South Alabama vs. Louisiana-Monroe prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Jaguars and Warhawks.
South Alabama at Louisiana-Monroe Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 5 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Malone Stadium, Monroe, LA
South Alabama can’t mess around this week if it hopes to participate in a bowl game for the second time in the last three years. Actually, it’d be a crime if the Jags didn’t reach the postseason in a year that it defeated Mississippi State and San Diego State. USA will carry momentum into November, courtesy of a close call with Troy and last Saturday’s 13-10 win over Georgia State.
Louisiana-Monroe is mathematically alive for bowl-eligibility at 2-6, but clinically dead. The Warhawks have been annihilated the last two weeks, so these final four games are more about setting the stage for 2017 for rookie coach Matt Viator.
What To Know About South Alabama
The hints of offensive prowess the Jaguars flashed in consecutive wins over Nicholls State and San Diego State were aberrations. South Alabama is not effective with the ball, though a trip to Malone Stadium could provide a confidence boost. Quarterback Dallas Davis has played poorly in the starting role, and the ground game has produced just one 100-yard day. Fortunately, the defense has shouldered more of the load, holding opponents to 20 points per game in October. Defensive end Randy Allen is providing the spark up front with 14.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
What to Know About Louisiana-Monroe
The wings have been clipped on the Warhawks. The defense is abysmal, while the offense hasn’t been the same since multi-dimensional quarterback Garrett Smith was lost for the season two weeks ago. Louisiana-Monroe has been outscored 110-27 over the past two games with New Mexico and Arkansas State, and morale is plummeting. Against the Red Wolves last Saturday, the Warhawks were gashed through the air by Justice Hansen and ineffective with their own young quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Will Collins and true freshman Caleb Evans.
Offense: Push. The Jags and the Warhawks are equally impotent, each averaging just 22 points per game.
Defense: South Alabama. The Jaguars are improving, while the Warhawks show no signs being able to stop anyone the rest of the way.
Special Teams: South Alabama. Brandon McKee is providing underrated support to the Jaguar D, averaging more than 45 yards a punt.
Coaching: South Alabama. Joey Jones took USA to its first-ever bowl game in 2014, and now he’s eyeing a second trip in December.
Intangibles: South Alabama. The Jaguars are coming off an important victory, and are still gunning for a shot of playing in a nationally televised postseason game.
Matchup To Watch
Davis vs. the Louisiana-Monroe pass defense
There are no excuses for Davis to not deliver his best passing game of the year. The Warhawk back seven is a sieve, and the Jaguars are bolstered by underrated targets, like all-league tight end Gerald Everett and veteran wideout Kevin Kutchera.
South Alabama at Louisiana-Monroe Betting Odds
Spread: South Alabama -13.5
South Alabama at Louisiana-Monroe Prediction
Louisiana-Monroe already has a foot in 2017. South Alabama wants to push the Warhawks off the ledge. There’s not much fight left in ULM, while the Jaguars are hungry to move above .500 and a step closer to bowl-eligibility. They’ll continue to play well, while enjoying their best offensive outburst in over a month at the expense of a weathered Warhawk D. Pencil in Everett for two touchdown grabs, as he looks to impress NFL scouts in attendance.
South Alabama at Louisiana-Monroe Score Prediction: South Alabama 34, Louisiana-Monroe 16