Coach John Turner working with the offensive line in the second half of the Jaguars game against the Georgia State Panthers.
South Alabama fended off a second half rally by Georgia State to hold on to a 39-34 victory at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. It was evident that two weeks of travel had taken their toll on the Jaguars. Coach Jones mentioned that it was Wednesday before the Jags recovered from their trip to California. But South Alabama’s play in the second quarter was enough for the Jags to stay ahead late in the game with field goals.
On the opening drive, the Panthers moved the ball methodically with three first downs in the opening four plays of the game to go from their 40 yard line to the Jaguar 19. They would top off their 10 play 60 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass from Drew Little to Sidney Haynes on 4th down.
The Jags would answer as CJ Bennett would lead the offense on a 9 play 72 yard drive themselves. Kendall Houston would score from nine yards out, however Jordan Means would miss the point after attempt leaving the Jags behind 7-6.
After Georgia State got a first down on a clutch 3rd down completion, they would stumble due to a holding penalty and the Jaguar defense would force them to punt.
With 1:50 left in the first quarter, the Jags took over with great field position on their on 45 yard line. Then on second down, Bennett would find a ton of open green grass and would scamper for 26 yards down to the Panther 25 yard line before tripping up. However the Jags would not be able to move the ball any further. Lawson McGlon would miss the 42 yard attempt to leave the score 7-6 in favor of the Panthers.
The Jags defense would force another punt by the Panthers, however TJ Glover would fumble the punt giving the Panthers an easy chance to score at the Jaguar 14 yard line. Little would hit Jordan Giles to inside the Jaguar one yard line and would score two plays later on a quarterback sneak. With the PAT, the Panthers would go up 14-6 with 11:33 left in the second quarter.
South Alabama would answer right back with a 21 yard completion from Bennett to Courtney Smith on 2nd down to move out to the Jaguar 47 yard line. The first of three straight runs by Kendall Houston would move the ball across mid-field. With 2nd and 8 from the Panther 40, Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for a 40 yard touchdown strike. McGlon’s extra point would once again put the Jags within one at 14-13 with over nine minutes left in the second quarter.
After a 15 yard kickoff return to the Georgia State 30 yard line, Tim Harvey would pick off a deflected pass at the Panther 39 yard line. The Jags would open the possession with a completion from Bennett to Ralph Turner for 24 yards down to the Panther 15 yard line. Three plays later Bennett would connect with tight end Kevin Helms for a nine yard touchdown pass to take the lead. McGlon’s extra point would put the Jags up 20-14 with 6:57 left in the second quarter.
The Jaguar defense would hold the Panther offense to a three and out. South Alabama would not have an opportunity to return the punt as it was kicked out of bounds at the 20 yard line.
South Alabama would put together an impressive drive on the ensuing possession. After an incomplete pass and a five yard false start penalty, the Jaguars were facing 2nd and 15 from their own 15 yard line. Then a rush by TJ Glover would go 14 yards to the Jaguar 29 yard line. Then Kendall Houston would add six more yards for the first down and then some extra. Bennett would run for 13 yards down the left side before stepping out of bounds at the South Alabama 48 yard line. A completed pass from Bennett to Lavender would go for 18 yards to the Panther 34 yard line. Bennett would run for seven more yards followed by a Houston rush for 17 more yards to set up the Jags with a 1st and goal from near the 10 yard line. Back to back rushes would gain four yards from Glover and three more from Houston to give the Jags a 3rd and goal from the 3 yard line.
After a Jaguar time out, Bennett would throw to Jereme Jones on the left side of the endzone where he would make an amazing one-handed catch for the touchdown. McGlon kick would put the Jags up 27-14 with 41 seconds left until halftime.
Georgia State would start at their own 45 yard line after Chapuseaux’s kick would dribble out of bounds on what looked like an onsides kick or a surprise squib kick. A 13 yard completion would put the ball at the Jaguar 42 yard line. On the second play, Tim Harvey would pick off his second pass from Drew Little and would return it 47 yards to the Georgia State 18 yard line with 14 seconds left.
Coach Gregory, coming downstairs in preparation for halftime, had to hurry to the sidelines to call a pass play towards the endzone to try for a touchdown without any timeouts left. Courtney Smith just could not hold onto the ball in the endzone so the Jags decided to kick a 35 yard field goal. Lawson McGlon would make it to extend the Jags lead to 30-14 with 3 seconds left until halftime.
The 3rd quarter would be pretty quiet as both teams combined for three 3 and outs in the first four possessions. But the Jags would get in gear after a Panther punt would only go 27 yards out of bounds at their own 49 yard line. Houston would carry twice to open the possession for 8 and 5 yards respectively and a first down at the Panther 36 yard line. A 7 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender would put the ball at the 29 yard line. A rush for no gain by Glover would be followed by a 22 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender at the Panther 7 yard line with a first and goal.
