Thanks to a 77-yard interception return by true freshman Albert Havili, third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Eastern wins 35-24 in FCS quarterfinals over 20th-ranked Jacksonville State
Try as they might, the offense couldn’t give the Eagles a two-score lead in the second half. But the defense did.
With true freshman Albert Havili providing the decisive blow with a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown, third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Eastern Washington University defeated Jacksonville State 35-24 Saturday (Dec. 14) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
The Eagles rolled up 545 yards of offense and gave up 528 against the Gamecocks from the Ohio Valley Conference. However, Eastern’s defense was dominating in the second half for the second-straight week -- EWU has not given up a second-half touchdown while out-scoring opponents 41-6 after intermission in those two playoff victories.
“I want to congratulate our players,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “Every game, especially in December, is going to have a different feel to it. We talk about that a lot in team meetings. There might be games that are smooth and rhythmic. There might be other games that are defensive battles. We consistently are able to make adjustments and find ways to win in whatever ball game it is. To do that is tougher than you might think.”
The victory advances EWU to the semifinals against Towson, and will host the Tigers next Saturday (Dec. 21) at 11 a.m. Pacific time at Roos Field in a game televised by ESPNU. It is EWU’s second-straight year of advancing to the “Final Four,” and third in the last four years for the 2010 NCAA champions.
Towson upset second-seeded and No. 2 ranked Eastern Illinois 49-39 on Friday night. The seventh-seeded and fifth-ranked Tigers were led by Walter Payton Award finalist Terrance West, who rushed for a FCS playoff record 354 yards with five touchdowns. The Tigers are now 12-2 and finished 6-2 in the Colonial Conference. It will be EWU’s first-ever meeting with Towson, and EWU is 2-0 against the Colonial.
Information on tickets for the game at “The Inferno” – where EWU is 24-3 all-time – is available at: http://goeags.com/ticket/13playoffs. The game will be broadcast live on internet-based ESPN3 and ESPN Gameplan, and fans may also listen live regionally on 700-AM ESPN and via the web at www.700espn.com.
The semifinal winners advance to the NCAA Division I Championship Game on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. Pacific time at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
“I am really proud of our guys to keep fighting,” said Baldwin, whose team knocked off South Dakota State 41-17 last week in Cheney. “We found different ways to win this game than we did a week ago. Who knows what kind of game we will be in next week, but we know it will be against a very good opponent. We are happy to get one more shot at home with next week’s ball game.”
Eastern enjoyed another offensive explosion in the win over JSU, with the Eagles setting Big Sky Conference records for single season scoring (561) and passing offense (4,853), with Walter Payton Award finalist Vernon Adams breaking the league record for passing yards (4,853).
The Eagles only gave up just two sacks against a team that featured the sixth-best pass defense in FCS and ranked fourth in quarterback sacks with a total of 50. The Eagles average more than 500 yards of total offense per game with the nation’s fourth-best passing attack.
Eastern is now 12-2 and owns a 10-game winning streak, having not lost since Sept. 28. Jacksonville State ended its season at 11-4.
Adams finished 18-of-29 for 324 yards and had his 52nd and 53rd TD passes for the season, which are now tied for the third-most in FCS history.
Senior Ashton Clark had a career-high 181 yards receiving on 11 catches, which equal the 12th-most in school history. Freshman redshirt Cooper Kupp added four catches for 99 yards, as both he and Clark caught touchdown passes from Adams.
Kupp now has 21 TD catches to rank fourth in FCS history, and owns sole possession of the 45-year-old Big Sky record he tied a week ago (20, Ed Bell, Idaho State, 1969). He has now had a touchdown reception in all 14 of the games he has played in his EWU career, having broken the FCS record of 11 consecutive games.
Running back Quincy Forte, who had 202 yards in EWU’s second-round win over South Dakota State, had 190 on 24 carries with a pair of touchdowns versus JSU.
