Last Updated 7:35 PM, September 04, 2022

How Jackson State dominated Florida A&M 59-3 to win 2022 Orange Blossom Classic

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10:28 pm, September 4, 2022

🐅 Jackson State defeats Florida A&M 59-3


Jackson State defeated SWAC East foe Florida A&M in dominant fashion, winning 59-3.

The Tigers were in control of this game from the very start, led by quarterback Shedeur Sanders' near perfect game. Sanders completed his first 17 passes of the game, throwing three touchdowns in the process. He finished the first half 18-20 through the air for 170 yards and three touchdowns, finding nine different receivers.

When the Rattlers finally forced Sanders to throw an incompletion, it was reigining Buck Buchanan Award winner Isaiah Land applying pressure. The very next play Land notched his first sack of the season, taking down Sanders for a 10-yard loss. Sanders' second incompletion was from a drop.

In the first half, Jackson State jumped out to a 24-0 lead before Florida A&M finally got on the board with a 43-yard field goal before the end of the half. The three points were a glimpse of hope for the Rattlers as quarterback Jeremy Moussa struggled mightily to open his second start, going 6-15 passing (40%) for 50 yards, with 32 yards coming from one play in the first half. Moussa had no first-half help from his rushing attack which only gained nine yards on 15 attempts — a 1.6 yards per carry average.

The second half was much of the same as Jackson State continued its domination. 

Sanders threw two more touchdowns in the second half to set a new all-time Jackson State single-game passing touchdown record. He finished the game completing 29 of 33 passes — to 11 different wide receivers — for 323 yards and five touchdowns. He added another 17 yards on the ground as the Tiger offense remained balanced throughout the day, rushing for 139 yards on 35 carries.

Jackson State's defense continued its second-half terror, scoring two touchdowns of its own on an interception and fumble return, respectively. In total, the Tiger defense had two interceptions and two forced fumbles and recoveries.

It was a dominant effort in all three phases of the game as Jackson State's final score came from a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

On the other sideline, Florida A&M couldn't get much going offensively regardless of who was under center. Starting quarterback Jeremy Moussa was pulled for Rasean McKay in the second half, but the duo turned the ball over one and three times, respectively, and combined to complete less than 40 percent of their passes. The run game did little to help the quarterbacks out gaining only 34 yards for 1.21 yards per carry. The rushing attack has yet to find its footing after averaging 2.07 yards per carry a week ago.

Defensively, the Rattlers have now allowed 5 passing touchdowns in consecutive weeks to open the season and have gotten limited pressure on the quarterback with just two sacks.

Florida A&M's loss is its worst defeat to an HBCU in school history, surpassing the Rattlers' 59-7 home loss to Hampton in 2006. Head Coach Willie Simmons described the loss as "embarrassing" and as his "worst coaching job in his 18 years of [coaching]". The Rattlers are now 0-2 on the season.

Meanwhile, Jackson State picks up a key divisional conference win, moving to 1-0 with great momentum to carry into next week. In the win, Tigers were able to show off their prized freshman Travis Hunter, who showed shut down cornerback ability on defense, but didn't play any offense.

10:15 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Blocked punt TD | Jackson State 59, Florida A&M 3 | 4Q - 8:32

Jackson State blocked a Florida A&M punt and took it back into the endzone. The Tigers now lead the Rattlers by 56 points, an eight touchdown differential.

10:07 pm, September 4, 2022

Interception Tigers! 4Q - 11:19

Jackson State defensive back Tayvion Beasley intercepted quarterback Rasean McKay after tight end Jeremiah Pruitt dropped an out route.
10:02 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Scoop-and-score | Jackson State 52, Florida A&M 3 | 4Q - 11:23

Linebacker Aubrey Miller scooped up a fumble and ran it back 19 yards into the endzone for Jackson State's second defensive touchdown of the day. Quarterback Rasean McKay faced pressure and fumbled the ball — his second fumble of the day.

9:45 pm, September 4, 2022

One quarter to go: Jackson State 45, Florida A&M 3

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Jackson State leads Florida A&M 45-3 after three quarters of play. The Tigers have dominated this game, but Florida A&M will open the fourth quarter with the ball, facing 2nd-and-10 from its own 35 yard line.

9:37 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Tigers score again | Tigers 45, Rattlers 3 | 3Q - 2:02

Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders has set a new Jackson State record with his fifth touchdown pass of the day, putting the Tigers up 45-3. After receiving the ball after a turnover-on-downs at its own 11-yard line, Jackson State drove 89 yards for the score.

Shedeur Sanders did have an incompletion on this drive, only his third of the game. He's 28 of 31 for 311 passing yards and five touchdowns. He accounted for every yard on the drive.

9:17 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Pick-Six | Tigers 38, Rattlers 3 | 3Q - 9:18

Jackson State defensive back Ke'Vric Wiggins intercepted Florida A&M quarterback Jeremy Moussa and took the pass 35 yards into the endzone for a score.

