It’s Monday mailbag time once again.
You tweet me questions about Southern and I answer them on line.
The Jaguars lost to Alcorn State 48-7 last Saturday in soggy A.W. Mumford Stadium. Their second loss in three games dropped them to 4-4 and 4-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
That loss severely damaged Southern’s hope of winning a third straight West division title because Grambling (6-0) and Prairie View (5-1) are both ahead of the Jaguars with just three league games remaining.
Southern will try to get back on track when it visits Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7, 0-6) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Now on to the mailbag:
@EastAdvocate did SU practice wet ball drills prior to last game?
Good question. I can’t say for sure that it did, but I suspect it probably did. Practicing with wet football when rainy weather is expected is a time-honored practice. Southern, which played in soggy condition against Texas Southern in Houston a week earlier, knew all of last week that heavy rain was forecast for the Alcorn game. There was plenty of time to prepare for the conditions. I’ll check with coach Dawson Odums at his Tuesday news conference and try and get a definitive answer.
It’s hard to say which was a bigger factor because they were both factors and they were intertwined. Alcorn was clearly the superior team Saturday, as the final score shows, but I don’t think there’s nearly that big a difference between the two teams when they’re both playing their best. I think Alcorn played about as well as it could have and Southern did not play its best, which is partly due to Alcorn jumping on top and being relentless. I think coach Odums was right when he said that Alcorn’s style of play was more conducive to the conditions than Southern’s, though that hardly excuses the final score. I think another factor in the game – and this doesn’t excuse the final score either – was the fact that Alcorn was coming off an open date – second in three weeks. The Braves were well-rested and had more preparation time, not to mention the fact that they should have been supremely focused after stewing for two weeks after a 35-34 overtime loss to Grambling. So I think there were factors that contributed to the lopsided score, but Alcorn outplayed Southern by a large margin.
I think if complacency was an issue, it was in the Prairie View game. I don’t think Southern overlooked the Panthers, but some players seemed to indicate afterward that Prairie View was better than they anticipated. The Jaguars had not trailed in a SWAC game before that and when the Panthers got on top of them I think they pressed a bit, which contributed to several mistakes. But mistakes aside, just like the Alcorn game, Southern was the inferior team that day. As for Southern not being as good as originally thought, there may be some truth to that. The SWAC clearly has a top tier of four teams – Grambling, Alcorn State, Prairie View and Southern – then there’s everybody else. Right now the Jaguars are fourth in that top tier, but they have three games left, including the one against Grambling, to improve their standing.
The AD search appears to be on the back burner for now. Perhaps it will move to the forefront after the holidays. Coach Banks’ approach is to delegate some day-to-day duties to his administrative staff during the season. Trayvean Scott, director of institutional compliance, has been taking on a bigger role and has been especially hands on with APR data.
That’s it for this week’s mailbag. Thanks for all the questions. We’ll do this again next Monday.
I’ll solicit questions via Twitter next Sunday and Monday, but you can tweet questions to @EastAdvocate any time for inclusion in the next online mailbag.