1. School ties
Southern and Northwestern State have a lot of connections. The Demons have 27 players and five coaches, including coach Jay Thomas, a native of Baker who was a graduate assistant at LSU, who have ties to the Baton Rouge area. Additionally, Jaguars Athletic Director William Broussard was a standout center on the Demons football team and an associate AD at his alma mater. Southern’s men’s basketball coach, Roman Banks, and women’s basketball coach, Sandy Pugh, played for Northwesern, and Pugh was a GA.
2. Demons running backs
The Demons have two running backs who are frequent visitors to the end zone. Daniel Taylor has 11 touchdowns in 23 career games and De’Mard Llorens, who missed last week’s game because of illness, has six touchdowns in 13 games. The Jaguars running backs found the end zone quite frequently themselves last week in a 56-14 victory against Central Methodist. Jamarcus Jarvis had two touchdowns and Malcolm Crockett, Tyre Bracken and Lenard Tillery each scored once as did fullback Brian McCain.
3. Welcome back
These teams have not met a lot over the course of the schools’ existence, but they’ve played a lot of late. The Demons lead the all-time series, which began in 1993, 6-5, having won the last four and five of the last six. The last time they met in A.W. Mumford Stadium, Northwestern prevailed 30-21 in 2001. Last year’s meeting, which came in the second game of the season for both teams, and this year’s meetings are the only times the teams have met when it wasn’t a season opener.
4. There are no yellow flags
Both these teams have done well at avoiding penalties in their first two games. Thomas put an emphasis on reducing turnovers before his first season as head coach last year and the Demons responded by going from worst to first in penalties in Southland Conference play. In the first two games, Northwestern has remained disciplined, having been penalized 11 times total for an average of 42.5 yards. Southern has done almost as well, being penalized 13 times for an average of 50.3 yards.