“We didn’t play the best offense that we could have played, but you’re going to have games like that. ... We had to play great defense (Saturday night) to even stay in this football game.” DAWSON ODUMS Southern coach
Southern coach Dawson Odums stood in front of reporters exhausted after Saturday’s double overtime win over Alabama A&M. In a hoarse voice, he expressed how pleased he was for his football team.
“I’m just proud of the whole team,” Odums said. “We didn’t play the best offense that we could have played, but you’re going to have games like that. We grinded out a victory, and that’s the kind of team that we are.
“We had to play great defense (Saturday night) to even stay in this football game. I’m just so proud of the way those guys competed.”
Just as they have done on multiple occasions, the Jaguars managed to overcome adversity and scratch out a victory despite the odds.
Southern relinquished the lead to Alabama A&M with 49 seconds left in the game when Bulldogs quarterback Brandon Wells found Toriono Upshaw in the end zone.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, Southern’s 5-foot-6 playmaker Willie Quinn returned the kick to the Bulldog’s 49-yard line, setting the Jaguars up in prime position to be able to tie the game.
The credit for the team’s willingness to battle through adversity has to be attributed to Odums’ philosophy of “no negativity” that the coaching staff has hammered into the brains of the Jaguars.
“Negativity has no place when you are talking about being successful,” Odums said. “When you are talking about change, negativity has no part of it. If you can create a positive mindset for the individuals that are involved and get them to believe that saying, ‘Good job; play the next play,’ is more important than getting down on each other.
“Because the world is ready to get down on them. Success will find you if you preach positivity and everything about you is positive, eventually the performance will show it.”
Despite the Jaguars defense being scrutinized for their performance before Saturday’s game, they managed to come up with the most crucial plays in the most vital of situations.
In overtime, after a blocked 43-yard field-goal attempt by Jaguars place-kicker Matthew Hill, the Southern defense was able to force a fumble by Alabama A&M running back Barrington Scott, which safety Dionte McDuffy recovered at the Southern 15-yard line — sending the game into a second overtime.
“We practice overtime situations probably more than any other team,” Odums said. “We understand it’s a situation that you have to be ready for in order to win football games. A football game is about situations. All our practices are about situations.
“We’re always working on things that come up in the game to try and get our guys prepared for it.”
Heading into Arkansas-Pine Bluff next Saturday, the Jaguars are confident and are seeking to separate themselves from the pack in the Western Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“It’s October,” Odums said. “And people that know and follow college football know that the month of October separates teams from each other.”
6 Man Club
Southern University’s 6 Man Club “Split The Pot” winning number is 072464. The winner is asked to call Gail Ray at (225) 356-5252 or Elijah Wilkinson at (225) 355-9249.
The Blue & Gold Fan Club will have bus trips to Southern football games Oct. 19 at UAPB for $115, hotel $79 (only five rooms left); against Texas Southern at Houston on Nov. 1, for $110, hotel $99; and Nov. 9 at Alabama State for $110, hotel $69. The cost of each trip includes the bus ride, game ticket, refreshments on the bus and tailgate food. Contact Craig Pierre at (225) 324-7234 or Robert Square at (225) 931-4052.