LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - The outcome of Southern's season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette was a bit one-sided in a 45-6 loss, but the Jaguars can walk away knowing they do have promise at quarterback in true freshman Austin Howard.
Freshman quarterback Deonte Shorts started the game, but was pulled after completing only two of nine passes for 21 yards. Austin entered the game off the bench and performed very strongly, producing the only touchdown the Jags were able to score in the contest.
"He has a live arm," SU head coach Dawson Odums said after the game. "He has a great understanding. He played well for being a true freshman. He made some throws. We moved the ball when he was in there and we just went with him. Nothing against Shorts, but we had a little more consistency when Austin was in there."
Austin finished the game 18 of 31 for 181 yards. The scoring play was a 23-yard pass to junior wide receiver Bradley Coleman. Another key stat to point out was Austin threw no interceptions.
"He does some things that…I wouldn't say he shouldn't be able to do, but he understands the game," said SU wide receiver Bradley Coleman. "So, he does things that an older quarterback would. We're excited about it. They're going to continue to compete and, like coach said, we're going to re-evaluate it and just take it from Monday."
"Like I told my guys before the season started, 50 percent of the teams in the country are going to start the season 0-1 and that percentage is going to dwindle down from 2-0 to 1-1 to 0-2. So right now, we're in that 50 percent that's 0-1 and we'll go back and we'll re-evaluate, coach a little bit better, do a little better job of teaching and really just work on our mindset," Odums explained.
The good news for the Jaguars is they return home next week to take on a Central Methodist team that they can take out some of their frustrations on.