Southern Jaguars set the tone for huge year - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Southern Jaguars set the tone for huge year

Austin Howard (Source: WAFB) Austin Howard (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

As Southern prepares for its battle, or something, with Georgia on Saturday, the game gives the Jaguars a slight break in their SWAC schedule, whether they’d like one or not at this point.

Simply put, the Jaguars are on fire after back-to-back, 50-point outings. Fans just hope the Bulldogs don’t break the momentum. Either way, it can not be overlooked how much more of a well-oiled machine they are in year two under sophomore quarterback Austin Howard. 

"I can communicate more with the receivers," said Howard. "I can read coverages better this year. It’s just the chemistry between me and the receivers and the offensive line and the whole offense." 

The sophomore from West St. John always gives credit to his teammates, and even after a 395-yard effort Saturday, it's possible that people still haven't seen the best Howard and his receivers have to offer. 

"It’s a size match-up that you might be looking at," said head coach Dawson Odums, describing their offensive weapons. "It’s an ability match-up that you might be looking at, and I think we have mismatches when you look at our offense." 

Southern’s quick-tempo offense was at its best against Jackson State. In their first conference game at Mississippi Valley State, the game was in hand quickly, and the Jags were able to coast.

When forced to score or maintain the lead, such as Saturday against the Tigers, Southern kicked it into overdrive. They ran 29 more plays against Jackson State and produced 675 yards of offense compared to 378 yards against the Delta Devils. They never let the Tigers’ defense get balanced or catch their breath. 

"We like to get out and start fast and keep that speed throughout the game," said Lenard Tillery, who is averaging just under 120 rushing yards per game in conference play. "We have weapons all across the board." 

Like Louisiana Tech, people shouldn’t expect Southern's game in Athens this week to be a fair time to judge the Jaguars' progress. However, make no mistake, this team has the ability to attack opponents in every way, and they’ll only get better as we build toward a the SWAC championship game rematch with Alcorn State on Halloween. 

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