Southern (5-4, 5-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) plays its final home game when it faces Alabama A&M (2-4, 2-6) at 4 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium. A&M lost to Mississippi Valley State, which had been winless in the SWAC, 27-24 in overtime last Saturday. The Jaguars beat the Bulldogs 35-34 last season in Huntsville, Ala., overcoming a 34-14 third-quarter deficit.
Austin Howard threw four touchdown passes, and Malcolm Crockett and Lenard Tillery both ran for more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Jaguars beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 57-24 last Saturday in Golden Lion Stadium. The defense held the Lions scoreless until 35 seconds remained in the second quarter, and Southern built a 41-8 halftime lead. In the second half, the Jaguars played it close to the vest on offense and gave everyone on defense a chance to play.
Howard did all his damage in the first half, completing 15-of-17 passes for 229 yards and all four of the passing touchdowns. He threw four incompletions in the third quarter before turning things over to Deonte Shorts. The Jaguars’ first three possessions of the game ended with Howard throwing a touchdown pass to a different receiver: Bradley Coleman, Willie Quinn and Crockett. He later added a touchdown pass to Nico Talbert.
“I just think we’re young. You’re going to have up games, you’re going to have down games, but you have to stay the course.” — Coach Dawson Odums on the Southern defense bouncing back after allowing 484 rushing yards a week earlier against Alcorn State.
Keep an eye on
The running game. The Jaguars had a pair of 100-yard rushers for the first time this season as Tillery finished with 111 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, and Crockett, who caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown, had 107 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Tillery is 25 yards from his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and 111 yards from becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher as a junior. Crockett is a senior who will be playing his last home game Saturday.
The wide receivers were much more involved in the passing game than they had been in weather-plagued outings the previous two weeks. In the loss to Alcorn State a week earlier and a victory against Texas Southern the week before that, only four wide receivers caught passes and they combined for nine receptions. Against UAPB, five receivers caught passes, combining for 12 catches, 181 yards and three touchdowns. … For the second week in a row and the second time this season, Southern did not get a sack but the defense did limit the Lions to 3.3 yards per play. … The Jaguars possessed the ball for a season-high 35 minutes, 44 seconds, nine seconds longer than they possessed the ball against Georgia. … Southern was penalized nine times for 95 yards, tying for the third-most penalties in a game this season and yielding the second-most penalty yards.