There’s been some chatter downplaying South Alabama’s victory over Oklahoma State.
Instead of talking about how big of a win it was for the Jaguars’ program, the college football world seems more interested in the downward spiral the Cowboys are on. That’s understandable but still unfortunate for the biggest win in program history to be overshadowed.
Especially for how dominant the Jaguars were in that game.
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They held OSU scoreless until the 12:14 mark in the fourth quarter and forced the Cowboys to put three different quarterbacks on the field. OSU generated just 208 yards of total offense. It was a complete game from the defense that gave up 17 points to FCS-member Southeastern Louisiana two weeks ago.
Not only that, but South Alabama’s rushing attack was also key.
The Jaguars rushed for 243 yards while La’Damian Webb torched the Cowboys for 151 yards and two scores. He iced the game with this carry.
South Alabama Football Aiming To Win The Sun Belt
Saturday’s win in Boone Pickens Stadium helped move the Jaguars to No. 7 in our G5 Top 25 Rankings. It was only their second win over a Power Five opponent in the program’s short 14-year history. The other was a 21-20 road win over Mississippi State in 2016. Almost exactly a year ago, the Jaguars were beaten by UCLA, 32-31.
Four weeks later in another tough outing, South Alabama lost to Troy, 10-6. The Trojans finished the season ranked No. 19 in the AP poll and the Bruins ranked 21st.
Despite these close losses in their toughest matchups of last season, the Jaguars still finished the year 10-3 after losing the New Orleans Bowl to Western Kentucky. They won a combined 11 games the previous three years, and it was the first winning season for the Jaguars as an FBS team.
Since being named head coach in December 2020, Kane Wommack has made South Alabama a competitor in the Sun Belt.
College football betting odds currently list the Jaguars as the favorite to win the conference at +350. They were the second-favorite behind Troy prior to the season. What a huge come up for a team that finished fourth and went 2-6 in league play just two seasons ago – especially for playing in the best Group of Five conference in the country.
To secure its first league title in program history, the Jaguars still have a couple of hurdles to clear.
Challenges Ahead For South Alabama Football
After a home matchup with Central Michigan this week, the Jaguars will travel to face James Madison in a cross-division matchup. This should be a great opportunity for both programs to make a statement within the conference.
South Alabama also has to visit Troy in early November in a game that could decide who plays for the league title out of the SB West. The final two weeks of the season aren’t much easier when the Jaguars host Marshall and then will play at Texas State to cap the season. If the Bobcats are playing like they currently are, that game will be full of intrigue.
There really isn’t a ton of surprise that the Jaguars have emerged as one of the top G5 teams in the country. They brought back a ton of experience in 18 returning starters including stout offensive and defensive lines. Webb returned after eclipsing 1,000 yards in 2022, and quarterback Carter Bradley is back after his 3,326 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns set school records last season.
I don’t think it will be that much of a surprise if the Jaguars don’t lose a game the rest of the season, however, and stake their claim for the G5 bid to a New Year’s Six bowl. Of course, beating Tulane in Week 1 would have helped that cause.
Still, don’t count the Jaguars out. Even though expectations were high entering the year, some would be surprised if South Alabama finishes as the top G5 team in the country. It could very well happen.