Linebacker Ronnie Hamlin, who injured his shoulder in the first half and wasn’t expected back, started the second half and finished with the second-most tackles in his career with 15. With 16 performances in his career with at least 10 tackles, he now has 350 tackles in his career to move into fourth in school history, and his 129 tackles this season is currently ninth.
Senior cornerback T.J. Lee III added 12 tackles, broke-up a pass and had a quarterback hurry. Linebacker Cody McCarthy was the third Eagle in double figure tackles with 11.
The first half resembled a track meet with the two teams combining for 649 yards of offense. Eastern had 337 yards on just 29 plays, but two turnovers in the JSU red zone cost the Eagles dearly. Jacksonville State had 312 yards on 50 plays.
The Gamecocks were 8-of-11 on third down, while the Eagles were so good on first and second down that they had just one third down conversion attempt, and they converted it.
Eastern scored first on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Adams to Kupp, but the Gamecocks countered with a pair of TDs to take a 14-7 lead early in the first half. Eastern tied the game at 14 on a 3-yard run by Forte to cap a six-play, 76-yard drive that took just 1:45.
After JSU scored again, Clark gathered in a 41-yard TD pass from Adams on a seven-play, 77-yard drive. The game was tied at 21 at intermission.
Eastern then scored the first time it had the ball in the second half to take a 28-21 lead, using just 2:58 and eight plays to drive 75 yards.
Eastern’s defense held Jacksonville State to field goal in the quarter, but the offense had an interception and gave the ball away on downs on opportunities to turn make it a two-score lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Eastern was stopped again on fourth down, and the Gamecocks turned it into a drive to the EWU 27. But on the next play, true freshman linebacker Albert Havili intercepted a pass and returned it 77 yards for an EWU touchdown and 35-24 lead with 10:40 to play. It was the 10th-longest return in school history, equaling the 77-yarder Hamlin had earlier this season against North Dakota.
Eastern kept Jacksonville State from scoring in its last two possessions, one on downs and one on an interception by senior Bo Schuetzle.
EWU-Towson FCS Playoff Ticket Information . . .
EWU will host Towson on Saturday (Dec. 21) at 11:05 a.m. Pacific time at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. Tickets for the general public will go on sale starting Monday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. Links and information are available at http://goeags.com/ticket/13playoffs. They may be purchased through TicketsWest outlets, via www.ticketswest.com and 1-800-325-SEAT. Prices range from $30 for premium seating to $20 for end zone and east side seating.
Free tickets for Eastern students will be available for pickup at the EWU Bookstore Customer Service Desk starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. In order to claim a student ticket, students must present a valid EWU student identification card. The limit is one ticket per ID card and the owner of the ID card is the only person allowed to pick-up the ticket.
More on the Eagles and this week’s game may be found at: http://www.goeags.com/sports/m-footbl/index
EWU NOTES vs. JACKSONVILLE STATE 12/14/13
So far, EWU has out-scored opponents 41-6 in the second half in two playoff games.
EWU is now 11-0 when leading (9-0) or tied (2-0) at halftime. The Eagles are 12-0 when leading (11-0) or tied (1-0) after three quarters.
Ronnie Hamlin, who injured his shoulder in the first half and wasn’t expected back, started the second half and finished with the second-most tackles in his career with 15. He now has 16 performances in his career with at least 10 tackles. He now has 350 tackles in his career to move into fourth in school history, and his 129 tackles this season is currently ninth.
Vernon Adams Total Offense (currently 5,140) . . . Adams has moved into third in FCS history, moving past Jimmy Garoppolo (5,112 yards this year) and Bruce Eugene from Grambling (5,018 in 2002). Ranking No. 2 is Taylor Heinicke from Old Dominion (5,546 in 2012) and the record is held by Steve McNair from Alcorn (5,799 in 1994). Adams previously broke the Big Sky record of 4,400 set by Cameron Higgins of Weber State in 2008 and the school record of 4,224 yards set by Erik Meyer in 2005.
