It’s almost football season and the Southern University Jaguars are preparing for the 104th season of football on The Bluff.
The Jaguars look to improve on a 2018 campaign that saw them go 7-3 in regular season play, only to fall to Alcorn State in the SWAC championship game. This season, the Jaguars look to rely on key starters coming back including Hunter Register, Montavious Gaines, and Ladarius Skelton, in order to make a run at a SWAC title.
The Jags will be playing two more games than last season, opening up the season in Lake Charles when they travel to play McNeese State on August 31. McNeese finished the 2018 season with a 6-5 record. This game will be an early road test for the Jaguars this season.
Southern goes on the road again for a September 7 matchup against the Memphis Tigers, who are coming off of an 8-6 season a year ago that seen them lose in the Birmingham Bowl to Wake Forest. This game will be a great opportunity for Southern to see how they stack up against FBS competition.
Southern has their first home game when Edward Waters comes to town to play in the 2nd Annual Pete Richardson Classic. The Tigers are coming off a tough 4-7 season last year.
The Jaguars will then hit on the road to renew a spirited rivalry with Florida A&M in Tallahassee on September 21. Southern has not played the Rattlers since 2011, when they lost 38-33 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.
Austin Irvin, a sophomore business management major from Alexandria, Louisiana, said, “The FAMU game is the most anticipated game of the season because we haven’t played them in a while.”
After one of the biggest games of the year, the Jaguars head to Pine Bluff to take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Jaguars have beaten the Golden Lions the last five times they’ve played them, most recently beating them 56-24 on Senior Day last year.
After a bye week, the Jags are at home for the Isaac ‘Doc’ Greggs Tribute Game, an October 12 contest with Prairie View A&M. The Jaguars beat the Panthers 38-0 in a game that saw Southern turn the corner in route to their success last season.
On October 19, the Jaguars head to Dallas to play Texas Southern at the Cotton Bowl in the State Fair Showdown. The Jaguars beat TSU last year and look to beat them again this year.
One of the biggest games of the season happens on October 26 in Lorman, MS as the Jaguars travel to play Alcorn State. Last season, Alcorn beat the Jaguars on a rainy homecoming night in Baton Rouge and in the SWAC Championship Game, which ended their season. This is a game that could be a preview of another SWAC championship and could reveal who will be in Atlanta in December.
“They’re going to show up against Alcorn, especially after last year,” said Joshua Williams, a sophomore therapeutic recreation major from Baton Rouge Louisiana.
After one of the toughest games of the season, the Jaguars then turn their focus to the homecoming game with Alabama A&M on November 2. Homecoming is always big at Southern as Alabama A&M looks to avenge their loss a season ago.
The Jaguars’ last three games on the schedule include Virginia University at Lynchburg, at rival Jackson State, and rival Grambling State in the Bayou Classic in New Orleans. The SWAC is deep this year and the Jaguars have key contributors coming back. Can the Jags get over the hump and get to Atlanta or will they fall short again for the second year in a row?