LORMAN, Miss. — Southern quarterback Deonte Shorts did not travel with the team to its game at Alcorn State on Saturday because of a hernia injury.
Shorts, who missed the game at Prairie View last week because of an elbow injury, practiced early last week, and coach Dawson Odums said he’d expected Shorts to play this week. But Shorts missed practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a previously undisclosed hernia injury, and it’s unknown if he’ll play again this season.
A redshirt freshman from Southern Lab who started the Jaguars’ first three games, Shorts likely will need surgery to repair the injury. It’s unclear if Shorts would have surgery soon or try to play through the injury and have surgery after the season.
True freshman Austin Howard, who relieved Shorts in the first three games, made his second consecutive start and went the distance for the second consecutive game.
He completed 15 of 35 passes for 188 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble, which led to a second-quarter touchdown for Alcorn.
True freshman Jarrad Hayes was the backup quarterback but did not get into the game. He has not played and is still eligible for a redshirt.
Shorts made his own way to the game and watched from the Jaguars sideline.
Big play, bigger penalty
Danny Johnson made what would have been a big defensive play late in the first quarter, but it was negated by a penalty.
Nickelback Rhaheim Ledbetter was preparing to rush on a third-down blitz, but jumped offsides just before the ball was snapped. Alcorn’s John Gibbs Jr. lofted a pass up the right sideline but overthrew his receiver. Johnson ran the ball down, grabbed it and weaved his way to the 1-yard line.
The penalty became even more damaging when the Braves converted a third-and-2 to jump-start an 89-yard touchdown drive.
Willie Quinn continued his streak of games with big plays when he returned a second-quarter kickoff 74 yards, setting up a field goal by Greg Pittman. It marked the fifth time in as many games this season that Quinn made a play of at least 56 yards.
He had two plays of 56 yards, one of 79 and one of 98 before the 76-yard return. Later in the second quarter, he went a modest 10 yards on a touchdown reception.
Soden stands out
Lost in the lopsided score was the game Jaguars punter Paul Randle Soden had. He averaged 45.4 yards on seven punts and had five downed inside the 20. The place-kicking wasn’t quite as good, as the Braves blocked a field-goal attempt and an extra-point attempt by Pittman.
Anderson leads takeaways
Freshman safety Bryan Anderson has shown a knack for making plays around the football. He made an interception in the season opener at UL-Lafayette and made another at Prairie View last week. Anderson added two fumble recoveries to his stat line Saturday as Southern recovered four Alcorn fumbles.