Vernon Adams Passing Yards (currently 4,600) . . . Adams broke the Big Sky Conference record of 4,477 (Cameron Higgins, Weber State, 2008). Adams ranks second this season in FCS behind the 5,050 by Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois. In eclipsing the 4,000-yard mark for just the 24th time in FCS history, Adams broke the previous school record of 4,009 set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2011.
With a career-high 181 receiving yards, Ashton Clark had his fourth 100-yard game of his career, and first since North Dakota on 10/12/13. His 11 receptions tied his career high set last year versus Southern Utah, which ranks 12th in school history.
ASHTON CLARK Top Receiving Performances (4 with 100+)
11 receptions, 181 yards, 1 TD - Jacksonville State - 12/14/13
9 receptions, 155 yards (#39), 1 TD – Oregon State – 8/31/13
7 receptions, 116 yards, 0 TD – North Dakota – 11/23/13
6 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD – Toledo – 9/14/13
11 receptions (#12 in EWU history), 89 yards, 1 TD – So. Utah – 10/27/12
Quincy Forte Rushing Yards (1,131 currently) . . . Forte is the 16th player to have a 1,000-yard season in school history. He gives EWU a 1,000-yard rusher in 12 of the last 19 seasons (1995-2013), and the first since Taiwan Jones had 1,742 in 2010.
Team Scoring (561) . . . Eastern broke the Big Sky record of 537 set by Montana in 2009. Eastern previously broke the school record of 488 set in 2004.
Vernon Adams TD Passes (53) . . . His 53 touchdowns are third all-time in FCS, tied with Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, who ended his 2013 season with 53. The record of 56 shared by Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley 1984) and Bruce Eugene (Grambling 2005). Adams broke the Big Sky single season record of 42 TD passes set by Brian Ah Yat of Montana in 1996 and the school record of 37 set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2010.
Cooper Kupp Receiving Touchdowns (21) . . . His 21 TD catches now rank are tied for fourth in FCS history, (21, John Matthews, San Diego 2008), two from third (23, Rob Giancola, Valparaiso, 2003) and three from second (24, David Ball, New Hampshire, 2005). The record is 27 set by Jerry Rice of Mississippi Valley in 1984. He has now broken the 45-year-old Big Sky record (20, Ed Bell, Idaho State, 1969), and previously broke the school record (19 shared by Nicholas Edwards, 2011, and Eric Kimble, 2004) and broke the FCS record for most touchdowns by a freshman (19, Randy Moss, Marshall, 1996). With a touchdown reception in all 14 of the games he has played in his EWU career, hebroke the record of 11 consecutive games with a TD catch previously held by Randy Moss from Marshall in 1996 and Cal Poly’s Ramses Barden in 2008 (EWU’s Brandon Kaufman is incorrectly listed in the NCAA record book).
Team Passing (currently 4,853) . . . With 324 passing yards, EWU broke the previous Big Sky record of 4,540 set by Weber State in 2008. Eastern previously broke the school record of 4,469 yards set in 2012.
Eastern Washington Post-Game Quotes
Opening Statement: “First, I want to
congratulate Jacksonville State on an amazing season. This is a
team that proved they are pretty battle tested. They went and beat
a very good McNeese team on the road and then traveled up here. It
was a battle. That game was going to come down to the wire one way
or the other. We were battling back and forth so I give credit to
that ball club and coaching staff. Secondly, I want to congratulate
our players. Every game, especially in December, is going to have a
different feel to it. We talk about that a lot in team meetings.
There might be games that are smooth and rhythmic. There might be
other games that are defensive battles. We consistently are able to
make adjustments and find ways to win in whatever ball game it is.
