Texas Southern officially outgained Arkansas-Pine Bluff 582-514 in total yards Saturday, so somebody had to be all over the field defensively to keep the Golden Lions from dropping a fifth straight game.

Texas Southern officially outgained Arkansas-Pine Bluff 582-514 in total yards Saturday, so somebody had to be all over the field defensively to keep the Golden Lions from dropping a fifth straight game.


That person was Willie Duncan III. The sophomore linebacker from Southfield, Michigan, was honored as the SWAC’s Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.


Ten of Duncan’s game-high 11 tackles were solo. He was one of three Lions each with a sack, joining Demarcus Berry and Kwan Cummings Jr., in a 38-37 win.


"He’s only a sophomore, so he’s starting to come into his own," UAPB coach Monte Coleman said.


Duncan ranks seventh in the SWAC with 8.9 tackles per game. (He has 62 through seven games.) And he achieves that while coming off the field on what might be passing situations.


"We’ve only been doing that the past couple of weeks," Coleman said. "We put in some new defensive schemes that call for Duncan to come off the field on second-and-long or third-and-long, downs where teams may have to pass."


Third-quarter woes


When Texas Southern outscored UAPB 14-0 in the third quarter Saturday, a bad trend for the Lions continued.


They have been dominated in that quarter this season, being outscored 75-21. Texas Southern’s run erased a 26-17 halftime lead for UAPB.


A week earlier, Grambling State had a 28-7 edge against UAPB in expanding a 10-point halftime lead. UAPB tried to carry some momentum into that second half after scoring a touchdown in the final seconds before the break.


Coleman said he didn’t know why UAPB is struggling right out of halftime.


"We’ve got to look at ourselves and see why we’re struggling," he said. "It played in our favor (Saturday). We came out with the ball and sputtered for some reason."


Bama State sliding


Alabama State (4-4, 3-3 SWAC) has not looked like the same team that pounded UAPB 42-7 in a national-television game last month in Montgomery.


The Hornets played like the Eastern Division championship favorites they were selected to be, but not in their past three games. Alabama A&M added to the Hornets’ misery Saturday by winning the Magic City Classic 37-36 in Birmingham.


Bama State led 20-7 at one point.


"We have to get better defensively," Hornets coach Reggie Barlow said. "We can’t let teams drive 95 yards with the game on the line. When you score 30 (or more) points, you’ve got to stop folks."


The Magic City Classic was the first game Bama State lost when scoring at least 30 points this year. Like UAPB, Bama State played away from home the entire month of October.


Players of the Week


The other SWAC Players of the Week, announced Monday:


— Offense: John Gibbs Jr. of Alcorn State completed 18 of 27 for a career-high 362 yards and four touchdowns in a 77-48 win against Prairie View A&M.


— Special teams: Willie Quinn of Southern returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown and 242 all-purpose yards in a win over Jackson State.


— Newcomer: Arron Baker of Alcorn State rushed for career highs of 149 yards and three touchdowns.