Southern apparently solved some quarterback issues with the play of Bubba McDaniel in a 38-25 victory against Mississippi Valley Sunday.
But the competition isn’t over.
While Jaguars coach Jason Rollins confirmed McDaniel is the man after throwing for 235 yards and five touchdowns, we haven’t seen the last of Ladarius Skelton. Rollins also said Skelton isn’t completely healthy because of a bruised knee.
“(McDaniel) gave us the best chance to win the game,” Rollins said on Monday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference coaches news conference. “He was prepared and had a really good week. What he showed was he gave us the best chance to win with a not 100% Ladarius Skelton.”
McDaniel completed 18 of 26 passes and had at least two dropped. The biggest stat was zero interceptions and Southern had zero turnovers. With Southern’s running game as strong as it is, McDaniel doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Five touchdowns on 235 yards passing reflects efficiency.
“We love how he can spread the ball around, use all of our targets and weapons,” Rollins said. “We are a run first team. It was good to see us keep the clock moving and shorten the game.”
Because the Jaguars like to run, there may be some future work for Skelton. Few quarterbacks are as adept at running the ball, particularly in the option game, which gives defenses fits in weeklong preparation. This is Skelton’s final season, and he may have a future at another position at the next level, but it’s too late for that on The Bluff.
It’s a cagey move to force teams to continue to prepare for the possibility of Skelton starting or playing.
There will be occasions of dropping him into a game in specific situations gives the Jaguars a boost they might need.
“When you have a talent such as Ladarius Skelton, you can’t just let it sit on the shelf,” Rollins said. “If the game plan permits, it maybe. We can’t let a guy whose won a lot of games sit on the sideline.”
The Jaguars got perilously thin at running back and that could have been a problem the week following a Sunday game, but now Southern has a chance to have everyone healthy there for the first time when the Jaguars play Texas Southern Oct. 9.
Jerodd Sims, who has not played this season, is expected to return from a foot injury. Craig Nelson left Sunday’s game in the first quarter and has two weeks to get better. And the jaguars went their first game without a targeting penalty, which is why Devon Benn missed the first half.
On defense, the Jaguars’ were already depleted before being hit by a rash of injuries. Starting defensive tackle Camron Peterson (ankle), and safeties Tamaurice Smith and Chase Foster left in the third quarter and did not return.
Southern was already missing starting Mike linebacker Ray Anderson (knee) and defensive end Tyran Nash (concussion), who were injured against McNeese State. Cornerback Glenn Brown (knee) played only 12 snaps Sunday after missing the McNeese game.
Southern was forced to use several second and third team players in the second half.
“Guys were in place to make plays, they just have to make a play,” he said. “There weren’t any gaping holes. That’s the challenge to make a play when your number is called.
“We got a chance to see the depth of our defense. It was a good challenge.”
Rollins said the practice schedule will be the same this week, minus the Saturday game.
“It’s going to be good to get into the bye week to get gelled and healed up,” he said. “It’s been a long grind since Oct. 4 (last year).”
JACKSON, Miss. — Southern quarterback Glendon “Bubba” McDaniel has done this before, stepping up and performing his role.
Davin Cotton was the Jaguar player who sacked MVSU quarterback near the end of the game to snuff out the Devils last chance.