The numbers were against Texas Southern going into Saturday’s game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Very few outside the Texas Southern locker room would believe the Tigers would total close to 500 yards of offense on the road when they’ve barely averaged more than 200 during the season. But redshirt sophomore quarterback Homer Causey found enough wrinkles in UAPB’s defense to take advantage of and finished with 334 total yards and four touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 41-28 victory.
“There are wrinkles in every defense,” Causey said. “You just have to find them.”
He had no problem doing that.
Causey turned in touchdown runs of 67 and 12 yards among his 13 carries. He netted 196 yards rushing, losing only 8 on one sack.
He also completed 11 of 23 passes for 138 yards.
“We put in some stuff for him this week to try to do some things with his athletic ability and just keep him grounded,” Tigers coach Darrell Asberry said. “And that took a lot of pressure off in throwing the football and the offensive line did what they were supposed to do. The whole team just played well tonight.”
The win is only the Tigers’ third under second-year coach Asberry, who inherited a club that’s fallen on hard times after winning the 2010 SWAC championship. The Tigers have not had a winning record since and have been ineligible for postseason play because of poor Academic Progress Rate performance and sanctions related to a lack of institutional control.
Texas Southern had lost eight straight before Saturday.
“At 0-5, people are doubting you,” Causey said. “People are telling you y’all are going to be the same as you were last year. I kept seeing one of my coaches on the tidal walk as I walked to class and I told him, ‘I still believe, coach. Keep believing.’ “We’re in a situation where we can still put out 6 and 5 (record). With that being said, keep fighting.”
It could have been worse
A missed interception by UAPB free safety Jared Turner led to a Texas Southern touchdown — only for the play to be called back.
With about 3 minutes left in the third quarter and the Tigers up 31-14, Turner jumped and tried to bring down the pick, but bobbled it into the hands of Steven Carpenter, who ran it in for what would have been a 53-yard TD play. But a holding call negated the play and the Tigers eventually punted.
That drive was set up by Demetrius Johnson’s interception return to the UAPB 27. Texas Southern then was flagged for an illegal block and unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the ball back to its own 47. Linebacker Jarius Moore was ejected for making contact with an official.
Nation’s leading tacklers
UAPB senior linebacker Jer-ryan Harris exceeded his average in tackles and finished with a game-high 14 Saturday, including 10 solo.
Harris was second among all Football Championship Subdivision players, only to sophomore teammate Antonio Jenkins, in tackles going into the game with 12.8. Jenkins, who averaged 13.8, had seven Saturday, but all were solo.
Kevin Rucker Jr. and Joel Green teamed up for UAPB’s only sack.
Bad luck struck Texas Southern during pregame warmups when two of its players collided with each other.
Defensive back Michael Holmes and offensive lineman Glenn Jackson appeared to be doing drills from two different lines when they collided. Holmes was helped to the bench, but Jackson resumed working out.
Both players participated in the game.
The game ball goes to …
Causey for his 196 rushing yards and four touchdowns (two passing).
Next for the Lions …
UAPB celebrates homecoming as the Lions host Southern next Saturday. Kickoff at Golden Lion Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m.