It’s Football, It Ain’t No Beauty Contest

Surviving, Win & Move On, Fortunate, Gritty …There are many ways to describe the South Alabama Jaguars 20-17 victory over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns late Saturday in Lafayette. Pretty, ain’t one of them.

The insanity of the game started early and happened often.

After a 42-yd pass down the sidelines from Carter Bradley to Caullin Lacy on the second play from scrimmage, it appeared the Jaguars were going to get off to another quick start, but this is what happened next.

  • Jaguars covert 4th & 1, but called for illegal motion
  • Jaguars drop pass on 4th & 6
  • On the Cajuns first play, Jaguars intercept pass, but fumbled/drop the ball and Louisiana recovered

The insanity didn’t end there.  Take the end of the 1st Half with the game tied at 7-7.  

The Ragin’ Cajuns are driving the ball for the first time since their first possession of the game.  Louisiana’s points came from former McGill-Toolen Eric Garror’s 69-yd punt return.  Cajuns quarterback Ben Wooldridge’s throw over the middle was picked off by Jaguars safety Jaden Voisin, his first career interception.

South Alabama had just over a minute to score to close out the half.  Bradley hits Jalen Wayne over the middle for 22 yards and then another 15 yards were tacked on when Cajuns defensive lineman Mason Narcisse was flagged for a personal foul and ejected from the game.

But Bradley returned the turnover when Bralen Trahan intercepted him and put the Cajuns in line to score at the end of the half.  However, Kenneth Almedares missed his second field goal of the half and the teams went to locker rooms tied 7-7.

In the 3rd quarter Diego Guajardo hit a 38-yard field goal and Bradley ran it in from the 3, giving South Alabama a 17-7 lead.  With Louisiana amassing 10 total yards of offense in the quarter, it appeared the Jaguars had control of the game.  In this case, appearances were deceiving.

After missing from 30 & 41 yards, Almendares hits from 51, because, of course, cutting the Jaguars lead to 17-10.  With just 6:59 to go in the game, a few 1st Downs would put the game away for South Alabama.  Instead they went 3 & out.  

With :42 remaining in the game, Wooldridge connected with Pearse Migl for the game-tying touchdown.

Quick recap, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns offense didn’t put up a point in their first 10 possessions, but then proceeded to score 10 points in their last 2 possessions of the game, because, of course.

But Louisiana made a couple of interesting decisions.  First they called timeouts on offense, leaving South Alabama :42 and then they declined a holding call on the Jaguars possession.  Instead of 2nd & 20, it was 3rd & 10.  

La’Damian Webb reeled off 21 yards on the ground followed by Bradley hitting Lacy for 11 yards and Wayne for 17 more to set up the dramatic ending for Guajardo, who had missed a game-winning kick against Louisiana last season.  This time he didn’t miss from 43 yards, giving the Jaguars a heart stopping 3-point win.

Pretty or not, South Alabama improves to 4-1, 1-0 in the Sun Belt and will enjoy a week off before ULM visits Hancock-Whitney on October 15.  After all, it’s football, not a beauty pageant.