South Alabama Jaguars | 4-3, 1-3 Sun Belt
Arkansas State Red Wolves | 1-6, 0-3 Sun Belt
Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 | 4 pm (CDT)
Mobile, Ala. | Hancock Whitney Stadium
25,450 capacity | FieldTurf
J.D. Byars (pxp)
Pat Greenwood (analysis)
USA Football Radio Network
(flagship 96.1 FM/Sports Talk 99.5 FM in Mobile)
JT Crabtree (pxp)
Chris May (analysis)
Tommy Hicks (sidelines)
• Special: Homecoming; Hall of Fame Game
• Giveaways: The first 10,000 fans will receive a free shaker; 2,500 keychains will be available to students at Gate 1 courtesy of the Alabama Department of Transportation and its Drive Safe Alabama campaign
• 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 $20 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.
• Homecoming Pep Rally: 4-6 pm Friday at the Mitchell Center
• Jag Prowl: Begins at 1:50 pm on John Counts Drive, will include the Homecoming Parade
• Parking: Opens for tailgating at 8 am
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — n/a
Sagarin — 129th
Associated Press — n/a
Coaches — n/a
Sagarin — 136th
Overall: A-State leads 6-3
In Mobile: Series tied 2-2
In Jonesboro: A-State leads 4-1
Series Streak: USA — 2 (2019-20)
First Meeting: A-State, 36-29, on Oct. 13, 2012, in Jonesboro
Last Meeting: USA, 38-31, on Oct. 28, 2020, in Jonesboro
Kane Wommack (Southern Mississippi ’09)
Record at USA — 4-3 (1st season)
Career record — same
Record vs. ULM — 0-0
Butch Jones (Ferris [Mich.] State ’90)
Record at A-State — 1-6 (1st season)
Career Record — 85-60 (12th season)
Record vs. USA — 1-0
• The Jaguars play host to the Red Wolves as South Alabama celebrates Homecoming weekend.
• It is also the school’s annual Hall of Fame Game, with former softball standout Farish Beard (2012-15) set to be recognized on the field during a break in the action following an official induction ceremony on campus earlier in the day.
• A win in this contest would give the Jags five victories by the end of October for the first time since 2014.
• This will be USA’s final match-up against a fellow Sun Belt Conference West Division opponent this fall.
• Jaguar defensive coordinator Corey Batoon was an assistant on the A-State staff from 2009-11, while assistant head coach/director of football athletic performance Matt Shadeed was the Red Wolves’ strength and conditioning coach from 2014-16 with assistant Cody Stout serving on that staff the last two of those years.
South Alabama-Arkansas State Series Notes
• The Jags enter play with their first-ever series winning streak after claiming each of the last two match-ups against the Red Wolves.
• Last season’s victory for the Jaguars was the first for the road team since A-State’s 49-31 win in Mobile on Oct. 13, 2015.
• All three of South’s wins over the Red Wolves have been decided by one score, as have three of the four meetings in the series in Mobile.
• The winning team has recorded 30 or more points in six of the first nine match-ups between the two schools, including each of the last three contests.
• The Jaguars have been held under 20 points on the scoreboard in four of their six losses to the Red Wolves, although that hasn’t happened at home since A-State’s first visit to Mobile in 2013.
Notes From The Last Arkansas State Meeting
• USA recorded season-high totals in both passing yards and points.
• Jalen Tolbert established the school season record for receiving yards after posting the first 200-yard game in program history.
• He was chosen the SBC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time last fall following the contest.
• It was the third time last year that Keith Gallmon Jr. both finished with 10-plus stops and was the Jags’ leading tackler.
• It also marked the first occasion since an Oct. 5, 2013, game at Troy that South had a pair of quarterbacks finish with 100 or more passing yards in the same outing after the duo of Desmond Trotter and Tanner McGee combined to turn the trick.
Notes On Wommack’s Coaching/Playing Career
• Kane 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.
• South has a 10-2 mark all-time on Homecoming weekend.
• Last year’s win over Texas State was the Jaguars’ first in a Homecoming game since beating ULM in 2017.
• A-State will be the ninth different Homecoming opponent the Jags have faced, including the seventh from the Sun Belt.
• USA has won seven of eight Homecoming contests played in October.
• The Jaguars have averaged better than 31 points in Homecoming games, scoring more than 30 in nine of their 10 victories.
Tolbert On A Tear
Tolbert led all players last time out at ULM with game-high totals of 10 receptions for 155 yards — the fourth time he has recorded 100 or more this season and seventh of his career, both school records — while becoming the first individual in program history to surpass 2,500 yards in a career. Not only was it the first occasion since Tolbert turned the trick in the 2019 finale and first outing of last season that a Jag has had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, he became the first player since Jamarius Way against Texas State and Memphis on Sept. 15 and 22, 2018, to post a double-digit catch total in consecutive contests. The junior also has caught at least one touchdown pass in each of South’s last three games, one shy of matching the longest streak in school history set by current Seattle Seahawk Gerald Everett from Sept. 19-Oct. 13, 2015.
Another Week, Another Record
Senior Jake Bentley threw for 320 yards and four scores on 30-of-41 passing against the Warhawks, tying the school record for touchdown passes in a game first set by Brandon Bridge against Navy on Nov. 28, 2014, and last achieved by Desmond Trotter in a Nov. 29, 2019, win at Arkansas State while becoming the first USA quarterback ever to record 30 completions in a contest. It was the first time in school history that an individual has thrown for 300 or more yards in back-to-back outings, as Bentley is now one of three quarterbacks — Dallas Davis and Ross Metheny are the others — to accomplish the feat on multiple occasions.
All-Around Effort Out Of The Backfield
In addition to leading the Jaguar rushing attack for the first time since defeating Bowling Green the second week of the season after gaining 87 yards on 14 carries at ULM, Terrion Avery added 48 yards on seven receptions as well. Not only did the junior go over 100 all-purpose yards for the first time in his career, it was the most catches by a Jag running back since Tra Minter finished with six on Oct. 16, 2019, at Troy. Avery gained three more yards on the ground than he had posted in South’s first three conference games combined.
DeShazor Paces Jaguar Defense
Junior ILB A.J. DeShazor Jr. led USA with a season-best nine stops last weekend, making him the second member of the unit — joining Gallmon Jr. — to accomplish the feat more than once this season; he also accomplished the feat in a Sept. 18 victory over Alcorn State. It was the second time in the last three weeks that DeShazor Jr. has recorded his highest tackle total of the year, while he matched both Gallmon Jr. and Shawn Jennings for the most stops made by a Jaguar thus far this fall.
Darrell Luter Jr. not only matched a season high first set in South’s SBC opener against Louisiana with four total stops against the Warhawks — including his first behind the line of scrimmage since joining the program last year — he added the Jags’ only pass break up of the night. It was the fifth game in a row that the junior cornerback has defended at least one pass as he is one of only nine individuals in the nation to reach double figures in the category this year.
Brooks’ Best Effort
All three of Jack Brooks’ punts at ULM covered 50 yards, the first time he has recorded a kick of 50-plus yards since finishing with three in USA’s season-opening win over Southern Miss as he ended the contest with a career-best 51.7 average. It was the first time that a Jaguar punter has averaged better than 50 yards in a game since Corliss Waitman did so against Louisiana on Nov. 4, 2017.
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