A little more info and tidbits on the Jags

Let’s learn a little more about the Bobcats upcoming opponent, the South Alabama Jaguars. BI contributor Roy Burkhart gives us another weekly look at some of the background on USA.

The Jaguars are still one of the newer teams to NCAA football, having only fielded a team since 2009. In this time they have built a very respectable program. South Alabama sits at 3-3 overall at the halfway point of the season, one game behind where they were last year. That is expected with the overall improvement of the top of the SBC conference, and two of their losses this season having come to major division 1 opponents in Nebraska, and North Carolina State. The Jags essentially eliminated the Bobcats from bowl contention last season, and finished 6-7 overall after falling to Bowling green in the Camellia Bowl. They want to get to a bowl again, but will have to do some major work to get there.

 

Jaguar History

South Alabama has fielded a Football team since 2009, and have been coached the entire time by Former Alabama and Atlanta Falcon Wide Receiver Receiver Joey Jones. The Jaguars played a 7 game schedule in 2009 against a variety of fcs, and independent or unclassified opponents; Finishing at 7-0 and outscoring opponents 321-41, The first ever game was played against Hargrave Military Academy and saw the Jaguars win in front of 26,000 fans 30-13. That success continued into 2010 when they went on to a 10-0 record, again majorly outscoring the other teams by a combined 413-130. In 2011 South Alabama went into the first year of the transition to FBS division 1 football, competing as a division 1 independent, and upping their opponents’ strength, still managed to finish at 6-4. 2012 was the worst year for the Jags playing a mixed out of conference schedule and Sun Belt conference schedule. They were not eligible for Bowls or conference titles that season and it was a good thing, they struggled to a 1-4 record against non-conference teams, and their only win coming against Nichols State. They matched that 1 win total in conference play beating Florida Atlantic, to go 1-7 in conference play. Overall, finishing 2-11 on the season. In 2013 they turned it around quickly and managed a 6-6 record in their first full season as a bowl eligible, Sun Belt Conference team, and finished 5th overall in Sun Belt Rankings with a 4-3 record. Last season they managed a 6-7 overall record and played in a bowl in only their second bowl eligible season, they fell to Bowling green 33-28. However they set the new record for youngest program to play in a bowl game.

 

Location, info, Records

The University of South Alabama is located in Mobile, Alabama, in the southernmost part of the State. The school has a current enrollment of 16,462 students and that is a new record for the school, and most have bought into this program whole heartedly. The Jaguars mascot is lovingly known as Southpaw, and can be seen strolling around Ladd Peebles Stadium at all home games. The stadium has served as home field to the jaguars since the start of their football days, but has been around much longer, hosting everything from concerts, to boxing matches and various other events. In addition to the stadium is the South Alabama Football Fieldhouse covering 49,000 square feet of space, which includes an 8,000-square foot weight room. It was designed to be functional and to have a "wow" factor for recruiting. In addition to the weight room the fieldhouse contains a main foyer, coaches' offices, locker room, equipment room, administrative offices, training room complete with hot and cold tubs and other medicinal needs, team meeting room, individual position meeting rooms and a players lounge.

 

Rivals

Being a newish program it is hard to think that much of a rivalry could be brewed, but with the success of the program, and the locale of other Sunbelt teams, it has happened. Current Rivals are fellow South Alabama Resident Troy. Also on the list of rivals that the students have accepted are Georgia St. and Louisiana Lafayette.


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