BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Southern head coach Dawson Odums saw his offense blow out of the gates in its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday.
At full speed, there were questions about how the quarterbacks would fare.
Early on in the Jaguars' first scrimmage of camp, the offense took advantage of the defense, which was mostly in base coverage. The offense found a rhythm early with sophomore John Lampley under center as the first team quarterback. But surprisingly, it wasn't No. 11 who threw the first touchdown pass. It was sophomore running back Devon Benn, the John Curtis product. He tossed a halfback pass that hit senior tight end Dennis Craig from Glen Oaks up the sideline for a score.
"I already knew he was going to take it to the house," said Benn. "I just had to put it on the money."
"I had to sell the shoot and then I wheeled it right up, so the defense was kind of fooled by it," added Craig. "Caught the ball in open space and just having fun running down the sideline. That's the best feeling on the football field."
"Guys came out with the right focus and mindset," said offensive coordinator Chennis Berry. "We were able to move the ball. A lot of explosive plays on RPOs, good plays in the running game so I thought guys came out with the right mindset to start off practice."
After the first team period, the defense started to open up the playbook a little bit, blitzing from different angles and switching up coverages, which led to some confusion.
"We have a lot more speed this year and guys are a lot more comfortable," said defensive coordinator Trei Oliver. "With us having spring ball, that helped out a lot. Guys know where to go, they have a better feeling of what to look for, and everything else. We're just playing a little faster right now."
"If you get turnovers, you give the offense a better chance to win, the whole team to win so I feel like if we get turnovers, it'll help us out a lot," added junior linebacker Calvin Lunkins. "Turnovers help us out. That's all I can say about that."
So, while it's still early, it appears the quarterback race is a two-man competition. It remains unknown who the second quarterback will be. At the start of the day, it was sophomore Glendon "Bubba" McDaniel. However, after some struggles, it could be sophomore Ladairius Skelton, who showed flashes of athleticism but still has some learning to do of the playbook.
"He's got to stay level-headed as well. He has some of those younger guys with him sometimes on the offensive line and those guys are trying to gel but I thought he did a good job. The thing I like about Bubba is he never gets up or down. He's always even-keeled the whole time. Skelton is athletic. He can do some things with the ball in his hand. I think he still has to get a better grasp of what we're doing offensively. Things happen fast. We put a lot on the QB. Get us in the right play, checks ... But I think he'll come along. He'll be able to help us this year. We just have to figure out where he's going to help us at," Berry explained.
Southern opens the season at TCU on Saturday, September 1.