Southern has an open date next week as it attempts to regroup after losing a hard-fought, rivalry matchup against Jackson State 19-14. The Jaguars host Alabama A&M Oct. 12 at A.W. Mumford Stadium. The Bulldogs (2-3, 2-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) edged Texas Southern 12-10 Saturday. Alabama A&M hosts Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.
Before a crowd of 30,816 at A.W. Mumford Stadium, Southern played perhaps one of its best games all season, piling up 348 yards of total offense against the best defense in the SWAC statistically. The Jaguars, however, only managed 14 points. The defense was tremendous in the first half, holding Jackson State to just 58 yards rushing. However, it was unable to hold up the last 30 minutes of the game as the Tigers accumulated 132 yards on the ground. Southern has yet to play a full 60 minutes offensively and defensively this season.
Junior linebacker Detrane Lindsey continued his stellar play so far this season, registering a season-high 11 tackles and a tackle for loss Saturday against Jackson State. Despite missing the Northwestern State contest, Lindsey ranks second on the team in total tackles with 39.
“This is probably the most focus as a football team we had going into a football game. One game doesn’t determine the kind of season that you are going to have, we wanted to win this football game bad because we understand where it would have put us, but we came up short. We have to move on and play the next one. I just hurt for the guys.”
Southern coach Dawson Odums
The Southern offense has had its struggles of consistency to begin the season. Despite possessing one of the league’s most prolific passing attacks, the Jaguars are averaging just 7.2 points in the first half this season. One way the Jaguar offense can improve their consistency is to establish a running game that defenses have to respect. Freshman running back Lenard Tillery has shown toughness and explosiveness. In Saturday’s defeat Tillery, who was inexplicably absent on Southern’s final drive, showed off his speed, breaking a 60-yard touchdown run down the Jackson State sideline and outracing Tiger defenders to the end zone.
Despite the heart-breaking loss to Jackson State, Southern remains tied with Prairie View atop the Western division of the SWAC standings. ... Southern holds the tiebreaker over the Panthers after their 62-59 victory two weeks ago. ... The open date comes at an opportune time for the Jaguars to allow for Southern to mentally regroup and get healthy physically. ... The coaching staff will likely be looking for ways to improve the team’s rush defense — although there have been signs of drastic improvement in recent weeks — and the offense’s inability to sustain drives and score in the first half.