SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 31, JACKSON STATE 10
ATLANTA, Ga. (Dec. 18) – In stunning turn of events in the 2021 Cricket Celebration Bowl, the favorite Jackson (Miss.) State Tigers went down to the South Carolina State Bulldogs, 31-10 at Mercedes Benz Stadium before a bowl record 48,653 fans.
Traditionally known for their great defensive units, South Carolina State held Jackson to Celebration Bowl lows in team rushing (19 yards) and total yards (194), and their defensive effort resulted in the largest victory margin (21 points).
The Tigers (11-2), champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), bolted out to a 7-0 first quarter lead on Shedeur Sanders’ seven-yard strike to Keith Corbin III, with 7:24 left in the stanza.
The Bulldogs, champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference would then catch fire, outscoring the Tigers, 31-3 over the final three periods, seizing control of the game for good in the second quarter with a 10-point flurry in the final minutes; on a Corey Fields six-yard strike to Shaquan Davis with 2:08 left, followed by a 26-yard field goal by Gayvn Zimmerman with eight seconds left in the half.
SCSU built on their 10-7 edge as QB Corey Fields tossed three more TD strikes in the second half, hitting Shaquan Davis with a pair of 16-yard passes, and 15-yarder to Richard Bailey.
The Tigers’ final points came in the final minute of the third on Bailey Raborn’s 36-yard field goal, with the third of the Fields-to-Davis scoring strikes coming with just under seven minutes left.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Bulldogs outgained Jackson, 268 to 194 in total yards, outpacing the Tigers, 102 to 19 on the ground….. The aerial attacks were hit and miss most of the dy, as the defenses dominated at times…. SCSU’s Fields tossed fouer scoring passes, finishing with 164 yards (12 of 31, one INT), while JSU’s freshman Sanders passed for 175 yards (16 of 36, 2 INTs)….. Shaquan Davis was the Game’s Offensive MVP with five catches for 95 yards and three (3) scores – a Celebration Bowl record. The Bulldogs’ Decobie Durant earned Defensive MVP honors.
RECORDS FELL SATURDAY as Celebration Bowl history was rewritten…. SCSU’s punter Dyson Roberts set four Bowl records: Longest Punt (74 yards), Most Punts (8), Most Punt Yardage (392) and Best Average (49.0).
CHAMPIONSHIP QUESTION: South Carolina State’s win would give them their fifth (5th) Black College National title all-time. The Bulldogs previous pennants came in 1976, 1977, 1988 and 2001.