What we learned
The Southern offense can pile up yards and points, but the defense has to make plays or it will be for naught. The Southern defenders struggled to defend the run and the pass in a 35-31 loss to Texas Southern, with poor tackling and an inability to stay close to receivers. The Jaguars' pass rush was near non-existent against a freshman quarterback who never appeared rattled. The Southern offense missed some opportunities, too, and special teams missed two field goals, but the defense bears the brunt of this loss.
Marquis McClain did all he could to help Southern. The 6-3, 210-pound senior transfer from Auburn had a career high six catches for 94 yards and lit a fire under the Jaguars after they had fallen behind 21-10 to start the second half. On the next snap, he took a pitchout on a reverse and sped 65 yards to answer the quick TSU score. McClain made a nice cut near the 30-yard line to take a defender off his feet.
It’s just one game. The Jaguars still have a long season, and the schedule sets up nicely with their toughest games at home. They need to get a few breaks in the injury department. Southern lost two defensive starters in the first quarter and was already playing without one. The Southwestern Athletic Conference does not have a dominant team yet, although Jackson State is starting to look like one. A lot can still happen just two games into the league slate.