South Alabama vs. Nicholls State Prediction, Game Preview

    South Alabama vs. Nicholls State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game on Saturday between the Jaguars and Colonels.

    September 20, 2016


    South Alabama vs. Nicholls State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Jaguars and Colonels.


    South Alabama vs. Nicholls State Game Preview

    When: Saturday, September 24 – 7:00 p.m. ET

    Where:
    Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

    Broadcast:
    ESPN3

    Sure has been an odd month for Joey Jones’ South Alabama team. The Jags opened the campaign with a historically important upset of Mississippi State, yet they’ve dropped back-to-back league games to sink into the Sun Belt cellar. USA needs to get back on track this week to halt a losing streak that would likely continue next week against San Diego State. Nicholls State got its first win of 2016 last week over Incarnate Word, but is better known for coming within two points of Georgia two weeks ago. While the Colonels have labored badly this decade, they’re making progress for second-year coach Tim Rebowe.

    What To Know About South Alabama

    When the Jags experience success this fall, it’ll likely be on the backs of the defense, which is the stronger of the two units. South Alabama is having all kinds of problems at the line of scrimmage, resulting in only 80 rushing yards per game. And that inability to establish the run is putting first-year starting QB Dallas Davis in too many third-and-long situations. Plus, the D is learning how to bend without breaking around high-energy veterans Roman Buchanan, Randy Allen and Kalen Jackson.

    What to Know About Nicholls State

    Based on recent history, the bar was set around thigh level for the Colonels entering this season. But the D performed far beyond expectations Between the Hedges, holding Nick Chubb to 80 rushing yards and the Dawgs to 373 total yards in a 26-24 loss. Nicholls State gets off the snap in a flash, and could cause problems for a South Alabama O-line short on confidence these days. The Jags must pay particular attention to rookie DE Sully Laiche, who bagged three sacks in last week’s win.

    Advantages

    Offense: South Alabama. The Jags need to get more touches for Gerald Everett, an underrated tight end with next-level potential.

    Defense: South Alabama. It’s actually pretty close, though USA has done well to limit red-zone scores so far this season.

    Special Teams: South Alabama. Gavin Patterson has hit 4-of-6 field goal tries, while Brandon McKee has brought much-needed stability to the punting game.

    Coaching: South Alabama. Now in his eighth year in Mobile, Jones is six games above .500. Rebowe, on the other hand, is still gaining a foothold in Thibodaux.

    Intangibles: South Alabama. After consecutive losses, the Jags are home and fully aware of the importance of handling an FCS visitor.

    Matchup To Watch

    Laiche vs. South Alabama OTs Curtis Williams and Noah Fisher

    Davis wanted to maximize the talents of Everett and WR Josh Magee in the passing game. But Davis will have a difficult time checking down and locating the open receiver if Laiche isn’t stunted and neutralized at the line of scrimmage.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: No line

    Over/Under:
    No line

    South Alabama vs. Nicholls State Prediction

    It’s time for the Jaguars to get back to winning and evening their record before the schedule becomes thornier. South Alabama was close last Saturday versus Louisiana, but it couldn’t quite close the gap in a 28-23 loss. Back at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the Jags will fire up the defense and enjoy Davis’ best game of the year through the air. Everett will earn game MVP with a couple of touchdown receptions, one through the seam of the Colonels defense.

    South Alabama vs. Nicholls State Score Prediction: South Alabama 28, Nicholls State 21

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 4

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