By Mike McCall
For the second week in a row, Southern wound up on the wrong side of a huge offensive performance, falling to Prairie View 49-29 in the Shreveport Classic, whose tagline is being revised to “Where defense goes to die.”
Southern’s offense looked pretty good, posting its highest yardage output of the year (407) and taking the lead twice via a third-quarter comeback. The Jaguars were up 29-28 going into the fourth, but that was as far as they got.
Southern managed one yard in the fourth quarter while PV put up 242, and quarterback Deauntre Smiley tallied the highest total yardage output by any SWAC player this season, with 398 yards passing (and four TDs) and 170 rushing (including a 62-yard score).
Last week’s 50-21 loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff was the worst defensive game of the year (510 yards allowed), but this was worse, as the Panthers threw up a whopping 645.
As interim coach Dawson Odums said afterward, you can’t ask for much more than Dray Joseph going 24 of 37 for 317 yards and four scores, Sylvester Nzekwe becoming the team’s first 100-yard rusher and all three go-to wideouts (Lee Doss, Mike Berry and Charles Hawkins) putting up big games.
After being the team’s backbone early on, this defense is falling apart, and more games like the last two won’t give Southern a chance in these final three. With any hope of a SWAC West miracle now dashed, the Jaguars (3-5, 2-4 SWAC) are just playing for pride and a winning season (if they win out).
With those as the motivating factors, it will be interesting to see whether Southern can tighten up or if it goes into freefall mode.
Well, since I am quite literally being kicked out of the press box (the police were called, see what happens when you work hard?), I’m out. Be safe.