A step back in Week 2

MEMPHIS — Jackson State football entered the Southern Heritage Classic feeling good after a Juggernaut performance in its season opener as of a week ago.

But the Tigers met resistance against Tennessee State at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium on Saturday, displaying a sputtering offense and dominant defense in the 16-3 victory.

Here’s how we graded JSU (2-0) and Coach Deion Sanders in what’s expected to be their final appearance against TSU (0-2) in the Southern Heritage Classic:

Offense: C-

Jackson State did not look sharp on offense. Sophomore quarterback Shedeur Sanders looked sporadic as he went through his progressions, and his receivers struggled to get open.

Jackson State's Shedeur Sanders (23) throws the ball during the Southern Heritage Classic between Jackson State and Tennessee State on Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Once Tennessee State started taking away the screen and slant passes, things were different. JSU was not the more physical team in the first half, as Tennessee State forced two JSU fumbles, including one on Santee Marshall that negated a touchdown.

Sanders was pressured throughout, once taking a nasty hit in the first half from TSU’s Tadarrius Patterson, who was ejected for targeting.

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