Jaguars’ focus: Rev run; stop run

Southern football coach Dawson Odums identified three key facets the Jaguars will emphasize this week as they prepare for Saturday’s Southwestern Conference opener against Prairie View:

Rushing offense, rushing defense and special teams play.

The Jaguars’ ground game has accumulated a meager 165 yards rushing in their first two games, while the defense has been gashed for 564 yards rushing.

Freshman punter Paul Randall Soden averaged just 27.7 yards on nine punts in Saturday’s 55-14 loss to Northwestern State.

“If we correct those three areas, I think it would really improve our chances of winning football games,” Odums said.

Academic Issues

Junior receiver Bradley Brown and sophomore defensive back Dionte McDuffy remain out as Southern awaits a ruling from the NCAA on the players’ eligibility for the season.

New starters

Odums said Tuesday that there will be changes made in the starting lineup this weekend.

Sophomore Christopher Allen will take over as the Jaguars’ starting right defensive end in place of senior Dion Palmer.

Junior defensive back Kevin King will assume the starting cornerback position opposite Virgil Williams.

Sophomore defensive Jamaal Martin will be inserted into the starting lineup at safety, sliding freshman Blake Monroe to nickel back.

Sophomore Willie Quinn will serve as the team’s primary kick returner.

“He believes that every time he touches the football he can score.” Odums said of Quinn.

Additionally, sophomore linebacker Treyveon Evans will replace senior captain Anthony Balancier as the Jaguars’ Buck linebacker in their 3-4 scheme.


Balancier has been suspended for the first quarter of Saturday’s game, Odums said.

“I want to make sure that guys understand that first of all, guys have got to go to class and do the necessary things off the field as well,” Odums said. “If they’re going to be on this football team, they need to do things the right way.”

Balancier is suspended for his pregame remarks that he made in reference to Northwestern State last week.

Injury update

Southern freshman tailback Lenard Tillery is expected to see action in his first college game Saturday night against Prairie View.

Tillery is recovering from a lower leg injury that has kept him out of the Jaguars first two games.

“He’s a guy that’s determined to get a yard,” Odums said. “He won’t be denied.”

Odums described Tillery’s status in practice this week as a “full go.”

Sophomore defensive back Jaleel Richardson continues to recover from a shoulder injury suffered in the opener against Houston.

Richardson is questionable for the Jaguars’ home opener.