It’s not quite the two-quarterback system of last year, but expect to see both Dray Joseph and J.P. Douglas on the field for the rest of this season.
Douglas came in for one series during the fourth quarter of Southern’s 28-21 win at Jackson State, going 2-of-3 for 36 yards on a drive that was stymied by two penalties.
Despite Joseph having his best game of the season (18-of-25 for 249 yards and three touchdowns), coaches said they wanted to make sure Douglas got some experience, and that will be the plan going forward.
“We just like to get J.P. some reps,” interim coach Dawson Odums said. “We felt it was a time in the game where we could get him a series in there, and then we were going to get Dray back in there. … We’re not going to play two quarterbacks. Dray is our quarterback, but anytime you get a chance to get that second quarterback in, you look forward to it as a coach.”
Odums said Douglas will get “a series or two” in games, and he expects the time on the sideline to help Joseph by giving him a chance to watch the action from a different perspective.
No. 1 fan
Having his former boss in the stands for Saturday’s game against FAMU didn’t bother Odums.
Stump Mitchell, who had been dismissed as Southern’s coach a week earlier, drove to Jackson to support the Jaguars, and he also accompanied Odums to his weekly television show on Monday.
“I look at him as a father figure and a mentor, so anytime I could have him close by me, it’s always exciting,” Odums said. “I think what coach Mitchell has left us is a good football team, and he wants nothing more but for us to be successful. We look at him as our No. 1 fan, and we thank him and we appreciate everything that he has done for us.”
Options at RB
After leading the team in rushing for the first two games, Darrius Coleman saw his starting role disappear on Saturday. Coleman didn’t get any touches, while Sylvester Nzekwe had 15 carries for 26 yards and Jerry Joseph ran four times for 1 yard.
While Nzekwe wasn’t able to rack up a slew of yards, his four carries for 16 yards in the first quarter were enough to establish him as the top option. He also had two catches for 40 yards.
“The way (running backs coach Elvis Joseph) handles those guys is that Sylvester got hot,” Odums said. “Once he got hot running the football, we left him in there, but you will see Darrius Coleman in there this week back in action. He’s a great runner in between the tackles, and we’re looking forward to getting him some carries this week.”
Southern has ranked last in the Southwestern Conference for rushing in each of the past two seasons. The Jaguars are currently last again at 71 yards per game — the only SWAC team under 100 yards.
Odums said receiver Charles Hawkins (hamstring) and linebacker Javon Allen (high ankle sprain) will both be game-time decisions against Florida A&M on Saturday.
Hawkins has missed the past two games and was limited in practice Monday and Tuesday, while Allen watched Monday’s practice while wearing a walking boot.
The Southern ticket office is selling tickets for Saturday’s Atlanta Classic between SU and FAMU. Prices range from $10 to $50 and can be purchased by calling (225) 771-3171.
The school is also encouraging fans to wear gold to the game and is selling shirts on its website, http://www.gojagsgear.com.