The Jackson State University football program has been under duress for the past few weeks. All due to a water crisis that has been failing the city of Jackson, Mississippi, for years. Head Coach Deion Sanders, also known as Coach Prime, stated that the Jackson State administration has assisted in placing football players on campus into off-campus hotels because of the situation.
With all that’s been going on, Jackson State still had to prepare for an important game on Sunday. A game against a scrappy Florida A&M team. Who just the week before gave the University of North Carolina all they could handle for three quarters.
It didn’t take long to realize how prepared the JSU Tigers were on Sunday. They dominated in all facets of the game. It’s the type of dominance Coach Prime has preached to his players constantly.
The Tigers would go on and defeat Florida A&M in the Orange Blossom Classic in a whop-sided win, 59-3.
The win could not have been better for the JSU Tigers. Especially for the city of Jackson, Mississippi. Coach Prime and his team hoped the game could bring some comfort to the city and help them get away from the problems at home, even if it was only for a few hours.
Deion Sanders aka Coach Prime hopes to provide an escape to families in Jackson, Miss., dealing with the Jackson Water Crisis, during Sunday’s game between Jackson State and Florida A&M in the HBCU Orange Blossom Classic in Miami. @DeionSanders #jxnwatercrisis pic.twitter.com/uPxIjHig7D — Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) September 2, 2022
Jackson State was hitting on all cylinders
Coach Prime’s son and quarterback for the JSU Tigers Shedeur Sanders, played a terrific game. The sophomore quarterback completed 29 of 33 passes for 323 yards. With a career-high five touchdown passes.
Last season in 2021-2022, Sanders, as a freshman, received the Jerry Rice Award. The award is given to the most outstanding freshman in FCS football. No other HBCU player has ever won the Jerry Rice award. He was also named SWAC Freshman of the Year, along with All-SWAC second team quarterback.
Sanders, during his freshman campaign threw for 3,231 yards with 30 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
Shedeur Sanders was LOCKED IN at Jackson State's season opener 🔒 29-for-33 323 passing yards 5 TDs pic.twitter.com/Z0HiZELUE1 — Overtime (@overtime) September 4, 2022
The defense and special teams were also a big part of the Tigers win. They accounted for three touchdowns. In the onslaught, linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. recovered a bad snap from the Florida A&M center and returned it for a touchdown. Defensive back Ke’vric Wiggins Jr. returned a pick six, and Herman Smith, the safety, blocked a punt for another score.
From football back to reality
Football has the power to draw athletes into an optimistic escape from the real world instead of just coping with the stresses of everyday life.
In Coach Prime and Jackson State’s case, after a dominant win, reality kicks back in, and they still do not have water. And because of that, Jackson State has to acquire hotel rooms for their players, feed them, and wash their clothes. It will cost Jackson State an estimated $15,000 a night. And all these things need to happen before their next game next week against Tennessee State on the road.
Coach Prime understands the predicament he and Jackson State face. But his unwavering faith in God gives him the strength to fight an uphill battle and win.