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This pass is just past the outstretched hands of Southern University wide receiver Marquis McClain (5) in the first half of their SWAC football game agsint Jackson State at A.W. Mumford Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Missed offensive opportunities piled up for Southern in the final six minutes of its Southwestern Athletic Conference rivalry game with Jackson State on Saturday.

The offensive woes capped off the second consecutive game in which Southern was unable to score a second-half touchdown as Jackson State won 21-17 A.W. Mumford Stadium.

“I felt pretty good going into the fourth quarter, but at the end of the day you have to make plays,” Southern coach Jason Rollins said. “We couldn’t get a stop when we needed it, and we came up short. I’m disappointed for our guys and the effort they put in.”

Southern also couldn’t put together a late-game drive when it needed one.

With Southern nursing a 17-14 lead with 5:34 left, the Jaguars offense proceeded with an empty tank. On first down, Bubba McDaniel dropped a shotgun snap and was tackled for a 3-yard loss. McDaniel’s second-down pass was behind intended target Marquis McClain, and a third-down completion was 6 yards short of the first down.

A short punt set Jackson State up at midfield for its go-ahead touchdown drive.

With 1:31 left to play, Southern still had hope. The Jaguars converted a fourth-and-7 and had a first down at the JSU 44 before a breakdown proved too much for Southern to overcome.

McDaniel was sacked for a 10-yard loss, leaving Southern 54 yards away from the end zone with 31 seconds left. McDaniel threw two incompletions before a final heave toward the end zone was intercepted.

“I thought that we would make a play,” Rollins said. “That’s the feeling I had and so did the rest of the team. We didn’t make it happen.”

Southern began the game with Ladarius Skelton at quarterback, and he played most of the first quarter. Skelton’s 27-yard completion to McClain helped the Jaguars move into JSU territory, but he gave way to McDaniel on third-and-15 at the JSU 36.

“We always have a Ladarius Skelton package, and if they give us a certain defense we go to that,” Rollins said. “They started the game with that personnel so we started the game with the Skelton package”

McDaniel’s 14-yard completion was followed by a fourth-down conversion. On the next play, Jerodd Sims rushed for a 21-yard touchdown, and Rollins kept McDaniel at quarterback for the rest of the game.

It didn't help Southern stick to its game plan of trying to wear down a talented JSU defensive line. The Jaguars had nine rushes for zero or negative yards and finished the game with 105 yards rushing.

McDaniel did his part by completing 16 of 24 passes for 176 yards. He found a wide-open Gregory Perkins for a 32-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to give Southern a 14-7 lead.

Southern had a chance to add points before halftime after a fumble recovery at the JSU 32. But the drive stalled at the JSU 1 as time ran down. On fourth down, Rollins decided to go for the touchdown instead of an extra-point length field goal, and Sims was stopped short on the last play of the half.

“Right there, we felt that getting seven points would be huge,” Rollins said. “It was only half a yard, and we’ve been able to get that on a consistent basis. I was confident in our O-line, the strength of our team, to get 1 yard.”