Southern defense intent on bouncing back quickly
By MIKE McCALL
November 11, 2012
Southern linebacker Corry Roy knew the score from Saturday’s 50-21 loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. There was no missing that.
But while he knew it wasn’t a good day for his defense, he didn’t know it was 510 yards bad.
“That’s how much they got? I didn’t even know that. That (stinks) to hear,” Roy said. “We missed a lot of tackles, which is something we have to work on. It’s in the past, and we just have to move on.”
Missed tackles and misplaced focus were the two areas most blamed for the Jaguars’ lopsided defeat, and they’ve spent the week trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again during Saturday’s 4 p.m. Shreveport Classic against Prairie View.
And they’ll be catching the PV offense after its best game of the year, a 52-37 win against Alcorn State.
But while that momentum isn’t a great sign for SU, the defense — which dropped to fifth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference for both scoring and total defense — is more concerned with just getting to the right spot and finishing tackles than what the Panthers will throw at them.
“We don’t really see too much different from what we already saw in the SWAC,” Roy said. “The SWAC is pretty much the same, and every team pretty much does the same thing. We just have to tackle. They’re a good team, just like Arkansas-Pine Bluff. We just have to tackle.”
Practices were more spirited this week, particularly during first-team red-zone drills Wednesday night, and that energy has sparked optimism. Then there’s the rare bit of good news on the health front. Three secondary starters who missed practice time — strong safety Levi Jackson and cornerbacks Virgil Williams and Johnathan Mack — all practiced full speed Thursday and are scheduled to play.
“I believe we’re going to return to the ‘D’ we’ve been playing,” Williams said.
Homecoming for Williams
A solid performance would be especially welcome for Williams, who will be suiting up in his hometown for just the second time since his days at Shreveport’s Evangel Christian. Williams was a star at running back and defensive back for Evangel, and he made his first return trip as a freshman, when SU lost to PV 30-16.
Williams said he has gotten a flood of requests for tickets and expects a strong contingent on hand.
“It’s definitely a dream come true to go home and play in front of the fans who have been watching you since you started playing football,” he said. “My family is really excited, and I’m excited. I can’t wait until Saturday.”
It’s not a fairy tale though. Williams has been dealing with an injured left shoulder since last week, and that may keep him from his usual Everything Man duties as a corner and returner.
Regardless, his teammates want to make sure his trip home is a happy one.
“They’ve pretty much been telling me, ‘We want to get you the victory in your home city,’ and I’ve just been telling them to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he said. “I’m going to come out and give you all I’ve got.”