BATON ROUGE, La — Southern prepares for the program’s eighth SWAC championship game, and it will be their third time against Jackson State. Although they are 17.5 point underdogs, history is on the Jags’ side.
The two schools met in the first conference title game back in 1999, a game Southern won 31-30, with current SU head coach Eric Dooley on the sideline as an assistant for legendary coach Pete Richardson.
Then they met again in 2013, and Southern won again 34–27. It was the last time the SWAC trophy came back to The Bluff.
Yet now the odds are stacked against the Jaguars. They’re facing an 11-0 Tigers squad that hung 35 points on them over a month ago at Memorial Stadium, the site of the championship game.
However, Dooley is confident he made the necessary adjustments and his team more prepared for this time out.
“You want to make sure that you’re hitting on all cylinders. You got to make sure that you execute at a high level. And that’s always been my thing. We want to make sure that we’re doing the things that’s going to help us be successful.” Dooley said.
A key for any team facing JSU is stopping quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who was just named SWAC Offensive Player of the Year.
“I mean, he’s a great football player. He’s going to do what it takes to win.” Dooley said. “And I’m fortunate enough to have a defensive staff that I understand with a lot of experience.”
That starts with applying pressure to the quarterback, which the Jags are no stranger to as they lead the FCS in sacks with 43 on the year.
“You know, that’s something as a group that we shot for at the beginning of the season. So to achieve one of our goals, that’s definitely nice.” Senior defensive lineman Jalen Ivy said.
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