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3 takeaways from Jacksonville State’s win over Mercer

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State won its lone home game of the fall against Mercer, 34-28, at Burgess-Snow Field on Saturday.

Here are three takeaways from the win:

1. Tale of two halves

Jacksonville State’s offense had six drives and scored on five of them in the first half. The only one that didn’t produce points was when quarterback Zerrick Cooper kneeled the ball to take a 27-14 lead into the half.

The final two quarters were a different story. In eight offensive drives, Jacksonville State punted four times, fumbled the ball away once and turned the ball over on downs once. One series did end with a touchdown.

The Gamecocks totaled 297 yards, with 227 of that coming in the first half.

2. Strong showing from defense

Jacksonville State quickly found itself down 14-3 after Mercer returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and marched down the field 65 yards for a touchdown on its first offensive series.

The JSU defense came through after that, though, holding the Bears to 90 yards in the first half. The Bears did score two touchdowns in the second half, but their other four drives ended with punts, a fumble and interception. Mercer totaled 287 yards of offense.

3. Rain, rain would not go away

It rained a lot. And not just a little bit.

It was a constant rain with it being a downpour at times. But that didn’t detour the crowd from showing up, all wearing ponchos.

“It was raining sideways in that third quarter,” Jacksonville State coach John Grass said.

That didn’t stop Jacksonville State from putting the ball in the air, as Cooper was 12-of-18 passing for 139 yards. Granted that’s not a ton of passing yards, it was enought to pass Ed Lett for the second most career passing yards in Jacksonville State history on a 20-yard pass to Trae Barry in the third quarter.

“It really did affect us,” Cooper said of the rain. “. As far as throwing the ball, I just took what they gave me.”

Jacksonville State wins lone home game of fall, 34-28.

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