Thursday, November 24, 2016

Southern rides opportunistic defense during 8-game winning streak; can it keep it going vs. Grambling?

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- Southern is riding an eight-game winning streak heading into this week’s Bayou Classic showdown against Grambling, and there is one theme that has continued to play out during the course of that streak.

In its past eight games, all against Southwestern Athletic Conference foes, Southern has forced 26 turnovers that have directly led to 117 points. Ten of those turnovers were forced when the Southern defense was playing in its own territory, and on seven of those instances, the Jaguars turned those turnovers into points.

If you think about turnovers like a budget, the Jaguars have been in the black since Week 3 — the beginning of the streak — and now have a hefty surplus on their hands.

They have been on the right side of the turnover margin in all but one game this season, and during their streak they’ve finished at least plus-2 six times. They are plus-17 in turnover margin for the season and are plus-19 during their eight-game win streak.

Those statistics paint a clear picture: Southern’s defenders not only are adept at capitalizing on other team’s mistakes, but they also have found a consistent way to keep making those mistakes happen.


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