Southern will have to get over its disappointing loss quickly as it travels to face Texas Southern on Friday at 8 p.m. Texas Southern is coming off a 23-17 overtime victory over Grambling.
For the third time in Southern’s four home contests this season, the Jaguars found themselves in overtime against a SWAC opponent. Only this time, Southern was unable to come up with the magic that propelled it to double-overtime victories over Prairie View and Alabama A&M. After trailing 31-14 midway through the third quarter, the Jaguars outscored Alcorn State 24-7 in the remainder of regulation to force overtime. But quarterback Dray Joseph was intercepted on Southern’s possession to begin the extra period, and Alcorn State capitalized on the miscue when tailback Arnold Walker dashed 25 yards into the end zone on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession for the win.
Against Mississippi Valley, the Southern coaching staff decided to take the redshirt off of freshman receiver Randall Menard, and it is looking like a wise decision. After hauling in four passes for 42 yards last week, Menard showed his big-play capability with touchdown receptions of 53 and 23 yards Saturday in finishing with three catches for 119 yards. Menard, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound freshman from Breaux Bridge, could be a key player down the stretch for the Jaguars as they attempt to find third receiver to compliment Lee Doss and Willie Quinn.
“The offense gave us enough points to win a football game, but as a team we didn’t play well in all phases at the same time. We had spurts. We give up long returns on special teams, we had two turnovers, and we didn’t get any on defense. It’s going to be hard to win when you don’t get turnovers and you turn the ball over.”
— Dawson Odums, Southern coach
Keep an eye on
Menard has given Southern the third receiver they’ve been missing, but Justin Morgan’s capabilities shouldn’t be overlooked. Morgan, who is a former quarterback and defensive back, possesses tremendous athletic ability. Morgan scored from 9 yards out after lining up at quarterback position in the third quarter Saturday’s game. Morgan also hauled in three catches for 24 yards.
Despite Saturday’s 44-38 overtime loss, Southern still maintains of sole position of first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Western Division, clinging to a one-game advantage over Prairie View. Prairie View dropped a 51-38 decision to Jackson State.