Jacksonville State Gamecocks: Reasons Why They Can Beat Florida State

With many college football programs and conferences delaying their 2020 season, some teams find themselves starting off the year differently. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks are one team affected as they are scheduled to play a four-game non-conference schedule starting this Saturday (October 3).

The opponent for JSU is the Florida State Seminoles and it will be in Tallahassee, Florida. Under normal circumstances, Florida State taking on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks from the FCS ranks wouldn’t be anything to give any attention to. However, this game could be different. While we haven’t seen Jacksonville State play yet, we have seen the Florida State Seminoles play and it hasn’t been pretty.

FSU lost to Georgia Tech, 16-13, to fall to 0-1. Then they fell to 0-2 after an embarrassing 52-10 loss to rival Miami. The Seminoles had a bye week to prepare for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, but will an extra week be enough? Let’s look at some reasons why JSU can beat Florida State this weekend.

Zerrick Cooper Quarterback, Jacksonville State

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks quarterback Zerrick Cooper is going to be a difference-maker against Florida State. The former Clemson Tigers QB, transferred to JSU and has been the leader of this team for the past two seasons. Cooper has thrown 60 touchdown passes to 26 interceptions and also rushed for 12 touchdowns.

In his two years at Jacksonville State, he’s thrown for 6,820 yards and ran for 709 yards as a Gamecock. Zerrick can really push the ball down the field and help the Jacksonville State Gamecocks score on this Florida State defense. Look for JSU and quarterback Zerrick Cooper to attack the Seminoles defense through the air along with on the ground.

Gamecocks Receivers Need To Produce

If quarterback Zerrick Cooper has the time to throw and get the ball out. The wide receivers need to produce. Across the Jacksonville State Gamecocks wide receivers depth chart it’s pretty questionable.

A lot of wide receivers that are unproven, but this will be the game to answer some questions. JSU may look to the one and only senior wide receiver 6’6, 225 lbs Jared Scott to be a major target. In addition to him the Gamecocks have two redshirt junior receivers in 6’0, 198 lbs Quan Charleston and 5’10 202 lbs Logan McVay that may be targeted.

The receiving corps is majority made up of sophomores and freshmen that may easily get a lot of receptions against FSU. No matter which receivers get targeted, they will need to win battles against Florida State defensive backs on Saturday.

Jacksonville State Needs To Establish A Run Game

Jacksonville State Gamecocks are going to need to establish a run game against the Seminoles defense. Michael Matthews, junior running back, maybe the go-to guy to take some pressure off of Cooper. Matthews the past two seasons has had a total of 1,004 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. Giving him some touches may be an option on establishing a rushing attack along with Cooper running the ball as well. Whoever gets carries on Saturday will need to be successful for Jacksonville State to pull off the upset.

It’s going to be a long shot for the Gamecocks to beat the Florida State Seminoles. But anything is possible in college football. A lot of things are going to have to fall in the favor of JSU and it may take an all-around miracle.

Cooper can be a primary reason why the Gamecocks could win. The wide receivers for JSU, if they can produce, will be another reason JSU could win. If the Gamecocks can run the ball that would help them pull off the upset over the Seminoles. We will see Saturday if the Jacksonville State Gamecocks can keep it close and win. Or if Florida State shows up by winning big. This game is definitely something to keep an eye on this weekend.

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Jeremy Grace
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