By Mike McCall
Welcome to the fourth installment of our Foreign Exchange series, where we examine Southern’s upcoming game through a different perspective. This week, I.C. Murrell, the Pine Bluff Commercial sports editor who also covers Arkansas-Pine Bluff, was kind enough to put up with my badgering and answer a few questions about the Golden Lions.
Q: Just how good is this team? There are no eye-popping stats, but they’re consistently doing enough to win.
- I.C. – This team has all the capability in the world but they’re not as consistent or disciplined in their play as they should be.
Q: How would you characterize this offense? The Golden Lions use a lot of spread out formations with interesting alignments, yet they’ve had much more success on the ground. Are they a threat through the air?
- I.C. – UAPB has a run-first mentality. They’ve been spotty at best with the pass. QB Ben Anderson has only one 200-yard game this season, and a lot of that is because of the receivers’ inconsistency in catching the ball.
Q: Outside of QB Ben Anderson, RB Dennis Jenkins and WR Ladarius Eckwood, who is an offensive playmaker that fans should keep an eye on?
- I.C. – If RB Justin Billings is healthy (he had a broken nose two weeks ago), look for him to break out with a big game.
Q: How about on defense?
- I.C. – Brandon Thurmond, a DE, has the second-most sacks in the FCS with 7.5 (SWAC counts it as 8).
Q: Obviously, this game ended in awful fashion last year with the brawl that led to 41 suspensions. What are UAPB coaches and players saying about it now?
- I.C. – The guys are putting it behind them, embarrassed over what happened.
A special thanks to I.C. for helping out. As you can see, he pretty much crushed my assertion that UAPB has been consistent, but I’ll forgive him.