By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
One week after their huge road victory over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, the South Alabama Jaguars are preparing for their next biggest game of the season this Saturday night. The Jaguars will host the Tulane Green Wave in their first-ever game in Hancock Whitney Stadium. The Grambling State Tigers were originally slated to be the first home opponent for the Jaguars before the SWAC Conference delayed their football season to Spring 2021.
The Jaguars made some serious noise in the first official week of the 2020 College Football season by defeating the heavily favored Golden Eagles team. Jaguars linebacker Nick Mobley and Jalen Tolbert earned high honors from the Sun Belt Conference as defensive and offensive players of the week, respectively. They will help the Jaguars as they are once again heavy underdogs to the Green Wave by 10-points.
Last season, the Green Wave was highly efficient in the rushing game as they were ranked 11th in the nation in rushing yards per game (243.2). They will be without their two leading rushers from last season. The Jaguars held the Golden Eagles last week to 95 rushing yards thanks to their defensive line and blitzing linebackers crash the line of scrimmage.
The Jaguars’ defense helped against the Golden Eagles’ main strength, which was distributing the ball evenly in the passing game. Even though the Golden Eagles were able to account for 314 yards through the passing game, the Jaguars made it tough to complete complex passing schemes or long-yardage plays. The defensive line, led by defensive end Maurice Strong Jr., will be crucial once again to help the rest of the defense adjust the play schemes.
Quarterback Desmond Trotter has a potentially big game ahead of him as the Green Wave only return one starter in their five secondary defensive back unit from this past season. The Jaguars are looking to develop a more dynamic passing offense by inserting screens and slant route plays. This will be crucial for the Green Wave that returns a majority of their front six.
The interior offensive line experience will be a huge benefit as they try to develop their running offense with running backs Carlos Davis and Jared Wilson. Last week, the Jaguars’ offense accounted for 526 total yards with 363 of them coming from the passing game. While the Jaguars were highly impressive on the offensive side in most of the game, there are still areas where the Jaguars can improve. One of the biggest steps they can do is develop the tackles’ blocking and continue the passing connection between Trotter and wide receiver Kawaan Baker.
The Jaguars will host the Green Wave with the game starting at 6:30 p.m. CST on television on ESPN2. The game will also be broadcasted on 97.1 FM The Prowl.
Photos by: Michael Hanich