris Brown-Bunkley contributed by returning a botched field goal attempt for a touchdown and adding three tackles.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown, named Offensive MVP, delivered a stellar performance, completing 19 of 26 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. Brown also showcased his versatility by rushing for a team-best 64 yards on 14 carries and even catching a 21-yard pass from Sean Atkins. Brown became only the second Bull to surpass 4,000 total yards in a season, finishing with 4,101 yards.

Atkins, the Bulls’ first 1,000-yard receiver, secured six passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulls’ offensive prowess propelled them to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Brown’s connection with Atkins and a 31-yard touchdown pass to Khafre Brown highlighted the offensive dominance. John Cannon’s 40-yard field goal further extended the lead to 24-0.

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The defense continued its relentless performance, with Evans forcing another fumble, and Tramel Logan returning it 61 yards for a touchdown, making it 31-0 at halftime. USF’s defense held Syracuse to just 159 yards, 10 punts, and a mere nine first downs throughout the game, limiting them to 1-of-17 on third downs.

The second half saw Tavin Ward intercepting Syracuse’s first possession, setting up Brown for a 35-yard touchdown pass to Atkins, further widening the gap to 38-0. Nay’Quan Wright’s two-yard touchdown plunge in the early fourth quarter sealed the deal at 45-0.

The victory marked USF’s largest margin of victory in a bowl game and its fourth bowl win against an autonomous “power” conference program. The Bulls outgained Syracuse 407 to 159, with notable individual achievements from Brown, Atkins, and Logan.

Looking ahead, USF has already welcomed 25 new recruits on the first day of the NCAA Early Signing period, securing a top-class ranking in The American and among non-autonomous “power” programs. The Bulls will shift their focus to spring practice in March, building on the momentum gained from their outstanding Boca Raton Bowl triumph.

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College Gridiron 365

USF Bulls Secure Bowl Berth with Dominant Victory Over Charlotte

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

In a triumphant display on Senior Night at Raymond James Stadium, the USF football team (6-6; 4-4 American) punched their ticket to the postseason, securing a resounding 48-14 victory over Charlotte (3-9; 2-6 American). The Bulls celebrated not only the achievements of 16 seniors but also the program’s 11th bowl berth, marking the end of a drought since 2018.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown led the charge with another stellar performance, throwing for 253 yards and four touchdowns. Brown’s remarkable day also included 43 yards rushing and a touchdown, making him the first Bull to surpass 3,000 passing yards in a season, with his 2023 total reaching an impressive 3,078.

A standout throughout the season, wide receiver Sean Atkins continued his impressive run, logging his seventh-straight game with seven or more receptions. Atkins made seven grabs for 61 yards and a touchdown. Notably, he also showcased his versatility by throwing a 62-yard touchdown pass, becoming the first Bull since 1998 to both catch and throw a touchdown in a single game.

Running back Michel Dukes contributed significantly to the offensive prowess, running for a career-best 104 yards on 15 carries. The Bulls’ offensive excellence was complemented by a robust defensive effort that saw Logan Berryhill securing his third interception of the season, while Mac Harris and Daquan Evans notched their first interceptions.

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Jhalyn Shuler and D.J. Harris led the defensive charge with nine tackles each, playing a crucial role in holding Charlotte to less than 300 yards of offense and forcing three turnovers.

The turning point in the game came just 20 seconds into the second half when Brown connected with Jaden Alexis on a deep pass. Alexis, in a spectacular display of skill, spun his defender around and zigzagged for a 60-yard touchdown, giving USF a commanding 28-7 lead.

Although Charlotte managed a response with a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jairus Mack, the Bulls remained undeterred. Brown orchestrated a drive resulting in a field goal and followed it up with a daring onside kick, which USF successfully recovered at their own 46. Brown then capped off the drive with a 35-yard touchdown run, extending the lead to 38-14.

As the Bulls continued to dominate, John Cannon added his second field goal of the day, and USF entered the fourth quarter with a commanding 41-14 lead. The victory marked a five-win turnaround from the previous year, the largest in program history, and a return to the bowl season for the Bulls.

Reflecting on the game and the historic season turnaround, USF fans began to celebrate a bright future for their football program. The Bulls now eagerly await the official announcement of their bowl destination on December 3, savoring the prospect of postseason action for the first time in five seasons.

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