NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - Southern University head coach Dawson Odums had some strong words going into Saturday's Bayou Classic with arch-rival Grambling State University, but he wasn't the only one.
"Last year was 20/20, but this time we're going to do it sort of like Deion Sanders - 'Prime Time!' Odums said. "Because we're going for 21. Thank you all."
Before the teams even step foot onto the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, both athletic directors exchanged their own heavy hits about the turf.
"So, I can stop being diplomatic now," said Dr. William Broussard, director of athletics for Southern University.
"I see that Will showed up," said Patricia Cage-Bibbs, interim athletic director for Grambling State University.
"Coach Bibbs, I want to personally invite you to join us in Houston," Broussard added.
"It will be Grambling," Cage-Bibbs stated.
"We believe that 2014 is, once again, the year of the Jaguar," said Broussard.
Even with it being the most meaningful Bayou Classic in a decade, with the winner advancing to play in the SWAC Championship game, both head coaches said they're leaving the hype to the fans in the stands and keeping their team preparation focused on what happens on the field.
"They just know we're playing Grambling and that's how we like it. It's not that big of a game, really, to the guys that's on the field," Odums explained.
"If there's not a football game, then none of this other stuff would be going on," said Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs. "So, they have to understand that they have to take care of their responsibility and we've done that this year."
Both teams have 7-1 records in the conference coming off a bye week. And with Tuesday morning's pageantry behind them, it's all about football from here.
"Anytime you win this football game and you have a chance to further on playing, I think it's good. It helps the off-season program. It helps you for the next season," Fobbs stated.
"We're not down here to meet uncles and aunts and families and cousins. We're here to play a football game, so it's business as usual," Odums added.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on NBC.