The Jags got what might be their biggest victory in a long time when they defeated the #18 ranked Florida Gators on Tuesday, 67-66. It’s probably the biggest win since defeating Alabama in the NCAA Tournament in 1989.
The Jags lead the game most of the first half but never pulled out to much of a lead. At halftime the score was tied at 43. Then early in the second half it looked like the Jags were going to be a one half team again but the Jags came back to life and fought their way back into the lead. They would even push that lead out to seven points at 61-54 with 7:42 left in the game. But Florida wasn’t about to give up just yet.
The Gators went on a 7-0 run, the final two to tie were free throws. Then two more free throws gave the Gators the lead with 2:04 left to play. They would hold the lead until the final shot by DeAndre Hersey with 1.8 seconds left.
The Jags got the ball back with with seconds left in the game. They in-bounded the ball and carried it down the court to around the time line when the Jags used their final timeout of the game with 12.7 seconds left. The play was drawn up for Tim Williams, the games leading scorer, to drive the lane. But when Williams’ missed, Hersey was there for the follow up tip-in.
A desperation three point attempt from beyond half court bounced off the rim and the Jags celebrated on the floor in front of stunned Florida fans.
Williams, as stated earlier, lead all players in scoring with 21 on 8 of 19 shooting, 3 of 4 from outside the arc. Martino Brock was next with nine points and Sherrer with eight. Five other Jags scored in the game as well.
The Jags won despite shooting a mere 28.1% in the second half. But Florida shot even worse only making 23.1% of their shots. Also the gators could only muster a 3 for 22 night from behind the arc. The Jags were unusually good from outside shooting 7 of 11 from 3 point range.
Coach Arrow was ecstatic after the game. “That was a great game,” he said. “The people here got to see two really good teams go at it. I told our guys to play for 40 minutes which would allow us to get a really nice Christmas present. I thought that both teams played hard. We had different people make big plays and that’s what a good team does.”
And what a Christmas present they gave to themselves and all of the Jaguar fans watching on television, listening to the radio, streaming on espn360 and watching the scoring updates from their phone. It was even featured as the lead in to ESPN SportsCenter and ESPN News.
Here is the video from ESPN:
It was announced today by Pat Greenwood that Dameyune Craig had accepted an offer from Jimbo Fisher and Florida State to coach quarterbacks for the Seminoles.
Fisher recruited, signed and coached Craig at Auburn in the 90s. This is a tough loss by Coach Jones and the Jags because Craig was a very talented recruiter in the area. He will likely recruit here for the Seminoles because of his strong ties with the area.
Craig was on WNSP with Pat Greenwood and they spoke about his ties with Fisher and his time with the Jags. He spoke about meeting in the basement of the Mitchell Center early on in the program. How they had to sell the program to kids with only a wood covered hill to show and designs in their minds for the field house and practice fields.
He said that the Jags program was in very good hands with Coach Jones. He knew it from the beginning and he continues to the Jags improving as they march towards FBS play.
This is the second coach to be picked off from Coach Jones staff since he was hired to start the program. Les Koenning was hired by Dan Mullen and Mississippi State after Mullen was hired to take over the Bulldogs program last year. Hailed as one of the top young coaches in the country, Craig will be missed by the Jag Nation.
We at Thunderjags wish Dameyune the best at Florida State and hope he will help South Alabama land a couple good games against the Seminoles in the coming years.
Jags overcome a rough first half to hold of the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock to win their conference opener in front of a nationally televised audience.
Jags had a small lead early in the first half but a 12-0 run by the Trojans gave them the lead. The Trojans would stretch out their lead to as many as 10 in the first half before the Jags cut it to within six at halftime 34-28.
The Jags would come out a different team in the second half starting with an 11-3 run to regain the lead. After that, the Jags never gave up the lead but they did allow them within one point. But the Trojans chance to tie was squandered when their leading scorer of the game went to the line and missed the first of two free-throws with 13 seconds to go.
