WATCH – Challenges UCLA Presents the Jaguars and Can The Sun Belt Pull Off Another Upset?
Both the South Alabama Jaguars and the Sun Belt are off to a fast start in 2022. The Jaguars coming off an impressive 38-24 win at Central Michigan, a game in which they jumped out to a 31-7 lead, midway thru the 2nd Quarter.
Meanwhile, the Sun Belt had an historic day last Saturday. Not that they beat three Power 5 teams on the same day. The Sun Belt had already done that. But Marshall beating Notre Dame (5) and Appalachian State taking down Texas A&M (6) was the first time the conference had beaten a pair of Top 10 teams on the same day. Throw in Georgia Southern downing Nebraska, putting the final nail in Scott Frost’s coaching tenure with the Cornhuskers, and the Sun Belt had a heck of a Saturday.
They’ll have more opportunities for upsets this Saturday. Some more than others. ULM will have their hands full in Tuscaloosa with the Alabama Crimson Tide and best of luck to Texas State taking on Baylor.
But Old Dominion, already with a win at Virginia Tech, is traveling to Charlottesville to play Virginia and South Alabama heading west to take on the UCLA Bruins, have a chance to beat more Power 5 teams.
The Jaguars & Bruins have had a pair of easy wins thus far. In addition to their win over Central Michigan, South Alabama opened the season with a 48-7 win over Nicholls State. UCLA has scored 45 points in both of their first two games; 45-17 against Bowling Green & 45-7 vs Alabama State.
It’s certainly the case the Bruins are the toughest foe for the Jaguars so far this season, but same can be said for the opposite. South Alabama is among the nation’s leaders in time of possession, averaging over 36:30 a game. UCLA’s defense has only allowed a pair of touchdowns this season. The third one came off a punt block.
If the Jaguars can get off to a good start and not get psyched out about playing in the Rose Bowl, they’ll have chance of taking down the Bruins. It would be a good idea to have a plan to defend the elusive 2-way UCLA quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson would be a good idea if the Jaguars are looking to pull off another Sun Belt upset.