Jaguar buzz: South Alabama heads to Louisiana Tech for final non-conference game

WHAT: South Alabama (1-3) at Louisiana Tech (2-2)

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, La.

TV: None (streaming on espn3)

LINE: Louisiana Tech by 13.5

THIS GAME WILL DETERMINE: If South Alabama’s coaching staff shakeup has made any different. Bryant Vincent is out as offensive coordinator, and Richard Owens is in. Chase Smith will take over Owens’ offensive line duties.

THREE THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Who starts at quarterback for USA? Cole Garvin continues to recover from a sprained ankle suffered three weeks ago, while Dallas Davis dinged up his shoulder and head against Idaho. Davis did not even practice Tuesday or Wednesday. If neither can go, third-stringer Evan Orth suddenly becomes the starter.

2. Can South Alabama cut down on flags? The Jaguars committed 12 penalties for 109 yards against Idaho, including two on defense that nullified touchdowns. A holding call in the red zone also led to a field goal — rather than a touchdown — in overtime. The Jaguars have enough problems this year without beating themselves.

3. Will Jaguars continue big-play ways on defense? South Alabama forced five turnovers against Idaho (though two were called back) and collected three sacks. They also scored on defense against Alabama A&M. With USA struggling on offense, the Jaguars’ “Swarm Defense” needs to take control of the game.

KEY MATCHUP

South Alabama running game vs. Louisiana Tech front 7: The Jaguars had a solid day running the ball against Idaho, including a 155-yard, 2-touchdown effort from Xavier Johnson. The Bulldogs allow 5.1 yards per rush, so it’s possible USA can exploit them on the ground.

BY THE NUMBERS

129 – South Alabama’s ranking out of 129 NCAA FBS coaches in third-down conversion percentage. The Jaguars have converted just 9 of 45 third-down attempts this season.

INJURY REPORT

South Alabama quarterbacks Dallas Davis (shoulder, head) and Cole Garvin (ankle) are both questionable. Defensive backs Neiko Robinson (foot), Bobby Flott (knee) and Gus Nave (knee) are all out.

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