To do that is tougher than you might think. I am really proud of
our guys to keep fighting. We found different ways to win this game
than we did a week ago. Who knows what kind of game we will be in
next week, but we know it will be against a very good opponent. We
are happy to get one more shot at home with next week’s ball
On Defense: “We got a rhythm going in the second half (on defense), but we missed a few things in the second half. The defense did a great job. It is hard for me (to talk about plays) not going back and watching film. When you get in the playoffs this time of year and you are facing one of the best eight teams in the country, sometimes games are going to have that choppy feel, and they are not going to be perfect. You just have to find ways to win. I was proud of our guys for that. It is nice that we’ll have plenty of stuff we can come back, coach and correct even after a win going to the final four. That is always the nice thing as a coach. We can come back, address things and in my opinion play better football in certain aspects next week. The bottom line is you are doing everything you can to win so you get to a point where you are in this position. I am proud of our players for that.”
On 3 Final Fours: “That says a lot (about our program). It is hard to do, and I am proud of everyone that is a part of it. It expands well beyond the program itself. It expands into President Arevalo, our administration, our athletic director Bill Chaves, the community and the support we are getting. We feed off that. That is a big reason we have had so much success on the red turf because we have the feeling of home field advantage. There are a lot of factors that go into getting to this point. Ultimately, I give so much credit to the assistant coaches I have. They are in place working hard every day. Finally, (I give credit to) those players. They are leaders. They are the guys out there on the field. There are players, both juniors and seniors, who have been a part of most or all of our final fours. That type of leadership goes further and it is not only that you more talented. To do something like that consistently you have to have a certain mindset, a certain attitude and a certain mentality. We have that in our locker-room with our guys, and it is exciting. Right now we are staying in our mindset with this week.”
On Quarterback Change: “I think it changed (the momentum). There is no question about that. Eli definitely is an athlete that presented some problems (for us). I saw it on film. He is a freshman that consistently kept getting better as the year went along, and he had a lot of ability. It definitely changes certain things that you either can or can’t do. The other quarterback was still a player that has played a lot of football and had done well. They had won games with both of them. There was definitely a difference. He was tough to defend. The whole game might have been different. It might have been different in terms of how we would have called things on offense. You just don’t know what type of game you would have gotten into.”
On Change on Defense: “I think there are certain aspects when you are facing a guy that you think is going to throw the ball primarily and maybe not run as much. You can do things differently. There were differences last year when people faced Padron versus when they faced Vernon. We have seen that from our side of things. They both had their strengths. There are definitely aspects of defense that allow you to do different things when that change occurred.”
On Havili: “As you can see, he is bigger than all our junior and senior linebackers already. He already physically had it. He walked on campus and was physically ready to play. He still is working every day on the mental part. That takes time as a true freshman. When you saw him at his size be able to run like he can. I know he said he got gassed pretty easy but he can run. Not just for a big guy, but for a linebacker let alone adding the fact of how much weight he is carrying and how much thump he can bring. We thought he was the most ready. The other two freshmen that came here were right there too, but they are redshirting instead. We knew we were going to be playing one or two linebackers. We settled on one when we figured out where we were (as a team). Albert was definitely the most physically ready in terms of his size.”
On Interception: “It was huge. I don’t get caught up on what would of. You just never know. You would be calling plays different. You are doing things different depending on if they go down. We have been in so many different ball games whether we are coming from behind in the fourth and getting the lead. At that point, there is no question. Sometimes you are in a game where you only have one or two first downs. It was very similar to Montana State for us in 2012. In 2012, we were struggling at times offensively. We found a play on special teams. We found a play on defense with Tonani on a pick. It is just the nature of the way our guys think and the way our guys believe on the sideline. We know we are going to be in different types of ball games and it will not exactly go as planned. You have to be ready to step up when your moment is called, adjust to it and find a way to either win 17-16 or 45-4. It doesn’t really matter. Football is a long year and you are going to be in all those different types of games. I am proud of Albert in that situation because he was part of the defense that found a way to hold a very good opponent to three points in the second half and score on defense. That was major and that changed it.”
