What we learned
The 39th edition of the Bayou Classic was, in many ways, what we often expect of this game: an emotion-filled showdown between two rivals that is sometimes a little sloppy, but usually very entertaining. Southern and Grambling combined for three early turnovers, and just when it seemed the Jaguars were ready to pull away, the Tigers nearly rallied for a miraculous win. This series has lost much of its luster, but the fans who show up often get their money’s worth anyway.
Southern’s offensive line looked out of sorts early on — after the first quarter, the Jaguars had given up a sack and rushed for only 6 yards — but the linemen soon pulled together. As a result, Dray Joseph had time to warm up, and Sylvester Nzekwe led a ground game that gained 100-plus yards for only the third time this season. The future looks bright for the O-line, which loses only senior left tackle Chris Browne.
We don’t yet know who Southern’s next football coach might be, but said mystery man will inherit an intriguing team. The Jaguars probably won’t contend for the Southwestern Athletic Conference title in 2013, but they should be very competitive. Western Division rivals Texas Southern, Prairie View and Grambling are all down — and although SU went 8-14 over the past two seasons, eight of their losses came by a combined 24 points.