South Alabama QB Cole Garvin led the Jags to a 24-19 upset over first place Arkansas State Saturday night in Mobile. Here are your takeaways from this Sun Belt matchup.
If Justice can’t do it, then no one can.
The story of the ‘17 Red Wolves offense all centers around junior QB Justice Hansen and his ability to make plays. The running game Saturday night against USA was non-existent and as the season winds down, Hansen has the distinct possibility of being ASU’s leading rusher this year when its all said and done. The Red Wolves only managed 66 yards of rushing with Hansen accounting for 36 of those and allowed USA to play fast up front putting pressure on Hansen consistently. Hansen would throw four interceptions and lose a costly fumble at the goal line.
Red Wolves missed that Blaise Taylor spark on punt returns.
Taylor is one of the top 10 returners in the country averaging 15 yards per return but only managed 3.5 yards per punt return Saturday night on three returns and the Red Wolves sorely missed the field position boost that he provides in most games.
USA QB Cole Garvin has career night as he runs for his life.
Coming into the ASU game, junior QB Cole Garvin had never thrown for more than 274 yards in a game or completed more than 22 passes. He finished the night 25-45 for 343 yards and 2 TDs but most importantly 0 interceptions. All of this while watching his teams’ rushing game finish the night in negative yardage (-3) and was also sacked three times by DE Ronheem Bingham and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones combined. The 343 passing yards was the second most ever in a game for the Jaguars.
The four way log jam at the top of the Sun Belt will work itself out.
Arkansas State, Georgia, State, Troy, and Appalachian State all sit atop the Sun Belt at the moment with one loss but look down the road and see that Arkansas State will finish the season at home against Troy and the Mountaineers will travel to Georgia State in two weeks. Odds are there will be a co-champion in 2017 before the conference stages its first championship game next year.
The play everyone will talk about Monday morning is...
With a little over five minutes left in the game and ASU trailing 24-19, the Red Wolves faced third and-goal from the South Alabama 4, Hansen was flushed out of the pocket and appeared to be going in for the go ahead score. As Hansen scrambled to his left, he broke a tackle and dove for the goal line. Jaguars linebacker Bull Barge knocked the ball loose and Malcolm Buggs recovered in the end zone to preserve the lead.