Southern coach Dawson Odums on the Jaguars homecoming game against Prairie View: 'It will be very disappointing if we don't get 31,000 (fans)' _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern coach Dawson Odums

It’s the seventh week of the college football season and Southern is getting ready to play just its second home game.

The Jaguars have played four of their five games on the road and they had an open date two weeks ago, so they’re eager to get back into A.W. Mumford Stadium to play Prairie View on Saturday. On top of that it’s homecoming.

When Southern was getting ready to play Jackson State in its home opener Sept. 19, coach Dawson Odums challenged the fans to fill the stadium. They responded with a sellout crowd of 30,000.

Now he’s looking for more.

“It will be very disappointing if we don’t get 31,000,” Odums said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “With what we’re playing for and it’s homecoming, it would be very disappointing to see those stands not full because we’re going to need them.

“We’re going to need that extra energy to be pushing this football team forward and we’re going to want that emotion in the stands. We’re going to need that atmosphere to be loud and obnoxious. Anything less than a sellout now is disappointing. You work so hard to build something and you hope the fans come out and support it and show support for it by being in the seats.”

Tickets are still available for the 4 p.m. kickoff.

The Jaguars unveiled a new uniform that the players will wear Saturday. It features navy blue jerseys and pants. The helmets are white and feature a decal displaying the number 33, the jersey number of injured wide receiver Devon Gales. The players gave the blue uniforms a big thumbs up.

“Depending on how we play will determine how many times we where it,” Odums said. “It looks nice.”

Southern is 3-2 and 3-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and needs a victory Saturday to stay ahead of the Panthers (3-2, 3-1) in the West division standings.

“It’s round four of the nine rounds we’ve got to play,” Odums said. “They have one loss and they understand what they’ve got do. We understand what we have to do.”

Odums said the Jaguars were inconsistent in a 45-34 victory at Alabama State last Saturday. They led 24-0 early in the third quarter before the Hornets offense got hot.

“We played in spurts,” Odums said. “The disappointing thing was the penalties – 14 is way too many. We left some plays out there.”

Odums said he talked to Gales’ father Tuesday. Gales is hospitalized at the Shepherd center in Atlanta as he rehabs from spinal surgery.

“He’s making progress,” Odums said. “It’s not shocking that he’s rehabbing. If they want somebody who’s going to rehab, they got the right guy. His body is seeing some benefits.

“He’s got a little more movement in his fingers. He’s got a little more control in his waist area. Once you get control of those muscles good things happen. As you get more feeling, you get stronger and as you get stronger good things open up for you. I’m happy with his progress and I’m more happy with his attitude. You don’t have to worry about him having a setback. He’s on course.”