Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bayou Classic: Turnovers pivotal as Southern stumbles, Grambling pulls ahead

NEW ORLEANS -- Southern's defense has produced a plethora of turnovers this season, but a relentless Grambling offense helped turn the tables Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Jaguars, who had feasted on turnovers to the tune of a plus-17 turnover margin, were thrown off by an early pair of their own unforced mistakes. The turnovers helped morph a game expected to be a memorable Bayou Classic into one Southern would prefer to forget.

Southern had a chance to go into halftime with the lead, but a fumble and an interception set the table for Grambling to run up a 52-30 win. It was the most points Grambling has scored on Southern since a 55-20 win in 1977.

“It's one or two plays in the football game (that make the difference), the momentum swung from that moment forward,” Southern coach Dawson Odums said. “We talked about that all week: You’ve got to protect the football.”

The first turnover came with five minutes left in the first quarter and Southern trailing 7-6. The Jaguars were in the process of finishing a 12-play, 88-yard drive that could have given them the lead, but ball-handling problems changed that.


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