Fresh off an emotional last-second win over Southern, Jackson State must now guard against a letdown. In particular, against a dangerous and hungry Texas Southern team.
Jackson State brings in the SWAC’s most potent offense, but they will face a Texas Southern team with just one league loss. The Texas Tigers are also coming off a bye week, giving them extra time to rev up the league’s stingiest defenders.
Ask Alabama State’s Reggie Barlow about that unit. His Hornets fell 21-7 to TSU on Oct. 2, managing just 149 yards of offense — and only 57 yards rushing. Alabama State quarterbacks were picked off a staggering four times.
“Their defensive front is outstanding,” said Barlow, as he prepares his own team for a nonconference game against Savannah State. “In most cases, you are going to have good pass rushers and you may have a good three-technique. But all four of their guys can dominate a game at any point.”
[Unforgettable SWAC win last Saturday for Jackson State showed promise for Southern, too.]
Texas Southern leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference in total defense, giving up just 238 yards a night. (To be filed under: Something’s Got To Give — Jackson State, meanwhile, arrives averaging 430 yards of total offense each game.)
TSU senior Dejuan Fulghum is No. 5 in the league with 45 tackles. Teammates Shomari Clemons and Marquis Jackson are also in the Top 20 for total stops. Curtis Thomas is tied for first in the conference with four interceptions. Jackson is No. 5 in tackles for a loss, and along with Jashaad Gaines boasts four sacks this season. Fulghum has three quarterback stops.
“With the press they are putting on the quarterback up front,” Barlow said, “it’s a challenge to play against a defensive front that is that good.”
Kickoff for Jackson State at Texas Southern is noon Saturday, while Alabama State plays host to Savannah State at 1 p.m.