Game Week Is Upon Us

August 30, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon earned the #1 spot on the first depth chart for the South Alabama Jaguars.

Game week preparation is in full swing this week as Pikeville gets set to visit Mobile on Saturday. So to start the week, the Jags released their first depth chart.

Some positions were clear from the beginning. On offense Brian Krauskopf, Chris Brunson and Jon Griffin were very solid on the line. Courtney Smith and Brandon Ross were pretty much givens at some skill positions. Myles stood out in preseason drills and became the clear number one guy going into the second scrimmage. Ralph Turner at the Z receiver may have caught some off guard, but he is quick and lethal if he finds some space. Jereme Jones is another quick guy at the Y receiver.

On Defense Anthony Taylor and Montavious Williams looked solid on the line. Justin Dunn and Charlie Higgenbotham were givens at the inside Mike and Will linebacker positions. Jerron Mitchell and Jonathan Cameron were no surprise at cornerbacks. Ken Barefield also wasn’t much of a surprise at strong saftey either.

Michel Chapuseaux earns the place kicking and kickoff duties while Scott Garber will punt. Jeremy Jones will return punts with T.J. Glover behind him on second team. Jeremy Jones and Santuan McGee will be deep for kickoff’s.
Probably the only surprises would be Brennan Sim slipping down to third on the depth chart and Raymond Cotton not being listed in the three deep QB depth chart.

But all in all, the first team was pretty well set and has a good mix of size and speed.

Game week preparation is in full swing this week as Pikeville gets set to visit Mobile on Saturday. So to start the week, the Jags released their first depth chart.

Some positions were clear from the beginning. On offense Brian Krauskopf, Chris Brunson and Jon Griffin were very solid on the line. Courtney Smith and Brandon Ross were pretty much givens at some skill positions. Myles stood out in preseason drills and became the clear number one guy going into the second scrimmage. Ralph Turner at the Z receiver may have caught some off guard, but he is quick and lethal if he finds some space. Jereme Jones is another quick guy at the Y receiver.

On Defense Anthony Taylor and Montavious Williams looked solid on the line. Justin Dunn and Charlie Higgenbotham were givens at the inside Mike and Will linebacker positions. Jerron Mitchell and Jonathan Cameron were no surprise at cornerbacks. Ken Barefield also wasn’t much of a surprise at strong saftey either.

Michel Chapuseaux earns the place kicking and kickoff duties while Scott Garber will punt. Jeremy Jones will return punts with T.J. Glover behind him on second team. Jeremy Jones and Santuan McGee will be deep for kickoff’s.
Probably the only surprises would be Brennan Sim slipping down to third on the depth chart and Raymond Cotton not being listed in the three deep QB depth chart.

But all in all, the first team was pretty well set and has a good mix of size and speed.

Jags Taking The Rest Of The Week Easy; Quarterbacks Set Themselves Apart

August 25, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Brennan Sim looking to throw under the watchful eye of Coach Jones during the first scrimmage.

The Jags final scrimmage of the preseason will be on Friday instead of Saturday. Saturday will be reserved for the fans to meet the players and coaches as well as an opportunity to pick up a copy of Tommy Hicks’ book, “Kickoff: The Story of the University of South Alabama’s Inaugural Football Season”.

Tuesday was the Jags final full contact practice before Saturday’s scrimmage. This will give the players a few days to mend their many bumps and bruises over the last couple of weeks.

The rest of the week will see team go out and work in limited to no contact drills.

Meanwhile back on the practice field, the quarterback position is starting to clear up just a little. Gibbon and Bennett have set themselves apart from Sim and Cotton. Sim looked like he was poised to be the starter coming out of spring drills, but as many know, things can and do change.

Gibbon put on about 20 pounds from last season but still runs a 4.56 40 if I was told correctly. But the different in Myles from last season to this season is quite a lot. His deep passing is still great, he still has decent speed but his drop back passing game still needs some work.

Sim also put on some weight, about 15 pounds to be exact. But he has been nagged with some shoulder problems and missed some practice this preseason.

