2020-21 Bayou Classic Southern vs. Grambling

Southern defensive tackle Tyran Nash sacks Grambling quarterback Elijah Walker in the Bayou Classic on Saturday at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

1. What we learned

Whether it was luck or preparation or a combination of both, Southern coach Dawson Odums is to be lauded for handling a difficult, pandemic-plagued spring football season. The Jaguars steadily improved despite a close loss in their second game, and Southern was playing its best football at the end. The Jaguars eluded COVID-19, contact tracing and quarantine difficulties that hit several other SWAC teams, and they never stopped reminding us how hard it was, despite how easy it may have looked — especially in the Bayou Classic.

2. Trending now

Southern’s offense ground up another opponent and spit it out, regardless of the difficulties Grambling has experienced. The Jaguars haven’t looked this good or consistent in a while under first-year coordinator Zach Grossi, mixing an option-oriented ground game with a varied passing attack that spreads the ball around to backs and tight ends as well as wide receivers. All three of Southern’s quarterbacks played well, and the offense steamrolled the Tigers front. The Jaguars’ 520 yards were well balanced — 232 rushing and 288 passing.

3. Final thoughts 

It’s a shame the Jaguars season likely has ended. But Southern looks well set for the future since the NCAA’s waiver of eligibility this season will allow everyone back for the fall. As a substitute for spring practice, the spring season could be a boon. With proper time to prepare and a seasoned, experienced roster loaded with fifth and sixth-year players, Southern will be a strong favorite when the league gets back to it and there will be quite a quarterback battle in fall camp.