TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There were a few bright spots for the Jaguars in Southern's loss Saturday, but none as dazzling 5-foot-7, 165-pound wide receiver Jamar Washington.
Washington, a junior from Alexandria, had career highs with five catches for 109 yards and a 23-yard touchdown play that helped get the Jaguars comeback rolling in the second half. The rest of the Jaguar receivers caught nine passes for 78 yards combined.
“I was taking advantage of my opportunity and made a play with the ball,” Washington said. “It was a quick route. I turned inside, broke a tackle and ran to the end zone.”
He also had a huge play with the Jaguars trailing 17-0 and Bubba McDaniel at quarterback. On third-and-10 he caught a post pattern and turned it into a 54-yard play to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by McDaniel.
The 54-yard completion was the longest of McDaniel’s career and the longest reception of Washington’s career. McDaniel had a 41-yard throw and Washington a 21-yard catch for previous bests, both last season.
“We lifted each other up, kept our confidence and faith in each other,” Washington said of the Jaguars’ comeback.
Southern was plagued by poor field position all night but especially in the first half. Of their eight drives, four of them started on the Southern 1, 2 7 and 9-yard lines. After FAMU scored to take the lead with 3:32 left in the game, Southern started at its 9-yard line and was unable to make a first down.
The Jaguars surrendered two safeties, one on a sack of quarterback Ladarius Skelton in the first quarter and another when a high punt snap was batted down by punter Cesar Barajas. He covered it before FAMU defenders could recover it for a touchdown. The Rattlers also scored a pair of two-point conversions, once when holder Chris Faddoul picked up a blocked PAY and ran it in.
Turnover streak over
Southern had gone two games and nine quarters without a turnover until McDaniel threw two second quarter interceptions, both of them to free safety Markquese Bell. The Jaguar defense picked up its fourth interception of the season when Jakoby Pappillion picked off Ryan Stanley after he was pressured by Dakavion Champion.
LT J’Atyre Carter and WR T.J. Bedford returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s game with injuries.
Florida A&M leads the series 35-26-1. The series dates back to 1941. The last time the teams played in Tallahassee was 2006 when the Jaguars won 17-14. Southern coach Dawson Odums record is now 51-32 in eight seasons. The announced crowd of 27,191 was the largest for a non-homecoming game at Bragg Stadium. The previous record was 19,058 vs. Southern in 1999.
Florida A&M QB Ryan Stanley moved into fourth place all-time for passing yardage in school history with 233 yards in the first half. He moved past Tony Ezell, who compiled 6,620.
Captains for Southern were WR Daelon Richardson, LB Daniel Edwards, S Arvin Huff and DB Benjamin Harris.