BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Southern is riding a five-game winning streak and has back-to-back conference championships in its sight.
A big game is looming for the Jaguars (7-3, 6-1 SWAC) after Thanksgiving, but they must first contend with Mississippi Valley State (2-8, 1-7 SWAC) at home.
"It just goes by fast and you really don't realize it until the last week that it's going to be your last time playing in the stadium," said senior offensive lineman Dwayne Houston.
Saturday night will be the final home game for 14 Southern seniors. It's a group that bottomed out with losses early in their careers and saw their head coach fired, before the interim guy proved he could handle the gig full time and led the program to a championship.
"Since I've been here, we've gone 4-7, then 4-7 again and then we won a championship," said senior defensive end Arthur Miley. "So, a lot of change went on around here and it's change for the better."
"For the seniors who made it to the last game, it means the world to us," said senior defensive lineman Jaylen Jordan. "We love the game and we love each other, so it's just nice to be able to go out with one big bang before we never play at A.W. Mumford again."
What appears to be the biggest Bayou Classic in years is just around the corner. Grambling's miracle turnaround continues, with the Tigers 7-0 in the SWAC. But, for that game to mean a trip to the SWAC Championship is on the line, Southern can't afford to slip up against Valley.
"We can't look over them," said senior defensive back Kevin King. "They are a very tough competitor. They've played us tough the past three years, so it should be a good game Saturday. We need everybody in the stadium."
"For the seniors, just to see it packed for the seniors, so they can come out and say, 'Hey, the last time I played in A.W. Mumford Stadium, the crowd was packed, it was live and we won the game headed to the Bayou Classic,'" said sophomore running back Lenard Tillery. "I would love for it to be packed for the seniors."
The Jags have played two home games in November and Mumford Stadium was roughly half-full for both, maybe a little bit better.
"Maybe four years ago, I could see why you wouldn't support the product," said head coach Dawson Odums. "But, based on where we are now and the past year, I cannot see why you wouldn't show up to support these young men as they fight their hearts out for Southern University. We need y'all One Nation to be there to root us on to victory. Nothing is guaranteed."
Odums certainly hopes fans show up this week and pack the house.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.