Big Plays Down Jags Against ULL

November 26, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Jaguar tight end Wes Saxton catches a pass from Ross Metheny over the middle in the Jaguars loss to FIU.

The South Alabama Jaguars fell to Louisiana-Lafayette 52-30 in their final Sun Belt game of the season on Saturday. Big plays were the key to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ win as they pulled away from the Jags after closing in within one point in the second quarter.

Cajun quarterback Terrance Broadway accounted for 365 yards of total offense while both Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson added over 100 yards receiving to improve to 7-4 overall (5-2 SBC). After the game the Cajuns accepted a bid to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

Jaguar quarterback Ross Metheny threw for a school-record 360 yards passing by going 27-of-44. The Jags record falls to 2-10 overall (1-7 SBC) in their Sun Belt and Football Bowl Subdivision debut season.

South Alabama would score the opening points of the game on their first possession that began with a 34 yard pass from Metheny to Greg Hollinger to quickly move into Cajun territory. That was followed with completions to Bryant Lavender for eight yards and T.J. Glover for 15 yards to move into the red zone at the Cajun 18 yard line. Facing third and eight from the 16, Metheny would find Saxton open for 13 yards to the 3 yard line and a first down. Terrance Timmons would fumble the ball on the next play and would be recovered by ULL, however an offsides penalty would negate the turnover and move the ball to the 1 yard line. Julian Valentin would take it into the end zone on two plays later to go up 7-0.

The Cajuns’ would answer by scoring the next 17 points unanswered to take a 17-7 lead with 3:18 left in the first quarter.

The Jags would begin to fight their way back beginning with their possession at the end of the first quarter. They would drive down to the Cajun 28 yard line before being forced to settle for a 45 yard field goal to shrink the lead to 17-10 with 14:08 left in the second quarter.

The subsequent ULL possession would be a three and out as a personal foul penalty would would put them at second and 24 at their own 11 yard line. After a completion for no gain Broadway would be sacked for an eight yard loss back to their own three yard line and forced to punt. Glover would call for a fair catch at the ULL 40 yard line.

After an incomplete pass on first down, Metheny would find Hollinger for a 17 yard gain to the Cajun 23 yard line then again for nine yards. But the Jags would not be able to make a first down and would settle for a 33 yard field goal to further cut into the Cajun lead at 17-13.

A personal foul on ULL would move the kickoff to the 50 yard line and it would be caught at the goal line and returned to the Cajun 7 yard line. Again the Cajuns’ could not get anything going and would actually be sacked back around the 3 yard line and forced to punt. The punt would be caught at the 44 by Glover and returned 13 yards to the ULL 35 yard line.

Terrance Timmons would rush for a gain of three yards and a loss of one on the first two snaps of the possession. On third and 8 at the ULL 33, Metheny’s pass to Glover fell incomplete and after a time out called by the Cajuns to react to a possible fake with Trey Fetner on the field. But the Jags Chapuseaux would convert the 50 yard field goal to get within one point at 17-16.

The score would be the same with over two minutes to go in the first half when Broadway would hit Lawson for big gains of 53 and 27 yards on back-to-back plays to quickly march down the field to cap off a five play, 98 yard drive to score a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining until halftime. The Cajuns’ would take the 24-16 advantage into the locker room.

The big plays would continue after halftime as ULL would would connect with Peoples for a 72 yard gain down to the Jaguar 4 yard line. They would put it into the end zone two plays later to extend the lead to 31-16 a mere 1:28 into the third quarter.

“I thought that drive was the turning point in the game,” head coach Joey Jones said. “And then they came out in the third quarter and drove down and scored. That turned the whole game.”

“Offensively they did a great job. We didn’t play as well defensively as we have played, we gave up a bunch of big plays and yardage, but they are a talented football team. They are very good on offense, and a lot of it had to do with the fact that they have some really good athletes.”

Broadway would score on a six yard run midway through the third quarter to cap off a 12 play, 75 yard drive that was kept alive by a 25 yard on fourth and five on a fake punt. That score would push the Cajun lead to 22 points.

South Alabama ended the Cajuns’ run of 21 unanswered points with with about two and a half minutes left in the third quarter. They would drive 67 yards in eight plays with the final play being a 23 yard touchdown pass from Metheny to Jereme Jones.

The Jags would score once more around mid way through the fourth quarter. Metheny would connect with Gabe Loper for the 28 yard touchdown. That was one play after Julien Valentin ran for 25 yards to set up the touchdown pass.

South Alabama would end the game with 414 total yards of offense. The Jags passed for 360 yards and rushed for only 54 yards in the game. The Jags would gain 21 first downs and control the ball for 30:12 in the game. The Jags converted 6 of 15 third down attempts.

Louisiana-Lafayette gained 538 total yards, 176 yards rushing and 362 yards passing. They earned 24 first downs and 29:48 in time of possession in the game. They also converted 2 of 10 third downs against the Jaguar defense.

Valentin was the Jaguars leading rusher with 34 yards on three carries. Glover added 19 yards on 10 carries. Demetre Baker and Kendall Houston both missed the game with lingering injuries.

Ross Metheny went 27-of-44 for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Wes Saxton was his favorite target with seven catches for 83 yards. Jereme Jones added 56 yards on four catches with a touchdown. Lavender chipped in 47 yards on four catches, Glover with 38 yards on four catches, Hollinger had 60 yards on three catches, Besteda added 37 yards on two catches and Loper added 36 yards on two catches. B.J. Scott was even credited with a catch for three yards in the game however I believe that was supposed to be credited to Cameron Broadnax.

Effrem Reed was the leading rusher for the Cajuns with 81 yards on 17 carries. Broadway added 65 yards on 13 carries. Broadway also went 11-of-19 passing for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

Harry Peoples caught five passes for 166 yards and a touchdown with Javone Lawson adding 113 yards on three receptions for a touchdown. Three other receivers had catches for the Cajuns.

South Alabama will end their first season in FBS play with a trip to Hawaii this Saturday, December 1. Kickoff is set for 10pm Central time.


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