By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Last Saturday, the South Alabama Jaguars played their toughest game of the season when they had to take on the undefeated #15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on the road. This was a game where the Jaguars would be judged on their capabilities to win but their willingness to compete. Despite a huge fight from the Jaguars, they could not find some efficiencies on the offensive side of the ball as they lost 23-6 to the Chanticleers.
Offensively, the Jaguars had the tools and the players to compete with the high-caliber defense of Coastal Carolina. The Jaguars offense accounted for 336 total yards, with 243 of them coming from the passing game. They were unable to consistently drive the ball as they were 2-for-14 on third-down conversions.
Quarterback Desmond Trotter played well in certain drives as he felt the pressure from the Chanticleers defense. Trotter for 243 yards, no touchdown, no interception, and a 14 quarterback rating on 23 completions (out of 31 passing attempts). Trotter was sacked five times and four times from the defense of Coastal Carolina. The Jaguars were determined to get the ball out to their star receivers despite some heavy contested coverages and schemes. Jalen Wayne caught five receptions for 91 yards with his longest catch being 38-yards. Jalen Tolbert was able to be the bright spot of the offense as he caught seven receptions for 78 yards.
The Jaguars rushing game was held to 93 total rushing yards despite some good runs from running backs Carlos Davis and Terrion Avery. The key issue was the penetration at the line of the scrimmage and the inability to push for decent runs on critical plays. The Jaguars were driving in the red zone late in the second half when they failed to convert on fourth down and one-yard to go at the 11-yard from a Wildcat run from dynamic wide receiver Kawaan Baker.
The Jaguars’ defense played very well for most of the entire game against the Chanticleers’ high-power offense. They made the Chanticleers work for every single yard on offense. Coastal Carolina rushed for 236 yards and a touchdown on 33 carriers despite not having a 100-yard rusher. They mixed up their running schemes with multiple different backs.
The Jaguars secondary was difficult to beat through deep passing. The Chanticleers used multiple short-to-mid-range passing routes to continue drives and wear down the defense early. Coastal Carolina had seven players that average ten or more yards per reception on some limited passes. They passed the ball so quickly that the Jaguars could not get a significant pass rush against the Chanticleers quarterback.
Outside linebacker Riley Cole accounted for 15 total tackles, nine tackles, and one quarterback hit as he was named MVP for the Jaguars. Safety Keith Gallmon accounted for ten total tackles, six solo tackles, and one pass breakup. Defensive end Charles Coleman accounted for the Jaguars’ only tackle for loss and sack. The Jaguars allowed 445 total yards from the Chanticleers offense but held them to a low third conversion rate of 3-of-11.