Jags find ground to build upon in tape from La. Tech defeat
BATON ROUGE - The Southern Jaguars did more over the weekend than lick their wounds after a 62-15 loss at Louisiana Tech. The Jags and Coach Dawson Odoms spent the days after their season opener diving into film from the defeat to see what went wrong and found some bright spots upon which to build.
Coach Odoms had a lot to say after getting a glimpse of the tape and highlighted defensive points and mental toughness as key points of focus at the outset of college football week two.
"Tackling. From a defensive standpoint, it's hard to simulate tackling in practice because you're trying to keep everybody healthy. And the speed of the game. Having those two things out of the way now, our guys understand how to adjust," said Odoms. "From a tempo (offense) standpoint, it's seeing someone in a different color jersey. Recognizing different looks as people stem and move in and out of defenses. I think that gave us problems early on, but we adjusted and we settled down and we started to play decent football."
Beyond the sheer mechanics of last weekend's defeat, the coach is taking an optimistic approach to the attitude behind his squad as they ramp up for a collision away at Mississippi Valley State.
"I think it all depends on your leader. I tell people all the time. We can't control what happened yesterday, but we are in full control of what happens today," Coach Odoms said Tuesday. "That's really our mindset. We can't change the outcome of the La Tech game, but we can change the outcome of games going forward. So we have to put it behind us, and lock in mentally. You have to regroup and you have to refocus. Having a short week doesn't give you much time to think about losses."
While taking a significant loss can be tough in and of itself, Odoms and the Jags also have the added challenge of being up against a short week to prep for their next game. The coach downplays this perceived roadblock though. In fact, he says it will be an advantage for the team to get back on the field as soon as possible to reestablish their path forward this season. The coming game is also a chance for the Jaguars to make a statement with a national TV audience as they open up conference play.
"I think the good thing is that the team you're facing is in the same predicament. It's not like anyone has an upper-hand." said Odoms. "It's just that we have to go on the road. But I think at the end of the day, the way we play, I think the quicker you can get back to playing makes it better on the coaches and the players. I think that's what we're eager to do. Go out there and show we have a better brand of football, and being able to put that brand on national TV is something that we welcome."
Thursday's meeting with Mississippi Valley State will be broadcast on ESPNU/ESPN3 at 6 p.m.