DALLAS — It’s been an up and down season for Southern reserve quarterback Glendon “Bubba” McDaniel, and not in his statistical output or value to the team.
McDaniel has been called on to step in four times for starter Ladarius Skelton, and he’s always been ready. The Jaguars are grateful for McDaniel's preparation after his latest pinch-hit performance in Saturday’s 28-21 victory against Texas Southern.
A 6-foot-2, 200-pound third-year sophomore from Mobile, Alabama, McDaniel entered the game in the middle of a drive and went on to throw for career highs of 252 yards and three touchdowns as Southern held off the winless Tigers.
“It was separation by preparation,” McDaniel said afterward. “This is how you prepare in practice. Prepare like a starter; it’s all I can do.
“I’ve been here for a while and I know the offense like the back of my hand. At the end of the day, I just want to win.”
Last year McDaniel was the No. 3 quarterback behind Skelton and John Lampley but edged out Lampley for the backup role in preseason camp. He stepped in for Skelton in the second half of the season opener at McNeese State and has played in five of Southern’s seven games.
None was bigger than the latest game, as Skelton could not continue after getting sick in the second quarter.
On the third play of the second half, McDaniel threw a nice rainbow to Hunter Register for a 29-yard gain. On the next play he hit Jamar Washington over the middle for a 35-yard score to push the Jaguars’ advantage to 14-7.
The next possession was similar. He hit Register for 10 on third-and-6 and Brandon Hinton for 19. Then he went back to Register over the middle for 31 yards and a score. Later, a 28-yard throw to Hinton set up his final scoring pass, a 7-yard flip to tight end Jadarion Davis to make it 28-21.
McDaniel had two passes dropped, including one by Jones that would have gone for a 57-yard TD. He completed 17 of 26, and his season numbers now read: 34 of 58 for 482 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
“They feed off of each other, Bubba and Dre,” said Washington, who had three catches for 57 yards. “Sometimes Bubba picks Dre up and Dre picks Bubba up. We all pick each other up on offense.”
McDaniel’s running ability can’t match Skelton’s. He was sacked twice, but he displayed good pocket presence and had a knack for feeling the pass rush to move around in the pocket. Southern coach Dawson Odums likes him just the way he is.
“Fantastic, as advertised,” Odums said of McDaniel’s relief effort. “We know what we’ve got when it comes to him. It’s his third year. He knows the offense. He’s talented quarterback. We think we have five really good ones.
“Prepare yourself to play; that’s what we tell our guys. Take advantage of your opportunities. That’s what he did today.”
Odums said McDaniel was inconsistent until he had to deal with the death of his father. Since that time, the coach has noticed a more mature player.
“When you lose something valuable to you, it helps you grow as a person,” Odums said. “He went through an ordeal and grew up from it. You can see the bond passed from his father to him. That’s where it starts.
“When you accept wisdom and it becomes knowledge, you’re able to play and prepare at a high level. We didn’t have that before out of him, but something made the light switch come on and it stood out with him.”