This past Saturday, the Jags took on the McNeese State Cowboys. The Jags would be looking forward to this game after previously losing by a 6-point difference in the last match-up between the two in 2019. McNeese currently has a 2-0 advantage in the series against Southern. After winning last week’s game against Miles College, the Jags were hoping to continue their winning streak.
During the first quarter, McNeese came out with a bang when wide receiver Mason Pierce took an opening kickoff 1-yard deep to the end zone and returned it 100 yards for the first touchdown of the game not even 20 seconds in. This didn’t intimidate the Jags though as shortly after that, Southern came back with back-to-back touchdowns thrown by Redshirt Senior Quarterback Ladarius Skelton. One for a 42-yard pass to Redshirt Junior tight end Travis Tucker, his first touchdown this season, and another with 7 yards to Redshirt Senior Devon Benn. By the end of the first quarter, the Jaguar had taken a one-score lead 14-7.
As the second quarter began the momentum was still there as the Jaguar’s defense came out hot and ready to play. Leading the way, Senior free safety Chase Foster had 8 tackles and 2 pass breakups, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle Davin Cotton had 7 tackles, and Junior Defensive End Jordan Lewis also had 7 total tackles two of which being sacks. McNeese barely had a chance to run. They only managed to score a field goal the entire quarter. Southern put up another score before the half. A 42-yard pass to Freshman Tight End Ethan Howard from Skelton ended the second half and gave Southern a 10 point lead against McNeese 21-10.
The second half was a switch for Southern as McNeese came back on the field and seemed to flip the switch. Starting with an interception in the third quarter, the Cowboys scored ten unanswered points in the third quarter. This started the offensive struggles with Southern in this half as the Cowboy’s defense held up strong through the next quarter.
When asked about what happened from the first half to the second, Coach Rollins calmly started “untimely penalties and turnovers.” He continued by saying “penalties kill momentum and kills drive.”
The Cowboys were able to seal their victory by the end of the fourth quarter with another touchdown and a successful field goal. Their defense was the culprit, as they held the Jags to just three points the entire second half, bringing the final score to be 31-24 with Southern taking the loss.
With conference play starting up next week that’s no issue for Coach Rollins as he has confidence in his team “We have a strong team, very resilient. Veteran team, so they’re going to make the corrections and see what we need to improve going forward and make those adjustments.”
The Jags will be traveling to Jackson, Mississippi to take on Mississippi Valley State University at the Veterans Memorial Stadium. The last time these two teams played in 2016, it was a complete blowout as Southern won 55-0. Southern will be looking to improve and come out on top next week as they shake back from this past week’s loss.