‘He’s As Talented As Anybody In The Country’| Shaq Davis Introduces Himself To The World At The Expense of Deion Sanders & JSU

For weeks, the prevailing thought across the college football world heading into the Celebration Bowl was a South Carolina State team with five losses couldn’t possibly compete with Deion Sanders’ one-loss Jackson State Tigers.

But that kind of talk was being done by folks who had no impact on the game on Saturday.

The Bulldogs blitzed Coach Prime’s Tigers and quieted all naysayers with a dominant and decisive 31-10 win.

JSU (11-2) entered as massive favorites, boasting a nine-game winning streak and an 11-game win streak against FCS opponents. The Tigers got here by dispatching Prairie View A&M Panthers in the SWAC Championship Game, while the Bulldogs (7-5) won the MEAC Championship with a 5-0 conference record.

The game was also the coming-out party for a few players on the Bulldogs squad, most notably wide receiver Shaquan Davis.

Davis Steals Show At Celebration Bowl: Game-Record Three Touchdown Receptions

Bulldogs wide receiver Shaq Davis torched the Jackson State man-to-man coverage for three touchdown grabs Saturday.

At 6 feet 5 with sub-4.5 speed, Davis is a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs of any level.

He even paid homage to opposing coach Deion Sanders on his first trip to paydirt.

But the talented pass catcher was just beginning as he continued to use his size to manhandle JSU’s corners.

Davis came into the game with 43 receptions for 864 yards and eight touchdowns. His 20.1 average per catch led the entire MEAC. He finished the Celebration Bowl with five catches for 95 yards.

Davis’ big-play ability, coupled with a defense who knew the JSU offensive line couldn’t block them, were the two biggest reasons for Saturday’s surprising result.

Davis is definitely on the NFL’s radar, but the belief is he’ll return to Orangeburg next season in an effort to run it back.

Bulldogs’ Pass Rush Was Dominant

The pass rush was impressive in getting after SWAC Freshman of the Year and Jerry Rice Award winner Shedeur Sanders and keeping him off his game (16-for-36 for 175 yards, one touchdown and three turnovers).

Those three turnovers led directly to all three of Davis’ touchdown receptions. South Carolina and their wily veteran coach confused the freshman all game. South Carolina State had Sanders perplexed at times, unsure of what he was seeing.

The old saying “pressure bursts pipes” resonated in Atlanta on Saturday.

SCSU Used Disrespect As Motivation: QB Fields Completed 12 Passes, Four For TDs

The Bulldogs were disrespected all week leading up to the game, often referred to as “the team that’s playing Coach Prime’s team.”

That kind of banter motivated the Bulldogs, who refused to be disrespected on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of a sellout crowd.

The Bulldogs are the winningest program in the MEAC with 18 conference titles, and QB Corey Fields completed just 12 passes. One third of those completions went for touchdowns, with 75 percent of those going to the aforementioned Davis.

Coach Prime On What Went Wrong

“They kicked our butts. Every way. Every fashion. Out-physicaled us. Out-threw us. Much more disciplined than us. We were overconfident and acted like they were going to hand us the game. My hats off to everybody with South Carolina State. Especially that secondary. They have a cornerback over there that should be recommended for the NFL. That boy can play. He should get his shine on. We tried our best and we got our butts kicked. That’s it.”

Both programs will now turn their attention to National Signing Day, which is Feb. 2, and begin prepping for spring football in late February, early March.

With a lot of the players in Saturday’s affair eligible to return, this could be a repeat matchup next year in Atlanta.


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