Most of Southern’s opponents have gone into games this season unsure of exactly how the Jaguars were going to use their quarterbacks.
Austin Howard and Deonte Shorts have shared the playing time except when Shorts missed four games due to injury.
Now Southern goes into its game against Texas Southern on Saturday night unsure of just how the Tigers will utilize their quarterbacks. TSU has gone one better, playing three quarterbacks this season.
Coach Darrell Asberry said he planned to start either Jamal Small, who’s the only quarterback to have played in all nine games, or Jay Christophe. But Homer Causey is the most experienced quarterback and he’ll be available, Asberry said, after being hampered by a leg injury.
All three quarterbacks played in a 35-7 loss to Grambling last week.
“I really think that they planned on playing two and because of injury they got the third one (Christophe) some work,” Southern coach Dawson Odums said. “They just get ready to execute. You don’t see a change in the pattern of what they’re doing (when they change quarterbacks).”
All three quarterbacks are dual threats. Small is the second-leading rusher on the team (194 yards and two touchdowns), Christophe has the highest per-carry average (4.9 on 35 carries) and Causey has 117 yards and one touchdown.
“Their quarterbacks run around a little bit,” said Odums, who added that Causey is “a lot better runner” than the other two.
Causey has been the most efficient passer, completing 61 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and one interception. His 761 yards are just 22 fewer than Small’s team-leading total even though he has thrown 22 fewer passes.
Small is completing 49 percent of his passes and has eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Christophe is completing 57 percent and has two touchdowns and one interception.
“We’ve played a lot of mobile quarterbacks in the (Southwestern Athletic Conference),” defensive end Arthus Miley said. “We’ve done a pretty good job of containing them. A lot of it is on the defensive line. As long as we stay in our rush lanes we can keep him in the pocket and not give him any open lanes to run through.”
The Jaguars did a good job of containing Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback Ben Anderson, the SWAC’s leader in total offense, in a 51-36 victory Oct. 4. Anderson passed for two touchdowns and ran for one, but his 271 total yards were 24 below his average.
He had minus-18 yards on 20 rushes, thanks in large measure to eight sacks for 55 yards in losses. Though he passed for 289 yards, he completed just 18-of-40 and threw an interception to Danny Johnson.
“If you can keep him in the pocket,” Odums said of Anderson, “you should like your chances against any quarterback in our conference because he is as good as advertised. So we’re going to get a chance to see a couple of guys that are mobile.”
In Southern’s 31-24 victory at Texas Southern last season, Causey ran 14 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns and he completed 13-of-21 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Small had a rough game, completing just 1-of-7 passes for 7 yards and throwing an interception. He ran twice for four yards.