USA Jags hosts Lafayette Saturday
(Mobile)--The University of South Alabama hosts Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday at 3:00pm Saturday.
• South opens November with the first of back-to-back home contests when Louisiana visits on Saturday afternoon.
• It's the sixth straight season the Jaguars and Ragin' Cajuns will meet, with the home team claiming each of the first five matchups.
• The first two contests between the two programs were both decided by 22 points, but each of the last three games have ended with a final margin of victory of 10 points or fewer.
• The Jags are 7-0 all-time against Louisiana schools at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
• Current ULL assistant Mitch Rodrigue was a member of South's staff in 2009 and '10, the program's first two seasons of competition.
Notes From The Last Louisiana Meeting
• The Ragin' Cajuns' average of 8.3 yards per play — they gained 512 yards on just 62 snaps — was the highest against the Jaguar defense in 2016.
• TE Gerald Everett led USA with seven receptions for 83 yards, and with a fourth-quarter touchdown catch he became only the third individual in program history to reach double figures in the category.
• Dallas Davis' 72.4 completion percentage — he hit 21-of-29 attempts for 264 yards and two scores — ranks sixth on the Jaguars' game record list.
• Kalen Jackson's game-high 12 tackles for the Jags tied a career-best total.
• South finished the game with just three penalties for 20 yards, both the lowest figures the team recorded a year ago.
More Yards Not Enough
The Jaguars finished with 297 yards passing and 338 overall at Georgia State, more than the Panthers in each category. It was the first time this fall that USA fell when outgaining the opposition in both, with the Jags falling to 43-11 overall with more total offense than the opposition; it was the first time they lost with the advantage in total yards since dropping a 38-31 decision at Idaho on Nov. 26 a year ago.
Ground To A Halt
South was limited to only 41 yards rushing on 23 carries by the Panther defense, matching a season low on the ground first recorded against nationally-ranked Oklahoma State on Sept. 8 in its home opener. The Jaguars have finished with less than 100 yards on the ground in four of eight outings this fall, dropping three of those games; in fact, USA is now 4-18 when held to a double-digit total rushing and has won just one of nine contests in Sun Belt action with under 100 yards.
Follow The Leader
Jeremy Reaves led a South defense that gave up just 308 yards in the Georgia State contest with a game-high 11 stops, falling one tackle shy of matching his season-best total posted in the Jaguars' Sun Belt Conference opener against Idaho on Sept. 23. The senior also had a hand in the Jags' lone takeaway of the night with a first-quarter forced fumble that ended a Panther drive that had moved inside the USA-40, the third straight turnover forced by the Jaguars that Reaves played a part in; he is now tied for second on school season record list with three forced fumbles this year. It was the fifth time this season that the safety paced USA in stops, with the total also moving him into the top three in school history in the category as he now has 259 in three-plus seasons.
Weapon In Waitman
Corliss Waitman had a career-high four of five punts end inside the GSU-20, as he averaged 46.4 yards per kick against the Panthers to be named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the week. In addition to tying the Jags' game record for punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line — he moved into the top three in the category in the program's season record books as well — the junior also equaled a season high with three punts of 50 or more yards. He's averaged better than 46 yards per effort in five of eight outings this fall.
Junior Dallas Davis finished with 297 yards through the air in the GSU game to become the second quarterback in school history to surpass 4,000 yards passing in a career. He completed 27-of-48 attempts against the Panthers, not only setting a career high but tying the school record — posted twice by Ross Metheny during his two years as a Jaguar from 2012-13 — for completions in a game. Davis also went over the 4,000-yard mark in total offense last time out, moving into a tie for second all-time at South with his 20th touchdown pass as well when he found Jamarius Way for a 75-yard score with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.
Get Out Of His Way
Way had his first 100-yard game as a Jaguar after finishing with career highs of six receptions for 118 yards at GSU last time out. After Sam Harris collected 141 receiving yards in South's previous contest against ULM, it marked the first time that two different individuals have posted 100-plus yards through the air in consecutive games since the last two outings of the 2016 regular season when Maaseiah Francis (146 at Idaho) and Josh Magee (135 vs. New Mexico State) turned the trick.
Doubling Up On Threes
The GSU game marked the fifth time this season that Gavin Patterson has converted multiple field goals in a contest, and the second occasion he has done it on back-to-back outings. With the performance, the junior moved into fifth on USA's season record list with 14 this fall.
McWilliams Makes Most of First Start
Making his first career start in place of an injured Finessé Middleton, DE Rocel McWilliams matched a career high with five tackles against the Panthers last time out. After making six total stops in five outings the opening month of the season, the junior transfer from Missouri has been credited with 10 tackles — all on the road — the last three contests.
Mills Moves Up
CB Darian Mills posted a pair of stops in last week's game, his fourth straight game with multiple tackles, and he also contributed to the Jag defense's only takeaway against GSU when he recovered the fumble forced by Reaves. The junior, who is in his first season as a starter at South, was credited with a pass break up as well, the fifth consecutive outing that he has finished with at least one; with seven this fall, Mills now is tied for third on the school season record list in the category.