Jags hold on to 33-30 homecoming victory over UT-Martin

October 17, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 
Kendall Houston run

One of several punishing runs by Kendall Houston vs Tennessee-Martin.

South Alabama held on after a late charge by the UT-Martin Skyhawks to win 33-30. Although, their rally was aided by some questionable calls down the stretch by the officials.

South Alabama again did not play a complete game. They came out with an opening drive score but would continue to play well in the first three quarters. However the fourth quarter would see the Skyhawks put up 17 unanswered points.

The first half was all Jaguars statistically. They rolled up 239 yards to only 64 for the Skyhawks and possession the ball for over 21 minutes.

“Our guys were really physically and mentally ready to play, and I thought we had a great game plan. The coaching staff did a great job offensively, defensively and special teams,” said coach Jones. “We played really good football for three quarters. Had we not done that, we would have lost the ball game. There were a lot of positives in this game, so I was real proud of the way we came out ready to play. When we are ready to play, we’re a good football team.”

Coach Jones continued by talking about the Skyhawks. “That is a really good football team. After the first three quarters, people watching might not have thought so because we were playing so well. But you saw what they could do in the fourth quarter. They are very well-coached and they never quit.”

Stats wise, South Alabama and UT-Martin both had 325 yards of total offense. The Jags picked up 197 yards on the ground while adding 179 yards passing. The Skyhawks rushed for 131 yards and threw for 211 for their total.

The Jags dominated the time of possession statistic with 38:02 of possession time to UT-Martin’s 21:58. The Jags held the ball for 11:48 seconds in the second quarter alone.

Kendall Houston lead all rusher with 85 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Demetre Baker added 51 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. While C.J. Bennett went 12-of-19 for 179 yards and a touchdown and zero interceptions.

Corey Besteda had three catches for 64 yards and the one touchdown through the air. Lamontis Gardner added 40 yards on three catches and Kevin Helms added 44 yards on two receptions.

Scott Garber punted seven times for an average of 43.4 yards per punt with one spectacular 64 yard punt. Jordan Means added two field goals of 21 and 32 yards but did have a PAT blocked.

Gabe Loper picked off a pass by Derek Carr from a deflection and returned it 27 yards for the Jags.

South Alabama had two good drives that consumed a fair amount of time off of the clock in the second quarter for points. The first was a nine play, 80 yard drive for a touchdown consuming 5:05 off of the clock. Their next possession was a 12 play 62 yard drive down to the UT-Martin 4 yard line but the Jags would have to settle for a field goal as time expired. It spanned 4:31.

In the third quarter, the Jags would capitalize on a turnover for a touchdown. After Gabe Loper intercepted the ball and returned it 27 yards, Kendall Houston would take the next play 16 yards and into the end zone.

UT-Martin would respond with an 80 yard drive in nine plays for a touchdown to cut the Jaguar lead to 10 points at 23-13 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.

The Jags would respond with a two play 42 yard touchdown drive. The drive would begin with a 40 yard completion from Bennett to Besteda to get to the UT-Martin two yard line. Then two plays later Kendall Houston would pick up the one yard needed for the touchdown to make it 30-13 with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

On UT-Martin’s ensuing possession, Alex Paige would force a fumble by Tevi Barksdale which he would recover at the Skyhawk 22 yard line. However the Jags were not able to put the ball in the end zone, but settled for a 32 yard field goal to extend their lead to 33-13 with 1:22 left in the third quarter.

UT-Martin would go three and out on their next possession as would the Jaguars in their possession after that.

UT-Martin would then begin their rally with a five play 40 yard drive to the South Alabama 21 yard line but would have to settle for a field goal.

The Jags would get the ball with 12:22 left in the game and would only manage one first down and use up 3:49 off of the clock before having to punt.

The Skyhawks would put together a 13 play, 87 yard drive in 4:39 to further cut into the Jaguar lead, 33-23 with 3:54 left in the game.

South Alabama would recover an onsides kick but keeping the ball on the ground with Kendall Houston would only get them six yards in three tries before having to punt. This gave the Skyhawks the ball with 2:07 left in the game.

UT-Martin would put together an 8 play 74 yard drive for a touchdown in 1:45. Another onsides kick would be recovered by the Jaguars effectively sealing the game with 22 seconds left. One kneel from the victory position would put the game to rest with the final score of 33-30.

South Alabama’s next game is their final road game of the 2011 season. The Jags will kick off against Georgia State in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia at 2pm central time with pregame coverage beginning on WNSP 105.5 FM at 1:30pm CT.

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