Preview: Jaguars and Gamecocks

November 20, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

Jags_vs_SouthCarolina

What: South Alabama Jaguars (6-4) at South Carolina Gamecocks (5-5)

Where: Columbia, SC. Williams-Brice Stadium

When: Saturday, kickoff 11AM CST.

How to Watch: Fox Sports South

How to Listen: Lite Mix 99.9FM in Mobile, iHeartRadio platform

Line: South Carolina by 25.5

South Alabama travels to Columbia, SC to take on the Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, and his South Carolina Gamecocks. This is the second SEC team the Jaguars have faced this season. They lost their home-opener to Mississippi State 35-3.

But the Jaguars have come a long way since that game and have clinched bowl eligibility. The only thing left is to finish the regular season, hopefully with a bang. What a bang it would be to sneak a win out of Columbia!

But the Jaguars will have to play a near flawless game to do it. Against Texas State they overcame four turnovers, three of them being fumbles on three-consecutive possessions all in their own territory. But the Jaguar defense only allowed 10 points off of those three turnovers. They won’t be so lucky against an SEC team.

In their first five wins of the season, the Jags only turned the ball over twice. In their four losses they have turned the ball over 11 times. Bottom line, they have to protect the ball.

In all six of their wins they have rushed for over 150 yards in each of them. They probably won’t be able to just start out running the ball against the Gamecocks, so they will have to used their passing game to make the defense play honest and allow some running lanes to open up. USA likes to test defenses deep and if they can complete some of those passes that will go a long way to help open up the running game.

Hunter Vaughn stepped up big time against Texas State. He has prepared this week as if he’s going to be the starter because it is unknown if Brandon Bridge will be back 100% from his injury. The decision on who will start at quarterback will probably be announced just prior to kickoff. Teams routinely utilize graduate assistants to pour through social media and websites to glean any tidbit of information that may help their team.

Each team has had ups and downs. South Carolina was picked as one of the top SEC teams and to compete for the SEC East crown, but right now getting bowl eligible for their 10th consecutive season is their goal. Coach Spurrier keeps getting asked about his future at South Carolina, they wonder if he will even be there in 2015. These questions and their upcoming game next weekend against rival Clemson could have the team looking beyond this fledgeling football team from the Sun Belt coming into Williams-Brice Stadium.

That could work in the Jaguars favor.

If they could get some early success, score points, convert third-downs and rest the defense, they could make it a long day for South Carolina. And with a little luck the Jaguars could come out with a win.

But rest assured those boys from the South will be playing their hearts out in Columbia.

Go Jags!

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