Southern (4-3, 3-1) has the first of two open dates before returning to the road to visit Jackson State on Oct. 25. The Tigers, the defending Southwestern Athletic East Division champions, are 3-4 and 1-3 after losing their homecoming game to Mississippi Valley State 27-23 on Saturday. JSU also has an open date this week. Last season, the Tigers beat the Jaguars 19-14 in A.W. Mumford Stadium, but Southern won the rematch in the SWAC title game, 34-27 in double overtime in Houston.
Malcolm Crockett ran 1-yard for a touchdown that completed a 21-0 run and gave Southern a 35-34 victory against Alabama A&M on Saturday in Normal, Alabama. Austin Howard, who threw touchdown passes of 79 yards to Willie Quinn and 68 yards to Justin Morgan, drove the Jaguars 44 yards in nine plays to the winning score. The defense held the Bulldogs scoreless on their final eight possessions to give the offense a chance to catch up. The special teams made several key plays as Danny Johnson’s 66-yard kickoff return, Quinn’s 28-yard punt return and Morgan’s 18-yard run from field goal formation all contributed to touchdown drives.
Willie Quinn has made at least one big play in every game this season, and he made two of the biggest Saturday. His 79-yard score from Howard ignited a team that had fallen into a 20-point hole midway through the third quarter and his punt return provided a short field for an offense that had made just one long, sustained scoring drive to navigate to the winning points on its final possession. Quinn finished with seven catches for 132 yards.
“If you’re going to be the starting quarterback on this team, be the best quarterback you can be, knowing that you’re going to make mistakes. Mistakes don’t define you. It’s how you respond to mistakes.”
— Southern coach Dawson Odums on freshman QB Austin Howard finishing an erratic performance with a clutch touchdown drive to win the game on Southern’s final possession.
Keep an eye on
Junior LB Martin Henry was a surprise starter ahead of Roshaud Turner and was productive. He made seven tackles, including one for loss. Turner also played and contributed, making five tackles, inlcuding one for loss. It looks like the Jaguars are developing depth at linebacker.
After giving up 24 points on A&M’s first four possessions and 34 points in less than three quarters, Southern shut out the Bulldogs on their last eight possessions. ... The Jaguars had five sacks, one week after they had a season-high eight against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. ... Another statistic of note is that Southern committed a season-worst 12 penalties, which led to a loss of 82 yards. The infractions didn’t hurt as much as they could have because A&M lost 108 yards on 11 penalties.