With its first back-to-back wins since 2009 in the bag, why should Southern stop busting streaks now?
But before the Jaguars (2-2, 1-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) can get to the big ones — like a winning season or SWAC title — they’ll need to get through Alcorn State (1-4, 1-2) at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Of course, defeating the Braves would have streak significance as well, as it would be the first time SU has won three straight games on the road since 2004. Back then, Southern won four straight away from home, with the last one coming via a 23-20 victory over Alcorn in Lorman, Miss.
Since then, the Jaguars have gone 1-2 in their trips to take on the Braves, and interim coach Dawson Odums is looking forward to keeping his team’s road-warrior momentum going.
“It gives our kids a chance to go on the road again and show everybody what a great football team we have,” he said. “What better place to do it than in enemy territory?”
Odums said the Jaguars’ sudden win streak, which was created with Saturday’s 21-14 victory over Florida A&M in Atlanta, has been a blessing and a major confidence boost. But it’s also unfamiliar for a team coming off records of 2-9 and 4-7 in the past two seasons.
“Of course, these guys haven’t been in this predicament before. They’re excited,” Odums said. “They don’t even know how to celebrate. They look at me, and I look at them and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing this together.’ It’s good to see these guys having that excitement.”
With a combined 27 penalties for 221 yards in the past two games, Southern was fortunate to overcome its mistakes.
But that doesn’t mean the offenders were off the hook.
Odums has his own penalty system, where the guilty parties are hit with up-downs as punishment for their flag-inducing ways.
And it’s not just for official ones like offsides or holding — Odums and his staff keep track of their own penalties, such as loafing.
Tally them up from Saturday’s win against Florida A&M, and Southern players had to do 79 up-downs on Monday night, one for each “stupid” penalty yard, plus those of Odums’ creation.
If there was a good sign in last weekend’s penalties, it was that the average yardage (13 penalties for 85 yards) was drastically lower than the previous week at Jackson State (14 penalties for 136 yards).
Southern will be keeping an eye on injuries to two defensive starters this week.
For the second day in a row, free safety Mychal Bell (high ankle sprain) was not at practice, with D’Mekus Cook taking his spot with the starting defense. Defensive end Kadeem Lewis, who racked up 1.5 sacks on Saturday, practiced but was limited by an ankle injury.
Odums said he expects Lewis to play Saturday against Alcorn State, while Bell is questionable.
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