Southern notebook: After grueling stretch, open date comes at a good time for 'banged up' Jaguars

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 07:54:55 PM. After spending six consecutive weeks accumulating bumps and bruises — and in some unfortunate cases, significant injuries — Southern has finally reached a reprieve with an open date on its

After spending six consecutive weeks accumulating bumps and bruises — and in some unfortunate cases, significant injuries — Southern has finally reached a reprieve with an open date on its schedule this weekend.

“It’ll get us healthy,” said Southern coach Dawson Odums. “We played six games in a row, and we’ve got a lot of guys that are banged up.

“This will give them an opportunity to spend more time in treatment, get those soft tissue injuries healed and give ourselves a chance … to make a run down the stretch.”

The Jaguars had to piece it together at times in the highly physical six-game stretch to open their season. 

Starting quarterback Austin Howard missed two games with a knee injury. Running back Herb Edwards appeared to lose his starting job because of a hamstring injury, then regain it after his replacement, Devon Benn, injured his knee.

Defensive end Simeon Houston also missed several games with a knee injury, and linebacker Kentavious Preston has been slowed by a shoulder injury. Several others have played through nagging pain.

Odums said he will use the open date to periodically rest key players in certain periods of practice, though he is not planning to hold them out of practice all together.

“We’re not good enough to take days off,” Odums said. “We’re going to allow guys to take some time off during certain team periods and try to get some backups some more work, and really just work on the fundamentals, have a longer (individual) period.”

REPLAYS TO BE SENT FOR REVIEW

Odums said he plans to send in “a lot” of film from Saturday’s win against Alabama A&M so the conference can review the officiating.

One review in particular could have an impact on Southern next week: Linebacker Jordan Bennett was ejected in the second quarter Saturday for targeting, a penalty that carries a suspension for the first half of the Jackson State game as well.

southern-notebook-after-grueling-stretch-open-date-comes-at-a-good-time-for-banged-up-jaguars photo 1 Buy Now

Southern University linebacker Jordan Bennett (58), bottom, grabs Alabama A&M quarterback Damion May (3) on a riun, while SU safety Jakobi Jones (31) applies a crunching hit, knocking May backwards in their game at A.W. Mumford Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING

Odums said he understood why the call was made while noting that it is tough to make that call based solely on real time.

“It was bang-bang,” Odums said. “It’s tough on the officials when you don’t have replay. It’s judgment, it’s bang-bang, it’s hard to see some of that stuff with the naked eye, that’s why you have replay.

“We don’t have it at our place. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll send it in.”

Odums took the same tack on some of the other calls that he felt were questionable.

“They’re human, they’re going to make mistakes,” Odums said. “Just like we don’t make all the best calls as coaches, they don’t make all the best calls as refs. I understand that.

“Once I got clarification from the refs, there was no need to be upset. It’s a human mistake. If it doesn’t go in our favor, I can see why they called it the way they called it, but replay allows you to get it right.”

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Even with a healthy Austin Howard, Southern rotated John Lampley in as a dual-threat option

Senior quarterback Austin Howard made it through his first entire game without an injury sca…

IN THE RANKINGS

Grambling rose one spot to No. 20 in the latest STATS FCS top 25 after defeating Prairie View 34-21. Grambling has spent the entire 2017 season ranked in the poll, but No. 20 is its highest ranking yet.

Alcorn State picked up two more top 25 votes, giving it six votes, after it beat Alabama State 24-10 last week.

Grambling and Alcorn State are the only teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference without a loss in conference play.

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