Jags Win Over WKU Quickly Outranks Tulane As Biggest In History
The win on Saturday against Western Kentucky definitely overshadows last week’s win over Tulane. Last week’s game was a footnote, but this win over Western Kentucky is a headline in the Sun Belt conference. Other conference teams will sit up and pay attention. This turns the attitude of ‘that spunky first-year program’ to ‘don’t overlook those Jaguars.’
But last weeks’ win is what prepared this team for this weeks win. So to downplay it is naive on anyone’s part. But if you have to pick just one victory to date, it would definitely be the Western Kentucky game.
For a program that is only playing in it’s fifth season of football, this team has gone from nothing to what was put on the field in record time. No other schools has gone from nothing to a full FBS program in a shorter time period.
Last season was a disappointment when purely looking at the win-loss record. It’s very difficult to try to tell people that, though we were on the losing side of the points, that we were in the game and within one score in several games. Coach Jones knew it was going to be a tough season, but he also had the vision that it would help the team on the other side. We are starting to see them reaping those benefits.
Last season they played 12 of their 13 games against FBS schools. Then when they began the season with a loss against Southern Utah it seemed that the Jags might be on the way to another tough season after letting a win slip away. But now they have found their foundation and are building upon what they do best.
They may not have the most talented players at every position, but their scheming, teamwork and effort is second to none. The defense has shown over the last two games that they will make adjustments and make the offense do something else.
The South Alabama defense stymied the potent Petrino offense in the second half and held them to only three points.
Importantly, the fans got into the game. The South Alabama fans are learning too. They have only recently been introduced to the stadium experience with the beginning of the Jaguars program. Many have a tendancy to sit there and watch the game more like they are at home watching it on the television, rather than in the stadium. But in the second half of the game, they came to life and the players fed off that energy.
Chants of “USA! USA! USA!” routinely rained down from the stands. Rally towels waved on third down plays, which is normally the Western Kentucky mainstay. Then the Jaguars forced turnovers when they needed them most.
The players will get a chance to enjoy and let this win soak in. But the coaches will quickly remind them that they still have a long season ahead of them and they will be playing some very good teams down the stretch. It was their off week that the Jaguars made some huge strides towards the rest of the season. If that happens, look for the Jags to win some more games this season.
It’s all up to the players on the team. They will have to remind each other that they have to play their assignments, prepare diligently for each game most importantly stay focused. If they can, they will have a chance to potentially grab the attention of the entire college football landscape with a win in what will certainly be another underdog role against Tennessee in two weeks.
This has already been an exciting season. Let hope that the next nine games are as good as the last two. But the team will have to take them one at a time because they cannot afford to look ahead in any of the remaining games.