Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Opponent Preview | Key Players To Watch For South Alabama

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

South Alabama Jaguars

Record: 0-1

OFFENSE: 26 ppg. (84th in FBS)

2017 DEFENSE: 30 ppg. (80th in FBS)

OSU-SA Preview

Oklahoma State takes a step up in competition (from FCS to FBS) but if you’re looking for a steeper challenge from Missouri State last week then you’re probably not going to find it. The Jaguars opened the season with a 30-26 home loss to Louisiana Tech. Now, as they head to Stillwater, the face the challenge of Justice Hill and an Oklahoma State offense that posted 58 points and 732 yards on Missouri State last week.

The priority for South Alabama Saturday night has to be to move the ball, if nothing else to keep OSU’s offense off the field. Doing so is going to put a spotlight on the quarterback position where there’s a lot of uncertainty. The Jags started Cole Garvin against Louisiana Tech but he was replaced in the second half by Evan Orth after throwing his second pick.

As a team, USA only had 91 total passing yards, but Orth moved the ball much more effectively than Garvin. Completing four of his six passing attempts for 44 yards, Orth also ran for 74 yards on two attempts. It’s what he does with his legs that makes him more dynamic and the reason why I believe he’ll get the bulk of the snaps in Stillwater on Saturday night. Jags coach Steve Campbell wasn’t ready to commit to a starter just yet though.

Senior receiver Jamarius Way is the top receiving threat for South Alabama, but sophomore Kawaan Baker was the spark plug for the offense last week. In making his first ever collegiate start, the sophomore receiver tied a school record with three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving.

The Jaguars were every bit as aggressive on defense as Oklahoma State will be. They racked up three sacks, six tackles for loss, and three interceptions in their opener. Nigel Lawrence led the team with 12 total tackles.

While being completely out-manned, South Alabama does have the ability to exploit a few things if Oklahoma State doesn’t make improvements. The Cowboys turned the ball over twice last week against Missouri State and the Jaguars will be even stronger ball hawks. Evan Orth is a bigger and more athletic quarterback than what the Pokes faced last week in Peyton Huslig (109 rushing yards).

This is another game that OSU should win going away but that doesn’t remover the ability of big plays, on both sides of the ball, for South Alabama.

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