Thomas Ashworth, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks have announced their 2021 spring football schedule. After a four game, nonconference season in fall 2020, the Gamecocks will play seven games against Ohio Valley Conference opponents, JSU athletics confirmed on Wednesday.
In a news release about the spring , OVC commissioner Beth DeBauche stated, “It is our sincere intention and desire to provide our student-athletes with an opportunity to play football this spring assuming the facts surrounding the pandemic support it. We are excited to have plans and a schedule in place for it helps to create a sense of certainty during these uncertain times.”
Every week of JSU football — with the exception of Easter Sunday — will be played on Sunday afternoons. The OVC season will start on Feb. 21 and will conclude on April 11. FCS Playoff Selections will take place on April 18 and the postseason will begin on April 24.
JSU Athletic Director Greg Seitz is ready for the spring season and is excited for the opportunity to play these OVC games.
“We’re excited the OVC was able to put together this plan to allow our student-athletes to compete for a conference championship with this spring schedule,” said Seitz. “With the football schedule being played on Sunday, it allows us and our fans to avoid as many conflicts as possible, since all of our 17 varsity sports could be competing at the same time.”
JSU’s schedule features three home games and four away games. The Gamecocks’ season will begin on Feb. 21 when they travel to Nashville, Tenn. to play Tennessee State. Then, JSU will play at home against Tennessee Tech on Feb. 28.
The league will take a week off during the OVC Basketball Championships, which are set to take place on the weekend of March 6 and March 7.
JSU will then travel to Martin, Tenn. to play against UT Martin on March 14. Following that game, the Gamecocks will have two home games in a row: Southeast Missouri on March 21 and Austin Peay on March 28. Finally, JSU will wrap up its 2021 spring schedule with two away games. The first will be played on April 3 in Charleston, Ill. against Eastern Illinois. Finally, the Gamecocks’ season will conclude on April 11 in Murray, Ky. when they play against Murray State.
After the April 18 playoff selection, a 16-team FCS Playoff bracket will be played over four consecutive weeks. The FCS Season will conclude with the Division I Football Championship Game, which is set to be played in Frisco, Texas in mid-May.
“Words can’t express how proud I am of all of our Gamecock student-athletes for how they have handled these unprecedented times and represented Jacksonville State so well,” said Seitz. “I’m glad the NCAA will allow them to compete for this championship without costing them a year of eligibility. It’s just the right thing to do.”