Friday, July 22, 2016

Jackson State a potential sleeper

JACKSON, Mississippi -- If one team in the SWAC has the capability of emerging as a sleeper, it would appear to be the Jackson State Tigers.

Despite coming off consecutive losing seasons, the pieces are in place for immediate improvement under first-year head coach Tony Hughes.

Hughes spent 31 years as an assistant before accepting his first head coaching position in December. At JSU, he inherits nine starters on both sides of the ball.

Hughes is looking for more production from an offense which ranked seventh in the conference in scoring (22.9 points per game), ninth in rushing (101.1 yards per game), second in passing (273.2 ypg) and fifth in total offense (374.3 ypg). Closing out the season on a four-game losing streak, the Tigers (3-8, 3-6) were the league's most heavily-penalized team with 86.6 yards per game in markoffs.

A healthy LaMontiez Ivy would be a major step toward upgrading the offense. Despite missing three games with an ankle injury, the senior quarterback completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,199 yards with 15 touchdown and eight interceptions last year.


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