MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)Shedeur Sanders threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night to lead Jackson State to a 38-16 victory over Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic.
Sanders completed 30 of 40 passes as Jackson State (2-0) used a pair of third quarter scores to build its lead. In the frame, the freshman from Canton, Texas connected with Keith Corbin III for a 67-yard touchdown and then completed a 10-yard scoring toss to Shane Hooks.
An 81-yard punt return by Warren Newman in the fourth quarter added to the Jackson State advantage.
Tennessee State (0-2) could manage little offensively, particularly when Jackson State was building its lead. In that third quarter, when Jackson State pulled away, Tennessee State managed only 54 yards of offense
Sanders spread around his passing, connecting with nine receivers, the highest number of completions in the Southern Heritage Classic history. The 362 yards passing was the third-highest ever for the game.
The game featured two former NFL stars coaching on the sidelines – Eddie George for Tennessee State and Deion Sanders running the show for Jackson State.
It also marked the 29th time the schools faced each other in the Southern Heritage Classic held at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. It was the first time either George or Sanders coached in the game.
The Sanders-George matchup increased the hype, attention and excitement around the game; think tailgates outside Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium; Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Crimson Tide; the Shoe at Ohio State; or a major bowl game.
Jackson State held a 10-7 lead at the half thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Glenn Misiak in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
Tennessee State: TSU, coming off a 16-10 loss to Grambling State, again had trouble moving the ball, particularly reaching the end zone. For the night, Tennessee State did not get over 200 yards of total offense until the final minute of the game.
Jackson State: JSU, which defeated Florida A&M 7-6 last week, still used big plays in the third quarter along with a blocked punt to set up another score and built enough of a lead as Sanders had one of the best passing nights in the history of the Southern Heritage Classic.
Tennessee State: Hosts Kentucky State next Saturday.
Jackson State: Travels to Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday.