Jacksonville State 2015 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Ohio Valley


Back in week one, Jacksonville State picked up a great victory over a very good Chattanooga team. That win set the tone for the rest of the season and the Gamecocks have not looked back since. They did lose their next contest against Auburn, but by a very, very respectable score of 27-20. Despite those performances, perhaps Jacksonville State’s most impressive win this season came against Eastern Kentucky. EKU was supposed to be their toughest competition in the OVC, but JSU crushed the Colonels 34-0.

2015 Record: 10-1, 8-0
Coach: John Grass

Big Wins: 9/5 at Chattanooga (23-20), 10/31 Eastern Kentucky (34-0)
Bad Losses: 9/12 at Auburn (20-27)

Against EKU, Jacksonville State allowed just 175 total yards of offense. This team can absolutely dominate on the defensive end and they have proven it time and time again. Linebacker Dawson Wells has emerged as a big time playmaker. He has picked off three passes this season. Fellow linebacker Joel McCandless is a threat to get into the backfield. But most of the pass rush comes from defensive ends Darius Jackson and Chris Landrum. While Landrum rightfully attracts much of the attention from the opposing line, Jackson has not so quietly had a very productive season. Not only does this team not give up many yards, but they make plenty of big plays too. When the Gamecocks are winning the turnover battle, which they usually do, they are very tough to beat. DeBarriaus Miller, Rashod Byers and Jermaine Hough are all strong defensive backs who are not easily beat and they have all gotten in on the turnovers.

Jacksonville State does need to take advantage of their opportunities. In the win over Chattanooga, which was just a three point victory, JSU completed dominated. However, they had to make plays at the end of the game to win. In that contest they gained 411 yards of total offense to Chattanooga’s 196. With an even turnover margin, that game should not have ended 23-20. Jacksonville State is happy grinding away victories on the legs of running back Troymaine Pope. But they can also get yards from quarterback Eli Jenkins, both on the ground and through the air. Jenkins has been amazingly efficient this season and has thrown for 18 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions, while completing 62.2 percent of his pass attempts and adding 640 more yards on the ground. When Jacksonville State has needed him to make plays, he has done it. But now more pressure will be on Jenkins to keep the offense moving against some tougher defenses. He has help with Pope and a great weapon with wide receiver Josh Barge.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Troymaine Pope, RB, 1,092 yards
Passing: Eli Jenkins, QB, 2,185 yards
Receiving: Josh Barge, WR, 887 yards
Tackles: Dawson Wells, LB, 71
Sacks: Chris Landrum, DE, 6.0; Darius Jackson, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Dawson Wells, LB, 3

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 277.4 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 225.5 (47, 4)
Total Offense: 502.9 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 37.1 (10, 1)
Rushing Defense: 93.1 (6, 1)
Pass Defense: 171.9 (14, 1)
Total Defense: 265.0 (4, 1)
Scoring Defense: 15.9 (7, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (27, 2)
Sacks: 2.80 (15, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.30 (29, 3)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2014    Second Round    Lost to Sam Houston State
2013    First Round    Defeated Samford
2013    Second Round    Defeated McNeese State
2013    Quarterfinals    Lost to Eastern Washington
2010    Second Round    Lost to Wofford
2004    First Round     Lost to Furman
2003    First Round     Lost to Western Kentucky

*all team stats through 11/14


Playoff Central