BATON ROUGE, LA — Dawson Odums will makes his Southern coaching debut since having the interim tag removed from his title of head coach against the University of Houston to open the 2013 football slate.
"Several intriguing matchups, including an opener against Houston in the largest Southern University alumni pocket outside of Louisiana, a restoration of the intersectional rivalry against Northwestern State, and hosting defending SWAC Eastern Division champion Jackson State are highlights for next season," said Southern athletics director Dr. William Broussard.
The Jaguars contest against the Cougars will be the second consecutive season opener against a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member for Southern and the second meeting between the two schools. Houston defeated the Jaguars 55-3 in the first-ever meeting in 2008. Two dates, Aug. 29 and Aug. 31, are being targeted for game dates due to Robertson Stadium's closure to make way for a new state-of-the-art on-campus stadium scheduled to be completed on Aug. 30, 2014.
Southern will also renew a familiar rivalry with in-state rival Northwestern State Sept. 7 in Natchitoches. The Southern-Northwestern State series began in 1993 and served as the coaching debut and first Southern win for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Pete Richardson in the Louisiana Superdome. The series is tied at 5-5.
"With the proximity of the first two out of conference schedule games being within a tank of gas, we are thrilled that our administration was able to successfully accomplish scheduling games that the Jaguar Nation can travel to and support us with much excitement and anticipation for SWAC play," said Odums.
On Sept. 14, Southern welcomes Prairie View A&M for its 2013 home and Southwestern Athletic Conference opener in A.W. Mumford Stadium before traveling to Itta Bena, Miss. to face Mississippi Valley State Sept. 21.
Following the Oct. 6 bye week, the Jaguars will enjoy a two-game homestand when they host Jackson State Sept. 28 and Alabama A&M Oct. 12. Defending SWAC champion Arkansas Pine-Bluff will host Southern in Pine Bluff, Ark. Oct. 19.
"As we transition into SWAC play, it is encouraging to see three of the first four conference games at home, which gives us a great chance - with the kind of crowds and atmosphere we have at Mumford Stadium - to get the Jags headed in the right direction as we head down the final stretch of our schedule," Odums said.
Alcorn State will serve as the Jaguars' homecoming opponent on Oct. 26 before Southern concludes the 2013 campaign with four November games. The Jaguars will embark upon back-to-back road trips at Texas Southern in Houston and Alabama State in Montgomery, Ala. on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 respectively.
The Jaguars will also entertain a pre-Bayou Classic opponent for the first time since 2001 when Southern defeated Prairie View A&M 43-28 in A.W. Mumford Stadium on Nov. 11. Clark Atlanta, where Odums served as interim head coach in 2004, will travel to Baton Rouge on Nov. 17 for the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Southern closes the 2013 campaign looking to extend it Bayou Classic win streak to two over arch-rival Grambling State in the 40th annual Bayou Classic on Nov. 23.
"The energy and excitement around this program is growing rapidly and, after seeing the 2013 football schedule, I am excited and anxious to see the support of Jaguar Nation buying their season tickets," said Odums. "We have the opportunity to play five great home games at A.W. Mumford stadium and the 40th Bayou Classic, which always serves as a great Thanksgiving weekend memory," Odums said.
Season book applications are available at the SU Ticket Office in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Contact 225.771.3171 for more details.
2013 Southern U. Football Schedule
29 or 31 at Houston (Houston, Texas)
7 at Northwestern State (Natchitoches, La.)
14 Prairie View A&M (A.W. Mumford Stadium)
21 at Mississippi Valley State (Itta Bena, Miss.)
28 Jackson State (A.W. Mumford Stadium)
12 Alabama A&M (A.W. Mumford Stadium)
19 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
26 Alcorn State (A.W. Mumford Stadium | Homecoming 2012)
2 at Texas Southern (Houston, Texas)
9 at Alabama State (Montgomery, Ala.)
16 Clark Atlanta (A.W. Mumford Stadium)
23 vs. Grambling State (State Farm Bayou Classic | New Orleans, La. | Mercedes-Benz Superdome)