1. Valley struggling The Southern defense had its best game of the season statistically last week, and now it faces the least productive offense in the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Saturday night. The Jaguars are coming off a 30-20 victory against Texas Southern in which they allowed their second-lowest number of rushing yards (99) against an NCAA opponent this season and their fewest total yards (220). Mississippi Valley State ranks last in the SWAC in scoring (18.2), total offense (317.5), passing yards (185.7) and passing efficiency (103.8). It’s eighth in rushing yards (131.8).
2. Jenkins leads SWAC Although the Delta Devils have struggled offensively, they have the most productive wide receiver in the SWAC. Senior Stafford Jenkins leads the conference is receptions per game (6.2) and receiving yards (98.1) per game. He needs just 19 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He has had six 100-yard receiving games this season, most recently grabbing nine passes for 101 yards in a 38-23 loss to Grambling on Nov. 6. He has caught 62 passes for an average gain of 15.8 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
3. Three at QB? Southern might face three quarterbacks for a second consecutive week. Valley used three against Grambling, the fourth game it has done that. Quantavius Peterson is the main guy to watch. He leads the team with 289 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Patrick Ivy has completed 44.5 percent of his passes for team highs of 875 yards and nine touchdowns. Dontrinell Scott has played sparingly. Last week, three Texas Southern QBs combined to complete 11-of-26 passes for 117 yards with an interceptions and rushed 14 times for 21 yards against Southern.
4. Sack attack Whoever is in the game for the Delta Devils at quarterback could well find himself under a lot of duress. Valley has allowed the most sacks in the SWAC (41) and Southern has been accumulating sacks with regularity during its five-game win streak. The Jaguars rank third in the conference with 29 sacks, and 23 of those have come during the current five-game win streak. Southern quarterbacks Austin Howard and Deonte Shorts don’t figure to have the same problem as their counterparts. The Jaguars have allowed just six sacks and the Devils have just 16.