On Offensive Line: “I thought the offensive line played really well. I think in the back-to-back weeks probably the worst half in the playoffs has been the first half of South Dakota State. We struggled a little bit there and made adjustments and played great in the second half. I think they carried it over to this week. I think that the offensive line did a great job in terms of protections. I thought the running backs added to that piece too. Vernon did a good job getting into the right protections although I don’t think there were many times that he had to check protections. On a running standpoint, we were able to lean on that too. I think we get thought of as pass first and pass happy, but really we have been balanced all year at 50-50. I love being balanced. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have that game where you are 2-1 one side or the other doing what it takes to win. Those big boys up front have worked on it and we have stressed all the way back to February. It didn’t just happen this week. It was back in February, spring ball and fall camp. We made a concerted effort to be better at running the ball if we truly want to have a chance at playing 15 to 16 ball games, which is our mindset.”
On Quincy: “He has a little bit of everything in him. That is not taking anything away from guys like Mario, Jabari, Bronson and guys who have run for us well -- not just this year, but also in past years. Quincy is probably the biggest threat of a home run with some power. He has a little bit more strength than you might think for a smaller guy. At the same time, I will be the first to say that any one of those guys I mentioned could get some of those carries and end up in the same spot. We are blessed to have a nice group of running backs by committee. I think that has helped us (this year). Quincy came into last week with only about 120 carries on the year. A lot of times your starting running back is not sitting at 120 carries. He hasn’t been injured. We have been able to do that throughout the course of the year with Mario, Jabari and Bronson. When it is all said and done you are fresh at the end of the year with all your backs. That is the big picture plan we have had.”
On Interception: “Honestly, I didn’t know what happened until I crossed the line. Pre-snap, I looked at the quarterback’s eyes, and he looked right at the No. 2 receiver so I knew something quick was coming. I just read it.”
On Effect of Pick: “Anything could have happened, but it set a tone for the offense. I could tell the team was pumped.”
On First Quarterback: “He did (surprise me with his speed). The coaches reminded us and said he was shifty and fast.”
On Differences in Quarterbacks: “We knew that No. 7 was mainly the runner and No. 11 was the pocket passer. We knew what our drops would be and what to look for.”
On Quarterback Change: “Our team was more hyped. We could tell that they were thinking this game was over. It was an attitude.”
On Wide Receiver Group: “That is something we really pride ourselves on -- everybody just being ready. You never know who is going to have that big game. When that opportunity comes we definitely take advantage of it. We want to make it hard for people to cover us. We want to make it feel like they have to watch all four of us at all times no matter the receiver who is out there. I think that is something we really work for.”
On Dropped Punt Return: “After I dropped it, once the first guy went by to tackle me, I got past him. One of their guys dove for it a little bit sooner than I did. He kind of had it in his hands at the start, but as soon as I dove to the ground I grabbed it away -- luckily.”
Turnovers in the Red Zone: “They were something uncharacteristic for us. We knew that there were two turnovers that we had and I think they were both inside the 5-yard line. We felt good about moving the ball and we knew we were moving the ball on them. We just had to finish those two. That definitely gave us a confidence to know that if we finished our drives off we could get some scores.”
On Health: “I just try to play through
it. I just limp or whatever between the plays, but I don’t
really think about it much as long as I can still run during the
Jacksonville State Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Bill Clark
“Give Eastern Washington credit for a great game. My hat is off to them and best wishes for them next week. It was obviously a great game from a great team and we were well-taken care of while we were here. It’s a statement for our team to be come in last January and for them to buy in and believe what we were telling them. I think it was so apparent tonight just how hard they fight and how much they believe. It felt like every time you turned around there was another offensive guy coming off the field with an injury, but that is part of the game. Defensively, we started playing a lot better in the second half, and we had our chances. It was just a great first half from our offense, and defensively, give their offense credit -- we could hardly slow them down. We made some good plays in the red zone, and then we started playing a little better on defense. We had that big stop, then we were driving, then of course the pick. It really hurt -- I guess that was pretty obvious to everybody. But give them credit, their defense made a great play against us, and their offense was hard to contain all night. I’m just super proud of my guys and what they’ve done for us to get here and how well they’ve played in the playoffs. I’m really proud of my team.”
