With a slight grimace on his face, Jackson flashed a thumbs up with his right hand and then got ready for a third-and-9 with Colorado in USC territory.
The Trojans sent pressure. Safety Chris Hawkins nearly got there, but Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez was able to sidestep his tackle attempt. Uchenna Nwosu continued the assault, forcing Montez to escape to his right. He chucked up a pass off his back foot, possibly in an attempt to throw the ball away.
Jackson had other ideas. Seeing the ball floating in the air, he charged forward and leaped in the air to snag the pass, banged-up thumb and all. But his forward momentum was carrying him out of bounds. He needed to get his foot down inbounds.
"Once I jumped in the air, I was just trying to torque my body enough, so I can get a foot down," Jackson said. "I was just thinking like Charles Woodson how he did it against Michigan State and that's the whole mindset."
After securing the ball in his hands, Jackson contorted his frame and essentially performed a split in mid-air to tap down his right foot while keeping his left leg in the air."
"I was very aware when I was coming down," Jackson said. "I was making sure I seen the receiver where he was and then making sure I knew where I was close to the sideline."
Jackson guessed that he probably had an inch of space between his foot and the sideline.
"It was real close. When I looked at the screen, I was just happy that the crowd was happy and it was going to be too close to overturn it. I'm just glad I got it inbounds."
Jackson's incredible interception helped him be named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week on Tuesday. The Lott IMPACT Trophy, named after former USC and 49ers great Ronnie Lott, is awarded each year to the defensive player who exhibits the best character and performance. The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, which awards the trophy, also names a player of the week each week of the college football season.
On top of his interception, Jackson also had six tackles on defense to go along with a 47-yard punt return and a 38-yard kickoff return to tie the USC career kick return yardage record.
This was Jackson's second award this season after he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week following the Utah State game in Week 2.
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