South Alabama Jaguars
South Alabama began playing football in 2007 and were quite successful on a schedule that was Taylor made for winning. Their first season in the Sun Belt with stiffer competition proved too much for the Jaguars as 2012 was a reality check. However, if experience counts for any thing, USA is in good shape with 17 starters back so we’ll see if that translates in to more positives.
South Alabama has nine starters back on offense with the skill positions in good shape. Quarterback Ross Metheny threw for almost 2,150 yards for 12 scores and 12 interceptions and those numbers will hopefully get better with his top pair of receivers also returning. Bryant Lavender and Jereme Jones combined for 96 receptions for nearly 900 yards Leading rusher Demetre Baker also is back with improved depth. The defense returns three all conference players, led by linebacker Jake Johnson who paced the team with 131 stops, while DJ Scott leads the secondary and Alex Page leads the D Line.
Neither side of the ball really stood out with the Jaguars outscored 29-18 so the need to improve is obvious in most areas. Metheny appears to have ability but absolutely has to cut back on mistakes as the offense needs to hold on to the ball and score in the mid 20′s, while the defense certainly doesn’t need to be on the field any more than necessary. Another area that can’t be overlooked and is critical for the offense is PK Michael Chapuseau is gone and takes a 20-27 mark on field goals with him including a pair over 50 yards.
The Jaguars have the luxury of experience but need the offense to move the chains with more punch on the ground, while getting more from a potentially productive passing attack. If this comes about, expect the defensive numbers to improve as they don’t spend a ton of time on the field. There are a lot of ifs right now but it’s not difficult to see this team improve in the win column.