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Three Things South Alabama Coach Kane Wommack Said Entering South Alabama’s Game against Oklahoma State

On injuries, OSU’s defense and OSU’s offense.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

A former fullback at Arkansas, Kane Wommack switched sides of the ball as a coach, making defensive coordinator stops at Eastern Illinois, South Alabama and Indiana before returning to Mobile as the head coach in 2021.

It’s easy to get too into the weeds of the team you’re following, so I always find it interesting to see what opposing coaches think of Oklahoma State entering matchups with the Cowboys. Here are three things Wommack said ahead of his Jaguars’ game against the Cowboys at 6 p.m. Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium.

1. Injury Bug Bites Jaguar Offense, Defenders Getting Healthy

The Jaguars will be without some offensive contributors in Stillwater with Braylon McReynolds out for “the foreseeable future” after breaking his collarbone against Tulane in Week 1. Wommack also said starting wide receiver Devin Voisin is “questionable to doubtful” after suffering an injury this past weekend.

Last season, McReynolds had 326 rushing yards, 226 receiving yards and 380 return yards, so he’ll be missed in myriad aspects of South Alabama’s gameplan.

In McReynolds’ absence, three Jaguar running backs have picked up double-digit carries this season. La’Damian Webb, who had an Oklahoma State offer once upon a time, is leading the way for South Alabama with 121 rushing yards on only 16 carries as he is ramping back up to speed after recovering from offseason surgery.

Voisin is the Jaguars’ third-leading receiver, having caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. He had 64 catches last season for 867 yards and five touchdowns.

It’s not all bad news for South Alabama on the injury front, however. Wommack said he anticipates having safeties Jalen Jordan and Keith Gallmon back this week. Jordan missed South Alabama’s win against Southeast Louisiana, and Gallmon was hurt early in that game and didn’t return.

2. Cowboys’ Defense Runs to the Ball

After keeping things relatively vanilla in Week 1, new OSU defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo was able to dig a little deeper into his playbook against Arizona State this past week while shutting out the Sun Devils in the second half.

Despite the tackling being suspect at times, OSU’s defense ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense, holding its first two opponents to just 14 points a game. Wommack said what stands out to him about the Cowboys’ D is they run to the ball.

“Long, athletic, run really hard to the ball on defense,” Wommack said. “Play really hard. I think you look at them from a defensive perspective, they kind of play that three-safety shell. Three-down line, five techniques, find creative ways to plug and muddy up some of the interior gaps when they play that deep safety. But they populate hats to the ball very quickly in the run game.”

3. OSU’s Offense Works the Perimeter, Runs Better Late

OSU using three quarterbacks is all we can seem to talk about in Stillwater, but Wommack didn’t mention it during Monday’s news conference.

Instead, Wommack looked more at OSU’s philosophy of using the perimeter with quick hitters, trying to exploit one-on-one matchups with OSU’s receivers and the Cowboys’ mixing of tempos.

“From an offensive standpoint, do a really good job of working the perimeter throws — both in the perimeter RPO game and some of the intermediate throws out in space,” Wommack said. “They’ll take one-on-one matchups if you give them. They’ll give a lot of formation into the boundary, take one-on-one matchups to the field if you allow them to do some of those things — both downfield and in the short hitch game. Utilize tempo well. It’s various in how they do it, a little bit of back and forth. They don’t go fast the whole game.”

Wommack also made mention of the Cowboys’ running game getting better as games go on. OSU has rushed for 262 yards this season — 45 in the first halves of games and 217 in the second halves.

“I wouldn’t say their O-line is overly … they’re not gonna get a whole lot of movement at the point of attack,” Wommack said. “They do a really good job of just kind of staying on their zone blocks and leaning on people. And their big frames that, I think, eventually try to wear you down in the run game.”

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