South Alabama impresses in Week 1 win

By Hickory Barnes
Sep. 09, 2020

I'm not going to sugar coat it... I HATE the University of South Alabama. I played for, and graduated from, Troy University. South Alabama is our biggest rival so there is a lot of bad blood. The winner of our game receives a Championship Belt, which I must say is extremely bad ass. BUT! I am not blind and can give credit where credit is due. South Alabama looked like they are just picking up where they left off in 2019.
The true FBS College Football season kicked off with a meeting between Southern Miss and South Alabama. All indicators had Southern Miss winning with ease. They were a 12.5 point favorite. It turned out that South Alabama did not like this and came out firing!
The first drive of the game ended on a 73 yard touchdown pass to the beast that is Jalen Tolbert. He caught a curl route, broke the initial tackle, and then continued to out run the Southern Miss secondary 63 more yards to the end zone. He was able to end the game with six catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. This guy is going to be a star the next couple of years, and potentially leave early for the draft come April. The guy that threw him the ball, Desmond Trotter, is a sophomore with a ton of potential. He throws a good ball and has a massive amount of escape ability.
As talented as Tolbert is, he is not the only stud receiver that Trotter has at his disposal. Jalen Wayne finished with six catches for 101 yards, and Kawaan Baker added four catches for 82 yards and one touchdown. Most teams field two quality receivers and some are only able to play one. South Alabama has three guys that you have to account for. I hate to say it but this offense might be a nightmare for the Sunbelt this year.
I played quarterback and punter so I am partial to Offense but lets not forget about the defense. Nick Mobley is not the biggest player but he flies around the field and accounted for 15 tackles and assists. That's no easy task. They also got sacks from Jeremiah Littles and Gi'Narious Johnson. This defense looks very strong in the run game but somewhat bend don't break in the passing game. Jack Abraham has a ton of potential and a very high ceiling but plays with a gunslinger mentality. He racked up 314 yards on 22 of 32 passing but was unable to cross the threshold of the end zone through the air. I will take a team that gives up yards over points all day long.
The first game of the 2020 season is a very small sample size. It is very possible that Southern Miss was overvalued at this point in the season. It is also very possible that South Alabama was undervalued based on last season's lack of success overall. However, looking at the way South Alabama ended last season and began this season I would have to say that The Jaguars are going to be a team to watch out for moving forward in the Sunbelt.
I hope that I am wrong and they lose every game the rest of the way.