By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
After coming off the longest bye-week of their season, the South Alabama Jaguars were focused on getting their second win of the season when traveled to San Marcos, Texas to face the Texas State Bobcats. There were high spirits that progressed through several self-evaluations leading up to Texas State. They even made several changes to the team including the switch at quarterback to redshirt freshman Desmond Trotter. It came down to the wire, but luck was not on the Jaguars’ side after kicker Frankie Onate’s 28-yard field was no good with one minute and eight seconds left on the clock with no timeouts. The Jaguars suffered a heartbreaking loss with a 30-28.
The Jaguars made the change at quarterback to Desmond Trotter in their first drive to establish a more productive passing game. It took awhile for the Jaguars to create some momentum on the offensive side of the ball. They did finish the first quarter with a 7-3 lead thanks to a three-yard touchdown from running back Carlos Davis. In the second quarter, the Jaguars found more success in extending drives. With 35 seconds left until halftime, Trotter connected with wide receiver Davyn Flenord for 22-yards. This gave the Jaguars the lead of 14-13 going into halftime. That touchdown was the first collegiate touchdown of Trotter’s career.
The Bobcats outpaced the Jaguars’ offense as they finished out the third quarter with a 27-21 score. The Jags were potent and quick enough to extend drives and finally to finish with points on the board. With the game on the line with 1:08 minutes left, Jaguars kicker Frankie Onate missed a 28-yard field goal. This was the killer for the Jaguars against the Bobcats.
Trotter finished the game on 164 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions on 13 completions (out of 17 attempts). He was highly efficient in passing the ball and extending drives in his first career start as a Jaguar. Senior running back Tra Minter rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Often, the Jaguars offensive line won the line of scrimmage. Most of the negative plays from the Bobcats’ defense came from the same drives.
Defensively, the Jaguars were efficient in most areas of the game but failed to stop the critical plays on third down and long. One wide receiver for the Bobcats gave the Jaguars defense the most trouble. Bobcats slot wide receiver Hutch White caught 10 receptions for 165 yards, mostly on plays where he beat the defense going through the zone defense in the middle of the field.
The Jaguars’ defense allowed a total of 415 yards of offense from Texas State including 373 yards from the passing game. Bobcats quarterback Tyler Vitt passed for 373 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception on 23 completions (out of 33 attempts). He also rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries. Jaguars defensive end Jeffery Whatley accounted for five total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack.
The Bobcats were a one-dimensional offense in their passing game without the reliability of their running game. The Jags, however, still couldn’t find an answer to stop the passing game especially from receivers creating multiple yards after catch. Overall, the Bobcats made the plays at the most needed times and the Jags failed to convert their needed plays.The Jaguars (1-8) will return to host their next game next Saturday, November 16th against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (7-2), who is currently on top of the Sun Belt West division.