By Felix Cunningham
Although Southern University dodged the dismal Baton Rouge weather Saturday night, the Jaguars found themselves in the midst of another storm in Ruston, Louisiana – one that rained Bulldog touchdowns.
Louisiana Tech defeated Southern 62-15 in front of 27,905 fans, at Joe Aillet Stadium last Saturday, the second largest crowd in program history.
Though history was made inside of the stadium, unfortunately for Southern, the Jaguars only picked up a few positives during the game.
Down 24-0, senior wide receiver Willie Quinn scored on a 100-yard kickoff return that put the Jaguars on the board with a minute left in the first quarter. A successful two-point conversion cut the deficit to 24-8.
“The team likes when I make a big play because it gives the team excitement and if I have to do that every game, I will,” Quinn said. “I have a nose for the touchdown, and when I touch the ball, I feel like I have to make it to the end zone whether the team is winning or losing.”
Despite Quinn’s special teams heroics, Southern found themselves down 52-8 before halftime.
In the second half, defensive back, Danny Johnson intercepted Tech’s backup quarterback, Ryan Higgins near the end zone twice.
“I feel like I made some good plays,” Johnson said. “They weren’t throwing the ball at first and then when they did, I had to execute.”
Junior running back Lenard Tillery tacked on a touchdown in the third quarter to increase Southern’s point total to 15.
Tech’s stable of running backs out rushed Southern 207 to 94 and scored two touchdowns to Southern’s one.
Bulldog quarterback Jeff Driskel outdueled Jaguar sophomore Austin Howard with a 274 yard, four-touchdown performance. Howard managed just 95 yards and threw two interceptions.
Louisiana Tech captured history inside of their stadium and shook the first game jitters off of their shoulders. Southern had to defend some history-defining moments during gameplay.
Tech’s wide receiver, Paul Turner, scored the Bulldogs’ first 45-yard punt return since 2011 when Tech played against New Mexico State. Turner also scored the his longest touchdown reception of 58 yards in the second quarter. Plus, Kenneth Dixon’s 65-yard touchdown run (his 63rd) moved him into a tie with former Heisman-Trophy winning Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne for tenth all time in NCAA history.
One reason for the Tech’s bevy of big plays was the absence of veteran offensive lineman Anthony Moseley in the first half.
“I’m not even going to lie, I was five minutes late for practice and that’s why I had to sit out, but once I got back into the game, I was alive and it was finally time for me to do what I love,” Moseley said.
Southern was surprised to view déjà vu on the field.
“We saw what was on the tapes on the field and they capitalized on us, and we were just surprised to see what was on film,” Moseley said. “We just have to pick back up and capitalize from what we learned and take it into Thursday.”
The Jaguars will try to rebound this week, as they open SWAC play against Mississippi Valley State on Thursday, September 10 in Itta Bena, Mississippi.