Game Preview: Eagles make quick turnaround following road loss

DJ Cadden, Sports Editor

History: The Eagles have never lost to South Alabama, boasting a 7-0 record against the Jaguars since transitioning to the FBS.

Last Week: Georgia Southern fell in dramatic fashion on Saturday, suffering a three-point loss at the hands of the Troy Trojans. A Troy field goal with under two minutes remaining proved to be the difference after the Eagles nearly pulled off a comeback from 21-points down.

The Eagles struggled to gain any momentum on the ground, averaging just over two yards per carry. However, quarterback Justin Tomlin threw for a career high 210 yards, but also threw three costly interceptions.

Despite their struggles in the rushing game, both of the Eagles’ touchdowns came on the ground. Khaleb Hood racked up 23 yards and a touchdown, while Logan Wright also found the endzone. Even though he scored the first touchdown of the day for the Eagles, Wright struggled to find a rhythm and rushed for -1 yard.

Scouting Report: The Jaguars began the season with three consecutive wins, but they came over three teams who have a combined record of 6-11. To begin conference play, USA has lost back-to-back games.

Offensively, the Jaguars have struggled. Transfer quarterback Jake Bentley once started at the University of South Carolina, but has not played at a high level this season.

The Jaguar offense only averages around 350 yards per game, with more than 60% of their production coming through the air. Although most of their work has come through the passing attack, Bentley has only recorded four touchdown passes through five games.

On the other hand, the rushing game has been extremely ineffective. Not a single running back on the Jaguar roster averages more than four yards per carry, although the team has combined for 12 rushing touchdowns this season.

Defensively, it has been a different story for Kane Wommack’s team. The Jaguars rank within the top-40 FBS teams in terms of passing defense, rushing defense and total defense.

In addition, the Jaguars have forced 11 turnovers, which is tied for the 18th most in the FBS. Despite not coughing up many fumbles, Tomlin has already thrown four interceptions this season, including three just last game.

Bottom Line: The Eagles have shown flashes on offense, but have struggled against the talented defenses they have faced. On a short week, against another solid defense, Thursday’s game will pose a daunting task to the Eagle offense.

However, the Eagle defense showed worlds of improvement last week. After allowing the Trojans to run wild in the first half, in the second half GS held Troy to just one score, forced a fumble and four three-and-outs. If this trend continues into Thursday evening, the Eagles stand a chance.

Prediction: Eagles barely keep the win streak alive, 24-17