Jags Look To Break Losing Streak Against FAU

October 17, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

As the Jaguars continue to prepare for Florida Atlantic’s visit to Mobile on Saturday, the Jags are also working hard to break their longest losing streak of the program’s history.

The Jags enter the game with a four game losing streak as they have faced four consecutive FBS opponents. Their record on the season is 1-5 (0-2 SBC) after their loss at defending conference champions Arkansas State last weekend.

But FAU is on a losing streak of their own. The Owls have dropped their last five games in a row to make their record this season 1-5 (0-3 SBC). Their last loss was against Louisiana-Monroe by a score of 35-14.

“We are making progress and moving forward, this is not a team that is getting down because we’ve lost a few games,” Head coach Joey Jones said. “The players understand where we are and have taken that challenge every week, and I think that is why we are getting better. And the staff has done a good job of motivating on both sides of the ball and with special teams.”

The Jaguars enter the game with the #2 ranked defense in the Sun Belt Conference with 344.5 yards per game, only trailing Western Kentucky who has an average of 304.7 yards per game. The Jaguar defense held Arkansas State to 316 total yards, 155 yards below their season average coming into the game. The Jaguar rushing defense is ranked #4 in the conference with an average of 135.8 yards per game and #3 in pass defense with an average of 208.7 yards per game.

FAU ranks #8 in the conference as their defense has given up an average of 429 yards per game of total yards. They are only ahead of Florida International and Middle Tennesse in total defense. FAU ranks last in the conference at #10 in rushing defense by allowing an average of 211.7 yards per game while ranking #5 in pass defense allowing an average of 217.3 yards per game through the air.

Shifting the focus to offenses, South Alabama comes in just ahead of FAU in #9 with an average of 312.2 yards per game while FAU only averages 288.2 yards per game of total offense. Similarly the Jaguar rushing attack edges out FAU for the #9 spot with an average of 122.5 yards rushing per game while FAU averages 114.3 yards per game.

Again the passing offense has South Alabama #9 while FAU is ranked #10. The Jags average 189.7 yards per game while FAU averages only 173.8 yards per game.

Based on the numbers, you would tend to give a slight edge to South Alabama due to their defensive numbers. But what will make the difference is turnovers, penalties and depth.

South Alabama has been plagued with penalties in rescent weeks as they were flagged 28 times for 223 yards in the last two games alone. Turnovers have been turned into points for the opponents as well, but the Jaguar offense only turned the ball over once against Arkansas State while the defense forced three turnovers.

But depth could be an issue on the offensive line as Coach Jones indicated in his weekly radio show that Ucambre Williams will most likely miss the game with a knee injury and Shaun Artz has an ailing back.

Jake Johnson leads the defense with 60 tackles while Enrique Williams is close behind with 53 tackles on the season. Both are in the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference in tackles. Johnson is second in the Sun Belt with an average of 1.33 tackles for loss per game.

South Alabama also ranks second in the conference with 14 sacks, which is one short of last years total for the entire season.

But in the one game since South Alabama has abandoned the two-quarterback system, they posted their best offensive game of the season with 373 yards, 24 first downs and 35:39 time of possession. While the 29 points is the second highest total of the season after the 30 points they posted against Texas-San Antonio to open the season.

“Let’s face it, offensively we have been struggling and we played better that day so that certainly encourages our team. Not that the offense is there yet or we are not going to work anymore,” Jones explained. “But we moved the ball and did some good things offensively, and when you have that it encourages the rest of the team that this thing can get rolling if we get going. We have played pretty well in the other two phases of the game, we just need to get going offensively.”

“I kept waiting for us to break out and have a good game, which we did the other night,” Jones continued. “Of course, we have to do that week to week, but we did some good things that we can hang our hat on.”

Redshirt freshman Terrance Timmons led the Jaguar rushing game with 43 yards on 13 carries while Kendall Houston added 36 yards on 18 carries in his first start of the season.

Senior placekicker Michel Chapuseaux was selected at the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week by the Sun Belt Conference for going 3-of-4 in field goals and 2-of-2 in PAT’s.

But Coach Jones understands that even though the Jags may be slightly favored on paper, they can’t overlook their competition. “FAU is a very physical football team, I’ve watched them on film where they have faced Alabama and Georgia and they banged with those teams,” Jones observed. “Defensively, their front seven are very physical guys. They have great athletes and a fifth-year senior quarterback, we understand going into this game that this is another good football team we are facing.”

“Both of our records are alike, but they have been fighting against some very tough teams as well,” Jones continued. “They are used to winning too, they won the Sun Belt a few years back, so they understand how to do it.”

South Alabama and Florida Atlantic kickoff at 2:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Tickets can be purchased for as low as $10. The parking lot will open at 8am for tailgating with the Jaguar Prowl scheduled to begin shortly after 12:00 noon and will cross around the southern edge of the stadium.

Parking is limited at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and parking outside of the stadium is not overseen by the Unversity, Ladd-Peebles Stadium or the Mobile PD. If you do not have a parking pass, it is encouraged that you consider parking at Bel Air Mall south of Target and J.C. Penny and taking the shuttle for $2.50 for a round trip. The shuttle service will begin at 10:30am and will run until 90 minutes after the games conclusion.


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