ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is “a bad man” because of the way he plays on the football field.
SWAC football is grappling with the need to stop Jackson State’s “nasty” sophomore quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Sanders, the winner of Jerry Rice last year as the best freshman in conference football, has yet to throw an interception this season or lose a SWAC game in his career.
“The game is starting to slow down for me,” Sanders said earlier this season. “I’m in my second season as a starter and I recognize what the defenses are trying to do to us.”
Sanders has always had good study habits and a work ethic. His game has gone to another level because he’s a year older and can talk to NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for advice.
That could be part of the reason Sanders threw for 956 yards, 10 touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns with a 175 quarterback rating.
Last week against Grambling, Sanders threw for 413 yards in addition to throwing for four touchdowns and rushed for two touchdowns as the JSU offense gained 608 total yards. Sanders was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. For his efforts, Sanders was chosen SWAC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
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One of the reasons Sanders releases video game numbers can be attributed to freshman offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone. Bartolone brought with him the air raid. He knows the ins and outs of offense after being drafted and played under Air Raid co-creator, Mississippi State coach Mike Leach.
Bartolone played wide receiver under Leach when the two were at Washington State. As a true freshman, Bartolone led the Cougars in receiving. A shoulder injury derailed his playing career, but he stayed on as a student assistant and helped coach wide receivers.
During a College Football Live interview on ESPN on Wednesday, Tiffany Greene asked Sanders why JSU’s offense was so dangerous. Sanders told him, we have weapons, we can run the ball and throw the ball, which makes it hard for us to stop when we can do both.
Greene also asked Sanders what it was like to play for his father, Deion Sanders.
“It’s really fun to play for coach Prime,” Shedeur Sanders said, “He’s been my coach my whole life, so that’s pretty normal for me. With other teammates, it’s just a very realistic guy and he knows how the players feel and he’s just a good person to play for.”
Jackson State (3-0, 1-0) hosts Mississippi Valley State (0-3, 0-0) at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday at (1 p.m., ESPN+).