MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Down 23-7 at halftime, Rich Rodriguez’s Jacksonville State Gamecocks made a miraculous comeback, reeling off 38 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Middle Tennessee State 45-30 last night.
With the win, Jax State moved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Conference USA in their very first FBS season ever. Jacksonville State has now won four consecutive games; the Gamecocks are ineligible from the CUSA Championship Game and bowl season due to penalties assessed to teams transitioning to the FBS, but they sit atop the CUSA standings.
Jacksonville State, who was only projected to win a few games this season, has already exceeded expectations and Rich Rodriguez is being credited with the program’s complete turnaround. Rodriguez had the following to say after the incredible comeback win last night: “I don’t really follow projections, but I know we were only picked to win a few games. We didn’t really look at that. We just wanted to get better. The culture of a program has to be set. I thought it got set last year, but you don’t know for sure. Sometimes it carries over, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s carried over this year. We have a lot of tough teams left to play this year. We know who we are. We got whippped in certain spots today. But I love the way our guys battle and we’ll take the win.”
Jacksonville State will now prepare to play their toughest opponent of the year, an undefeated Liberty team, next Tuesday, October 10th at 7:30PM at home. In his second season at Jacksonville State, Rodriguez is now an impressive 14-3 overall.
Rich Rodriguez! pic.twitter.com/zokAhwx5Ki
— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) October 5, 2023