Weird final score, right?
That’s because the first pretty thing the Jaguars did all game – a 74-yard touchdown pass from Tylan Morton to Kawaan Baker – was followed by an extra point that was so badly botched that Memphis ran it back nearly untouched for a safety.
The Jags only managed 174 yards of offense outside of that play and struggled mightily to find anything resembling offensive rhythm, especially once Tre Minter left the game late in the first quarter with a concussion.
These two teams opened by trading punts, but eventually Memphis got a 71-yard run from Kenneth Gainwell sets up his own TD. A rough start by Brady White gave way to him going 3-for-3 for 63 yards and a TD.
Later in the first half, Cephus Johnson cracked off a 20-yard run on a broken play, but South still wound up punting.
Memphis driving again, Brady White sails a throw that is caught by Gallmon as he falls on his back.
The Jaguars only drive the ball past their own 40-yard line four times the entire game. The first of those resulted in a fumble by Johnson and the third led to another fumble by Tylan Morton who took over under center in the second half, with that one being taken back for a defensive touchdown by the Tigers.
The two that didn’t end in turnovers? That big touchdown I mentioned at the open, and then a drive that reached the Memphis 26 but then resulted in the Jaguars going for it on fourth-and-seven at the 30 instead of a 44-yard field goal and failing to convert.
This was a sluggish game all along – heck, it wasn’t until Morton’s fumble that I even noticed that South had changed quarterbacks.
South will be better in the future, as Memphis is far better than most of the Sun Belt, but we expected them to struggle this season anyways. Memphis, on the other hand, did not look like an AAC title contender despite the final score. This was not an offense that looked ready for the likes of Temple, Tulane, or Cincinnati.
The Tigers rushed all over South Alabama to the tune of 312 yards, and should continue to have little issue there in most of their games. Under center, though, is maybe a little cause for concern.
After watching Brady White in person, he’s not going to play well enough to win a division for Memphis without some changes. He went only 12-for-20 for 209 and 3 TD before hitting the showers early.
In addition to that, 99 of those yards came on his two longest passes. The first was an underthrown ball that a South defensive back tipped into the hands of Joey Magnifico. The second was another underthrown ball, but White got lucky that Damontae Coxie adjusted to it first. Take those away and he’s 10-for-18 for 110 with multiple ugly and off-target throws.
Those throws are on him, too. He wasn’t under insane amounts of pressure save for a few dropbacks. Against better defenses, this is something the Tigers have to fix if they want to stay on top.