Southern (0-1) faces a short week as it opens Southwestern Athletic Conference against Mississippi Valley State (0-1) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Itta Bena, Miss. The game will be shown on ESPNU. The Delta Devils lost 66-0 at New Mexico on Saturday. The Jaguars beat Valley 44-13 last season at A.W. Mumford Stadium. In the last meeting at Valley Southern won 17-7 two years ago.
Southern was manhandled by Louisiana Tech in a 62-15 loss Saturday night in Ruston. The Bulldogs were far superior on both sides of the ball. They scored 24 points on their first four possessions, started pulling starters in the second quarter and built a 52-8 halftime lead.
Sophomore cornerback Danny Johnson made two second-quarter interceptions for the Jaguars that helped prevent the final score from being even more embarrassing. Johnson also tied for second on the team with five tackles, had the only pass break-up by a Southern player and tossed in a 36-yard kickoff return.
“I’m probably one of the most positive coaches you’ll ever meet. We just lost 62-15 and all I can say is this, ‘Hey that’s over with. That’s behind us. Let’s move forward, concentrate on the next game and see if we can play a little bit better.” ’ — Southern coach Dawson Odums.
Keep an eye on
How quarterback Austin Howard bounces back from a poor performance. The SWAC Freshman of the Year last season appears poised for an even better season this year, but Saturday’s performance was one of his worst. One of the biggest points of emphasis for him coming into the season was improved ball security and he threw two interceptions against Tech. He finished 12-of-20 for 95 yards after sharing time with Deonte Shorts and Jarrad Hayes.
Amid all of the big plays the defense allowed, Howard’s two interceptions and a touchdown allowed on a punt return, citing penalties might seem like nit-picking. But after being penalized nine times, the Jaguars have yet another deficient area to try and fix during this short week.