Jackson State had some success kicking away from Southern’s Willie Quinn last week.
But when the Jaguars face a much more talented team in No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, Southern coach Dawson Odums doesn’t expect the same strategy.
“They will kick to him,” Odums said. “I don’t see why they wouldn’t kick it to him. You’re not going to let someone dictate how you play.”
Quinn had three returns for touchdowns in the first games, but had just two kickoff returns for 10 yards and one punt return for four yards against the Tigers.
“They didn’t kick to him this week, but we were able to get good field position out of it,” Odums said.
Southern’s average starting field position after JSU punts was the Jaguars 21 and its average after kickoffs was its 34.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt is well aware of Quinn, who he described as “a stick of dynamite.”
“He is so quick, fast, (and has) good ball skills,” Richt said. “He really is a dynamic player. He’s just not a big player, but he plays big. When you see him you’ll be like “that guy is a special talent.” I think you’ve just got to guard him like anybody else, or at least try to.”
Out of touch
Folks in North Carolina are having a hard time getting a hold of Odums this week. Odums is from Shelby, N.C., about 160 miles from Athens, creating the potential for ticket requests.
“Considering it’s only about two hours away,” Odums said, “when I see (area codes) 704 or 828, I don’t answer it because I know what it’s in regards to.
“If you don’t have a direct contact to my wife, you’re probably not going to get me because she’s going to handle all the ticket arrangements. I’m going to be hanging up on people.”
The early kickoff time Saturday will be a significant change for the Jaguars. It’s set for noon EDT, which will be 11 a.m. according to Southern’s body clocks.
The Jaguars’ first three games kicked off at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and most of their practices have begun at 9 p.m. to accommodate players’ class schedules.
“I think when we wake up, it’s going to be time to play football,” Odums said. “I don’t think there is any way to get adjusted to it. I’m thinking (the Bulldogs) are not going to be able to adjust their schedule to get adjusted to it.
“It’s probably the earliest they’ve kicked off this year too, so I think both teams have to understand it’s a football game, you’ve got to play, this is what you’ve got to deal with, you make the best of it and you go play. That’s what we’ll do.”
Georgia’s season opener against Louisiana-Monroe kicked off at noon EDT, and the last two games started at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT.
Georgia is already fertile recruiting ground for Southern, which has nine players from the state. This trip could help the Jaguars continue their success there.
“I think we’ve got a strong alumni base it Atlanta so I’m quite sure there’s a lot of people around town that’s excited this game is coming to town,” Odums said. “I know from a recruiting standpoint, coach (Chennis) Berry recruits that area for us and we’ve been able to get some very good players from that area.
“Any time you get a chance to play close to one of the areas you recruit in it gives you to continue to build a brand.”
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.