By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Last week, the South Alabama Jaguars (1-8; 0-5 in Sun Belt Conference play) faced-off against one of the weakest rivals in the west division of the conference in the Texas State Bobcats. After a tough 30-28 loss at Texas State, the Jaguars now will turn face-off against the West’s top team at home versus the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (7-2; 4-1 in conference play). Through the remainder of the 2019 College Football season for the Jaguars, they will play three of the four top teams in the Sun Belt Conference. For them to potentially win some of these tough games, the Jaguars will need to focus on one game at a time.
The Ragin Cajuns have a top 11th ranked scoring offense (38.2 points per game) and 12th scoring defense (17.1 points allowed per game). This game will require the Jaguars to win specific matchups. Last week against Texas State, the Jaguars started redshirt freshman Desmond Trotter as their quarterback. He proved to be a more efficient playmaker at quarterback as he passed for 164 yards and two touchdowns on 13 completions (out of 17 attempts) last week.
The Jaguars will need to rely on the more progressive passing of Trotter and their talented group of wide receivers led by Kawaan Baker. Last week, Baker became the eighth Jaguar in program history to account for at least 1,000 career reception yards. The Ragin Cajuns’ biggest weakness is defending the passing game of their opponents as they are 109th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game (191.3). The biggest key for the Jaguars’ offense is to avoid turning the ball over with interceptions or fumbles as well as the offensive line not allowing constant pressure or sacks on Trotter.
The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns will be the toughest and most efficient rushing offense the South Alabama Jaguars’ defense will face all season. Louisiana’s offense ranks fifth in the entire nation in rushing yards accounted for per game (281). This is due to the highest talented offensive line and the three-player running back system that is similar to the San Francisco 49ers. Each of the three-running back of the Ragin Cajuns can give the Jaguars’ defense fits throughout the game. Their top running back in Elijah Mitchell has rushed for 757 yards and 12 touchdowns on 126 carries.
South’s defense ranks 104th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (198). Often, opponents can create schemes and play situations that can create that extra yardage on the Jags’ defense. This game might require some extra blitzing from all-over the field. Mixing the blitzing schemes will create confusion and chaos for the Ragin Cajuns to deal with.
Defensive end Jeffery Whatley can be a disrupter at the line of scrimmage for the Jaguars. So far this season, Whatley leads the team in tackles for loss with nine. Outside linebacker Roy Yancey has been an excellent defender as a blitzer as he has accounted for seven tackles for loss. Safety D.J. Daniels has been a reliable and consistent tackler in the past few games for the Jaguars as his second on the team in total tackles with 57.
Kickoff for the Jaguars hosting the Ragin Cajun will be at 4 p.m. central at Ladd Peebles, Stadium.