Southern’s defense had the better of it as the Jaguars took another step closer to the end of fall camp Wednesday.
But overall coach Dawson Odums said his team is where he wants them with the season opener at McNeese State Aug. 31 a little more than two weeks away.
Jaguar defenders picked off four passes and had five turnovers, prompting Odums’ deal with his team to kick in. Odums and his coaching staff ran sprints after the workout in shells. The eighth-year coach likes the way his players are coming together considering their experience.
“Everything was good today,” Odums said. “They’re getting themselves ready for what’s in front of them, responding like a veteran team. That’s what you want to see.
“They’re taking the coaching,, doing the things we ask them to do, holding each other accountable. They are focusing on discipline, attentive in meetings, and taking great notes. Those are the things that have to come together before we can talk about big things happening.”
Odums is happy to see his defense performing since stopping the run is a key to Southern becoming a more complete team. Senior Mike linebacker Calvin Lunkins, who led the team in tackles last season, is a known quantity, but Odums said Caleb Carter has risen to the challenge and the depth is not far behind either one.
“Caleb Carter is athletic and very fast,” Odums said. “He’s more comfortable with the defense, learning and listening. He’s grown on the field and he’s more vocal because of that. When you put those things together it’s a good recipe for a linebacker.”
Carter, a 6-feet-1, 220-pound sophomore who prepped at Scotlandville, was the team’s fifth leading tackler with 38 in 2018, and he added a tackle for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery. Lunkins
Behind Lunkins and Carter are junior Kyle McGregor and redshirt freshman Kennen Tate, who prepped at Zachary.
“We’ve got quality backups; they’re smart guys,” Odums said. “There’s not that big of a difference in the talent level with the starters.”
Odums said the four players with interceptions were cornerbacks Glenn Brown, Jordan Eastling and Tamaurice Smith, and rover Jakobi Jones.
“It was not a good day for the offense,” Odums said. “We moved the ball but we’ve got to make better decisions.”
Second annual Jagathon
The Southern University athletic department will undertake its second annual fundraising event called Jagathon Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Felton G. Clark Activity Center.
Stations KQXL-FM 106.5, MAX 94.1 FM and WXOK-AM 1460 will be broadcasting interviews between play-by-play announcer Chris Powers and Jaguar coaches and officials throughout the day. Fans are invited to listen or come out the festivities at the Clark Center.
“This is big for Southern, huge,” Powers said. “They did pretty well with it last year. Every sport will be represented.”
Southern University is entering its 101st season of football when the Jaguars take the field at McNeese State Aug. 31. The program’s first official season by NCAA standards was 1918 and the school did not play in 1943 because of World War II.
The program will hit another milestone the following week with the 1,000th game in school history at Memphis, according to statistics compiled by Powers. Southern has won or shared 19 SWAC titles and 11 Black College National championships.
Southern’s overall record is 607-361-30. Odums achieved his own milestone with his 50th victory in the 38-28 Bayou Classic victory last November. Odums is 50-29 in seven plus seasons. He served as interim coach for part of the 2012 season before taking over full time in 2013.