When Southern and Clark Atlanta square off on Saturday, Jaguars coach Dawson Odums will be coaching against at program he has some familiarity with.
Odums previously served on the Clark Atlanta staff for four seasons (2002-05), and it is where here he received his first opportunity to be a collegiate defensive coordinator for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
Additionally, Odums served as Clark Atlanta’s interim head coach for the 2004 season and head coach in 2005.
“I was the interim coach (at Clark Atlanta) and had the opportunity to be the head coach there, but I decided to part ways,” Odums said. “I believe things have got to be done a certain way in order for you to be successful. Everyone has got to be on the same page. But (Clark Atlanta) is a great institution, and the academics there is second-to-none.”
Alabama State reaction
Southern managed to come away with a victory over Eastern Division foe Alabama State 31-28 Saturday.
The Jaguars capitalized on miscues by Alabama State, specifically in the Hornets’ secondary, throwing for touchdown passes of 30, 68, and 74 yards as well as a more modest 13-yarder.
“We knew going in that Southern had an explosive offense,” Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow said. “They had big plays. That’s really what it came down to.”
Despite trailing 21-7 late in the second quarter and having sewn up a spot in the conference’s championship game, Southern didn’t fold.
“It seemed like (Southern) just wanted it a little bit more than what our guys did,” Barlow said.
Southern’s win marked the seventh time in eight conference games the game has been decided by eight or fewer points.
It also marks the second time this season that Southern has come back from a 14-point deficit or more to get a win.
Southern also came back from a 31-14 to Alcorn State to force overtime before losing 44-38 on Oct. 26.
What the SWAC is saying
With Alcorn State’s victory last Thursday over Prairie View A&M, and Jackson State’s 26-20 victory over Alabama A&M on Saturday, Southern and Jackson State will meet in the SWAC Championship game on Dec. 7 at Reliant Stadium.
Southern will have an opportunity to avenge 17-14 loss to Jackson State earlier this season.
“They both have excellent quarterbacks,” Alcorn State coach Jay Hopson said of Southern’s Dray Joseph and Jackson State’s Clayton Moore. “I’m very impressed with both of them. I think Clayton has done an outstanding job. He’s the guy for Jackson, directs the show, and he makes plays and just does a tremendous job of directing their offense. It’s going to be a fun game to watch.”
“It’s going to be a good one,” Barlow added. “Jackson State is playing lights out and with a lot of confidence right now. The quarterback there is really good, and really puts them in good situations. Southern has the explosive wide receivers. I see it being a lot of points scored. It should be an exciting game.”