Turnovers prove costly in Gamecocks season opener

Media Day 2019

Baylee Morris, Sports Correspondent

After a failed hype video release on Wednesday, August 28, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks were being watched closely during their season opener in Hammond, La. on August 29. 

JSU entered the Strawberry Stadium ranked No. 6 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) preseason ranking, and they looked to start the season off with a bang. Unfortunately, some turnovers proved costly and the Gamecocks went home with a 14-35 loss.

The majority of fans were looking to JSU junior quarterback, Zerrick Cooper, to lead the Gamecocks to victory. He had an impressive night overall and  managed to shatter a previous school record with his completion of 40-of-52 single game throws, compared to the previous record of 32 completed throws. 

Although he had a great night, turnovers on two of his passing attempts were picked by Southeastern Louisiana. 

Along with Cooper’s impressive number of completions, he was sacked six times and had to scramble more than what would be preferred. Despite what JSU Head Football Coach John Grass described as an offensive line that is “young in spots,” the Gamecock offense did what they could.

Even though the Gamecocks came up short, wide receiver Josh Pearson tied fourth for all time touchdown receptions, with his eighteenth reception. Pearson looks to be off to a great start for the Gamecocks. 

The Southeastern Louisiana Lions looked impressive in their win against the Gamecocks.When it comes to overall yards, the Lions had 384 to JSU’s 481. 

Where the stats really matter though is in the penalty and turnover boxes. In penalties, the Lions only had four with a combined 35 yards of total penalty yardages. Meanwhile, JSU stacked 10 penalties with 83 total penalty yardages. 

In the turnover box, the Lions were able to snag two picks, one of which was a “pick six.” The pick six came in the third quarter from Lion sophomore Ferlando Jordan,  when he ran the ball in on a 65-yard interception. 

The Lions Head Coach Frank Scelfo made a statement about his team, and said that both teams could work harder throughout the whole year. 

“We focused on team success over individual glory,” saif Scelfo. 

The Lions look to continue their success when they travel to Oxford, Miss.to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in two weeks. 

The Gamecocks are now looking to bounce back from their second back-to-back season opener loss when they take on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at home. The Gamecocks will kick-off at 6 p.m. against the Mocs at Burgess-Snow Field.

Photo courtesy of Grace Cockrell/JSU

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