Jags Fall To Louisiana Tech On The Road 34-16

October 1, 2017 · By · Filed Under Football 

The Jaguars (1-4) entered the fourth quarter trailing by one point, but the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-2) pulled away for a 34-16 win.

The Jaguars had a whirlwind start to the week when, on Monday morning, Head coach Joey Jones announced that he had relieved offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent of his duties. Later in the day on Monday, Coach Jones announced that Richard Owens would take on offensive coordinator duties as well as coaching quarterbacks and that Chase Smith would coach the offensive linemen as well as tight ends.

The Jaguar defense kept up their high level of play on the first series on the field by forcing a fumble and recovering it at the Jaguar 16 yard line. It only took the Jaguar offense three plays to put it in the end zone, two runs by Xavier Johnson for 8 and 47 yards respectively, then Cole Garvin connected with Jamarius Way for a 29 yard touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.

Tech would answer with a score, the final 40 yards were on a J’Mar Smith pass to Teddy Veal to tie the game. After a Jaguar three-and-out, Tech mounted another drive to take a 14-7 lead with 4:18 left in the opening quarter.

The second quarter opened with a Bulldog field goal of 31 yards to extend their lead to 17-7.

The jags drove to the Bulldog 10 yard line before Garvin threw an interception in the end zone and returned out to the 1 yard line. The defense would hold them on 3rd and 15 forcing a punt and the Jags would drive down to the Bulldog 9 yard line before having to settle for a field goal cutting the lead to 17-10 with 4:48 left in the half.

The Jags would get the ball back with 2:47 left in the opening half at their own 45 yard line after a 25 yard punt. USA would drive down to the Tech 24 yard line with :02 left on the clock. Gavin Patterson would nail another field goal putting the Jags behind 17-13 going into the halftime locker room.

Tech would drive to the Jaguar 26 on their opening possession of the second half but would miss the field goal wide right.

The Jags got in gear again behind Garvin’s arm. The drive would stall at the Bulldog 29 yard line again and Patterson would connect on a career-long 46 yard field goal cutting the lead to just one point 17-16 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.

After a Corliss Waitman punt to start the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs started on their own 10 yard line and would drive down the field in 7 plays with the final 30 coming on a J’Mar Smith pass to Adrian Hardy for a touchdown, extending their lead to 24-16 with 12:17 left in the game.

Another three-and-out by the offense and a nicely placed punt by Waitman had the Bulldogs starting at their own 11 yard line. But Smith’s throws and a facemask penalty on Taji Stewart aided them in driving down the field. The Jag defense held them to a field goal to make it 27-16 with 4:18 left.

On the next Jaguar possession, facing 4th and 3 at their own 27, Jones and Owens decided to go for it but Garvin’s pass to Johnson would be dropped turning the ball over on downs. Then the Bulldogs only needed one play with Boston Scott scampering 27 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.

One more Jaguar possession saw Garvin complete his first pass to Sa’Mory Collier for three yards then the next two passes fall incomplete before punting away. Tech would run out the clock for the win.

The Jaguar offense gained 333 yards total, but only 98 on the ground. Cole Garvin would go 21-of-45 for a touchdown but with two interceptions in his first start in three weeks after being injured on the first possession against Oklahoma State on September 8. Louisiana Tech gained 479 yards overall, 317 of them through the air on 24-of-38 passing.

Xavier fell short of breaking the school record for career rushing yards with only 89 for the game on 12 carries. Minter added 17. Jamarius Way led the Jagaur receivers with 67 yards on 5 catches and the only touchdown. Sam Harris had 59 on 5 catches with four other Jags catching passes.

Boston Scott led the Bulldog rushing attack with 76 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown. J’Mar Smith threw three touchdowns with no interceptions. He completed passes to eight different receivers with Teddy Veal leading all receivers with 88 yards on 5 catches with a touchdown.

USA managed three sacks on Smith, all in the third quarter. Jimmie Gipson and Chris Henderson both had one and Tyree Turner and Finesse Middleton both grabbing a half sack each. Nigel Lawrence forced the lone fumble.

Though the offense seemed to fizzle out late in the game, it did show progress from previous games. I think with about 10 days to prepare for Troy and allow Owens to settle into his new role, the Jags will be ready for the next seven conference games.

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