A pre-season look at the Southern football schedule seemed well set up for the Jaguars.
The first two games of the conference were against perennial cellar dwellers with the tough part of the schedule coming later and at home.
Right now it looks like the whole schedule is the hardest part.
Texas Southern, struggling with an 18-game losing streak in SWAC, hasn’t literally or figured back. He passed the Jaguars in Saturday’s somewhat surprising 35-31 victory at the Arlington Football Showdown.
As the Southern offense surged a few yards at a time, the Tigers’ quick offense spent the day passing Jaguars defenders. TSU ran 12 games less but averaged 8.1 yards per game compared to 6.4 for Southern.
As the game ended in a failed fourth down try from Southern, a slightly better defense would have avoided that situation.
“We can’t play defense like that and expect to win any game, I don’t care who’s out there,” Southern coach Jason Rollins said. We knew we could move the ball up and down the field. We just needed a few more stops to put the game away.
“It wasn’t the ploy; we have to make the bets when they come to you. This is what I rehashed and preached. We have to do these parts.
Southern allowed 576 yards with 17-year-old freshman quarterback Andrew Body in charge. He threw for 338 yards and rushed for 85. Southern sacked him twice but never had a consistent pass rush (a rushing quarterback) in part because of the quick throws and the program. dispatch.
But the rear of Southern’s defense was even worse. The improvement shown in their first two games was gone and it was Troy again. The Jaguars had a pass break as the Tiger receivers appeared to go their separate ways all day.
Still, Southern made two big saves in the fourth quarter. Ray Anderson stole the ball to stop a TSU practice inside the Jaguars 10-yard line and start Southern’s final TD practice.
Later, with a 31-28 lead, a tackle for Lyston Barber’s loss and a third down sack from Tyrant Nash seemed to be the games they were waiting for. They forced TSU to kick with 5:05 left and everything was set for Southern’s ground play to end on the field.
Then the offense failed to get the last yard on a fourth try from quarterback Bubba McDaniel. Regardless of the mess to the game caused by the field officials and the replay booth, it was Rollins’ right decision to go. The best chance of winning was to let the offense prevail. He didn’t want to put the game in the hands of the defense.
“We just aren’t done,” McDaniel said. “We had good practice and we didn’t perform. I was trying to get the first goal and I failed.
Jaguars fans would do well to remember that the opponent was not a tie-tackle team. TSU built itself through its losses and looked like a different program. He’s going to beat other teams, maybe do Southern a favor somewhere down the road.
“We are a young team and have a lot of growth to do,” said McKinney. “This is the new TSU. I take my hat off to my players. I asked them to do a lot of difficult things, things that they are not used to doing. Whatever I asked for, they did it 100%. It is the fruit of their labor.
For Southern, the best attitude is to see a turning point. There are better attacks and quarterbacks to come, including two offensive SWAC MVPs. Dwell on the one who escaped will only make the journey more difficult.
“You just need to know this game is over,” senior guard Bishop Johnathan noted. “No amount of crying or disappointment or anything will make this game resume. All you can do is focus on the next opponent and the next game.
Southern receiver Jamar Washington’s ankle injury prevented him from dressing, which was a decision to be made during the game. Bettor Martell Fontenot was to be out for a few weeks after injuring his shoulder against Mississippi Valley State. He averages 39 yards per kick with no return yardage.