BATON ROUGE, LA.-- The Southern University Jaguar football team will open their 85th year of SWAC play Saturday when they battle the Golden Lions of University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Kickoff is set for 6:05PM and can be heard on KQXL Q106.5FM and on ESPN3.com as well as q106dot5.com.
The Jaguars come in to the game at 1-3 on the season and looking to get the conference slate opened on a positive note. Last year, Southern started the season at 2-3 and won 5 straight games to advance to the SWAC Championship game. They are hoping to use that same formula this year.
Pine Bluff native Ladarius Skelton had his best game as a Jaguar last year vs UAPB. He threw for 283 yards and 4 passing TD’s all career bests. The Jaguars won that game, 56-24. Coach Dawson Odums is 6-1 against the Golden Lions as Southern has won 6 in a row in this series that started back in 1932. Skelton will have to get the passing game going and will look to get the ball in Jamar Washington hands. The Jr. had 109 yards and TD in last week’s loss to FAMU. Jeremias Houston had a nice grab over the middle for 21 yards. The Jaguars will have TJ Bedford back from an ankle injury. The opposing defenses are stacking the box with eight or nine players so the passing game will have to open up for the run to work.
The Jaguar defense is the best team in the SWAC against the run. Only allowing 3 yards per carry for opposing teams. Led by Caleb Carter with 28 tackles as well as Benjamin Harris with 21 tackles. Harris had a monster game last week tackling 10 Rattlers and getting an interception. Joe Davis had 7 stops and has 19 tackles for the year. The concern is not against the run but the pass coverage. Opponents are averaging 272 yards through the air. Last week, Rattler’s QB Stanley passed for 355 yards including an 97 yard drive to take the lead for good against the Jaguars. Southern’s young Defensive backs are getting better with every game and will have to stop one of the best Wide receivers in the SWAC in Harry Ballard III. He was named “New Comer of The Week,” in the conference as he had 3 catches for 58 yards on the winning drive against Tennessee State.
This game should be fun from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The last time Southern went there was 2015. In 2017, the game was played in Little Rock, Arkansas, as Southern won that game, 47-40. Coach Odums has never lost a game in the state of Arkansas. He is 3-0 on the road against the Golden Lions but this is not last year’s 2-9 UAPB team. This Golden Lions team has won 3-in-a-row after losing the 1st game of the year against TCU. Coach Odums said this week, “We’ll find out what we’re made of!”
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