C.J. Bennett came in and has done a great job learning the offense. He has done well and Coach Gregory seems to be confident enough that he can run the offense that he has been splitting time with the 1st and 2nd team offenses with Gibbon. Gregory also said that Bennett was a polished passer and is as good as anyone you have seen, but could work on his ball handling skills in the run game.

Raymond Cotton has had the most to contend with though. He transferred from Ole Miss just before preseason camp started and had to learn a new system. But probably the largest factor has been his injured shoulder. He injured it back in spring practice at Ole Miss and was feared that he may need surgery to repair it.

But as we know from last season, things do happen and starters can get injured. Thus it’s great to have quality players beyond the starter, not only to step in when needed but also to help keep the pressure on and the competition going to make everyone a better player.

Women’s Rugby Recruiting Interested Players

August 25, 2010 · By · Filed Under News, Rugby · Comment 

Women’s Rugby at South Alabama is a strong possibility. Significant interest at JagFest has moved the rugby organizers to open the sport to women of South Alabama. The Lady Jag’s will be recruiting. Any interested girls should contact April Hill

All rugby players need to attend the first team meeting scheduled for Sept 14th at the new rec center meeting room at 6pm for practice and match schedules, officer elections, information about club dues, and also to fill out and exchange contact information. Go Lady Jags!

Rugby Stirs up Interest at JagFest

August 23, 2010 · By · Filed Under Rugby, Uncategorized · Comment 

Jag fans get ready for rugby at South Alabama. Jagfest this past Saturday was a very successful venue for recruiting participants. Over 70+ students stopped by the booth to “sign up” during the event. Founding members of South Alabama Rugby took interested players’ contact info and helped promote the team’s first meeting (Sept. 14th at the new Rec Center meeting room).

USA JagFest Artwork

For more information, visit http://www.southalabamarugby.com/

Stadium Mania

August 22, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · 3 Comments 

Erling Riis preparing to field a punt from Hargrave Military Academy in the Jaguars first football game.

On Saturday, August 28th South Alabama is holding their Fan Day at Ladd-Peebles stadium for the Jaguars final scrimmage of the preseason. Fans will see a different Ladd-Peebles than what they saw last season. The inside of the stadium has had a bit of a face lift for the Jags second season. Gone are the dull Grey and Green. Photos from outside show fresh white and blue in the stands.

But what is the future of South Alabama Football? How long will they continue to play at Ladd-Peebles? No one outside of the President and the Board of Trustees know right now, if they even know for certain. What we do know is that South Alabama yearns for an on-campus stadium. On-campus stadiums draw larger crowds and definitely exhibit a different atmosphere than off-campus venues.

Currently, the NCAA has a freeze on so that no schools can apply to become FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools. I think this was a contributing factor to South Alabama’s accelerated plan to full FBS standing in the least amount of time necessary. But could some new or stricter requirements be on the way to become and maintain FBS membership?

Currently, an FBS school must meet minimum attendance requirements of an average of 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game. This requirement must be met once in a rolling two year period. Additionally an FBS school must have 30,000 seats in their stadium.

Some schools who have not actually met the requirement recently (as of 2009) but have not drawn the ire of the NCAA yet are Utah State, Eastern Michigan, Rice, Idaho, Ball State, Kent State, Buffalo, New Mexico State and Florida International. So could the NCAA be ready to enforce those rules or tighten them even further? Could they be on the verge of requiring larger stadiums for FBS membership too?

But with Ladd-Peebles sorely showing it’s age, how much longer can it keep South Alabama, the GMAC Bowl and the Senior Bowl happy? There were several months of unknown last year when the Senior Bowl seemed to be shopping the game around to other cities.

There is speculation that South Alabama may build a 30-35,000 seat stadium in the coming years. I think building one smaller than Ladd-Peebles now is futile. Why would South Alabama build something and not go all out. They have done fabulous with the practice facilities and the field house. Why would they build a smaller, yet nicer venue even if they plan for future expansion?

I think everything publicly will remain quiet for the next year or two but I firmly believe that you will hear an announcement in either 2011 or maybe as late as 2012 as to the school beginning to look for and design a stadium. I also think they would want the stadium finished in time for the 2014 season.

