Friday, December 2, 2016

Returning its top playmakers, Southern's defense looking to continue progress in 2017

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Southern's defense took a step forward in its first season under coordinator Trei Oliver, and considering what the Jaguars have coming back next season, it would be reasonable to expect more progress.

Head coach Dawson Odums cleared out his defensive staff after a 2015 season that saw his team yield 33.5 points per game.

Enter Oliver, who brought a 4-2-5 base look with him from North Carolina A&T and routinely emphasized the importance of turnovers in practice.

The positive results were evident almost immediately.

After a pair of uneven performances against FBS schools ULM and Tulane, the Jaguars nearly shut out their first Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent — allowing a touchdown to Alabama State with less than a minute remaining in a 64-6 win.

They forced six turnovers in that game, setting the theme for what wound up being a successful first season under Oliver’s direction.


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