Southern (6-3 overall and 5-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) hosts Texas Southern at 6 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium. The Tigers are 5-4 and 3-4 after a 35-7 loss to Grambling at home on Saturday. TSU, which started the season 4-0, has lost three in a row and has been eliminated from the SWAC West Division race. Last season, The Jaguars jumped to a 21-3 second-quarter lead and held on to beat the Tigers 31-24 in Houston. That started Southern’s five-game winning streak that culminated in a SWAC title.
Austin Howard passed for two touchdowns and ran for one as the Jaguars edged Alabama State 28-21 on Saturday in Mumford Stadium. Southern had trouble running the ball (86 yards on 37 carries), but Howard, Reggie Travis and Willie Quinn made enough plays in the passing game to overcome that. Howard completed 25-of-47 for 291 yards. Travis and Quinn both had nine catches and a touchdown, Travis finishing with 153 yards and Quinn with 100. The defense was hit with some big plays by ASU RB Malcolm Cyrus, who had 179 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but he was sidelined for most of the second half by a foot injury, and the Jaguars shut down the Hornets offense down the stretch. Greg Pittman overcame a missed field goal and two missed PATs to make three consecutive 40-yard field goals that were crucial to the outcome.
Travis’ nine catches included several crucial ones. He had a 23-yard touchdown that gave the Jaguars an 18-12 lead early in the third quarter and helped set the tone for the second half. He also grabbed a 43-yard pass in the final minute that enabled Southern to run out the clock. Each of his other seven catches also produced first downs. Travis was three yards short of his season-high 156 receiving yards against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“I really think it’s probably the top wide receiving corps in the conference.”
— Southern coach Dawson Odums on his wide receivers and tight ends.
Keep an eye on
CB D’Andre Woodland started after a one-game absence due to a groin injury and tied for second on the team with eight tackles. He also broke up a pass and helped lead a defense that allowed just 113 passing yards and 10 completions in 28 attempts.
The Southern pass rush had its fourth consecutive productive outing, bringing down Daniel Duhart four times for 16 yards in losses. The Jaguars have made 20 of their 26 sacks in the last four games, getting at least three in each.