Why the 2014 season you ask. That is when the first big school is set to visit Mobile. Mississippi State will be visiting and I really don’t think they would be visiting to play in Ladd-Peebles stadium. We currently do not have a date for the MSU game in Mobile, but what better way to cristen a new stadium is with an SEC school as a possible season opener?

As to the size, I think it will be at least 40,000 seats and maybe as large as 50,000 seats if they can get commitments from the GMAC Bowl committee and the Senior Bowl Committee to contractually agree to play there for some number of years.

The size may be in reaction to or anticipation of rules changes by the NCAA concerning attendance or stadium size for FBS schools.

The next conundrum is where to build the stadium. There are really two schools of thought as to where to build it. Do you build out in Hillsdale where there is plenty of area and near the student dorms? Or do you build near the existing structures of Stanky Field, the Mitchell Center and the new Bell Tower?

If it is built out in Hillsdale near the Fieldhouse and Practice Field it would definitely have pleny of parking room but it would be in a remote location on campus. Building it between Stanky Field and the Mitchell Center would not leave that much room for parking in it’s current condition. I mean honestly, what is having a college game at home on campus without being able to have the tailgating experience near the stadium? What is the use of having the stadium if you cannot easily use it to recruit students as well as student athletes?

So my line of thought is that they must be seriously considering building it between the Mitchell Center and Stanky Field. With the addition of The Grove at Hillcrest and Old Shell Road and the current construction of a new dining hall in the same area and future plans for a large residence hall in the same area it leads me to believe that aging Gamma residence Hall’s might be in the sights of the bulldozer. Combine it with the parking that exists for the Gamma’s and Engineering it would be a great start for a parking area for Stanky Field, the Mitchell Center and a Football Stadium. Combine that with plans for a multi-level parking structure within a short distance from this area and parking would not be a problem.

The existing structures of The Cage (soccer field), softball field and the track could all be easily moved. Just the extra revenue from an on-campus football stadium and the average increase in attendance thereof would easily pay to move those structures. With relocation of Jaguar Track, The Cage and the Softball Field, the area would easily accomodate a stadium the footprint size of Bryant-Denny Stadium or Michigan Stadium.

Randy Kennedy has an article that is set to run on Sunday, August 29th in the Mobile Press-Register which may or may not shed more light on the subject.

So, in short I think hearing about an announcement of a 40-50,000 seat stadium to be build between Stanky Field and the Mitchell Center is not completely ludicrous. In fact, I think it is completely plausible and could come as early as next year and completed by the 2014 season. I definitely want to be one of the first people to pick up next Sunday’s Press-Register to read Randy’s article to see if anything I mentioned is similar to what he has to say about the subject.

Jag Defense Plays Better In Second Scrimmage Of 2010

August 21, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon, running the first series with the first-team offense, scores the first touchdown of the scrimmage.

The second scrimmage of the preseason was a bit more even than the first one last week. Less touchdowns but also less turnovers. Which pleased Coach Jones when it was all said and done.

Several players were out due to injury on the defense. None severe, just nagging injuries which the coaching staff decided to sideline for the scrimmage. Randon Carnathan, Justin Dunn, Tim Harvey, Jake Johnson, Romelle Jones and Alex Page all sat out the scrimmage.

The Jags ran about 93 plays, close to their goal of 100. Overall the offense gained 251 yards with the first team defense only allowing 48 in their seven series on the field. The only two turnovers of the day were recovered by Jarred Williams and Montavious Williams, but both were committed by Ellis Hill, but one was a bad exchange from Brennan Sim. Anthony Taylor made back-to-back sacks for the first-team defense while Kendell Bagnerise added one right after Taylor to back the offense up 18 yards in one possession.

With so many playmakers out on defense, Jonathan Cameron and Bryson James led the defense each with four tackles. Zach Rone lead the second team defense with five tackles.

Myles Gibbon led the first team offense 80 yards in seven plays on their first possession to score the first touchdown. Brandon Ross made the big gain on the series with a 39 yard run, including knocking a defensive back flat on his tail, to set up the touchdown. After two runs by Santuan McGee, Gibbon ran to the left and made the corner of the end zone for the score.

