South Alabama is still searching for its first bowl win.
The Jaguars fell to 0-3 in bowl games on Wednesday night, largely because they couldn’t find a way to slow down Austin Reed. The Western Kentucky quarterback threw for nearly 500 yards in the 44-23 victory over the Jaguars in the New Orleans Bowl.
Reed, who entered the transfer portal at the end of the regular season and exited during bowl preparation, was 36 of 55 for 497 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
Before the first quarter ended, Reed had touchdown passes of 44 yards to Dalvin Smith and 27 yards to Joey Beljan. Western Kentucky took a 31-3 lead into halftime after Reed threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Corley on the final play of the first half.
South Alabama opened the second half scoring on a 10-yard pass from Carter Bradley to DJ Thomas-Jones. Any momentum the Jaguars got from that score was erased less than two minutes later when Reed and Corley connected on a 39-yard scoring pass.
The Jaguars still kept fighting. Bradley had touchdown passes of five yards to LaDamian Webb and 12 yards to Devin Voisin in the second half. But it was not enough against a Western Kentucky team that produced 677 yards in offense and took a knee inside the South Alabama 5-yard line on the final two plays.
Bradley was 36 of 53 for 360 yards with three touchdown and two interceptions. Voisin had 11 catches for 153 yards. The Jaguars couldn’t get the running game working, gaining 44 yards on 25 carries.
South Alabama finishes the best season in school history with a 10-3 record. Western Kentucky finishes 8-5.
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