Photo courtesy of South Alabama athletics

The slate of games for Week 1 of the 2020 season wasn’t all that big, but for one team, a victory was significant.

In a new series that will last throughout the season, Fifth Quarter will be electing its “Team of the Week”. Taking the first honor this season is South Alabama out of the Sun Belt.

South Alabama was impressive on Thursday night in a 32-21 victory at Southern Mississippi.

It’s Been a While

With the victory, South Alabama improved to 1-0 for the first time since 2016. The last time that the Jaguars opened the season with a win, they knocked off Dan Mullen’s Mississippi State team in Starkville, 21-20.

Thursday’s win also served as South Alabama first road win since Oct. 11, 2017. In that contest, the Jaguars defeated Troy, 19-8.

Entering Thursday night’s contest, South Alabama had lost 15 straight road games. After a 2-10 season in 2019, the Jaguars have already defeated as many FBS schools as they did all of last season. They did so by winning in Hattiesburg — a place where Southern Mississippi went 4-1 last season.

Offense Shines

The story of the night for Alabama was the offense. The Jaguars racked up 526 yards in the victory and didn’t punt once.

Quarterback Desmond Trotter finished with 340 total yards and two touchdown passes. Chance Lovertich also threw a long touchdown to Kawaan Baker in the victory.

Jalen Tolbert and Jalen Wayne each eclipsed 100 yards receiving in the win. Tolbert led all receivers with 169 yards and two touchdowns. Carlos Davis paced the South Alabama ground attack with 85 yards rushing on 15 carries.

On defense, Nick Mobley led the Jaguars with 15 tackles.

Up Next

South Alabama will now host Tulane on Saturday in what will be its home opener. The Green Wave finished 7-6 last season and capped the year with a win of its own over Southern Miss — 30-13 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

South Alabama won the only prior meeting by a 41-39 score back in 2013. The Jaguars haven’t started 2-0 since 2011 — the year before they transitioned to the Sun Belt. Saturday’s contest begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and airs on ESPN2.

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.