Southern 45, Alabama State 34: Les East’s three and out _lowres

Photo provided by AMANDA MOORE -- Southern quarterback Austin Howard (7) smiles as he walks off the field after the Jaguars' 45-34 win at the ASU Stadium at Alabama State in Montgomery, Ala.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

Other teams in the SWAC are not going to beat Southern unless they score an awful lot of points. The Jaguars followed consecutive 50-point games against conference opponents with a 45-point output against one of the better defenses in the league. The Jaguars had just 59 rushing yards, but it didn’t matter because Austin Howard had a career-high 33 completions, passed for 355 yards and threw four touchdown passes. The Jaguars can be beaten, but it’ll have to happen in a shootout.

2. TRENDING NOW

The tight ends. It’s easy to forget about the Southern tight ends because the team has so many more explosive weapons on offense. But opponenets who forget about them can pay a price just as the Hornets did. Dillon Beard had four catches for 47 yards and two TDs and Montrell Jones had five catches for 67 yards and a TD. Bradley Coleman, who’s basically a tight end off the line, chipped in three catches for 29 yards. Beard and Jones’ early success seemed to open up lanes for wideout Willie Quinn, who had a career-high 12 catches.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

Even though Southern led by at least two touchdowns for virtually three-quarters of the game, coach Dawson Odums and his staff have plenty to harp on in practice this week. The defense got sloppy late when some starters rested; a fumble set up a late ASU touchdown; and the Jaguars were penalized 14 times. If Southern takes its foot off the gas or continues with self-inflicted problems, a better opponent — such as Prairie View next Saturday — can make them pay for it.