Southern’s resurgence in the past few weeks apparently caught the eyes of ESPN.
The Jaguars’ trip to Alcorn State this weekend had originally been slated for 2 p.m. with no television coverage, while the game between Grambling and Prairie View in the State Fair Classic was tapped for broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
Instead, ESPN made a switch and opted to show the Southern-Alcorn game, which will now kick off at 4 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPN3.com, with a tape-delayed television broadcast at 9:30 p.m.
Southern was notified of the decision this weekend, and Antoine Bell, the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s director of media relations, announced the change during the SWAC coaches teleconference on Monday morning.
“Originally, we had the State Fair Classic on there, but that game was taken off the schedule so ESPN added one more game in there, and that ended up being the Alcorn game this weekend,” Bell said.
ESPN did not give a reason for the change or return a call seeking comment, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that the Jaguars (2-2, 1-1 SWAC) have won two games in a row to sit half a game out of first place in the SWAC Western Division.
Meanwhile, Grambling (0-4, 0-3 SWAC) and Prairie View (0-5, 0-3 SWAC) have gotten off to surprisingly slow starts after being picked as the top two teams in the division before the season.
The State Fair Classic will kick off at 6 p.m. in Dallas.
When LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger showed up for interviews Monday without his moustache, it meant victory for Southern punter Chase Tuten.
Along with the Tigers’ signal-caller, Tuten has sported a ’stache this season, and Mettenberger’s decision to break out the razor left no doubt as to whose reigns supreme.
“Mine was already the best,” Tuten said.
While Tuten’s numbers this season are far from where the freshman would like, he has also made a few big plays.
His punting average of 35 yards ranks Southern eighth in the conference, and his low point came against Mississippi Valley State when a dropped snap led to the Delta Devils’ winning touchdown.
But against Jackson State, he pulled off a slick pump fake to avoid what would have been a sure blocked punt, and he boomed a 47-yarder Saturday that came to rest inside the 2-yard line. He also scooped a low snap off the turf in the second quarter, got his kick off and drew a running into the punter penalty that extended the Southern drive.
Starting free safety Mychal Bell is questionable for Saturday’s game at Alcorn State after suffering a high ankle sprain against Florida A&M.
Bell left the game in the second half and didn’t return, being replaced by senior D’Mekus Cook.
“He was a little tender (Monday) morning. He’ll probably be day to day,” Odums said. “I know it was a high ankle sprain, but I don’t know how severe it was. We pulled him out of the game, because he was noticeably limping.”
Bell was held out Monday, along with linebacker Javon Allen, who suffered the same injury a week earlier and missed the FAMU game. Receiver Charles Hawkins (hamstring) did practice Monday and said he hopes to play full speed against the Braves.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved