Southern starting quarterback Austin Howard took one snap Saturday before sitting on the bench for the rest of the scrimmage.
Coach Dawson Odums said it was a precaution for Howard, who was dealing with tightness in his hamstring and was unable to “attack the field” the way Odums wanted. Odums added that Howard would have played if it were a real game.
Just before Odums met with the media, Howard said he felt fine and was unsure why he didn’t play.
“The coaches just wanted to get a look at the younger guys, so I did my part and tried to coach them up every time they came off the field,” Howard said. “All I was told is that we were going to get a good look at the younger guys today.”
Southern's young quarterbacks struggled to move the ball. Among John Lampley, Darquez Lee and Bubba McDaniel, Southern unofficially went 22 of 44, but a number of those completions were on an impressive two-minute drill from Lampley just before the end of practice that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Flowers.
McDaniel also threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Christopher Chaney for the first score of the day, a rare defensive lapse.
“They need work,” offensive coordinator Chennis Berry said of the young quarterbacks. “That’s why we wanted to put them in game-like situations, from backed up to red zone to two-minute situations, just to see how they handle those situations. We’ll watch the film, go back to the drawing board, keep building those guys and getting them better.”
Southern went without nine offensive players Saturday, most of whom were held out for precautionary reasons, Odums said.
On top of Howard, projected starting running back Herb Edwards started but was sidelined after only three runs. Linebacker Kyle McGregor (ankle) and running back Darbbeon Profit (knee) also left early because of injuries.
Odums said Profit could need an MRI exam, but he was unsure of the status of both players immediately after practice.
Southern will not allow media or fans to watch practice next week because of what Odums referred to as “game-planning” for the Sept. 3 season opener against South Carolina State.
He said it will mostly be walk-throughs, and there likely will be some new some new plays installed, culminating in the team’s third and final scrimmage Friday, which is also closed to the media and fans.
Odums said practice will reopen the following week.
“A lot of rallying the troops back healthy,” Odums said. “A lot of situation-type practices, really game situations, game installs, starting to introduce the opponent and going against them. … Probably will be some new stuff installed because you’re getting ready for game play.”