Jags Fall To Navy 42-14 In Annapolis
The Naval Academy and their triple-option offense rushed for over 300 yards against the South Alabama defense. Darius Staten rushed for 127 yards on seven carries to lead the Midshipmen to a 42-14 win over the Jaguars.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries and also threw for 168 yards by going 10-of-17 passing. Navy gained a total of 519 yards against the Jaguars while outgaining them by 219 yards.
The Jags fell to 3-6 on the season with three games to go in the season and will need to win their final three games in order to get bowl eligible in their first year as a full member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Enrique Williams led the Jaguar defense with 12 tackles for his third consecutive outing with a double-digit total.
Ross Metheny went 18-of-27 passing for 160 yards. Shavarez Smith caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns, his first time posting multiple touchdowns in a game. This was the Jaguars lowest offensive output of the season.
South Alabama was only the second team this season to score a touchdown against the Midshipmen in the first quarter.
Navy’s first drive stalled at the Jaguar 20 after a Jesse Kelley sack on second down and a Romelle Jones pressure forced the Midshipmen to settle for a 37 yard field goal.
The Jags responded with one of their best drives of the season when they marched 78 yards in 14 plays that spanned 5:39 to take a 7-3 lead.
Navy moved the ball in some large chunks on their next scoring drive as they covered 91 yards in just over two minutes to take a 10-7 lead on the Jaguars.
Metheny would lead the Jaguars down the field again as he went 4-of-5 and 41 yards including the 22 yard touchdown strike to Shavarez Smith to put the Jaguars back in the lead 14-10. But that would be the final time the Jags would put points on the board as it would mostly be all Navy for the rest of the game.
The Jags had a chance to get back into the game down 27-14, but could not convert and the triple-option attack would continue to wear on the Jaguar defense.
Navy made some very good adjustments to what South Alabama was doing offensively and held a commanding 261-108 total yardage advantage on the Jags in the second half.
Kendall Houston led the Jaguar ground game with 36 yards on 11 carries with Jay Jones adding 31 yards on seven carries.
Kendall Houston was unable to get into the end zone after two rushing attempts inside the Midshipmen’s five-yard line.
Quarterback Brandon Bridge saw the field after being held out of the previous two games but was to spark the offense as the coaching staff were hoping.
“They were a better football team than us tonight,” head coach Joey Jones said. “You feel like you’re playing catch up the entire game once you fall behind.”
“When you play a team like this, you have to score points to beat them and we just didn’t,” said Jones. “When teams beat them, they score 30-something points, you just have to do that. Our defense didn’t play great. We stopped them a couple of times but we gave up a lot of big plays. They are dang good at what they do.”
The only obvious injury was to Wes Saxton when he was tackled on a crossing pattern and had his leg twisted under him when he went down. After going to the locker room for some time he returned to the sideline on crutches with a sprained ankle and will be listed as day-to-day while he recovers. This is some good injury news for the Jaguars after losing two players for the season in their previous game against Arkansas State. Danny Woodson ruptured his Achilles in a routine play away from the ball and Cris Dinham injured his knee and required surgery that will sideline him the remainder of the regular season.
South Alabama will resume their Sun Belt schedule when they host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, November 23 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.