C.J. Bennett led the first team offense the second time they were on the field. He would lead the offense down the field but could not get into the end zone and they settled for a 37 yard Michel Chapuseaux field goal.

The second first-team touchdown would be from a combination of Gibbon and Bennett under center. With the offense facing fourth down from the defense’s 43 yard line, Myles would hit Bryant Lavender for a 14 yard gain on the left sideline. Then Bennett would enter the game who would fine Ralph Turner open on the right side of the field for a 29 yard touchdown. The series covered 60 yards in six plays.

The second-team offense would have it’s best drive of the day on their first possession of the game with Bennett at quarterback. He would start the series off with a 14 yard completion to Lamontis Gardner. Then after a handoff for a short gain, he complete a pass to Gardner for eight more yards and a second first down of the series. But the series would come to an end after a fumbled handoff on third down was recovered by the offense and forced them to punt.

Bennett went 5 of 8 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim completed three for 27 yards and Gibbon completed one for 14 yards. Corey Besteda, Gardner and Lavender each caught two passes while Ralph Turner led the receivers with a touchdown and 29 yards on one reception.

Coach Jones had the following to say after the scrimmage: “We changed things up, but I thought we looked a little sharper. There were a few penalties out there, which we have to get corrected in the next couple of weeks, but I thought it was a good day. It was more like a game, we called all the special teams out there so they had to be alert on the sidelines. My overall feeling is that the offense and defense got better, and special teams were pretty consistent.”

He continued, “We will evaluate this film and go into next week with an idea of who our ones and twos will be. Of course, it’s not over because these kids compete for jobs every day, but we have to find a starting point when we begin next week.”

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Jags Preseason Camp Coming To A Close

August 20, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Freshman T.J. Glover out running the defense in the Jaguars first scrimmage.

Coach Jones and his staff shortened Thursday’s practice by a half hour. Although the practice was still an hour and 45 minutes long, it was a just reward for two weeks of hard work on the practice field. Of the last 14 days the Jaguars practiced 13 of those days and well Coach Jones does not want overwork them.

Early in the practice on Thursday, the Jags worked on skeleton, 7-on-7 passing drills which started with the offense starting in the red zone but ended with the offense facing third down inside it’s own 20 yard line. Later in the practice, the offense and defense worked against the scout teams.

Later still, the Jags would run several situational drills including the first-team offense running first and 10 plays from their own 35 yard line. During the first series of the drill, Myles Gibbon connected with Santuan McGee in the flat for 15 yards. Brandon Ross ran for 10+ yards. The second series saw Ross and McGee both have runs of ten plus yards.

The second team offense struggled against the defense by only converting one third down play against them and suffering a sack. But Myles took a low snap and scrambled for a first down.

Friday the team visited Camp Grace instead of working out. Coach Jones and his staff did the same thing close to the end of preseason camp, which officially ends this weekend as South Alabama resumes classes on Monday morning.

Saturday morning the Jags will hold their second scrimmage of the preseason at 9am and according to Coach Jones, several positions are still up for grabs. The staff is also hoping to start brining into focus a fuzzy depth chart too.

“We’re trying to still evaluate players,” Coach Jones said. “Obviously, we’re trying to progress offensively and defensively with all of our packages, but we’re still looking at individuals. We can see things are starting to fall into place as far as the depth chart goes, but we obviously won’t make any decisions until after Saturday. After this week, we’ll focus more on polishing our offense and defense.”

The coaches are hoping for a better scrimmage from last Saturday’s. The defense gave up three big plays of 40 yards or more, two of which went for touchdowns. But, on the other hand, the offense turned the ball over three times and gave up three sacks.

Freshmen C.J. Bennett and T.J. Glover both showed some brilliance in last weeks scrimmage. Bennett threw for 162 yards on 7 of 13 passing with two touchdowns. Glover led with three receptions for 106 yards, including one for 70 yards.

“We did some good things, but overall too many mistakes were made,” Coach Jones mentioned of last week’s scrimmage. “I think the execution offensively needs to get better, and we need fewer negative plays. Defensively, we don’t need to give up big plays. Last week, they (defense) played well but just gave up too many of those. I think if we can cut that out, then that would be a plus on the defensive side of the ball.”

