Southern (4-4, 4-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) plays its final true road game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7, 0-6) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The regular-season finale against Grambling is at a neutral site in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. UAPB lost at Prairie View 54-29 on Saturday. The Jaguars beat the Golden Lions 51-36 on homecoming last season at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Alcorn State’s Marquis Warford ran 78 yards for a touchdown on his team’s first offensive play and Southern never got comfortable with the water-logged field at A.M. Mumford Stadium. The result was a 48-7 loss that featured four lost fumbles, five completions among 18 pass attempts and an average of 3.2 yards per play. The Braves, meanwhile, took to the conditions like ducks as they rushed for 484 yards and coasted to their fifth consecutive victory against Southern.
RB Lenard Tillery matched his career high with 32 carries and accumulated 151 rushing yards and scored the Jaguars only touchdown. Just as importantly was how Tillery led the way as Southern battled back from a 21-0 deficit and nearly made it a one-score deficit before Alcorn pulled away. Tillery’s 1-yard touchdown run ended a streak of nine consecutive plays on which he carried the ball. His 43-yard run had the Jaguars on the Braves 10, trailing just 21-7 early in the third quarter, before he was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-2.
“This sets us a lot farther back from our season goals. We have to stay positive and get back to work.” — Tillery on the Jaguars’ second loss in three games.
Keep an eye on
The red zone. The Southern offense has had a major red-zone failure in each of the past three games. Two weeks ago against Prairie View, the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs at the 1-yard line in a game it lost by five points. Last week against Texas Southern, Malcolm Crockett lost a fumble as the Jaguars were 1 yard from going up 28-7. Instead, they wound up tied at 21 before scoring the final 19 points. Then against Alcorn, Southern had first-and-goal from the 1, trailing 7-0. Crockett was stopped for no gain, the Jaguars committed a false start, Austin Howard was sacked, then Howard lost a fumble on third down. Southern failed to score on three of its four red-zone trips Saturday.
One week after getting a season-high eight sacks, Southern had zero sacks for the first time this season. That’s partly because of the fact Alcorn threw just seven passes, but the Braves managed to get three sacks out of the Jaguars’ 18 pass attempts. … Southern completed just five of those passes and only two went to wide receivers — one each to Willie Quinn (13 yards) and Mike Jones (4 yards). … Speaking of Quinn, though he didn’t add to his total of five returns for touchdowns this season, he did have a noteworthy punt return. Desperate to make something happen with his team hopelessly behind in the fourth quarter, Quinn reversed field and ran backward trying to create a corner to turn, but on the slow track he was run down for a 33-yard loss. … Despite the lopsided score, Southern had the same number of first downs as Alcorn (19).