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SSU Tigers make changes on offensive line
After surrendering eight sacks during a 34-14 loss to Howard in their renovated stadium’s first game, the Savannah State Tigers went to work Tuesday renovating their offensive line.
SSU has surrendered 16 sacks and 45 tackles for losses accounting for 211 lost yards during its first five games. The Tigers rank 101st among the 120 teams in the Football Championship Subdivision with 3.2 sacks allowed per game.
“It’s one of those things where we’ve got to get better, and I’ve got to find ways to put these kids in better situations,” SSU offensive coordinator Terance Mathis said.
So Mathis decided to move some players around. You might need a scorecard to keep up with all the changes.
Thelmore Jackson (6-foot-5, 291), who was moved to defense earlier in the season, becomes the team’s starting right tackle, and sophomore Jonathan Clowers (6-6, 290) takes over at left tackle.
The team’s original tackles — Jared Brunson and William Edwards — moved inside to guard.
And freshman Giovanni Ventura replaced injured Terrick Ransom at center.
“(The offensive line) has always been a concern depth-wise,” SSU coach Steve Davenport said. “But it is what it is. If you have injuries, you just have to put the next guy out there, and they have to get the job done. We shook up the offensive line today. It’s a patchwork thing, but we’ll keep working on it.”
About Morgan State
The Bears enter with a 2-3 record overall, 1-1 in MEAC play. They’re second in the conference with a plus 1.0 in turnover margin. The best example of their ball-hawking abilities came two games ago when they forced six turnovers in a 14-9 win over Howard.
Morgan State, located in Baltimore, lost its last outing to North Carolina A&T 24-3.
MSU’s defense is led by freshman linebacker Michael Dallas II, who was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week after registering nine tackles and forcing two fumbles, returning one of the fumbles for a touchdown.
But Dallas II suffered a concussion against A&T, leaving his playing status against SSU Saturday in doubt.
Quarterback Seth Higgins, a true freshman, made his first start against A&T. He completed 22 of 40 passes for 169 yards.
This and that
Senior running back Justin Babb is second in the MEAC in all-purpose yardage with 121.2 yards a game. … Freshman defensive lineman Leroy Cummings leads the team with 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for losses. His sacks average (0.7) is tied for 48th in the nation and tied for sixth in the conference. … Senior kicker Derek Williams has four field goals, which ranks fifth in the conference. … Sophomore wide receiver Dylan Cook has at least one catch in each game this season. Cook leads the team with 18 receptions. He had only 16 catches last season.
By Donald Heath, Savannah Morning News