Unfortunately, C.J. Bennett was one offender on negative plays. He needs to learn how to get rid of the ball to avoid sacks and negative plays.

Jaguars Back On The Practice Field, News About Darrow Fisher

August 17, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags started preseason camp with nine consecutive days of practice that culminated in Saturday’s scrimmage. Then the team had a much needed day off on Sunday and hit the practice field for two hours on Monday in shells. The last hour of practice was offense versus defense even though they were not wearing full pads.

Coach Jones was pleased with the offense saying, “Offensively, I thought that we came out with a little more spirit today. I saw some good leadership there, and the coaches were coaching harder, I really liked what I saw on that side of the ball this morning.”

Coach Jones was also quoted, “I saw a great attitude today. Actually, when we came out here you could see that some of the things that were mistakes on the film [from Saturday’s scrimmage] were actually fixed, and I thought it might take two or three days to do that. We still have more to work on, because the challenge is they have to be better by Saturday than they are today. If they take that attitude they will be able to accomplish that.”

On Tuesday the Jags were back in full contact drills once again. The defense came up big in the third down red zone drills. They broke up four passes while holding the offense to two yards or less in 14 of 18 snaps. On the fifth play in the drill, Enrique Williams sacked the quarterback, but on the next play C.J. Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for an 18 yard touchdown.

However, the defense would tighten up allowing a total of four yards in the next five plays. But the offense would find a way to get into the end zone when Raymond Cotton would score on an eight yard run. Then the final six plays of the drill the offense would not gain positive yardage with three plays being pass breakups.

A more detailed overview of the practice is available on the usajaguars.com website.

The word coming from campus is that defensive back Darrow Fisher is out for the season with a torn ACL from Saturday’s scrimmage. This is not good news for a thin secondary which been a concern of the Jaguars coaching staff.

South Alabama’s First Scrimmage of 2010 Preseason Coverage

August 14, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

T.J. Glover running down the sideline on his 79 yard reception.

The defense started the scrimmage by allowing a 70 yard touchdown pass from Myles Gibbon to Lamontis Gardner but the defense would come back stronger after that by not allowing another score for the next seven series.

The defense would intercept two passes and recover a fumble during the seven series, scoreless stretch by the offense. C.J. Bennett would lead the offense to drive from mid field to score. However, the touchdown pass went through the intended receivers hands short of the end zone but Bryant Lavendar would catch it in the end zone for the touchdown.

After a break, the offense came back with something to prove. The offense, lead by Gibbon, would see three holding calls on the opening drive of the second half. However they worked hard and eventually put the ball into the end zone. T.J. Glover made it into the end zone twice but each were called back on holding penalties. Hill eventually got the ball into the end zone.

There would be three more touchdowns by the offense with two of them being keyed off of big plays. Santuan McGee had a 42 yard touchdown and 79 yard reception by T.J. Glover set up the offense for another score.

Myles finished 6 of 8 for 119 yards and two touchdowns. C.J. Bennett went 7 of 13 for 162 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. T.J. Glover had two catches for 106 yards. Corey Besteda, Lemantis Gardner and Ralph Turner all had multiple receptions. Brandon Ross only rushed twice for 23 yards. Cotton and Ellis Hill both had 17 yards rushing.

Enrique Williams lead the team in tackles and added an interception. Bryson James added three stops and an interception as well. Kendell Bagnerise and Rodney Thomas both recorded sacks with Thomas.

Watch the video of Coach Jones’ speaking after the scrimmage in our previous post by clicking here. Plus check out http://local15tv.com/ and http://fox10tv.com/ for coverage of the post scrimmage talk as well.

Full Scrimmage Coverage Read more

Coach Jones Talks To The Media After Scrimmage

August 14, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head Football Coach Joey Jones answers questions from the local media after the Jaguars first weekend scrimmage of the 2010 preseason camp.

Sorry about the quality. Video is a little grainy and the sound isn’t very good either. About half way through some heavy rain and wind drowns out the sound momentarily.

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