BATON ROUGE, La. – Senior quarterback Austin Howard completed 18-of-31 passes for 198 yards and ran for a touchdown and redshirt freshman Devon Benn contributed with 88 combo yards (57 receiving and 31 rushing) including a 27-yard touchdown scamper for the game’s opening score at A. W. Mumford Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at the 13th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
Howard put Southern (1-0) up for good on a six-yard run where he faked out the entire Bulldogs defense on a play that was lined to the right. Despite departing the game early in the fourth quarter after being banged up, Howard completed passes to eight different receivers including three apiece to Dontrell Brown, Randall Menard, Benn and Jamar Washington.
Redshirt senior rover Montavious Gaines was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after he made four tackles including two tackles for a loss, forced a fumble and a pass break up. All-SWAC Preseason First Team selection Danny Johnson made the game-sealing pass break up.
The Jaguars improved to 3-0 all-time in MEAC/SWAC Challenge games while S.C. State loss for the first time in this event and dropped to 3-1.
Bulldogs kicker Tyler Scandrett made a pair of field goals from 37 and 35 yards to get the Bulldogs with 14-6 as the teams entered the locker room for halftime. A safety with 10:18 in the third quarter when the ball bounced outside the back of the end zone cut the deficit to 14-8 where the score remained.