Redus would be fouled on the ensuing possession by the Jags. His two free-throws would fall giving the Jags a three point lead, 74-71 with seconds to play. The Trojans got a fairly decent look at the goal on a last ditch three-point attempt but was off the mark.
Bryan Sherrer would score a career high 21 points in the game to lead all scorers. Gary Redus would add 16 and Martino Brock would add 11 rounding out the double digit scorers for the Jags. As a team, the Jags out rebounded UALR 47-29 and held them to under 40% shooting.
The Jags will next play in the Coors Classic on Saturday at the Mitchell Center where they will host the UAB Blazers with the University of Alabama vs Kansas State following them. Tip-off of the Jags game will be 5:30pm and Alabama vs Kansas State 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Jags game.
Also on Thursday, the Jags announced the addition of two televised games to the schedule as well as a tiem change. The Jags game on December 22 against Florida in Gainsville will be televised by CSS and streamed online at espn360.com. The January 7 game against Western Kentucky in Mobile will be aired on Fox College Sports and well as the Hilltopper Satellite Sports Network. The tip-off of this game was moved up to 5:05pm.
Go Jags! Bleed it Red!!
In two day the Jags have signed two Junior College transfers to help bolster their defensive secondary. On Wednesday they signed Safety Jonathan Cameron to a National Letter-of-Intent to join the Jaguars.
Cameron played the last two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and will have two season of eligibility left to play for the Jaguars. MGCCC finished in the top 10 in the final NJCAA rankings for 2009.
Cameron is listed at 6’1″ 190-lb and is a native of Puckett, Mississippi. His stats for last season included 39 tackles, two for a loss and one being a sack.
Before his stint with MGCCC he played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
He chose South Alabama over an offer from East Carolina.
On Thursday, South Alabama announced the second JC transfer to sign with the Jaguars. Justin Sorrell signed a National Letter-of-Intent to join the Jags program with two years of eligibility to play.
Sorrell played the last two seasons with Blinn Junior College in Texas. They won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship this year.
Sorrell is listed as a 5’10″ 190-lb defensive back who finished the 2009 season with 77 tackles (second most on the team) and two interceptions in helping the Buccaneers to their 11-1 record and the National Championship. A second experience defensive back in as many days to help the Jags secondary as they will be seeing a marked increase in strength of schedule.
Sorrell chose South Alabama over recruiting efforts by UTEP, McNeese State and Lamar. Lamar is on the Jags schedule for 2010.
The Jags played the 2009 season with some converted players in the secondary. Matt Saucier moved from Quarterback and Ken Barefield moved from receiver to help give more depth at the position after some injuries early thinned out the ranks.
Coach Joey Jones has this to say about Cameron. “We feel great about Jonathan, he’s tall, rangy and has great speed. He is a really good athlete who can play either cornerback or safety. On his visit, you could tell that Jonathan is an individual with great character. We knew that we wanted him here at USA.”
“Justin is a very athletic safety who is a great tackler. He also has the ability to play man coverage as well. Justin is a great combination player, he is exactly what we are looking for in a safety,” Coach Jones said about Sorrell.
South Alabama picked up a verbal commitment from Vestavia Hills HS offensive lineman Drew Dearman. He is a 6’4″ 280-lb guard who played in the Alabama Mississippi All-Star Classic on Saturday. He had interest from Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee and UAB but he finally made a verbal commitment for the Jags after the game in Mobile.
In addition to being selected among the best Senior players in the state of Alabama, he is also doing well in class. Back in October he was named Scholar-Athlete of the week by the Birmingham News for his 3.86 GPA, being a member of National Honor Society as well as playing football and basketball.
South Alabama released their 2010 football schedule on Monday and its a definite step up in competition. The Jags will play 10 games next season against four year institutions with four of them already at or transitioning to FCS or Division I-AA.
Seven of the ten games will be in Mobile with trips to Edward Waters, Lamar and University of California-Davis as their away games.