Moussa had to pick up a low snap and make a quick throw to the far side of the field.  Then Wiggins did the rest.

9:11 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Jackson State finds paydirt | Tigers 31, Rattlers 3 | 3Q - 9:44


Jackson State picked up where it left off in the first half, opening the second half with another touchdown. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders near-perfect day continued, going 5-5 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown on the drive. Sanders connected with wide receiver Shane Hooks for the duo's second touchdown for the day. In total, Sanders has four passing touchdowns, tying a Jackson State record.

8:42 pm, September 4, 2022

Halftime update: Jackson State 24, Florida A&M 3


Jackson State leads Florida A&M 24-3 after one half of the Orange Blossom Classic.

The Tigers opened the by jumping out to a 24-0 lead, thanks to an elite passing performance from quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Sanders went 17-17 to start the game and will enter the second half 18-20 through the air for 170 yards and three touchdowns; he's found nine different receivers in the first half.

When the Rattlers finally forced Sanders to throw an incompletion, it was reigining Buck Buchanan Award winner Isaiah Land applying pressure. The very next play Land notched his first sack of the season, taking down Sanders for a 10-yard loss. Sanders' second incompletion was from a drop.

Offensively, Florida A&M has struggled. Quarterback Jeremy Moussa is 6-15 passing (40 percent) for 50 yards, with 32 yards coming from one play. The rushing attack has only gained nine yards on 15 attempts for a 1.6 yards per carry average. Florida A&M's offensive struggle resulted in four three-and-outs and a fumble on fourth-and-one after quarterback Rasean McKay subbed in for one play.

Jackson State's defense has four first-half sacks from four different players. The secondary has played phenomenal in the first half, highlighted by true freshman Travis Hunter. Hunter played almost exclusively on the boundary side of the field and was targeted three times, allowing zero catches while getting a pass breakup.

Jackson State will receive the opening second-half kickoff.

8:36 pm, September 4, 2022

The Rattlers are on the board! | Tigers 24, Rattlers 3 | 2Q - 0:58

Florida A&M kicker Jose Romo-Martinez has the Rattlers first points of the day, making a 43-yard field goal. The points end a drive that began at Florida A&M's own 25-yard line and was bolstered by a 32-yard completion from quarterback Jeremy Moussa to wide receiver Darian Oxendine and a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.
8:31 pm, September 4, 2022

Field Goal! | Tigers 24, Rattlers 0 | 2Q - 1:45

After starting off with great field position, Jackson State kicked a 36-yard field goal to make the score 24-0.  The Tigers drive saw a dropped pass, a holding penalty and a sack.
8:27 pm, September 4, 2022

Fumble! 2Q - 4:08

On 4th-and-1, Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons made a quarterback swap, subbing in Rasean McKay for Jeremy Moussa. On an RPO play, McKay pulled the ball to throw but was sacked, fumbling the ball. Jackson State's Julius Reynolds recovered the ball, returning it 28 yards to the Florida A&M 20-yard line.
8:06 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Touchdown Tigers | Tigers 21, Rattlers 0 |


Jackson State increased its lead to 21-0 after quarterback Shedeur Sanders found wide receiver Rico Powers for a 29-yard touchdown pass, the longest play of the day for the Tigers. Sanders' has put on a passing clinic in the first half, with the latest touchdown being third of the day as he's still yet to throw an incompletion (his one pass to not fall in a receiver's hands was negated due to a pass interference penalty).

7:54 pm, September 4, 2022

💥 Tigers open the quarter with a score | Tigers 14, Rattlers 0 | 2Q -11:22


Quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw his second touchdown of the day to put Jackson State up 14-0 early in the second quarter. This time, Sanders found wide receiver Dallas Daniels with a back-shoulder throw to the front pylon for an eight-yard score. Sanders is 14-14 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns, finding eight wideouts so far today.


7:36 pm, September 4, 2022

First quarter update: Jackson State 7, Florida A&M 0


After one quarter of play, Jackson State leads Florida A&M 7-0. Jackson State's defense has been dominant in the first quarter, forcing Florida A&M to two three-and-outs to open the game, thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty and an 11-yard sack. On Florida A&M's third possession, the Rattlers overcame a pass breakup from Tiger cornerback Travis Hunter that nearly led to an interception from safety Herman Smith III, who dropped the pass. The Rattlers were able to pick up two first downs on the drive, but were forced to punt after a sack from Nyles Gaddy.

Jackson State's offense has been led by quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who's been a perfect 10-10 through the air for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers have taken advantage of the quick passing game to slow down Florida A&M's pass rush that features 2021 Buck Buchanan Award winner Isaiah Land, playing in his first game this season.

Jackson State will open the second quarter with the ball its own 35-yard line, facing 2nd-and-3.