Southern (2-2, 1-0) goes on the road again to face Southwestern Athletic Conference East division opponent Alcorn State at 4 p.m. Saturday in Spinks-Casem Stadium in Lorman, Miss. The Braves are 3-1 and 1-0 after winning their SWAC opener at Mississippi Valley State (52-9) on Saturday. Last season, Alcorn beat the Jaguars 44-38 in overtime in Mumford Stadium.
Southern jumped on Prairie View early and led wire-to-wire in a 34-24 victory last Saturday at Blackshear Field. The Jaguars defense stifled the Panthers offense in the early going, leading to advantageous field position. The offense seized the opportunities, mostly behind the running of Lenard Tillery, and Willie Quinn added a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Southern built a 24-10 halftime edge. The lead grew to 34-10 before an offensive emphasis on clock management and defensive fatigue contributed to Prairie View closing the gap. Though half of the fourth quarter still remained when the Panthers got within 10 and got the ball back on a Jaguars punt, the Southern defense came up with two late stops and the score remained a two-score margin.
LB Roshaud Turner started in the absence of injured Javon Allen and helped set the tone for the defense. He had a game-high eight solo tackles, four assists and half a sack. Though fellow linebacker Demetrius Carter surpassed Turner with a game-high 15 total tackles, Turner had team-highs of five solo and eight total tackles during a stellar defensive effort in the first half as Southern took control of the game.
“We don’t have a lot of standout superstars on the team, but we have a lot of people who can come up and make plays when we need them to.”
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CB Blake Monroe made several key plays to help trigger an improved performance by a rebuilt secondary. Monroe had nine total tackles, including one for loss, and he had a pass breakup. With one defensive back ineligible for the season and four others sidelined while they hope to gain clearance to play, Monroe figures to remain a key part of the defensive backfield.
Statistics don’t fully tell the story of how well Southern played. Prairie View had more yards (475-303) and first downs (23-16), and the Jaguars completed just eight passes for 108 yards. Willie Quinn was the only Jaguar with more than one reception, and he had two. But nearly half of the Panthers’ yards (226) came in the fourth quarter after the outcome was reasonably secured. Also, Southern didn’t turn the ball over, took it away twice, won the special teams match-up and won both lines of scrimmage handily before the Panthers’ too-little, too-late push.