South Alabama Jaguars


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South Alabama Jaguars

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For today, a look at South Alabama. Let’s examine how the football team has performed through its history, and examining some of their top performers through the first nine years they have been around.

Hint, the years have not been kind to this new program.

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The South Alabama Jaguars are a proud member of the NCAAF and are known for their speed, agility, and tenacity. With a talented roster of players and a coaching staff that emphasizes preparation and execution, the Jaguars are a force to be reckoned with on the field.

The team’s stats and standings are a testament to their hard work and dedication, and they continue to be a major player in the NCAAF.

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History of South Alabama

Since 2012, South Alabama has had a college football program. They have not had much success, but better days are of course expected to be on the horizon. Partaking in the Sun Belt Conference, things are not exactly easy. Football in the state of Alabama usually points to the dynamo that is the Crimson Tide.

But, Rome was not built in a day. And clearly, neither was this program. They finished at .500 in their second season in 2013, but have not been able to find a winning record. The early, primitive days of getting things going are still in progress for the time being.

Perhaps the bright side is that they will play a full schedule this year with few, if any COVID limitations. 2021 has got to be the year of the Jaguar. Both in the NFL with Trevor Lawrence, and here at South Alabama as well.

Never say never. Jaguar nation, get excited. Because there is nowhere to go but up.

Championships history

Through their first nine years of existence, South Alabama has played in two bowl games. Alas, they were both losses. But the fact is they lose a lot, and got two chances, so that is a great place to begin to build things up. One game at a time, one appearance at a time. Just like that. A slow process.

The first was in 2014, when they partook in the Camelia Bowl. The bowl was first played in 1948, and then again for the first time in 66 years. They took a narrow 33-28 defeat to Bowling Green State. They took the lead with 1:20 left on a Terrance Timmons TD run.

But 16 seconds later, a 78-yard TD pass from BGSU but the game in the opposition’s favor. The second bowl appearance came two short years later, in the Arizona Bowl. They suffered a blowout defeat, 45-21 at the hands of Air Force.

And now five years later, they are trying to get back to one.

Key Stats

Since posting a 6-7 record in 2016 and reaching that Arizona Bowl, South Alabama has done nothing but lose. If anything, it has been impressive how consistently they have been taking their losses. They have won no more than four games in any of the past four campaigns.

The biggest problem for them is that they don’t have any dominant QB’s. And they haven’t since coming into existence in 2012. The all-time leading passer is Ross Matheny with fewer than 5,000 career yards through the air. Only one player has more than 12 rushing TD’s in their career there, and we’ll get to that in the category below.

It’s not that they lack in talent. It is that there are no superstars here. It has been hard to recruit the big names. And once they can land just one four or five-star recruit, the turnaround can happen relatively quickly.

But again, maybe 2021 will be the year of the Jaguar.

Players in South Albama history

In the nine-year history of the Jaguars of South Alabama, nobody has reached the NFL. Xavier Johnson has some good years for the program from 2014-2017, though. He has a program record 24 TD’s on the ground, adding another one through the air. His 2,670 total yards also lead all players here.

Ross Matheny’s 27 TD passes and 4,770 yards are both tops in the South Alabama history books. While it’s great for him to hold both marks, neither of them are particularly impressive. Colt Brennan (RIP) put up some incredible numbers in his Hawaii days. And he probably had more yards in a single year than Matheny had in a whole career.

There have not yet been any All-Americans to play for South Alabama. They will be hoping for many firsts in 2021. Turning things around will happen one game at a time, one recruit at a time. It has to come together soon, though. It’s been pitiful.

Top Coaches in South Alabama history

There have only been two coaches at the helm for the Jaguars since their inception in 2012, and neither one has inspired much confidence. While Joey Jones took the team to Bowl Games in 2014 and 2016, they never had a winning season.

And it’s important to remember the South Alabama D blew the game in 2014. Leading by one with 1:20 left, they allowed a 78-yard TD strike just 16 seconds later. And they got their doors blown off by Air Force in 2016. And that marked Jones final game coaching the Jaguars.

And over the last three seasons, a 9-26 record is what Steve Campbell has to show for. If the team doesn’t do much winning this upcoming year, there is a chance he could be on the outs. Four years is enough time to make an honest decision about who should be running the program.

For both Jones and Campbell, the U of SA job marks their first time leading a team as the head coach. Maybe there is a future as an assistant somewhere. But here, his days are likely numbered.


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South Alabama Jaguars FAQs

How many bowl games did Joey Jones coach South Alabama to?


How many bowl games did Joey Jones coach South Alabama to?


Who is the all-time leader passer in South Alabama history?

Ross Matheny

When was the last time South Alabama played in a bowl game?


What conference does South Alabama play in?

Sun Belt

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