During his brief tenure, Southern football coach Stump Mitchell has seen three athletic directors and two university chancellors, and dealt with a slew of penalties from the NCAA that weren’t his fault. His team wasn’t allowed to practice on Mondays last season, he lost three spring practices to bad weather, and Mother Nature wasn’t about to let the Jaguars’ fall camp go as planned, either.
So with the threat of a hurricane likely to derail his final week of preparation before facing New Mexico on Saturday, you’ll have to excuse Mitchell for being unfazed.
“If you can’t adjust around Southern, you’re in trouble, because things happen,” Mitchell said. “That’s just the way it is, but I love it.”
With inclement weather looming, SU canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Jaguars moved Tuesday’s practice to 7 a.m. in hopes of beating the rain and wind. After that, the team will have to play it by ear, but there’s a good chance they won’t practice again before flying to Albuquerque, N.M. on Friday.
“These guys’ families come first,” Mitchell said. “No matter if we don’t practice again, when we board that plane, we’re going to go up there and play competitively.”
SU Athletic Director William Broussard met with Chancellor James Llorens and others Monday morning to plan, and all nonessential personnel will be excused from work while classes are out.
As of now, the team’s travel plans have not been affected, but Broussard said a group will remain on campus to handle any last-minute changes.
The bottom line for the Jaguars, after staying safe, is to get mentally prepared to face the Lobos, who won’t be troubled by the weather conditions in Baton Rouge.
“No one is going to take pity on you,” Broussard said. “No one is going to ask, ‘Are you feeling OK? Is everything going well back home?’ They’re not going to have any concern for us, so we want to make sure that our student-athletes are prepared well mentally and physically. We’re going to do everything we can this week to ensure we have enough time to prepare.”
SU releases depth chart
Beyond naming Dray Joseph as the starting quarterback, there were a few other notable items on the Jaguars’ depth chart that was released Monday.
The most surprising was at right tackle, where injured starter Taylon Jones will be replaced by freshman Anthony Mosley, who was moved from defense to offense last week.
In addition, Darrius Coleman will get the nod at running back after injuries to Sylvester Nzekwe and Jerry Joseph. Mychal Bell won the free safety job. And the starting linebackers will be Detrane Lindsey, Javon Allen and Corry Roy.
Long-snapper Justin Williams has returned to the team and will regain his starting role, which was temporarily lost when enrollment issues led Mitchell to believe he had quit the team.