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South Alabama crushes Eastern Michigan in 68 Ventures Bowl

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Gio Lopez threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as South Alabama notched its first ever bowl victory by pounding Eastern Michigan, 59-10, in the 68 Ventures Bowl at Mobile, Ala. on Saturday night.

Lopez had 192 passing yards and 88 rushing yards for the Jaguars (7-6). Desmond Trotter had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

Jamaal Pritchett caught eight passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns and DJ Thomas-Jones also caught two touchdown passes for South Alabama, which played on its home field.

Cam’Ron McCoy had a 10-yard rushing touchdown for the Eagles (6-7).

Both teams had key offensive players missing.

Jaguars No. 1 quarterback Carter Bradley didn’t play due to a knee injury. Top running back La’Damian Webb sat out due to a toe injury. Top wideout Caullin Lacy transferred to Louisville.

Eastern Michigan’s No. 1 quarterback Austin Smith also entered the transfer portal after the regular season. Leading running back Samson Evans was sidelined by an undisclosed injury.

The Jaguars outgained the Eagles 417-27 in the first half while roaring to a 38-3 halftime lead.

South Alabama scored on its first drive, as Diego Guajardo kicked a 46-yard field goal.

Trotter hooked up with Jeremiah Webb for a 49-yard gain on South Alabama’s second possession. That set up Trotter’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Thomas-Jones.

Gio Lopez then got his chance to run the offense and South Alabama scored. Lopez’s 19-yard pass to Braylon McReynolds preceded Lopez’s 5-yard scoring pass to Pritchett.

Jesus Gomez’s 49-yard field goal in the opening minute of the second quarter put Eastern Michigan on the board.

The Jaguars answered with Kentrel Bullock’s 17-yard touchdown run to make it 24-3.

Following an Eastern Michigan turnover, South Alabama quickly scored again. This time, Lopez completed a 20-yard scoring pass to Thomas-Jones.

After another Eagles giveaway, the Jaguars scored the final points of the half. Lopez connected with Pritchett on a 42-yard scoring pass.

Trotter scored on a 3-yard run early in the second half for a 45-3 lead. Lopez scored the next touchdown on a 27-yard run.

–Field Level Media

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