Jackson State vs North Carolina Central prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. Cricket Celebration Bowl, Saturday, December 17
Jackson State vs North Carolina Central Cricket Celebration Bowl Prediction Game Preview
Jackson State vs North Carolina Central How To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 17
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Jackson State (12-0), North Carolina Central (9-2)
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Jackson State vs North Carolina Central Cricket Celebration Bowl 5 Things To Know
– Coach Prime has one more game at Jackson State. Deion Sanders has cranked it up as the new head coach at Colorado, instantly making it one of the hottest programs in college football – at least when it comes to the attention along with the interest from potential transfers. It’ll be TC Taylor’s job once this is over, but first …
– Sanders has some unfinished business. Last year’s Jackson State team got to the Celebration Bowl with a high-powered offense along with an 11-1 record and a whole lot of swagger. Oliver Pough’s South Carolina State team had other ideas on the way to a dominant 31-10 win. This time around, Sanders and his Tigers are trying to finis off a perfect season.
– This time around it’s North Carolina Central that’s trying to take down the might Jackson State team. It lost two early games – including a 26-24 loss to South Carolina State – before finding its footing on the way to a strong 9-2 season and the MEAC title.
– North Carolina Central won two Black College Division II national titles in the mid-2000s – and split one in 1954 – before making the move up to the MEAC in 2010. The 2016 team got to the Celebration Bowl but lost to Grambling State, meaning the pressure is on now because ….
– The MEAC is 5-1 in Celebration Bowl over the SWAC. That loss by the Eagles is the MEAC’s lone blemish. No matter what, expect a whole lot of scoring, a whole lot of offense, and one of the most entertaining all-around games on a Saturday loaded with bowls and key NFL matchups.
Why Jackson State Will Win The Cricket Celebration Bowl
The offense gets all the headlines – along with the head coach – but it’s the defense that’s been able to take the team to a whole other level.
The Tigers have the best defense in the FCS, allowing just 233 yards and 11.2 points per game thanks to a killer pass rush that averages an FCS-best 3.9 an outing. The pressure will keep on coming, but that’s not a concern on the other side.
North Carolina Central will bring the offense, but it doesn’t generate nearly enough of a pass rush to bother Shedeur Sanders and a passing game that doesn’t hit a whole lot of big plays, but spreads it around and keeps on coming averaging close to 300 yards per outing.
Relentless, the Tigers can take over fast if the offense gets clicking right away. However …
Why North Carolina Central Will Win The Cricket Celebration Bowl
The great Jackson State defense was pushed a wee bit by Southern in the regular season finale.
The Tigers were never in any real danger, and they generated three picks, but they were also run on a bit and gave up a season-most 217 passing yards. Now they have to deal with NCCU QB Davius Richardson who threw for close to 2,500 yards with 24 touchdowns and ran for 691 yards and 13 scores.
Richardson is a big playmaker of an offensive weapon, he’s got a strong back in Latrell Collier to take some of the heat off, and no one in the FCS was better at keeping the chains moving on third downs.
No, the Eagles don’t have Jackson State’s pass rush, but they hold tough in the red zone, are great against the run, and they come up with the big plays that should be there against an attack that turned it over 20 times this year.