By: Donnie Harmon
Ball State Sports Link
It was a career best performance for Ball State junior wide receiver Jayshon Jackson. While the Cardinals ended up falling 24-17 in their homecoming game against Miami (OH), Jackson shone through, posting eight receptions for a career-high 121 receiving yards and a touchdown. It was also the first career 100-yard receiving game for Jackson, who transferred to Ball State from Cincinnati after finishing second in receiving for the 2020 Bearcats team.
“My confidence is already high, but that just upped it a little more,” said Jackson after the game about his performance.
While the Cardinals ended up losing the game, it was a back and forth contest, and the Cardinals were able to set a positive tone early thanks to the performance from Jackson. On the first drive, on a big 3rd and 9 from outside field goal range, Jackson had a 38 yard reception to set the Cardinals up at Miami’s 7-yard line, which ended up being the longest play of the game for Ball State. The Cardinals scored two plays later to make it 7-0 early.
While he finished with just two catches in the first half, the second half was when Jackson started to make plays at a higher volume. On Ball State’s first drive of the second half, Jackson capped off a 12-play and nearly five minute drive from the Cardinals with a four-yard touchdown reception, his second touchdown reception of the season. The touchdown and ensuing extra point allowed Ball State to regain the lead, 17-16.
While Ball State did not score the rest of the ballgame, Jackson’s production did not dip, particularly in the fourth quarter, where he did all he could to help Ball State get the win. In the final quarter of play, Jackson had four receptions for 46 yards, which included 20 and nine yard receptions on Ball State’s final drive that ended in an interception.
It can not be understated how crucial Jackson was to the Cardinals, as his 121 receiving yards accounted for over half of the team’s 227 yards through the air. With Justin Hall and Yo’Heinz Tyler graduating after this year, the increase in production from Jackson is a positive sign for the future of Ball State.
Jackson and the Cardinals will look to make adjustments as they head into a bye week at 4-4, before they kick off midweek MACtion on the road against Akron on Tuesday, November 2nd.