1 Little House
This game will be played at what could be called “The Little House on the Prairie.” Blackshear Field is Prairie View’s seldom-used on-campus facility, which has a capacity of about 5,000. In recent years the Panthers have played most of their home games in nearby Houston and some games against Southern have also been played in Shreveport and Dallas. This is the Jaguars’ first trip to play on the Prairie View campus since 1967, and it’s apparently a big deal. Panthers coach Heishma Northern, a Southern alumnus, said he expects “a homecoming-type environment.”
2 Suspect PV defense
Southern has been plagued by inconsistency at quarterback, injuries at running back and wide receiver as well as instability on the offensive line. But even with those issues, the Jaguars might be able to exploit the Prairie View defense, which ranks last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in several key defensive statistics after two games. The Panthers are last in points allowed (42.5 points per game), total yards allowed (502.5) and rushing yards allowed (296.0). They’re doing a little better against the pass, ranking seventh (206.5), but that could be related to opponents’ success rushing.
3 Platooning specialists
The Jaguars might platoon its kicking specialists. Paul Randle Soden and Murphy Nash III both punted last week, and both could kick Saturday as coach Dawson Odums seeks consistency. Kyle Yonke, who had never kicked in an organized football game until this season, got the job when Greg Pittman had preseason knee surgery and Matt Hill was declared ineligible. Yonke has missed his only field-goal attempt (29 yards) and is 9 of 13 on PATs. Pittman has been kicking in practice this week and could make his season debut Saturday.
4 Special to Northern
This game always has special meaning for Northern, who played at Glen Oaks High and Southern. Northern received his degree from Southern in 1996 and began his coaching career at Glen Oaks. “I don’t know how many phone calls I’ve had from family asking for tickets,” Northern said. “I try to treat it like any other game, but it’s the place where I played and graduated from and met my wife (the former Paula Duell). But at the end of the day, I just want to get a win for Prairie View.”