JAGUAR FOOTBALL FACES LOUISIANA SATURDAY IN SUN BELT CONFERENCE OPENER

GAME 4
South Alabama Jaguars | 3-0, 0-0 Sun Belt
vs.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns | 3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt


Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 | 7 pm (CDT)
Mobile, Ala. | Hancock Whitney Stadium
25,450 capacity | FieldTurf


Media Information
Television
ESPN+
J.D. Byars (pxp)
Pat Greenwood (analysis)

Radio
USA Football Radio Network
(flagship 96.1 FM/Sports Talk 99.5 FM in Mobile)
JT Crabtree (pxp)
Chris May (analysis)
Tommy Hicks (sidelines)

On the web
• Live Twitter updates available at: @WeAreSouth_FB
• Live stats available at: http://statb.us/b/353378
• Live audio available at: https://www.iheart.com/live/sports-talk-995-7117/

Game/Promotions Information
• Special: “White Out” / USA Reunion / Honor Band / SAAC canned food drive
• Giveaways: Both 10,000 white shirts will be given out at stadium entrances
• Water Policy: Empty clear water bottles are allowed in Hancock Whitney Stadium that then may be filled at the various water fountains on the concourse.
• Clear Bag Policy: Click usajaguars.com/clearbag for all information.
• Stadium Chairs: Portable stadium chairs 16″ wide and smaller (with or without backrest) are allowed at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Larger chairs will be denied.
• Tickets: Single game tickets start at just $17 — a $3 discount — and are available online at usajaguars.com/tickets, over the phone (251-461-1USA) or in person as you arrive for the game.  Windows open two hours prior to kickoff on gameday.
• Home and Visitor Player Pass List: Tickets will be at the East ticket booth adjacent to Gate 1.
• Shuttles: Free shuttles will provide service from Lot 804 on USA North Drive and the Moulton belltower on USA South Drive to the stadium; service before the game until 90 minutes upon conclusion of contest. Free parking is available in the 900 lots (TRPIII) with $2 per person shuttle available to the stadium. Please refer to usajaguars.com/parking for more information.
• Jag Prowl: Begins at 4:50 pm on John Counts Drive
• Parking: Opens for tailgating at 8 a.m.

The Rankings
South Alabama
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — n/a
Sagarin — 115th
Louisiana
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — RV (tie-43rd)
Sagarin — 79th

Series History
Overall: UL leads 7-2
In Mobile: Series tied 2-2
In Lafayette: UL leads 5-0
Neutral: n/a
Series Streak: UL — 5 (2016-20)
First Meeting: UL, 52-30, on Nov. 24, 2012, in Lafayette, La.
Last Meeting: UL, 38-10, on Nov. 14, 2020, in Lafayette, La.

The Coaches
South Alabama
Kane Wommack (Southern Mississippi ’09)
Record at USA — 3-0 (1st season)
Career record — same
Record vs. UL — 0-0

Louisiana
Billy Napier (Furman ’02)
Record at UL — 31-12 (4th season)
Career Record — same
Record vs. USA — 3-0

Opening Kick
• South begins Sun Belt Conference play when the Ragin’ Cajuns visit for a “White Out” at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday.
• Beginning with this contest, USA will face the other four SBC West Division schools in a five-weekend span before the end of the month.
• This will be the only time in 2021 that the Jags will have consecutive outings at home.
• The Jaguars enter the game coming off their only open week of the season; USA split a pair of contests with more than seven days to prepare a year ago, which included a victory over Texas State in its league debut last fall.
• After beating Alcorn State in its most recent outing on Sept. 18, South went undefeated in September for the first time since the 2010 season.

South Alabama-Louisiana Series Notes
• Since the Jaguars earned a seven-point victory in Mobile in 2015, UL has claimed the last five match-ups in the series.
• Both of South’s wins over the Ragin’ Cajuns have come at home.
• This will mark the first time the Jags will face Louisiana in their opening game of league play.
• Six of the last seven meetings between the two programs have been decided by 10 points or less.
• The winning team has scored 30 or more points on six occasions since the first match-up in the series in 2012, including accomplishing the feat in each if the last three contests.

