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Jags prepare for Lamar University

October 14, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football 

Brennan Sim leads the Jaguar offense in the second half against Nicholls State.

South Alabama will meet it’s second big test of the 2010 season, and their biggest test to date, when they travel to Beaumont, Texas to play Lamar University on Saturday, October 16th. Lamar, like South Alabama, is a new program. They are re-starting their football program which ended competition in 1989.

Head Coach Joey Jones commented on Lamar by saying, “When you turn the tape on and watch Lamar, what you see is a bunch of really good athletes. They have done a good job recruiting from the junior college ranks in Texas and all over. Their staff has done a good job of pulling in some immediate talent.”

Their first game of the season was a loss at McNeese State who was then ranked number 11 in the NCAA FCS. They came from behind to defeat Southeastern Louisiana, who in turn upset nationally ranked Texas State just a week ago. Their other losses were to Stephen F. Austin (ranked 5th) and Sam Houston State, both of which are among the three teams still undefeated in the Southland Conference.

Coach Jones also said, “When you look at what they do offensively, they are a quick-strike, big-play team. They have a really good quarterback who is very accurate, he can scramble around and make plays. And they have some great receivers who are tall and can run. Lamar really knows what it is doing scheme-wise, offensively. It looks like last week, they really tried to run the ball more, and did a very good job of that. I think it’s helped their football team from a balance standpoint.”

One of their standout players is Receiver J.J. Hayes who has 31 catches for 372 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Next in line is Marcus Jackson who has 27 catches for 557 yards and five touchdowns. These two receivers account for over 50% of the passing yards for the team.  However Hayes was injured in one of their games recently when his face mask was pushed into his neck causing a neck and throat injury. He returned to practice today but his availability for Saturday’s game in unknown currently.

Last week, the Cardinals rushed for 147 yards in their win, which is just nearly 100 yards more than their season average of 53.5 yards per game. However, their defense has been giving up an average of 410 yards per game while the Jags have averaged 447.4 yards per game.

Coach Jones continued about their game with Lamar by saying, “We’re excited about the game and going on the road. It looks like a great environment to be in after watching it on film, our kids are looking forward to that.”

The Jags have been a little beat up lately with some nagging injuries on the offensive line, but some of them should be in better shape this week. However the most overshadowing injury to date was the loss of running back Brandon Ross to a season ending ACL tear.

The Jags kickoff against Lamar on Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas at 6pm.

See below for Lamar by the numbers.

In their first season thus far, Lamar is 3-3. Their wins were over Webber International 21-14, Southeastern Louisiana 29-28, and last weekend over Langston 14-0. Their losses have come to McNeese State 30-27, Stephen F. Austin 71-3 and Sam Houston State 38-10.

As a team, Lamar has averaged just over 17 points per game and have allowed just over 30 points per game. In six games they have rushed for 321 yards on 151 carries, averaging 2.1 yards per rush and just 53.5 yards per game, while giving up 990 yards rushing and 4.2 yards per rush and 165 yards per game.

Through the air, Lamar has gained 1727 yards, averaging 7.6 yards per pass or 13.3 yards per completion and 287.8 yards per game with 11 interceptions. Defensively, they have allowed 1,471 yards, 8.1 yards per pass or 13.9 yards per completion for an average of 245.2 yards per game with only four interceptions.

In the special teams area, they average 23.4 yards per kick return while allowing 22.1 yards per kick. Their punt return average is 9.3 yards per return while allwoing 14.3 yards per punt return. They average 38.2 yards per punt with a net average of 32.3 yards per punt. Their kickers are 4-of-6 on field goals.

The Cardinals have fumbled the ball 16 times and lost it 6 of those times, while their opponents have fumbled 17 times and lost 7 of them. This gives Lamar a +1 advantage in fumbles, but combine that with their 11 interceptions thrown and four that they have intercepted, their overall turnover ratio is -6.

Some other key stats. Lamar averages 7.7 penalties per game for an average of 62 yards. Their 3rd down conversion ratio is 28% while their opponents conversion ratio is 42%. Plus their 4th down conversion ratio is 40% in 10 attempts while their opponents is 50% in 12 attempts. They score 69% of the time in the red zone, 44% of the time they are touchdowns. Their opponents score 71% of the time in the red zone, with 54% of them being touchdowns.

Lamar tends to do better in the second half of games, scoring almost 65% of their points in the second half. Their best quarter is the fourth quarter and conversely, their worst quarter is the second quarter. Defensively, they allow just under 61% of their points in the first half, with the second quarter being their worst followed closely by the third quarter being almost the same. They excel in the fourth quarter, only allowing 14 points all season thus far.

Go Jags!

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