|Willie Quinn has been a big addition to Southern’s passing game this season. (The Advocate photo)|
Southern at Arkansas-Pine Bluff
This summer, we previewed a couple of the homecoming games we thought could factor into conference races. With UAPB picked to win the SWAC West and Southern predicted to be on its heels, that definitely seemed like the case. Add in the fact that UAPB thumped Southern 50-21 in their 2012 meeting, and this one seemed to have all the ingredients for a showdown in the Bluff.
Well, seven weeks into the season, things certainly look a lot different than any one imagined. Southern shows up to UAPB’s homecoming first-place in the SWAC West, controlling its own destiny after having beat Prairie View early in the season. UAPB has had a nightmare season, losing all six games while fighting injuries and eligibility issues.
Running Could Be Key
An interesting subplot to this game will be the Southern’s rushing attack. SU ranks at the bottom of the SWAC in terms of rushing yards, rushing for less than five hundred yards in its first six games, averaging a putrid 2.4 yards per carry. As bad as the Jags have been running the ball, the Golden Lions been worse at stopping the run, allowing opponents to run for a staggering 2,000 yards (6.6 yards per carry). If Southern can’t run the ball against UAPB, it may as well back up the run game until next season.
Earlier this year, we saw a winless Morgan State team take down an inconsistent FAMU on its homecoming. Could this game turn into a SWAC version of that? I don’t think so, but stranger things have happened.