Southern (2-3, 1-1) plays its first Southwestern Athletic Conference home game when it meets Arkansas-Pine Bluff for homecoming at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium. The Golden Lions are 1-3 and 0-2 after a 33-30 overtime loss at home to Jackson State last Saturday. Last season, Lenard Tillery rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown and Dray Joseph threw two touchdown passes as the Jaguars beat the Lions 29-21 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Southern got blasted by Alcorn State 56-16 Saturday in Lorman, Mississippi. The Jaguars grabbed an early 7-0 lead and forced four turnovers, but their inability to contain the Braves when they were holding on to the ball and inconsistency on offense were Southern’s downfall. Alcorn rolled up 682 yards, including 410 on the ground, leading to 39 first downs. Southern could not run the ball well and that coupled with sub-par pass blocking made for an erratic game for quarterback Austin Howard. The Jaguars scored just seven points after the four turnovers as it punted on three of the ensuing possessions.
Speaking of punting, Paul Randle Soden helped provide the defense with favorable field position on multiple occasions, though the defense didn’t take advantage. He averaged 45.4 yards on seven punts and five of those punts were downed inside the Alcorn 20. The coverage team forced a (minus-2)-yard return from the 18 to the 16 and the other four that were downed inside the 20 were because of Soden’s height and placement. He had one punt fair caught at the 11 and others went out of bounds at the 12, 2 and 13.
“It’s a long season. We’ve got to keep our minds on everything that’s in front of us because we can’t do anything about tonight.”
— Southern FB/LB Brian McCain on moving on from the 56-16 loss at Alcorn
Keep an eye on
FS Bryan Anderson made two fumble recoveries to give him four takeaways in five games. The true freshman from Edna Karr earned a starting position early in preseason camp and he has proven to be a playmaker.
Third downs were bad downs for Southern on both sides of the ball, though the offense wasn’t as bad as the defense. The Jaguars converted 42 percent of their third downs, and the Braves converted 73 percent of theirs. The disparity was due in large measure to a similar divide in productivity leading up to third down as Southern averaged 4.5 yards per play and Alcorn averaged 8.3.