Rambling Review: South Alabama 30 UTSA 27

Well.

That was a gut punch if there ever was one. Yet another welcome to the Big Show. I was ready to be content with the game. It was ugly and tough. The offense returned to the option with great success– that may be overstating it. Soza and company didn’t put up Georgia Tech numbers but they did control the ball and manufacture long drives.

Three drives were at 12, 13, and 19 plays. There was only one three and out. One drive had the makings of a long one until Soza missed handled the snap and put is back at the three. Soza fumbled on first and ten from the one, the ball lazily drifting towards the sideline where Okatcha scooped it up to save us from disaster. At this point, I would have been content to go with a couple of dives and a punt. Instead, Bush called a dive and quarterback draw on 3rd and 7 from the 4 yard line. Or was it? I really couldn’t tell. Eric either did an amazing job of selling the pass or he found a lane when he saw no one was open. Either way that was exactly what we hoped Soza would be just two plays after we were screaming at him for being what we hoped he wouldn’t be.

And so it went. Three plays forward and a fumble to take us back. Section 143 (and others, according to tweets) had their energy sucked from them after the earlier 13 play, 70 yard-drive that ended with another Soza fumble at the 4 yard line.

Two drives can sum up the game. Twice we got into scoring position in the second half and twice didn’t get a point: the Soza fumble at the four and the blocked game winner at the last second.

The defense played amazingly well until the last quarter and overtime. USA found some success on powers and off tackle runs that eventually won them the game. Their last four runs went for 12, 12, 1(TD) and 25 (TD). Their 4th quarter drives were stopped because of sacks and incompletions. They were getting 4.15 yards a pop in the fourth and 7.18 in 4th plus OT.

For the first three quarters we were able to get into the backfield (Lekenwic Haynes had one hell of a stop in the first quarter) and cause CJ Bennett to throw terrible passes one of which was intercepted. You know, typical stuff from the Hard Hat Defense.

Speaking of Lekenwic, he had some good plays in the run game but nearly was beat over the top. Thankfully CJ Bennet is a freshman and couldn’t hit #8 Brian Lavender on a streak.

Kam in the Wild Runner is deadly. Unfortunately he had one ill-advised throw that could have been picked off. Instead it resulted in a pass interference call. Still ….

We need to do a better job running between the tackles. The speed option had some nice results but we need something up the middle to keep them honest. Glasco (@glascoII) took some responsibility but I don’t know if it was an individual problem. We may not have the attitude to do it. South Alabama obviously was devoted to it and it paid off in the second half. We did hit on the overtime pass to Kam Jones. That worked beautifully and was a direct answer to the Jaguars’ aggressiveness in defending the option.

Our pass defense was bailed out by facing a poor quarterback again. Eric Brown looked solid but was beat on a couple of plays, Darrien Starling had a big hit that got the stadium hyped but later got beat bad on an out route. I’m okay with allowing a catch but not being within four yards of the guy? Sheesh.

Random:

Erik Brown looks shifty and solid in pass defense.

Morgan had a nice catch on third and six. He ran a seam route against the zone and made a nice grab to keep the drive alive.

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Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter