West Alabama preview

August 31, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

Line of Scrimmage

With less than 36 hours until kickoff of the Jaguars third season of football, the excitement is in the air. Coach Jones is excited, the players are excited and the students and fans are excited.

South Alabama is encouraging everyone in attendance to wear their home Red colors. The USA Athletic Marketing Department will be handing out free red shakers at all gates beginning at 4:30pm. The parking lot will open at noon for tailgaters to start their festivities.

Shuttle service will begin at 2:30pm and will be running continuous from the Bel Air Mall parking lot south of Target and J.C. Penny until 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game. The price of a round-trip ticket is a mere $2.50, so if you don’t have a parking pass and still want to come out to the game this is an excellent deal. The Jaguar Prowl is scheduled for 4:10pm with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm. After the game there will be a fireworks show.

The Game will be televised locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com.

South Alabama will try to extend their winning streak to 18 games when they host fellow in-state foe West Alabama. Last seasons stats for both teams looks like we could see a shoot-out.

West Alabama averaged just over 449 yards per game while the Jags averaged over 439 yards per game. Though USA’s average points per game was 41.3 to UWA’s 29.7.

C.J. Bennett returns as one of nine returning starters, to guide the offense after starting the final three games of the season totaling 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season. UWA’s will be without Deon Williams who went 223-for-356 for 3,392 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

Kendall Houston returns to lead the Jaguar rushing attack with transfer Demetre Baker. Houston rushed for 891 yards with five 100+ yard games and 10 touchdowns. He averaged over six yards per carry. UWA returns T-Ray Mitchell who ran for 843 yards and six touchdowns. Gerald Worsham caught 80 passes for 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns as their go-to receiver.

Bryant Lavender, Jereme Jones and Corey Waldon will step up to try to fill in for departed wide receiver Courtney Smith. Lavender caught 16 passes last season for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Jones added 15 catches and two touchdowns and Waldon caught 14 passes for 291 yards. Tight Ends Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms both caught nine passes as well.

The Jags return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball. They held opposing teams to an average of just over 81 yards per game and just over 254 yards per game and a mere 13 points per game. They also average 2.5 turnovers per game and only allowing the opposing team to convert third downs 26% of the time.

Enrique Williams lead the team with 48 tackles while also breaking up three passes. Ken Barefield who also had three pass break-ups with 37 tackles and Jake Johnson who had 31 tackles and four sacks both ranked in the top five on the defense in tackles. Romelle Jones lead the group with six tackles for loss.

UWA returns linebacker Gabe Poe, their top tackler, who recorded 97 tackles, eight for a loss. Poe’s number was 33 more than the next closest defensive player. Deon Lacey added 49 tackles and Bryant McGowan added 46 tackles at linebacker. Defensive back D’Eric Jackson lead the team with three interceptions while returning two for touchdowns.

Their defense allowed 375.7 yards and 22.3 points per game.

Both teams return their punter with USA’s Scott Garber averaging 40.4 yards per kick including 16 punts downed inside the 20. UWA’s Brock Sharp averaged 37.9 yards per kick and should also handle placekicking after going 12-of-19 last year.

As for South Alabama’s placekicking duties, it is expected that Jordan Means will handle the duties after showing improvements. Although South Alabama has two other kickers who have experience¬† and have competed for that role throughout preseason camp. Means was 4-for-4 last season. It is unknown if Means or Chapuseaux will be handling kickoff duties for the Jags.

Jereme Jones averaged 19.4 yards per punt return last season and will share time with transfer B.J. Scott as the Jags will be without the T.J. Glover as he was deemed ineligible this season. UWA’s Wes Mounger averaged 21.9 yards per kick return and 11.9 yards per punt return is expected handle the same duties again this season.

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