Southern continued to have ups and downs in its kicking game Saturday night in A.W. Mumford Stadium, but Greg Pittman’s ups were critical in a 28-21 victory against Alabama State.
The Jaguars struggled with the unusually high grass in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium a week earlier, failing on three extra points and a 29-yard field goal in a 42-28 victory against Jackson State.
It didn’t look like the more familiar turf in Mumford Stadium was going to help much in the early going as Pittman’s first extra point was blocked for Southern’s 10th miss in 38 tries.
Pittman missed his first field-goal attempt, from 40 yards, before making three in a row from the same distance.
In the third quarter, Pittman appeared to make an extra point, but the play was blown dead because of a false start, and he missed the subsequent PAT. He made his final PAT after the Jaguars broke a 21-21 tie midway through the fourth quarter.
Bracken joins party
Southern added another weapon to its kick off return arsenal by using Tyre Bracken. The Jaguars entered the game with the highest kickoff return average (25.9) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and Willie Quinn, Danny Johnson and Jaleel Richardson had each returned one for a touchdown.
On Southern’s second kickoff return, Johnson fielded the ball and handed to Bracken on a reverse. Bracken ran 42 yards to the ASU 48 on his first return of the season to become the ninth Jaguar to return a kickoff this season.
Time on their side
Southern has rarely possessed the ball more than its opponent this season, but that changed Saturday.
The Jaguars had the ball for 33 minutes and 22 seconds — the first time they had the ball for more than half the game in a SWAC contest. They entered the game second-to-last in the SWAC with an average time of possession of 27:58, but ASU was last (26:32).
Turnovers sting Hornets
Turnovers were the Hornets downfall for the second consecutive week. They turned the ball over four times in a 37-36 loss to Alabama A&M last week, though they still led the SWAC with a margin of plus-7.
They had four turnovers against Southern, which had one turnover.
Southern had season-worsts of 14 penalties and 108 penalty yards against Jackson State.
Afterward, coach Dawson Odums said the penalties were holding the Jaguars back even after they won their third consecutive game.
Apparently the players took the message to heart because they had just four penalties for 25 yards.
Saturday’s game was designated as the Jaguars “Pink Game” in recognition of breast cancer awareness. Southern partenered with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to recognize numerous breast cancer survivors as honorary captains before the game.