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Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Gamecocks delighted to replace San Diego State

August 16, 2003

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Schools like Nebraska and Kansas State undoubtedly look at Kansas University on their schedules and see a speed bump on the way to a bowl game.

Jacksonville State sees Kansas on its schedule and sees a major opportunity.

The chance for the Division I-AA program to play a Big 12 Conference team is so big a press release on the JSU Web site calls the game the highlight of the Gamecocks' season.

"This is a great opportunity for Jacksonville State University and our players," athletic director Tom Seitz said. "To be able to schedule Kansas, especially in consecutive years with Mississippi State, is exactly the direction we want to go with our football program."

When the Gamecocks play KU Sept. 20 at Memorial Stadium, it will mark JSU's first game against a Big 12 opponent and comes one season after JSU played its first SEC opponent at Mississippi State.

Of course, Mississippi State crushed the Gamecocks 51-13. JSU's schedule was ranked the seventh-toughest in Division I-AA last year when the Gamecocks finished 5-6.

Jacksonville State replaced Division I-A San Diego State on KU's schedule. San Diego State was 4-9 last season, but KU paid SDSU $50,000 to get out of that road game and instead will pay Jacksonville State $250,000 to play in Lawrence.

KU coach Mark Mangino was pleased his team won't have to make the West Coast trip.

"Those games are night games out there," he said. "They take the wind out of your sails. You get back here at 4 or 5 in the morning. Your coaches have to get back here at 8 or 9 o'clock. Your players are sluggish all day Sunday and Monday."

It appears Mangino will follow the model his mentor, Bill Snyder, utilized while building his program at Kansas State -- play as many home games as possible against beatable opponents.

The Gamecocks, who are in their first season in the Ohio Valley Conference after switching from the Southland Football League, return five starters on offense and six defense.

Jacksonville State

Aug. 30 -- at Alabama A&M

Sept. 13 -- North Alabama

Sept. 20 -- at Kansas

Sept. 27 - Eastern Kentucky

Oct. 4 -- at Murray State

Oct. 11 -- UT-Martin

Oct. 18 -- at Tennessee State

Oct. 25 -- Tennessee Tech

Nov. 8 -- at Samford

Nov. 15 -- Eastern Illinois

Nov. 22 -- at Southeast Missouri State

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