The coming bye week for Southern may not be much of a week off with the Southwestern Conference West Division title at stake.
The Jaguars (7-4, 5-1 in league play) have two weeks to ramp up for the annual Bayou Classic collision with red-hot Grambling State (6-4, 4-2) in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 30.
Southern is coming off a 40-34 victory against Jackson State, the Jaguars’ sixth victory in seven outings, while the Tigers have won six consecutive games after an 0-4 start.
“No time for time off,” Southern coach Dawson Odums said during Monday’s SWAC coaches teleconference. “Time to recover their bodies with treatment. We know it’s going to be a difficult challenge. This is how it’s been year in and year out in the West.”
Odums said Southern’s practice schedule would be the same after getting a day off Sunday. Monday is the day for corrections, stretching, film study and getting a first look at Grambling.
“Depending on how they practice will determine the rest of the week,” Odums said.
“We’re familiar with (Grambling); they’re familiar with us. There are really no secrets, two well-prepared teams going head to head. It’s been like that since coach (Broderick) Fobbs took over at Grambling and I’ve been at Southern. You have to take care of you, less about the opponent. Make sure you are doing the right things.”
A chilly afternoon got chillier for Southern at Jackson State after the Jaguars’ victory. Odums said there was no hot water for showers and little water pressure in the visiting locker room at Jackson’s Veterans Memorial Stadium after Southern’s 40-34 victory.
Odums expressed some dismay about it after the game and when asked about it on the SWAC coaches teleconference, confirmed it wasn’t a rumor.
“That’s true, not a rumor," Odums said. “We asked them to cut the water on and it was very cold. It didn’t come out at a high speed. It is what it is. We couldn’t do anything but ask them to cut the water on for us."
Odums said he doesn’t know if it was intentional and that the team simply got on the bus for home without showering.
“I tell our team we deal with adversity, situations as they come,” he said. “No water? Let’s get dressed, get on the bus. I apologized to our team and coaches for not being able to shower after the game. You can’t control that. We focus on the things we can control. If they wanted to cut the water off and for us to not have any water, then that’s on them. We’ll pray for them and keep moving. Other than that, it’s no big deal. Move on to the next task.”
Return specialist Brandon Hinton has been giving Southern a boost with his return ability of late, his 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown reversed the momentum against Jackson State in a 40-34 victory and he took a punt back 43 yards for a TD against Virginia University of Lynchburg.
Hinton, a Mobile, Ala., native and a transfer from Troy, has also caught 15 passes for 181 yards.
“He’s a steady performer, heady player,” Odums said. “He’s excellent in the weight room. He’s got great balance and speed. He makes plays when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s had some key catches. One of those players you like to have in the program.”
Southern stayed put in both of the BOXTOROW HBCU polls released on Monday. The Jaguars are at No. 5 in the coaches top 10 and No. 6 in the media rankings.
Florida A&M held onto the top spot in both polls. Alcorn State was No. 2 and North Carolina A&T No. 3 in the coaches poll, followed by South Carolina State.
The media poll had Bowie State No. 2, followed by South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T and Alcorn State.