The Jaguars second season will kickoff on Saturday September 4 against Pikeville (Kentucky) who is an NAIA school that went 3-8 last year. The following an open week, the Jags will host Nocholls State on September 18. Nicholls State finished 3-8 (2-5 in the Southland Conference) last season.
Then the Jaguars first ever away game will have them Traveling to Jacksonville, Florida on September 25 to play Edward Waters, another NAIA school. Last year they returned to football in 2001 after a 34 year break. They went 1-10 although their head coach has been named conference coach of the year twice in the last three seasons.
October will begin by hosting Kentucky Wesleyan (October 2) followed by Missouri Tech (October 9), both from the Great Lakes Football Conference.
The schedule will toughen with back to back road games against formitable opponents. October 16 the Jags will travel to Lamar. This will be their first season back in football since 1989 as they will be transitioning to FCS. Then the Jags will travel all the way out to UC-Davis on October 23. Davis finished 6-5 last season and won the Great West Conference in 2009. Davis played Boise State close for most of the game which is not indicitive by the final score of 34-16.
October 30 the Jags will host upstart football program Georgia State who will begin the transition to FCS play. Head Coach Bill Curry should be familiar with many with his previous work at Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia Tech plus his stint with ESPN covering college football.
November will see two more games in Mobile. Henderson State (Arkansas) will be the Jags opponent on November 6 for homecoming. They lost 27-24 at Southland Conference co-champion McNeese State last season. Then the final game of the season will be against Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday, November 11. They finished 4-4 last season in the Gulf South Conference.
“Our coaches and players want to move up the ladder from a competitive standpoint,” Coach Joey Jones commented. “This schedule is a good one as we continue to transition to the NCAA Division I level. It will be a challenge for the kids, but it is one big step in that process.”
Coach Jones commented about the away games by saying, “We would’ve liked to have played a road game this year, so we’re excited about the opportunity to be able to do that next season. It’s exciting not just playing in someone else’s stadium, but in getting used to the travel process.”
“We believe the 2010 football schedule is one which is appropriate for the maturing process of the program and will provide tremendous college football contests, both home and away, for our Jaguar fans,” said Joel Erdmann, South Alabama Athletics Director.
Game times will be announced at a later date.
Season tickets are still on sale for the 2010 season through December 31 for $85. Also the 2010 season will be the second season and the last season for the Jags football team as an unclassified program. They will then being the two year transition process to FBS (Division I-A) football in 2011. In 2013 they will be full members of the Sun Belt Conference, competing for the conference championship and will be eligible for a bowl bid.
Here is a link to the PDF of the schedule from South Alabama Football website.
The Jags had their four game winning streak snapped by Southern Miss on Saturday, 66-54. The Jaguars record is now 7-3 on the season while Southern Miss rebounds from their first loss of the season to go to 6-1.
The Jags led 18-11 with 11:44 left in the first half before the Golden Eagles went on a 15-0 run. The Jags would answer with a 7-0 run themselves to cut the lead down to one. The Golden Eagles would take a two point lead into the locker room for halftime.
The first ten minutes of the second half saw Southern Miss hold the lead by as few as one and as many as seven. But an old fashioned three point play coupled with back-to-back layups would put them up by 11 with 6:41 to play in the game.
The Golden Eagles would push their lead out to 61-47 with under five minutes to play and the Jags could not get within 10 points of them the rest of the way.
The Jags shot a season low of 29.1% from the floor and a mere 24% in the second half.
Coach Arrow spoke after the game. “The bottom line is they did a really good job tonight,” he said. “We couldn’t stop Gary Flowers. He hurt us on the boards and shooting. He backed us down and he shot over us. We didn’t shoot the ball at all, but they had a lot to do with that. They took it right to us. We played immaturely tonight, and that’s just the way that it is. Hopefully, we’ll grow from it.”
“It seemed like we always had the wrong guy shooting the ball,” continued Coach Arrow. “We didn’t attack the zone very well, and that’s my fault. We just didn’t get our guys ready for a zone. We worked on it, but evidently I did a poor job of getting them to understand exactly what had to be done.”
