South Alabama Jaguars | 1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt
Bowling Green Falcons | 0-1, 0-0 Mid-American
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 | 3 pm (CDT)
Bowling Green, Ohio | Doyt Perry Stadium
24,000 capacity | SportTurf
Jim Barbar (pxp)
Tyoka Jackson (analysis)
USA Football Radio Network
(flagship 96.1 FM/Sports Talk 99.5 FM in Mobile)
J.D. Byars (pxp)
Pat Greenwood (analysis)
Tommy Hicks (sidelines)
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — n/a
Sagarin — 111th
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — n/a
Sagarin — 167th
Overall: BGSU leads 1-0
In Mobile: n/a
In Bowling Green: n/a
Neutral: BGSU leads 1-0
Series Streak: BGSU — 1 (2014)
First Meeting: BGSU, 33-28, on Dec. 20, 2014, in Montgomery, Ala.
Last Meeting: BGSU, 33-28, on Dec. 20, 2014, in Montgomery, Ala.
Kane Wommack (Southern Mississippi ’09)
Record at USA — 1-0 (1st season)
Career record — same
Record vs. BGSU — 0-0
Scot Loeffler (Michigan ’98)
Record at BGSU — 3-15 (3rd season)
Career Record — same
Record vs. USA — 0-0
• The Jags play their first road game of the season when they visit Bowling Green Saturday afternoon.
• It’s the first time the two programs will meet since facing each other in the 2014 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
• The Falcons are scheduled to come to Mobile on Sept. 16, 2028, to complete the home-and-home agreement.
• South makes it first trip to the Buckeye State since defeating Kent State, 23-13, to open the 2014 campaign.
• After taking two of three match-ups from the Golden Flashes, the Jaguars have a 2-2 mark all-time against schools from the Mid-American Conference.
• USA is also slated to take on MAC members Central Michigan (2022 and ’23) and Ohio (2024 and ’26) in the coming years.
Notes From The Last Bowling Green Meeting
• The Jaguars made the first bowl appearance in school history that day.
• South trailed the entire night until scoring with 80 seconds remaining in the contest, only to see the Falcons regain the lead on the first play of the ensuing possession.
• BGSU’s 90 plays are still the most run against the Jag defense in the program’s record books.
• It was the most passing yards allowed by the unit that season.
• Maleki Harris’ tackle total set a USA game record at the time that still stands second on the school’s all-time list.
Notes On Wommack’s Coaching/Playing Career
• Wommack, 34, became the third head coach in program history and youngest at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level when he was hired on Dec. 12 last year.
• He was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the top NCAA FBS assistant coach in the nation, in 2020 after helping Indiana go 6-2 overall while finishing 12th in the final Associated Press poll.
• In addition to serving as the Hoosiers’ defensive coordinator — the youngest in the Power Five — the last two years, Wommack was also defensive coordinator for the Jags in 2016 and ’17 as well as at Eastern Illinois for one season prior to his first stint in Mobile.
• The Jaguars allowed over 10 points fewer per outing than the previous campaign his first year on the staff, the fifth-best improvement in the NCAA FBS that fall.
• After beginning his collegiate playing career at Arkansas in 2006, Wommack was a fullback and tight end at Southern Miss for three years — helping the Golden Eagles to a postseason bowl appearance each fall — before receiving his degree from the school in 2009.
“Swarm D” On Display
The Jaguar defense recorded four takeaways while limiting Southern Mississippi to just 258 total yards in South’s season-opening victory last weekend, a figure that included surrendering only 27 yards in the second quarter as the Jags scored twice to take command of the contest. Not only was it the second time in the last four games going back to last November that USA has forced the opposition into four turnovers, it was the first occasion since their 2019 debut at 24th-ranked Nebraska that the Jaguars have allowed less than 300 yards against an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision foe. The unit’s four sacks were also the most it has finished with since posting four in a defeat of Coastal Carolina in the 2018 finale.
Two More Marks For Tolbert
WR Jalen Tolbert recorded 168 yards — the most in the Sun Belt and the second-highest total in the country the opening week of the season — on just five receptions to help lead South to a 24-point victory over Southern Miss. His first catch of the year went for 49 yards and put the Jaguars on the two-yard line to set up the team’s opening score, while his 27-yard reception on USA’s initial possession of the second half led to a touchdown and a 21-7 advantage two plays later. Tolbert began the Jags’ next drive with a 47-yard catch to help set up a field goal as well, ending the night with the school’s all-time record for receiving yards in a career (he now has 1,834) and also having surpassed 100 receptions in his time with the program. It was the fourth time that he has recorded a 100-yard game as a Jaguar, and the second straight year that he has accomplished the feat in USA’s first outing of the season.
Bank On It
In his first fall at South, Yam Banks was credited with two stops in seven appearances; not only did he surpass that total before the end of the third quarter against the Golden Eagles, posting four tackles in all, he ended the night with a pair of forced fumbles as well. It was the first time that an individual in the program has forced multiple fumbles in the same game since Jeremy Reaves — currently a member of the Washington Football Team’s practice squad — accomplished the feat on Sept. 23, 2017.
Big Debut For Bentley
Senior transfer Jake Bentley accounted for every touchdown scored by the Jag offense in the USM contest, running for one score and throwing for two others, while passing for 269 yards in his Jaguar debut. In fact, after connecting on 17-of-22 (77.3 percent) passes on the night, the quarterback recorded the fifth-highest completion percentage (minimum 10 attempts) in a contest in the school’s record books.
Not only did redshirt freshman DL Wy’Kevious Thomas finish the USM game with the most tackles of his career after recording a total of five, he added his first-ever fumble recovery to end a Golden Eagle drive that had reached the USA 10-yard line early in the final quarter. Thomas posted multiple stops on three occasions last fall, and had been credited with five tackles in South’s final four contests combined.
Here’s Looking At Lacy
Caullin Lacy is nearly halfway to his reception total from a year ago after hauling in five balls for 67 yards — both career-best figures — in last weekend’s victory over the Golden Eagles. The wideout caught four passes in a pair of contests in 2020, ending his first year in the program with 11 receptions for 98 yards in 11 appearances.
Punt Game On Point In Opener
Sophomore Jack Brooks averaged just under 44 yards per punt in the Jaguars’ season-opening win, recording three kicks of 50 or more yards while tying a career high with three efforts inside the 20-yard line. It was the first time he has had more than two punts of 50-plus yards since an Oct. 3, 2019, match-up with Georgia Southern, while it was the first occasion he has recorded three kicks inside the opposition’s 20-yard line since USA faced the Eagles on Oct. 29 last fall.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
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