The Jacksonville State Gamecocks fought and clawed their way to the National Championship, only to fall in a lopsided 37-10 loss to perennial powerhouse North Dakota State. Carson Wentz, this year’s number 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had a field day accounting for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns.
While NDSU lost their stud signal caller, they still retain a fierce defense led by Nick DeLuca and Greg Menard. A rematch would still be no walk in the park, but Jacksonville State has a very real chance to usurp the Title this year.
The Gamecocks rely heavily on pounding the rock. Which fits perfectly with the personnel that Head Coach John Grass has assembled. The Offensive Line led by AFCA All-American Center, Casey Dunn, does a great job mitigating the pass rush and paving holes in the run game. They have a stable of great Runningbacks led by Jojo Wynn and Roc Thomas. Both Wynn and Thomas are FBS transfers, from Arkansas and Auburn respectively. Thomas, transferred this off-season to rejoin his old High School Coach, Grass.
There is also the multi-faceted, dangerous Eli Jenkins. He returns for a Senior season, after being named the top FCS Quarterback by The FCS ADA. Jenkins passed for 2,484 yards last year and rushed for 1,030 more. Also returning, is Wide Receiver Josh Barge, who has racked up 2,949 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his career. Our very own tyrantscouting.com released it’s FCS All-Americans list for the pre-season. Dunn is listed on the First Team. While, Jenkins and Barge were both on the Second Team.
It’s a very long road back to the Championship, and there’s a very real chance that NDSU could be there again. This could be the year for Jacksonville State, they may have just enough fire power to outduel opponents on the way. But, barring anything catastrophic, expect the Gamecocks to make a deep Playoff run.