Deion Sanders leads Jackson St to SWAC title

Dec 3, 2022, 3:08 AM | Updated: 10:54 pm
Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in fro...

Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

              Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State defensive lineman Tru Thompson (94) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University head coach Eric Dooley surveys his players during warmups prior to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Jackson State, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) sprints past a Southern University defender with a 40-yard touchdown pass reception during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Karl Ligon (19) spins out of the grasp of Jackson State safety Cam'Ron Silmon-Craig (7) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) shouts as he scores on a four-yard touchdown run past Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Braelen Morgan (30) is tackled by Jackson State defensive back Delano Salgado (29) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State defensive lineman Justin Ragin (92) recovers a Southern University fumble during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State's Travis Hunter (12) holds on to a pass as Southern University defensive back Jordan Carter (7) reaches out in a tackle attempt during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) runs upfield after a pass reception between Southern University defensive back Rodney Johnson (26) and linebacker Jalan Campbell (56) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) drops back to pass during warmups prior to the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Southern University, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State defensive lineman Tru Thompson (94) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University head coach Eric Dooley surveys his players during warmups prior to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Jackson State, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) sprints past a Southern University defender with a 40-yard touchdown pass reception during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Karl Ligon (19) spins out of the grasp of Jackson State safety Cam'Ron Silmon-Craig (7) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) shouts as he scores on a four-yard touchdown run past Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Braelen Morgan (30) is tackled by Jackson State defensive back Delano Salgado (29) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State defensive lineman Justin Ragin (92) recovers a Southern University fumble during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State's Travis Hunter (12) holds on to a pass as Southern University defensive back Jordan Carter (7) reaches out in a tackle attempt during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) runs upfield after a pass reception between Southern University defensive back Rodney Johnson (26) and linebacker Jalan Campbell (56) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) drops back to pass during warmups prior to the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Southern University, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) lunges forward for a first down while in the grasp of Jackson State defensive lineman Tru Thompson (94) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University head coach Eric Dooley surveys his players during warmups prior to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Jackson State, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) sprints past a Southern University defender with a 40-yard touchdown pass reception during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Karl Ligon (19) spins out of the grasp of Jackson State safety Cam'Ron Silmon-Craig (7) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University quarterback Glendon McDaniel (12) shouts as he scores on a four-yard touchdown run past Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. (45) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Southern University running back Braelen Morgan (30) is tackled by Jackson State defensive back Delano Salgado (29) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders surveys his players during warmups prior to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Southern University, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State defensive lineman Justin Ragin (92) recovers a Southern University fumble during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State's Travis Hunter (12) holds on to a pass as Southern University defensive back Jordan Carter (7) reaches out in a tackle attempt during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks (5) runs upfield after a pass reception between Southern University defensive back Rodney Johnson (26) and linebacker Jalan Campbell (56) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) drops back to pass during warmups prior to the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Southern University, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Dallas Daniels (4) fights off a tackle attempt by Southern University defensive back Jordan Carter (7) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Dallas Daniels (4) runs through a tackle attempt by Southern University defensive back Jordan Carter (7) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State wide receiver Dallas Daniels (4) runs after a pass reception as Southern University defensive backs Jordan Carter (7) and Glenn Brown (22) close in during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Jackson State running back Sy'veon Wilkerson (36) fights off a tackle attempt by Southern University linebacker Philip Gibson-Perry (59) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Shedeur Sanders threw for four touchdowns and Jackson State routed Southern 43-24 on Saturday in the Southwest Athletic Conference championship, hours before Colorado hired father Deion Sanders away from the Tigers.

Colorado athletic director Rick George announced Saturday night that the school had hired Sanders as head coach after three seasons with the FCS program. Reports swirled before the game that Sanders would announce his departure after the game, following his acknowledgement earlier this week of an offer from the school and talks with other FBS programs about vacancies. Colorado’s board of regents called a special meeting for Sunday but hadn’t commented on any candidates taking over the Buffaloes until George’s announcement.

Neither Sanders nor JSU players spoke to reporters afterward. A SWAC spokesman said the team had proceeded to go to campus for a team meeting, during which the coach told his team he had accepted the job at Colorado.

Sanders told players he would coach the Tigers in the Celebration Bowl, the championship for historically Black college football programs. He added, “I’m going to finish what we started, we’re going to dominate and to that end and that conclusion, and we will move on.”

Sanders said he would meet with some of his players to dissuade them from entering the transfer portal “and die in the portal. I don’t want that to happen.”

Southern University coach Eric Dooley spoke about what “Coach Prime” has done for the SWAC after the game and how appreciative he was of Sanders’ efforts.

“I was able to shake his hand and hug Deion and tell him he had a good football team,” said Dooley.

JSU (12-0) quashed any questions about Sanders’ future being a distraction by completing the first unbeaten regular season in school history and claiming its second consecutive SWAC championship. The Tigers’ top-ranked defense set the tone by quickly pouncing on the Jaguars for three turnovers in eight plays in the first quarter.

Aubrey Miller Jr., the SWAC defensive player of the year, led the defense to an exceptional effort as he totaled one sack and two tackles for loss.

The JSU came in as the top-rated defense in the FCS, and it showed exactly why by forcing five turnovers, one of which was a fumble that junior defensive back Antonio Doyle Jr. returned to the 1.

Shedeur Sanders, the Hall of Fame coach’s son, and the Tigers easily converted takeaways into a 26-0 lead after 15 minutes, a run boosted by Sy’veon Wilkerson’s 1-yard TD run two plays after Herman Smith III’s 37-yard interception return. Two fumbles created chances for Sanders to hit Shane Hooks for TD passes of 14 and 40 yards and two-point conversions to Kevin Coleman Jr.

Sanders’ 14-yard TD pass to Coleman made it 33-7 at halftime, but Southern (7-5) didn’t quit and even got within 36-24 late in the third quarter on Glendon McDaniel’s 42-yard TD run.

Sanders, the SWAC’s offensive player of the year, completed 31 of 44 passes for 305 yards. Hooks caught five passes for 98 yards and Wilkerson rushed 15 times for 61 yards.

For their efforts, Sanders and Miller were awarded the offensive and defensive MVPs of the game.

McDaniel was 15 of 34 passing for 220 yards and a TD for Southern.

“I thought Glendon did some great things,” Dooley said.

The two teams slugged it out on the offensive end in terms of total yardage. Jackson State racked up 445 total yards to Southern’s 412.

The Tigers will face Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion North Carolina Central in the Celebration Bowl.

The Tigers’ victory improved Sanders to 27-5 as coach of the FCS program and came days after he was named SWAC coach of the year for the second consecutive season.

THE TAKEAWAY

Southern: The Jaguars mounted a strong second-half offensive effort behind Glendon McDaniel, but JSU’s initial onslaught on both sides of the ball was too much to handle.

Jackson State: The Tigers put together one of the most dominant seasons in school history with the SWAC’s top defense and offense. Both units proved why as the defense overwhelmed the Jaguars from the start, while Sanders took advantage of short fields to complete pinpoint throws from clean pockets.

UP NEXT

Jackson State faces NCCU in the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17 in Atlanta.

___

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Deion Sanders leads Jackson St to SWAC title