Jags Travel To New Mexico State For Season Finale

November 29, 2017 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

South Alabama is making their final appearance of the season on Saturday, December 2 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. While the Jags may be eliminated from bowl contention, they still have a lot to play for if you ask the players.

“A lot of people want to send coach Jones out with a win because of everything he’s done for us. We want to do right for him,” senior offensive guard Harrison Louden said. “We want to do right for the seniors as well and I can’t emphasize that enough. We want to send everybody out with a win.”

Head coach Joey Jones, the only head coach the Jaguar football team has had in it’s 9-season history, announced his resignation just over a week ago after the Jags were eliminated from bowl contention by Georgia Southern. But coach Jones does not want to make his final game about him, but rather keep the focus on the players. He decided that he would not attend the regular Monday press conference this week. Though, last week, he said he had not considered what emotions he may feel on Jaguars sidelines for the final time.

“It will probably mean a lot more later when I have a cane and a wheelchair and they’re honoring me on the field for starting the program back in 2009,” Jones said. “It’s going to be special one day. I’m just proud to be a small part of it.”

But Louden is only one of six projected starters, Dominic Esposito, Andrew Reinkemeyer, Zach Befort, Finesse Middleton, Darrell Songy and Jeremy Reaves, who will dress out and play for the Jaguars for the final time. But others on the team have points to make as well, “Against New Mexico State on Saturday, I want us to show everyone that we are a good team,” said defensive end Jimmie Gipson. “I know things haven’t panned out the way that we would’ve liked them to, but I want to go out with a bang; I want to go out with a ‘W’.”

New Mexico State has their own, powerful motivations to win on Saturday as well. With a win, they could finish the season 6-6 and keep their hopes alive for the program’s first bowl appearance since 1960. They will be aided by their redshirt senior quarterback Tyler Rogers who suffered a grade 2 sprain of the AC joint in the second half of their game against Louisiana-Lafayette on November 18.

Rogers has put up big numbers this season, ranking third nationally in completions per game (27.9), sixth in total offense per game (339.8), 14th in points responsible for (188), and 16th in total passing yards (3,374) despite missing the last five quarters of action.

The only notable player slated to miss the game for NMSU right now is wide receiver OJ Clark. He ranks second on the team with 44 catches for 492 yards and three touchdowns.

The Jags know about attrition though. The Jags lost career-rushing leader Xavier Johnson due to a violation of team rules. They also lost running backs Tywun Walters for rules violations. Then they’ve lost three back to injuries leaving Tra Minter and Carlos Robinson as the only two active running backs on the roster from the beginning of the season.

On the season, the Aggies score an average of 30.27 points per game and allow 31.73 points per game. Offensively the Aggies average 450.4 yards of total offense per game, 343.6 yards through the air and 106.7 yards on the ground per game. They are converting 45.9% of their 3rd down attempts and 50% of their 4th down attempts on the season. Also on the season they have allowed 35 sacks for a combined 209 yards and have fumbled the ball 12 times and lost it six times. Additionally they average 55.8 yards per game of penalties. The Aggies score 83% of the time they reach opponents red zone and 68% of the time they are touchdowns.

Defensively, the Aggies allow an average of 401.5 yards per game which breaks down to 223.8 yards through the air and 177.7 yards on the ground per game. Opponents are converting 31% of their 3rd down attempts and 61.1% of their 4th down attempts. They have sacked opponents 28 times for a loss of 181 yards, they have forced 13 fumbles and recovered eight of them on the season. Opponents are averaging 60.1 penalty yards per game against the Aggies. Opponents score 86% of the time they reach the Aggies red zone and 66% of the time they score touchdowns.

The Jags average 20.1 points per game on the season as opposed to 26.9 for their opponent. Offensively the Jags average 332.6 yards per game of total offense, which breaks down to 104.1 yards rushing and 228.5 yards passing per game. They converted 30% of their 3rd down attempts and 44% of their 4th down attempts. USA has fumbled the ball 12 times and only lost three of them and have been intercepted 12 times. Jags have 18 sacks on the season for 113 yards and average 59.4 penalty yards per game. The Jags offense scores 74% of the time in opponents red zone and 44% of the time are touchdowns.

Defensively the Jags allow and average of 411.1 yards per game of total offense, which breaks down to 162 yards rushing and 249.1 yards passing per game. Opponents are converting 41% of 3rd down attempts and 56% of 4th down attempts. The Jags have forced 20 fumbles on the season and recovered 12 of them while intercepting opponents seven times. Jags have 20 sacks on opposing quarterbacks for 153 yards. Opponents average 37.2 penalty yards per game. Opponents score 75% of the time they reach the red zone, 49% of the time they are touchdowns.

What the Jags must do to win:
Slow down the passing game. The Aggies, behind their redshirt senior quarterback throw for lots of yards each game. His favorite target is Jaleel Scott, who averages 82.6 yards per game receiving with eight touchdowns and 908 yards on the season. But he spreads the ball around to a number of receivers, so they cannot sleep on the others either.

Keep the Aggies out of the red zone. As seen by the numbers breakdown, if they get into the red zone, they score 74% of the time in they reach it.

The best defense is to control the ball on offense. The Jags were shredded by Georgia Southern and the offense was completely ineffective and the defense was gassed as a result.

Speaking of offense, the offense must move the ball and score. While this would seem to be a no-brainer, the Jags have struggled to move the ball consistently, convert 3rd downs and, in their last game, put points on the board.

Let’s send the seniors out on a winning note and lets give Coach Jones a great send off while we’re at it!

Comments

One Response to “Jags Travel To New Mexico State For Season Finale”

  1. Huan on December 3rd, 2017 12:24 pm

    At least UNMS will be bowl eligible

Leave a Reply




%d bloggers like this: