JSU Announces 2015 Football Schedule
The reigning Ohio Valley Conference Champion Gamecocks, who finished the 2014 season ranked No. 9 in both polls, will open the season at Chattanooga on Sept. 5 before taking on Auburn for the first time a week later on Sept. 12. JSU will conclude its non-conference schedule and open its home schedule on Sept. 19against Furman at 1 p.m.
The season opener with the Mocs will be the second-straight trip to Chattanooga for JSU, who earned a 26-23 overtime win onSept. 6 of last season. It will be the 29th meeting between the two schools in a series that has seen JSU win seven of the last nine. It will be the first time the Gamecocks have opened with UTC since 1980 and could pit two top 10 teams against each other after UTC finished No. 8 in both 2014 polls.
Week two will be an historic one for the Gamecocks with their trip to the Plains to face Auburn for the first time. It will be their seventh game against a member of the SEC but the first against one of the state of Alabama's two SEC programs.
The home opener against the Paladins on Sept. 19 will also be Band Day and a Red Out at Burgess-Snow Field. JSU will welcome Furman to Jacksonville for the second time, with the first a 37-35 thriller in the 2005 season opener that was won by the Paladins on the game's the final play.
The defending champs will open OVC play at UT Martin on Sept. 26 before returning home to face Tennessee State for Preview Day on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. An open date follows on Oct. 10 and then road games at Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay await before JSU finishes with three of its final four games at home.
Eastern Kentucky visits Jacksonville on Oct. 31 for Homecoming. The Halloween game will kickoff at 1 p.m. and will also be Family Day at JSU. The Colonels finished the 2014 season ranked No. 21 in both polls last season.
Jax State's final road game will be at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 7before finishing the schedule with back-to-back home games against Southeast Missouri and Murray State. SEMO visits onNov. 14 at 1 p.m., which will also be JSU's Athletic Hall of Fame Weekend. The season finale against Murray State on Nov. 21 will also kickoff at 1 p.m. and will be the Marching Southerners' annual reunion in addition to Senior Day.
Under first-year head coach and OVC Coach of the Year John Grass, who took over after serving as coordinator of the Gamecocks' record-breaking offense in 2013, JSU continued to post big numbers in 2014. Its 510.8 yards of total offense per game demolished the previous school record of 442.6 yards per game set in 2004.
The Gamecocks amassed 6,129 total yards on the season, fourth-most in FCS and second-most in school history behind the 2013 team. A program that hadn't had a 5,000-yard season in school history before 2013, the Gamecocks have now posted back-to-back seasons with more than 6,000 yards.
Led by a trio of running backs in senior DaMarcus James and juniors Troymaine Pope and Miles Jones and quarterback Eli Jenkins, the Gamecocks ranked fourth nationally and set a school record with 285.3 rushing yards per game and finished fourth in the nation in total offense.
James was second in the OVC with 104.6 rushing yards per game and 20 rushing touchdowns to lead an OVC-record 18 all-conference selections. Junior defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year and offensive lineman Justin Lea was tabbed OVC Freshman of the Year in that group. JSU had eight first-team selections to the All-OVC squad. Sigler, senior center Max Holcombe and junior cornerbackJermaine Hough each earned All-America honors at the conclusion of the season.
2015 Jacksonville State Football Schedule
Sept. 5 - at Chattanooga, TBA
Sept. 12 - at Auburn, TBA
Sept. 19 - FURMAN (Band Day/Red Out), 1 p.m.
Sept. 26 - *at UT Martin, TBA
Oct. 3 - *TENNESSEE STATE (Preview Day), 1 p.m.
Oct. 10 - OPEN
Oct. 17 - *at Tennessee Tech, TBA
Oct. 24 - *at Austin Peay, TBA
Oct. 31 - *EASTERN KENTUCKY (Homecoming/Family Day), 1 p.m.
Nov. 7 - *at Eastern Illinois, TBA
Nov. 14 - *SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (Hall of Fame), 1 p.m.
Nov. 21 - *MURRAY STATE (Southerners Reunion), 1 p.m.
All Times Central - HOME GAMES BOLD - *denotes OVC Game
Courtesy: JSU Sports Information