JSU Earns No. 1 Seed In FCS Playoffs

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

 

The Gamecocks are No. 1.
 
Jacksonville State received the No. 1 seed in the 2015 FCS Playoffs on Sunday morning, when the NCAA revealed its field on the FCS Selection Show on ESPNU.
 
With the top seed, the Gamecocks (10-1, 8-0 Ohio Valley Conference) received a first-round bye and will begin its quest for the National Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5 against the winner ofSaturday's Chattanooga and Fordham game in Chattanooga, Tenn.
 
The Gamecocks receive the Ohio Valley Conference's first No. 1 seed since the field expanded in 1997. Eastern Illinois was the No. 2 seed in 2013, and JSU was No. 3 last year.
 
Jax State secured its second-straight outright OVC crown on Saturday with a 42-20 win over Murray State. The Gamecocks are the only team in Division I (FBS or FCS) to post perfect conference records in each of the last two years, while head coach John Grass becomes the first coach in FCS history to post back-to-back perfect conference records in his first two seasons at an institution.
 
JSU brings a nine-game streak, the second-longest winning streak in the nation, into the FCS Playoffs and will make three-straight FCS playoff appearances for the first time in program history.

Jacksonville State head coach John Grass has been named a finalist for the STATS FCS Coach of the Year, the organization announced on Monday.
 
Grass, in his second year as a collegiate head coach, made NCAA history this season in becoming the first FCS coach to begin his career with a perfect 16-0 conference record in leading Jacksonville State to its second-straight OVC Championship. Jax State became just the third program in OVC history to complete back-to-back 8-0 seasons, joining Eastern Kentucky (1993 & 1994) and Murray State (1995 & 1996).
 
Grass' team started the season with a victory at No. 8 Chattanooga (the eventual Southern Conference champions) and followed that by becoming the first-ever FCS team to take a ranked FBS opponent to overtime in giving No. 6 ranked Auburn all it could handle before falling 27-20. Despite the loss the Gamecocks ascended to No. 1 in the STATS FCS Top 25 poll, the first-ever No. 1 ranking at any level of football in program history.
 
JSU was the first OVC team to be atop the FCS rankings since the 1999 season and has held that No. 1 ranking for 11-straight weeks entering the postseason. This year's OVC Championship is the fifth in program history and JSU will be making its sixth FCS Playoff berth, this time as the No. 1 overall national seed.
 
Jacksonville State is currently the only FCS team to rank in the Top 9 nationally in both total offense (4th at 503.0 yards/game) and total defense (5th at 277.1 yards/game allowed). The Gamecocks also rank in the Top 10 nationally in nine other categories including tackles-for-loss (third), fourth down conversion defense (third), fourth down conversion percentage (fourth), rushing defense (sixth), rushing offense (seventh), scoring defense (seventh), sacks (seventh), third down conversion defense (eighth) and scoring offense (ninth). 

Courtesy: JSU Sports Information (www.jsugamecocksports.com)

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