Instant Analysis: South Alabama carves out a 27-20 win over ODU and secures a 10-win season

South Alabama kept Old Dominion scoreless in the second half to win Saturday’s regular-season final at Hancock Whitney Stadium 27-20.

The Jaguars (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt Conference) had 14 unanswered points in the second half, including Carter Bradley’s 2-yard touchdown pass to DJ Thomas-Jones with 6:40 remaining to take the lead to take over. South Alabama’s defense then kept the Monarchs off the board (3-9, 2-6), with Jamie Sheriff firing ODU quarterback Hayden Wolff fourth at the USA 41.

South Alabama secured its 10th win for the first time as an FBS program, doubling last year’s overall wins. The Jaguars are now awaiting a postseason goal with a slim chance they could play in the Sun Belt Conference championship game if Troy loses to Arkansas State later today.

South Alabama’s defense blew up blisters in the first half

Old Dominion came into play averaging just 19.5 points and 335 yards per game but was bouncing the ball up and down on the Jaguars. The Monarchs had 282 yards (184 passes) and had 20 points and went down for third, 5-9.

ODU scored on four of five possessions, with two touchdowns and two field goals. The Monarchs had nearly 27 points in the first half, but a touchdown pass was canceled via replay when it was decided Ahmarian Granger had one foot on the baseline when he caught a pass in the end zone.

Blake Watson was then stopped in third just short of the goal line by South Alabama’s Jamie Sheriff. The Monarchs, who had no timeouts, let the field goal unit run and Ethan Sanchez hit a timed 19-yard field goal to make it 20-13 at halftime.

La’Damian Webb does not start but plays

South Alabama lead rusher La’Damian Webb got his first action since the first half of the Texas State game on Nov. 12, taking the field during the Jaguars’ third possession after Braylon McReynolds started running back.

Webb ran for eight yards on his first try, then eleven and nine later in the drive. He ended the day with 74 yards on 18 carries, giving him 1,012 for the season.

Tra Minter holds South Alabama’s single-season record with 1,057 yards in 2019. He and Webb are the only Jaguars to cover 1,000 yards in a season.

Guajardo in the record books

South Alabama kicker Diego Guajardo had nine points on two field goals and three extra points Saturday, giving him a school record for a season at 95.

Aleem Sunanon previously held the record with 91 points in 2013. Guajardo surpassed him with a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter.

For the season, Guajardo has 17 of 18 field goals and 44 of 45 extra points.

Next up: South Alabama is awaiting a bowl goal to be announced Dec. 4. The Jaguars would secure a spot in the Sun Belt Conference championship game if Troy lost to Arkansas State later on Saturday.

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