After suffering its worse conference defeat in the brief tenure of head coach Dawson Odums, Southern still remains upbeat heading into its homecoming game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff Saturday.
“That (mentality) is part of our program,” Odums said Monday just two days after Southern lost 56-16 at Alcorn State. “I’m positive.”
“I told the guys we lost. The only way to deal with it is to first admit it and get better from it and move on,” he said.
While Odums and players are seemingly taking the losses in stride, there is still a lot of room for improvement after Southern allowed 682 yards, with 410 coming via the bruising Alcorn State rushing attack.
Odums attributed the high yardage total to the Jaguars defense’s inability to make a stop on critical third down situations.
Alcorn State was able to convert 11 of its 15 third down opportunities, which extended drives, led to points and wore down defense as the game progressed.
“We have to get off the field on third down,” Odums said. “The way you prevent those (extra) snaps is to get off the field on third down.”
Quarterback depth crisis
During a 10-minute session with the media on Monday Odums hinted that depth at quarterback was “fragile.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Deonte Shorts did not play against Alcorn State due to a hernia injury after missing the Prairie View game the previous week with an elbow injury.
Behind shorts are a pair of freshmen quarterbacks who have been forced into to duty as a result of Shorts’ injuries.
Howard Austin threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns against Alcorn State.
Jarrad Hayes, the only other healthy body on the roster, has yet to see the field.
“Shorts feels better,” Odums said. “We are just trying to get to the bye week. We just have to hold up until we get to that bye.”