Opening their home schedule vs Edward Waters, Coach Dawson Odums and the Southern University Jaguars football team gave A.W. Mumford Stadium a show before having to head to Tallahassee next week.
Southern’s defense set the tone early in the first quarter, stuffing the run against Edward Waters and causing a three and out to begin the game. Punting for Edward Waters worked in the favor Southern for most of the game with the offense having great field position to start their first offensive drive.
Running Back Devon Benn had an efficient game rushing the ball. The Jaguars rushed for 407 yards against Edward Waters defense, which was a huge part of the offense all game. Last week, Memphis staggered the Jags run game, so to bounce back and run the ball down EWC throats flawlessly is a check in the box for the Jaguar offense.
Early in the first quarter, Benn gave the Jaguars their first touchdown of many from him, giving Southern an early 7-0 lead. Mid first quarter, a QB run from second year starter Ladarius Skelton pushed the lead to 14-0. After a penalty by EWC on a fair catch, Southern’s defensive end Jalen Ivy beats his man and forces a safety to bring the score to 16-0 Southern.
The secondary played especially well on the ball throughout the game, forcing three turnovers. The turnovers started off with an interception by safety Benjamin Harris in the endzone, leading to Southern extending their lead.
DE Jordan Lewis recorded a 95 yard pick six, which was subsequently followed by an interception by CB Tamaurice Smith early in the fourth quarter. The 95 yard pick 6 by defensive end Jordan Lewis was a tail sign of just how in sync the Southern defense had been all game. To put the cherry on top to end the game, CB OJ Tucker finishes the game for good with sack, Southern’s only of the game. By the late third quarter, Southern stretched their lead to a staggering 54-0.
The game plan for the match-up against EWC was to get the ground game going, and that plan was executed thoroughly. Benn, who recorded three rushing touchdowns and 120 yards in the 3rd quarter alone, says that “ It’s always great to put that one in the right hand column, we came out with high intensity, great execution and just knew what we had to do.”
Southern’s starting center Jaylon Brinson described teammate Devon Benn as a “human joystick”, saying that “because we can do our job he can do his. With us being able to open up lanes it allows him to do his job.”
According to quarterback LaDarius Skelton, once the offense put their foot on the gas pedal, there was no looking back and they never held back. “Getting the running game started helps with the opening up the passing game,” said Skelton.
Although it was a 61 point blowout, head coach Dawson Odums felt as if the game was far from flawless Jaguar football. Feeling as though the team did play consistent throughout the game, the most glaring thing was the two fifteen yard penalties by Southern and a missed field goal. “A selfish category in football” said Odums about the penalties.
“This go around, I feel you saw a more complete football team on the field, and I feel like our defense is getting a lot better, now can we duplicate that same performance against a better football team that we play against on Saturday.” said Odums.
According to Odums, going into a renewed rivalry on Florida A&M University’s home field will be tough next week. “ They’re a tough opponent and it’s tough to win up there. I’ve been fortunate enough to go up there and play but they’re going to have a great crowd.”
Having high expectations of Jaguar Nation coming in droves to cheer on the Jaguars, Coach Odom has great faith that this classic match-up will be great for college football. Coach Odums and the Southern Jaguars head to Tallahassee, Florida to face rival Florida A&M University for the first time in seven years. Kick-off begins @5 at Bragg Memorial Stadium.