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Quick Look: Southern Jaguars

Let’s take a look at TCU’s first opponent of the season - the Southern Jaguars

NCAA Football: Southern at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, hello. Fancy seeing you around here. TCU football plays a game this week. A real, actual football game. Against a real opponent.

Sure, it’s Southern from the SWAC, but it’s real football, and I couldn’t be more excited. TCU’s latest depth chart ensures that we’re going to see some new faces on Saturday for the Frogs, too, and that should be enough to draw TCU fans to Amon G. Carter Stadium.

So, who are the Southern Jaguars? Let’s jump in.

Last Season

The Jaguars finished 2017 with a 7-4 record, including a 7-2 record in the SWAC, good for second in the West division. Their two losses came against the top teams in the conference, Alcorn State and Grambling State, but they were one of just two other teams in the SWAC to finish with a winning record.

The Offense

The Jaguars O is trying to replace senior quarterback Austin Howard, who threw for close to 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017, as well as leading rusher Herb Edwards, who carried the ball at a 5.6 ypc clip last season.

Based on reports out of practice, John Lampley has been getting the most first-team reps as the Jags look to replace Howard. A 6-2 sophomore out of Georgia, Lampley played sparingly in seven games last season for the Jaguars, but now looks to take over as the starter. (Editor’s Note: Lampley was officially named Southern’s starter just hours after this article posted).

Devon Benn looks primed to step into the starting running back role, after rushing for 459 yards and four touchdowns a season ago, and the Jags also add Jordan Davis, a big back from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars return four starters along the offensive line, and two of their three top receivers from a season ago, Jamar Washington and Kendall Catalon. The Jaguars are also adding 6-5 target Hunter Register, a transfer from Minnesota who saw limited playing time on special teams, but presents a big target for Lampley to throw to.

The Defense

Defensively, the Jaguars are looking to replace quite a bit from a season ago, including linebacker and leading-tackler Kentavious Preston, and safety and second leading tackler Danny Johnson. Johnson also led the team with three interceptions, and was second on the team with 12 pass breakups in 2017.

Leading sack man Aaron Tiller is also gone, leaving a big hole at defensive end for Southern. Tiller recorded 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2017. No one else had more than 2.5 sacks for the Jaguars, and only two other players recorded more than six tackles for loss.

The Matchup

This will be an easy win for TCU, where the Frogs will have an opportunity to play a lot of young guys and get a good look at some different combinations of players. Patterson has already said that both Shawn Robinson and Michael Collins will play in this game, despite Robinson being named the starter a little over a week ago.