The weather conditions were far from ideal, key personnel were unavailable for long stretches and the team was uncharacteristically sloppy, but the end result was the same for the South Alabama Jaguars: Another victory, running their streak to 18-0 in the history of the football program.

With a tropical disturbance churning up high winds in Mobile on Thursday night, as well as bringing rain earlier in the day that left a soggy field and high humidity, the Jags already had good reason to expect more trouble scoring than they were used to. However, when news broke that starting running backs Kendall Houston and Demetre Baker would both miss the first half for disciplinary reasons, things became even worse that anticipated.

Rendered one dimensional by the loss of the two stars, it appeared that C.J. Bennett would be able to shoulder the load by himself as he led USA to a touchdown on the opening possession, finishing the drive by running it in himself. After that though, the wheels seemed to fall off as the Jags committed four turnovers and the half ended in a 7-7 tie.

A game West Alabama team, led by their QB Gary Johnston who rushed for 100 yards and passed for 101, battled USA to the wire, but Houston's 78 yards on the ground in the second half proved too much as the Jags put the bow on a 20-10 opening victory.

While the margin of victory may not have met the expectations of the more than 21,000 fans who braved the elements to cheer on the Jaguars, the addition of another pelt on the wall was the goal of the team and it was achieved. Much like the playoff mantra of "survive and advance," Coach Joey Jones will now begin preparing his squad for the Lamar Cardinals and a chance to go to 19-0.

Jaguars Report Top Stories