By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
It has been a few difficult weeks for the South Alabama Jaguars football team (3-4; 2-2 in Sun Belt play) as they suffered two tough road losses in a row. Last Saturday, the Jaguars put up one tough fight as they traveled to face the undefeated #15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Despite a tight matchup and a good defensive performance from the Jaguars defense, South Alabama lost with a 23-6 score. This weekend, they will have another tough road matchup against the #25 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (6-1; 4-1 in Sun Belt play).
The Jaguars are looking to extinguish a four-game losing streak to the Ragin’ Cajuns. They are also looking to use this potential win to climb higher to the West Division’s first-place rankings with the Ragin’ Cajuns. South Alabama will be facing a highly talented Ragin’ Cajuns balanced offense and an efficient defense that can stop the big plays.
The Jaguars offense wants to start the game more explosive as well as continue some consistency. They started the season strong, but they currently rank 100th in the nation in points scored per game (22.4). The Jaguars’ biggest concerns have this far into the season is the health and stability of the offensive line. In seven games this season, the Jaguars have allowed 23 sacks on the quarterback and not given running back Carlos Davis much room to run in-between the holes at the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars also rank 100th in the nation in rushing yards per game (121.6).
The Jaguars might look to install more screenplays and short passing situations for quarterback Desmond Trotter to get the ball out quickly. He is a playmaker that continually drives the ball down the field, and he is a player that adjusts to different schemes. Wide receivers like Kawaan Baker and Jalen Wayne will benefit the most from these types of schemes.
On the ball’s defensive side, the Jaguars will prepare for one of the most well-balanced and experienced offenses in the Sun Belt. Their outside linebackers in Riley Cole and Nick Mobley will be two of the most crucial defenders of the Jaguars as the Ragin’ Cajuns have two running backs in Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas that can quickly explode on outside runs. The Jags’ defense ranks 66th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (165.7).
The man coverage cornerbacks like Ryan Melton and Darnell Luter Jr. will have been consistent in their ability to shut down their intended receivers. Safety Keith Gallmon could be the key for South Alabama defensively as he will have to read the eyes of Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis. If his receivers are locked down, Lewis tends to slowly start his runs early, which could allow Gallmon to make the play of little-to-no yards gain on the ground.
The Jaguars are currently a 15.5-point underdog to the Ragin’ Cajuns. The Jaguars and the Ragin’ Cajuns will kick off at 1 p.m. C.T. on ESPN+.