2016 Arizona Bowl Preview
South Alabama has recently gotten FBS status, but are already bowling, and take on Air Force in the 2016 Arizona Bowl.
South Alabama Jaguars
The Jaguars were one of the most up and down teams of the season and finished at 6-6. They lost to Louisiana Monroe and Georgia Southern, both of which were not eligible for a bowl game. South Alabama did beat some solid teams in Mississippi State and San Diego State.
Dallas Davis has had a rough season at quarterback for the Jaguars. His 2,461 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions show his true struggles. Fortunately, he picks up some yardage with his legs, with 236 rushing yards on the season.
Gerald Everett and Josh Magee both are good receivers for Davis. Everett has 717 receiving yards and four touchdowns, while Josh Magee 668 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Running back Xavier Johnson leads the team in rushing with 787 yards on the ground and 10 rushing touchdowns. Other backs will get touches, but Johnson is the go-to-guy.
South Alabama gives up 212 yards on the ground per game, making them bad at stopping the run. Their pass defense is elite though and only allows 172 yards per game.
Defensive lineman Randy Allen is the player to watch on defense and has 11.5 sacks this season.
Air Force Falcons
The Falcons finished their regular season at 9-3 for a really good season that included winning the commander in chief’s trophy (wins over Navy and Army). They also beat bowl teams in Boise State and Colorado State. Air Force did not lose to any bowl ineligible teams this season.
Nate Romine runs the option attack so he doesn’t have many passing yards, but does have 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions. He added 279 rushing yards and three touchdown. He is efficient at his main job of distributing the ball in the option.
If Romine does pass, more often than not the ball is going to Jalen Robinette, who has 33 catches for 835 yards and five touchdowns.
Air Force has five running backs who have more than 400 yards. Jacobi Owens leads the way in yardage with 785 rushing yards. Timothey McVey is the leader in touchdowns with 10. There is a lot for South Alabama to account for.
Air Force gives up a lot of passing yards at a clip of 251 per game. The run defense is great, allowing 118 yards per game.
Linebacker Ryan Walsh is a good all-around defender with nine sacks this season. Safety Weston Steelhammer has six interceptions on the season and is one of the best in the country.
Air Force will control the ball and the clock, which will be too much for South Alabama to make up.
Air Force Falcons 32 South Alabama 19