Notes From The Last Louisiana Meeting
• The Jags were limited to a season-low passing total while it was the most yards they allowed on the ground last year.
• In fact, it was the only time a season ago that USA saw the opposition record a double-figure number of plays of 20-plus yards.
• Junior Jalen Tolbert entered the top 10 on South’s all-time receptions list with his performance, while also beginning his current streak of seven straight games leading the team in receiving yards.
• Terrion Avery recorded career-high totals at the time in both carries and rushing yards, with the latter figure five more than the number of yards he had posted in league play entering the day.
• S Keith Gallmon Jr. matched a career high with three passes broken up.

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.

Notes on South In The Sun Belt
• This marks the beginning of USA’s 10th season of competition in the Sun Belt Conference.
• The Jaguars have an all-time mark of 24-47 in league play, including going 18-18 at home against conference opponents.
• South won three Sun Belt contests a year ago, matching its total from the previous two seasons combined.
• It will be the fifth time in the last six falls that USA starts league action in Mobile.
• USA has claimed its SBC opener in two of the last three years, both over Texas State at home.

No Fun Run
After allowing 32 yards on 31 carries in the win over the Braves, it marked the first time since last October — when USA opened SBC action 2-0 with defeats of Texas State and ULM — that the Jaguar defense has surrendered fewer than 100 yards on the ground in back-to-back contests.  With Bowling Green managing nine yards the previous week, it’s also the first occasion that South has recorded two outings in the same season allowing less than 50 rushing yards since 2017 (Wommack’s second year as defensive coordinator) as well as the lowest figure the unit has given up in consecutive games since victories over Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy (minus-22) and Milford (N.Y.) Academy (35) during the program’s inaugural campaign.

Walk On The Wide Side
RB Kareem Walker ran for a career-best 150 yards and school-record-tying three touchdowns to help lead South to a win over Alcorn State last time out to be named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.  The senior opened the scoring with a one-yard run late in the first quarter, then reached the end zone on each of the Jaguars’ first two possessions of the second half — from 13 and 35 yards out — to give USA the lead for good.  In finishing with his initial 100-yard rushing performance at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, Walker became the first Jaguar to run for three touchdowns in a game since Xavier Johnson did so in a Dec. 3, 2016, win over New Mexico State while tying the school record in the category first set by Brandon Ross during the Jags’ first season of competition in 2009.

Inside ‘Backer Is Top Tackler
Junior A.J. DeShazor Jr. paced South’s defense with six stops in the Alcorn win, making it the second time in the last four outings going back to the 2020 finale that he has accomplished the feat.  Not only did that figure include his first tackle for loss of the season — an assist after the Braves reached the red zone while attempting to tie the contest in the final minutes — but it equaled his two-game total entering play.  In addition to ending the contest with four of his stops resulting in a gain of two yards or less, DeShazor Jr. was credited with a quarterback hurry two plays later as Tré Young intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal the victory.

Force Up Front
All three starters on the Jaguar defensive line played a key role in the win last time out, with redshirt freshman Wy’Kevious Thomas leading the group after recording multiple tackles for loss for the first time in his career among his four stops.  Gi’Narious Johnson contributed his first sack since USA opened the 2020 campaign with a victory at Southern Mississippi while Charles Coleman III’s only stop was a sack on Alcorn’s first possession of the second half after the Jags had tied the score 14-14, which led to South taking over at the Braves’ 35-yard line and Walker’s third touchdown run three plays later that put the Jaguars up for good.

Hill Says Hello
Making his first appearance of the season, sophomore transfer Bryan Hill contributed 51 yards on just nine rushing attempts — highlighted by an 11-yard touchdown run in the latter minutes of the third quarter that provided the final margin of victory — while also catching a pass for an additional 16 yards.  It was the most rushing yards recorded by a Jag running back making his debut since Tra Minter carried 12 times for 83 yards in the 2017 opener at Ole Miss.

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).

Join the South Circle, the unrestricted giving option of the University of South Alabama Athletics.  Contributions to the South Circle directly support all 17 sports in addition to various support programming. For more information on how you can join visit: http://jaguarathleticfund.com/give

—USA—
 

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