On effect of Eli’s injury on the game:
“I think if you take anybody’s starting quarterback, they’re going to have some problems -- that’s just the nature of the business. Especially if you have a guy that’s mobile, you’re taking that risk. That’s always the worry when any quarterback runs. I mean it started when we had a left tackle go down, we only bring eight linemen, and so we have to move our guard to tackle. And then DaMarcus [James] gets an injury, and then Eli. But Eli was probably the one that hurt us the most. He was really playing excellent -- this was probably his best night of the season. That doesn’t mean that all those things wouldn’t have happened in the second half, but we were sure rolling in the first when he got hurt.”
On how prepared the team was for the change:
“The way we rep it in practice, they [Eli and Max] get almost equal reps -- probably 60/40. But Max gets a ton of reps because we’re an up-tempo team. He started for us earlier in the year. But you build a package around your starter, and as different as those two guys are, the packages have to be pretty different. I don’t want to knock Max at all, it’s just that Eli was playing great—he’s played great since Southeast Missouri—and that was pretty evident tonight.”
On EWU’s interception returned for a TD:
“It was an option where we can throw the fade, and he has two choices there. He came back to the guy underneath, and we say that if you throw late to the middle bad things happen, and that’s what happened. But for Eli to come in off the bench cold like he did, he played really well. But there we were, within a touchdown and we had a chance to score and take the lead, so that was a big blow.”
On DaMarcus James’ injury:
“It was just a deep thigh bruise, but it was one of those where he couldn’t walk. When it rains it pours.”
On Max’s readiness to play:
“He was really well. At Samford we might have gone with Kyle [West], but last week for sure he was ready. But Eli was just the guy. He had become the starter, and I don’t think there were any doubts. We built it around him and it was working.
On the reverse play for the TD:
“We felt like we had to have the touchdown, and it was a great situation to use it. We have multiple two-point plays, and we work two-point plays every day. You hope it works, as much time we put into it.”
On dealing with EWU’s high-scoring offense:
“I was really worried about it. They average forty-something points per game—they’re a great offense. I was proud to see our defense make those changes, and then that big fourth down stop. Their coach made that gutsy call, but that’s what happens on fourth down. I don’t know if we had enough to play next week, but it sure would have been fun to see what would have happened.”
On red zone takeaways:
“They were huge. That’s finding a way to make a play against a great offense. That’s what we talk about all the time. You have to give them credit offensively. We knew they had a great offense, we knew they were going to score. I was really proud of us in the second half—I think we got our personnel where they needed to be. But they had answers for a lot of different things, so give them credit.”
On things done differently after Eli’s injury:
“Max’s style isn’t to run the ball, so you lose that quarterback run game. We became a running back and passing team—that’s who we are with Max. It’s just a whole different mindset calling plays.”
QB #7 Eli Jenkins
On play when injured:
“I really don’t remember too much. I think I twisted it when I was getting up because the defender was trying to take the ball and I was trying to hold on to it. I just twisted my left knee.”
On offensive performance before injury:
“I thought I was playing pretty good. I made a few mistakes here and there, but overall I was pretty good. I felt comfortable today. I just needed to be comfortable and relaxed, and make throws, and that’s what I did.”
WR #4 Telvin Brown
On trick play for TD pass:
“We have that play for a goal line situation like we were in. Basically it’s just a reverse coming to me. I drew a lot of attention to myself and people don’t think I can throw left handed, so I just flipped it up to Gavin wide open in the end zone. We worked on that play every day all year.”
On offensive performance before Eli’s injury:
“We were playing wonderful. You couldn’t have drawn it up any better. We were doing what we wanted to do. We had some long drives, kept their offense off the field, and Eli made big plays with his arm and his legs. He gave the receivers chances to make plays, and the line did a great job making sure he had time and was opening up holes. A good athlete like Eli is going to find the wrinkles in a defense, and he’s going to make you pay.”
