BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Members of the Jaguar nation have traveled the country in support of their team through the years but never to Memphis, Tenn. Saturday will be the first ever trip to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for the Jags and the game will be historic.
Saturday’s game at Memphis will be the 15th time in program history that Southern has faced an FBS opponent. Dawson Odums has been the head coach for 10 of those games. While Odums says there are obviously glaring differences at times, the players say they embrace these opportunities.
“I think if it was any other way, you’d probably choose another way, but we understand why we have to play these games,” said Odums. “You can compete with them. It’s just how long will you be able to compete is what you have to try and figure out.”
“We feel like we can go out there, if we play to the best of our ability, we can give ourselves a chance to win that game,” added senior defensive tackle Dakavion Champion.
Saturday will also be the 1,000th game in Southern football program history, as 2019 is the 101st season of Jaguar football. Odums said that sort of longevity is a testament to numerous people around the program throughout the years.
“Through all the battles, the ups and downs, and obstacles, we’re still here. And that’s a testament to our institution, our fan base, our alumni, because it’s a great tradition and program and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Odums explained.
The key this week for the Jags will be limiting turnovers to the Tigers and getting the offense going. Tuesday, they made it clear they stand behind quarterback Ladarius Skelton, who was benched after just one series in the second half against McNeese. They fully expect him to improve this week.
“Even after they took him out of the game Saturday, he was still on the sideline, when I came off, saying, ‘Good job,’” said junior wide receiver Hunter Register. “He was congratulating Bubba. He’s a real positive guy.”
“He’s responding. He had a great morning this morning, great attitude. He’s still our starting quarterback. You don’t lose your job on one game. And we understand what we have as a quarterback, and he’s our quarterback and we expect him to play really well this week,” said Odums.
It will be an early kickoff Saturday. It is scheduled for 11 a.m.
If you can’t make the trip to Memphis, you can watch the game on WBXH.