By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
With three weeks left in the 2019 College Football season, the South Alabama Jaguars faced a three-game lineup of some of the best Sun Belt Conference teams. Last Saturday, the Jaguars hosted one of the most established rushing offenses in the nation against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns. The Jags were the more efficient team on offense and defense than the Cajuns. In the end, the Cajuns made more effective plays in the fourth quarter as they would lose 37-27 in the fourth quarter to Ragin Cajuns.
Jaguars quarterback Desmond Trotter started his second game for South Alabama and his first at home in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Trotter and a powerful run game, led by running backs Tra Minter and Carlos Davis and the offensive line, outgained the Ragin Cajuns in total yards accounted for 468-to-391. The Jaguars’ offense accounted for 366 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 50 carries for an average of seven yards per carry. South’s offensive line was able to outman the defense of the Ragin Cajuns as they rarely found answers to stopping the efficient Jags run offense. Senior running back Tra Minter led the team in rushing yards with 137 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Freshman running back Carlos Davis rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Trotter did a good job of leading the Jaguars’ offense to multiple scoring drives. He also performed very well in the RPO (run-pass-option) system but the lack of game experience did not help him late in the game when they needed to respond with a score of their own. The Jags’ offense was only able to score one touchdown in each of the four quarters. This is still much higher than their season average. This game was the third-most points scored by the Jaguars this season and the second-most by Trotter as the starting quarterback.
The defense for South Alabama held the Ragin Cajuns’ high scoring offense to only seven points in the first quarter. This was due to the Jaguars’ defensive line clogging up running room for the Cajuns’ running backs to break through the linebacker corp. The defense held Louisiana’s high-power offense to 23 points up until the middle of the fourth quarter. Around then was when the defense was exhausted from the Cajuns’ tenacious run game. The Cajuns used three different running backs who all totaled up to 246 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries.
In a span of three minutes and 39 seconds near the latter half of the game, the Cajuns accounted for two rushing touchdowns. Once the Jaguars found themselves in a 37-21 deficit, they couldn’t create enough time to come back and scored 16 points to tie the game with 4:12 minutes left in the game.
The Jaguars defense accounted for five total tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries, and a sack. Outside linebacker Riley Cole led the team in total tackles (8) and solo tackles (7) and accounted for a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Cornerback Travis Reed accounted for seven total tackles, five tackles, and two pass breakups. Defensive end Rocel McWilliams accounted for three total tackles, two solo tackles, one tackle for loss, and the team’s only sack.
The South Alabama Jaguars (1-9; 0-6 in Sun Belt Conference play) will play their final away game of the season in Atlanta, Georgia when they take on the Georgia State Panthers (6-4; 3-3 in conference play). This is a Panthers team that beat the Tennessee Volunteers in week one and the Army Black Knights one month ago.