Despite a 23 day layoff due to Covid-19 cancellations, South Alabama (2-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) didn’t miss a step as they defeat the Texas State (1-5, 1-2 Sun Belt), 30-20.
In a game filled with 12 penalties, the Jags would prevail while dominating the time of possession, 34:08 to 25:52. USA’s 47 rushing attempts would be the main reasoning. Carlos Davis would lead the way with 113 yards and a score.
South ‘Bama quarterback Desmond Trotter would make a return from injury to go 18-of-22 for 187 and a touchdown. Backup Chance Lovertich would split time early with Trotter but wasn’t as effective.
The Jags would strike first with a 33-yard Diego Guajardo halfway thru the first quarter. Texas State would answer back on the next drive when Brady McBride would hit Jackson Lanam from nine yards out for the touchdown. Lanam would have career highs with five catches for 48 yards and the touchdown.
At the beginning of the second quarter, running back Carlos Davis would score from one yard out to put USA up, 10-7. A Texas State field goal would tie the game and in the waning seconds of the first half Chance Lovertich would find Jalen Tolbert from a yard out for a Jag touchdown. Tolbert would lead all receivers with 91 yards on nine catches and the score.
The last drive would find multiple flags and game stoppages for reviews as two South Alabama touchdowns were called off.
Texas State running back Brock Sturges would score from a yard out to tie the game at 17 midway thru the third quarter. Sturges would finish with 30 yards rushing and a team leading eight carries. Texas State as a team rushed 27 times between four players with a pedestrian 3.4 yards a carry.
The Jags would turn up the momentum scoring 13 points on their last three drives.
Both squads would hit a field goal each to lock up the teams at 20 a piece at the beginning of the fourth. After a ten play drive the Jaguars would Trotter would nail Kawaan Baker from eight yards out to take a touchdown lead.
Despite a crucial stop from Texas State on South Alabama’s last drive the Jags would send out Guajardo again as he hit a field goal from 44 yards out to put the game out of reach from Texas State.
USA looked sharp for most of the game spreading the ball around and running the ball while controlling the clock. Desmond Trotter was given the keys to the offense solely in the second half and the decision payed off.
Brady McBride was doing his gun slinging schtick all afternoon but his 260 yards passing wasn’t enough to power the ‘Cats to a win. The receiving corp from Texas State had moments of brilliance but couldn’t quite gain any traction to take over the game.
Texas State’s defense has had some trouble with the passing game coming into today’s game but would lose multiple secondary players due to injury and ejection in the game.
For Texas State they’ll end their five game road trip with a visit to Provo, Utah to face the daunting task of playing a red hot #14 ranked BYU squad. That game will be next Saturday night on ESPN.
South Alabama will host Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday night in a Sun Belt showdown.