Allyn Cooks lead the Jags with 13 points, followed by Bryan Sherrer with 11 and Tim Williams with 10 to round out the double digit scoring for the Jags.
The Jags will host UALR on Wednesday with an 8:05pm tipoff on ESPN2.
The Jags football team won their eighth competition of the year. But this time it wasn’t on the football field. No, this time it was on the asphalt.
Some of the Jags football team participated in the annual Ronald McDonald House Fire Truck Pull held in Pensacola, Florida. They were representing Mobile McDonald’s Owner Operators in the competition.
Thirty-five teams competed in seven divisions in the event. The Jags competed in the retail division which included five other teams. Each team included 20 individuals pulling a 61,000-pound fire truck a distance of 50 feet. The Jags completed it in a time of 10.302 seconds to narrowly edge out teams like the Escambia County Professional Firefighters and Fire & Emergency Services Gulf Coast. They posted times of 10.376 and 10.463 seconds each, respectively.
Jags that competed were Ken Barefield, Paul Bennett, Eddy Cabrera, Jamie Driskell, Justin Dunn, Lionel Fuentes, Scott Garber, Myles Gibbon, Gabe Graham, Dalvin harris, Danzel Harris, Brian Kauskopf, Andrew Martin, Lawson McGlon, Alex Phifer, Philip Press, Donte Rome, Donald Scott, Courtney Smith, Anthony Taylor Josh Terry, Michael Wilson, and Justin Walker.
The Jags won their first ever meeting against the University of Mobile Rams on Wednesday 70-51. The Jags secured the win with a 17-0 run in the first half to cruise to the victory.
This was the fourth consecutive win by the Jags to go to 7-2 on the season. The Jags never trailed in the game. After the Rams pulled within one point with 13:50 left in the first half at 14-13, the Jags ripped off 17 straight points over the next 9:29 before a three pointer by Mobile ended the run. At that time the Jags were up 31-16.
At halftime, the Jags were up 38-23 on 50% shooting from the floor. Early in the second half the Jags would stretch it out to 24 points and at one point they would lead by as much as 26. The Rams would put together a 12-0 run late in the second half to pull within 14 points of the Jags but they would score the final five points of the game.
Three Jags would share the honor of lead scorer for the team. Tim Williams, Bryan Sherrer and LaShun Watson would all score 13 points. The next highest scorer was Martino Brock with nine points.
The Jags next game will be on Saturday at the Mitchell Center when they host Southern Mississippi for a 7:05pm tipoff. Then they open play their first Sun Belt team, University of Arkansas-Little Rock at on Wednesday, December 16 which will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Head basketball coach Ronnie Arrow won his 300th Division I game as the Jags defeated Arkansas 74-61 on Sunday in Fayetteville. This win was the Jags third straight win to improve to 6-2 on the season while the Razorbacks and John Pelphrey dropped their third straight to fall to 2-4 on the season.
The game was a series of runs with the Jags jumping out 15-2 to begin the game but then the Razorbacks had a run of their own going 17-1 to take the lead at halftime with the score of 34-30.
Trading scores early in the second half, the Hogs tied it up at 40 each with a three pointer. But it would be the last time Arkansas would tie the game because South Alabama would make a run of 17 points over a stretch of 5:17 to hold Arkansas without a score for six minutes and without a field goal for 8:42.
The Hogs would only get to within 11 points on twice but each time the Jags would put an end to their attempted rallies.
Arkansas only shot 30% (6-for-30) in the second half and had only three field goals through the 5:20 mark. While the SEC’s leading scorer with 28.2 points per game, Rotnei Clark, was held to 19 points with only six scored after halftime.
Martino Brock lead the Jags and all players with 21 points while Bryan Sherrer and Tim Williams were the only other Jags in double figures with 11 points each.
This marked the first win at an SEC school since December 1, 2000 at Auburn and makes their record against Arkansas 1-5 all time.
South Alabama will take some time off for final exams, they will return to the hardwood on December 9 when they host University of Mobile.