Jackson State’s Woes | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackson State’s Woes

Despite good showings from players such as wide receiver Daniel Williams (pictured) on the offense, Jackson State University has had a tough run in its first three games of the season. Photo courtesy Charles A Smith

Despite good showings from players such as wide receiver Daniel Williams (pictured) on the offense, Jackson State University has had a tough run in its first three games of the season. Photo courtesy Charles A Smith

Jackson State University hasn't had the big opening that football fans wanted in the 2015 season. The Tigers are off to an 0-3 start overall with 0-1 in SWAC play.

The team hasn't started 0-3 since 2009 when they lost to Mississippi State University, Tennessee State University and Grambling State University to start the season. JSU finished that year 3-7 overall and 3-4 in SWAC play.

This Saturday, Sept. 26, the Tigers will take on Texas Southern University in their first home game of the season. Jackson State has played Middle Tennessee State University and Southern University on the road and Tennessee State University at a neutral location. In the preseason, JSU was picked to finish behind Alcorn State University in the SWAC East. Currently, the Tigers are in the cellar with 0-3 Alabama State University and Mississippi Valley State University.

To be fair, Jackson State has played a tough early-season schedule. Its opponents are a combined 6-3 to start the season. JSU currently averages about 390 yards total offense and is first in the SWAC with 316.7 passing yards per game.

The Tigers are struggling on the ground with just 73.3 yards per game but have been behind early in every game and had to throw the ball more to catch up.

Scoring hasn't been great but is not the Tigers' major problem. JSU is averaging 23.3 points per game, placing sixth in the SWAC. It would help if the team could score a little more and get off to faster starts.

One problem with the JSU offense is that it has allowed too many sacks: 11 in just three games.

In red-zone offense, which is within the opponent's 20-yard line, the Tigers are nine for 10 in scoring chances with six touchdowns and three field goals.

The major problem this season has been the defense. The teams' defense, on average, is giving up 574 yards per game with 221.3 yards coming on the ground and 352.7 yards coming through the air. Teams have outscored the Tigers in the first quarter 43 to 16 and in the second quarter 49 to 14. Overall, Jackson State has been outscored 155 to 70. The team gives up an average of 51.7 points per game. It is hard to win games when teams are dropping 50 points per week on you.

The Tigers haven't gotten much of a pass rush with just three sacks, and on average, the team allows 29.7 first downs per game. The other teams are also converting 59 percent of third downs. JSU is plus-one in the turnover margin with two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

In the red zone, the JSU defense has really struggled by allowing teams to go 17 for 19 with every score being a touchdown. Teams are scoring 89.5 percent on the Tigers in the red zone with 12 rushing touchdowns and five passing touchdowns.

Until JSU fixes the defense, fans shouldn't expect a turnaround in wins. At home this week against Texas Southern University would be a good week to start.

More Weird Sports Terms

Catch a Crab: In rowing, after rowers remove their oars from the water, they're supposed to flip it so it's parallel to the water while they prepare for another stroke. If they don't remove it in time, the oar's blade acts as a brake, and the handle whips back toward the rower, which can eject him or her if it's violent enough.

Spoon: Slang term for a lacrosse stick.

Bonk: When a runner is out of energy, and each step seems harder than the last.

Icing: In football, a team calls a timeout right before the opposing kicker is set to attempt a field goal. In basketball, the team calls a timeout right before an opposing player is set to attempt a foul shot. It's used to psyche the kicker or shooter out, which can increase the odds that the player will miss.

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