South Alabama Falls to A-State 45-10

November 9, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

Jags_vs_ASUSouth Alabama did not have an answer for Arkansas State’s Fredi Knighten on Saturday. The conference’s leader in total offense showed why he tops that category as he threw for 186 yards and rushed for 80 more. He accounted for three touchdowns in the game as well.

South Alabama’s offense struggled to move the ball the whole game. They only managed 22 yards of total offense in the first half and only had 35 total yards late in the third quarter before Terrance Timmons pass reception and run gained 50 yards.

The Jaguars defense played a very good first quarter against the Red Wolves, but they could not keep the flood gates closed for long. A 17-point onslaught in the second quarter firmly put the game in A-State’s favor.

USA entered the game with a laundry list of injuries to starters. They lost starting running back Jay Jones a couple games ago against Georgia State, but they entered Jonesboro without quarterback Brandon Bridge, tight end Wes Saxton, offensive lineman Drew Dearman, linebacker Maleki Harris, and cornerback Qudarius Ford.

A number of other players saw little to no practice time such as Clay Machen and center Joseph Scelfo.

But matters go worse towards the end of the first quarter when wide receiver Marvin Shinn suffered a broken leg on a 4th down pass play into the end zone.

An uncharacteristic number of turnovers also plagued the Jaguars on Saturday. Three interceptions and a lost fumble led to 17 points for the Red Wolves.

Davin Hawkins led all players with 14 total stops.

Matt Floyd went 8-of-20 for 86 yards and two interceptions filling in for the injured Bridge before being pulled late in the game in favor of Hunter Vaughn. Vaughn went 1-of-5 for 4 yards passing but led the team with 38 rushing yards.

The Jaguar offense posted a season-low 201 yards of total offense, most of which came late in the game.

Berron Tyson rushed for 34 yards while Xavier Johnson added 28 yards on the ground. Braedon Bowman, Cameron Broadnax and Shavarez Smith each caught two passes.

“They [Arkansas State] came out and just played hard,” South Alabama head coach Joey Jones said after the game. “We had a lot of guys [eight starters] out; it makes a difference even if it shouldn’t have. I just don’t think we played very well, we didn’t run it or throw it well on offense. Defensively, we weren’t our usual self. We had three starters out on that side of the ball including Maleki [Harris], who is our team captain and our quarterback out there. They were on the field entirely too much.

“I think it’s going to come down to us and Texas State for that third bowl game,” Jones continued. “I told the kids that we have to put this one behind us. It’s a loss and a bad loss, but we have to do something about next week. We want to go to a bowl, and our kids will bounce back. They’re hurting right now, but they’ll bounce back tomorrow.”

The Jaguars have the week to get ready for Texas State (5-4, 3-2 SBC) who are also looking to reach bowl-eligible status. They came up short against conference leading Georgia Southern in a 28-25 loss at home. USA needs to get as many injured players back as possible and find reserves to step up and fill those positions if any of them cannot go against the Bobcats.

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