It was, for all intents and purposes, a flat-out beatdown.

One so bad it left Deion Sanders grumbling about bygone days of dating.

Yeah, Sanders’ Jackson State squad has its first official losing streak under Coach Prime – two in a row after Saturday’s 34-14 drubbing at Southern, winners of eight in a row in the series.

The Tigers were defeated two weeks ago when Alabama State uncorked a 50-yard game-winning touchdown run with a minute to play.

All of which left a frustrated Sanders questioning his team’s belief.

“We’re talking about, ‘I believe,’” Sanders said in his postgame press conference. “It’s on your shirt, it’s on your shirt, it’s on me, it’s on everywhere but do you really (believe)? When it’s third-and-5, do you really?”

Sanders’ squad has yielded 940 yards’ offense and 69 combined points in its consecutive losses.

“I told them a story about back in the day, we didn’t have swimming lessons,” Sanders said. “They went and threw us in the pool. And we had to believe that we could swim and we was going to make it back to the side. Back in the day, we didn’t have an opportunity to get in nobody’s DMs (direct messages). We had to shoot our game. We had to believe that that woman was going to have love for us, just by the game we spat. We had to believe.”

Sanders lamented that his players have said the right things but failed to respond in adverse situations.

“It’s a whole lotta ‘I believe’ around here, but it ain’t a whole lot of substance behind it,” he said. “And I told all of them, we would come to that point in time in this game where adversity was going to hit us and we was going to see do you really believe.

“And we didn’t.”

The Tigers are scheduled to host Alabama A&M next Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Veterans Memorial Stadium for homecoming.

John Brice has covered college football, mostly in the SEC as well as covering Notre Dame and Ohio State, for more than 20 years. He's a former Tennessee Vols football sideline reporter and believes life should be spent traveling or planning the next trip.