It had been 699 days since former Toombs County Bulldog Jamar Smith had experienced the thrill of victory on a football field. On December 4, 2016 his Holmes Community College Bulldogs rallied from a 21-14 halftime deficit to defeat Iowa Western Community College 28-21 in the Graphic Edge Bowl played in the Uni-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa. That game ended his two seasons of junior college ball. Next was the opportunity to play Division 1 ball for the UTEP Miners.
In his first season, in El Paso, Jamar played for two head coaches and endured an 0-12 season. He had 22 solo tackles and 12 assists for a total of 34 tackles playing mostly as a reserve. Smith started off the 2018 season coming off the bench and the losing continued- 30-10 to FCS Northern Arizona and 52-24 at UNLV.
New head coach Dana Dimel made a change at middle linebacker starting Jamar in game three at the University of Tennessee. UTEP dropped that game 24-0, but then after that the scores got closer even though they were losses- 27-20 at home to New Mexico State, a 30-21 at UTSA, 27-24 on Homecoming to North Texas, 31-24 at Louisiana Tech and 19-0 at home to UAB.
At 0-8 in 2018 the Miners possessed the longest active losing streak in FBS football at 20. However, a game at 1-8 Rice seemed like a real legitimate shot at ending the misery. And it was. UTEP raced to a 27-3 at half and 34-3 nearly have way through the third quarter. Although the Owls did real off 23 straight points, the Miners held on to a 34-26 win ending the streak on November 3, 2018.
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Jamar played a key role in the fourth quarter. With the Miners leading 34-16 Rice intercepted a pass with 10:37 to play in the game. On the next play Smith dove to the turf and picked off an Owl pass- his first as a Miner. He also broke up and nearly intercepted another pass in the final minutes of the game. Smith finished the game with four total tackles- a solo and three assists.
3rd and 3 at RICE17 ESUKPA, E. rush for 1 yard to the RICE18 (SMITH, Jamar)
1st and 10 at RICE46 ESUKPA, E. rush for no gain to the RICE46 (CHUKWUKELU, D.; SMITH, Jamar)
3rd and 3 at RICE32 WALTER, Aston rush for 5 yards to the RICE37, 1ST DOWN RICE (TUPOU, Sione; SMITH, Jamar)
1st and 10 at RICE25 WALTER, Aston rush for loss of 5 yards to the RICE20 (TUPOU, Sione; SMITH, Jamar)
2nd and 22 at RICE08 GREEN, Wiley pass incomplete to WALTER, Austin (SMITH, Jamar)