On how offense was different in the second half:
“When we got into a groove like that and somebody like Eli goes down, we got out of sync a little bit. We have some great quarterbacks who can come in, it’s just that it takes different styles for different defenses, and the style that Eli brings was working for us tonight.”
LB #3 Ketrick Wolfe
On whether EWU’s running or passing game was most difficult to stop:
“It was pretty even. They are a good team, and there were just a couple miscues that we had on defense.”
On back and forth first half:
“I was just thinking that whichever team made a stop was going to win the game.”
Jacksonville State Notes
- Captains for the Gamecocks: LB Robert Gray, OL Taylor
Johnstone, LB Dustin Gayton.
- Eastern Washington won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half.
- The Gamecocks scored 528 points this season, 127 more than any other team in school
history. Previous record was 421 set in 1991.
- The Gamecocks finish the season with 65 touchdowns, breaking the previous school
record of 57 set in 1991.
- Harris Gaston’s forced a fumble at the JSU one on EWU’s first possession, the first force
and recovery of his career.
- Eastern Washington’s touchdown with 5:52 left in the first quarter marked the first time
the Gamecocks have trailed since week 11 at #2 Eastern Illinois (Nov. 16).
- Telvin Brown’s three-yard TD pass to Gavin Ellis late in the first quarter made him the
10th JSU player to throw a pass this season and the fifth to throw a TD pass.
- Gavin Ellis had just one catch through the first 14 games before his second, a three-yard
TD toss from Telvin Brown. It was Ellis’ first TD catch of the year and second of his career.
- Rob Gray’s interception in the end zone in the second quarter was his second of the year
and the sixth of his career.
- With his 118 rushing yards before being injured late in the second quarter, Eli Jenkins now
has five 100-yard rushing games this season. He has run for at least 97 yards in each of his
last six games.
- Eli Jenkins completed 85.7 percent (12-for-14) of his passes on Saturday, the third-highest
completion percentage in school history by a quarterback attempting at least 10 passes in a
- Junior Pierre Warren’s interception in the third quarter was his fifth of the season and the
seventh of his career.
- With his touchdown run today, junior DaMarcus James ran his school and OVC records to
29 on the year. He now has 35 career TD runs, third in school history.
- Freshman Joshua Barge caught six passes for 95 yards in the game, pushing his freshman
records to 58 catches and 877 yards on the year. His 58 catches moves him into a tie for
3rd with Joey Hamilton (1999), while his 877 yards are now 3rd on the school’s singleseason
- The Gamecocks are now 17-13 all-time in postseason games and are 2-4 in the FCS playoffs.
This was their first trip to the
quarterfinals at the Division I level.
- JSU is now 3-3 vs. FCS ranked foes under Bill Clark and 10-39 all-time.
- EWU was the sixth ranked opponent the Gamecocks have played this season, the most in
a season in school history.
BY THE NUMBERS
0 - Number of times JSU had been tied at
halftime this season before today’s 21-21
4 - TD catches by freshman Anthony Johnson
this season, a team high.
XX - Receptions by Telvin Brown, a new
29 - Rushing TDs by DaMarcus James this
season after running for one today, adding
to his school and OVC records.
35 - Career rushing touchdowns by DaMarcus
James, third in school history.
65 - Touchdowns scored by JSU this season,
the most in a season in school history.
118 - rushing yards by Eli Jenkins before
getting injured late in the second quarter,
his fifth 100-yard rushing game.
312 - Yards of total offense by JSU in the
first half, the second time in 3 playoff
games in which its gained 300 in the first
half (361 vs Samford in 1st round)
528- Points scored by the Gamecocks this
season, adding to the school record that
was already set.
1,477 - Rushing yards by DaMarcus James
this season, adding to his school record
that was set last week.
3,033 - Passing yards by the Gamecocks
this season, breaking the 1982 team’s
school record of 2,915.
3,604 - Rushing yards by JSU this season,
third most in a season in school history.
6,637 - Total offense this season by JSU,
1,755 yards more than any other team in
school history (4,882 in 1991)