Houston would then run for four yards down to the three yard line before getting dropped for a loss of three back to the six yard line. Bennett would then be hurried and would step up in the pocket and find Ralph Turner for an apparent touchdown, except an ineligible receiver down field would wipe it off the board. After an incomplete pass, the Jags faced 4th and goal at the 11 yard line. Lawson McGlon would make the 28 yard field goal to extend the Jags lead to 33-14 with 3:52 left in the 3rd quarter.
Chapuseaux’s kickoff would be fielded at the 9 yard line and Albert Lewis would return it 50 yards to the Jaguar 41 before being forced out of bounds. A two yard rush would open the drive for the Panthers before calling a timeout. on 2nd and 8, Andy Dalgleish would sack Drew Little for eight yards back to the USA 47 yard line. The next play would make up for it and much more as Little would connect with Danny Williams for a 47 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 33-21 with 2:11 left in the 3rd quarter.
TJ Glover would return the Panther kickoff 46 yards down to the Georgia State 38 yard line to start the next possession. Houston would power for 13 yards to the Panther 25 yard line and a first down. On 2nd and 10, Houston would rush for nine yards just shy of the first down at the Panther 8 yard line and running out the time in the 3rd quarter.
To open up the 4th quarter, Houston would run for six yards to the Georgia State 2 yard line. An pass intended for Lemontis Gardner would go incomplete in the end zone. CJ Bennett’s quarterback sneak would be fumbled and recovered by the Jags at the 1 yard line to bring up 4th down. With some shouts from the crowd, Coach Jones decided to kick the field goal to extend the Jaguar lead to 36-21 with 13:25 left in the game.
Georgia State would open their drive with a 39 yard completion from Little to Sidney Haynes to get down to the Jaguar 25 yard line. A four yard completion to Danny Williams would set up for a 20 yard completion to Travis Evans for first and goal at the Jaguar 1 yard line. The quarterback sneak would net them a touchdown, but Romelle Jones would stand big in the middle and block the extra point attempt leaving the Jags ahead by nine points at 36-27 with 11:24 left in the game.
A short kickoff would be fielded by Kevin Helms and returned 14 yards to the Jaguar 44 yard line. Three consecutive runs by Houston would go for 7, 7 and 10 yards respectively to net the Jags two first downs. TJ Glover would follow up with a 17 yard rush down to the Panther 15 yard line. Then the Georgia State defense would snuff out any further Houston Rushes, holding him to one yard on two plays. A 3rd and 9 pass attempt would fall incomplete off of Kendall Houston’s fingertips to bring up 4th down. McGlon would make a 31 yard attempt to put the Jags up 39-27 with 7:34 left to play.
A 26 yard kickoff return would put the Panthers at their own 44 yard line to start their next possession. The Jaguar defense would hold strong to begin the possession, but a 10 yard completion would add 15 more yards when Anton Graphenreed would be flagged for a facemask placing the ball at the Jaguar 20 yard line. An eight yard pass would put the Panthers at the Jaguar 11, but a delay of game penalty on 4th and 1 would put them back at the 16 yard line. An 11 yard completion on 4th down would give the Panthers a first down on the 5 yard line. On the next play Kelton Hill would run up the middle for the touchdown, cutting the Jaguar lead down to five points, 39-34 with 3:57 left in the game.
Starting at their own 26 yard line, faced a similar situation as the week earlier. They only needed two first downs to finish out a close game. Houston would run on the first two plays, going for 4 and 2 yards to bring up a 3rd and 4 at the Jaguars 32 yard line. Georgia State would call a timeout with 2:58 left to preserve time and prepare a defense. Bennett would find Courtney Smith for 5 yards and the first down. Houston would then run for 2 yards out to the USA 39 yard line. Another timeout by Georgia State would exhaust their allotment for the second half with 2:15 left in the game.
Houston would drive forward for six yards to bring up a 3rd and 2 from the Jaguar 45 yard line. Coach Jones would let the time run all the way down before calling a timeout with 1:28 left. Houston would find a hole and go for nine more yards and the crucial first down. With no timeouts left for Georgia State the Jags would kneel the ball twice and end the game.
South Alabama would go for 474 total yards, 293 on the ground and another 181 through the air. While Georgia State would gain the most through the air with 234 yard passing and only 46 yards rushing for 280 total yards.
South Alabama was 8 of 14 on third down conversions while Georgia State was 3 of 10. USA did not go for it on 4th down while the Panthers was 2 for 2 on 4th down conversions.
Kendall Houston would carry the ball 31 times for 175 yards and a touchdown. CJ Bennett would run 10 times for 80 yards and TJ Glover would add 35 yards on five carries.
CJ Bennett would play the entire game, going 12-of-24 for 181 yards for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Bryant Lavender would lead the receivers with four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Courtney Smith would add four more catches and 52 yards. Three other Jaguars caught passes.
Georgia State’s leading running back was Kelton Hill with three rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Travis Evans added 6 carries for 14 yards.
Drew Little would go 20-of-34 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Danny Williams would catch 5 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Sidney Haynes would catch 4 for 50 yards and the other touchdown. Six other receivers caught passes for the Panthers as well.
Lawson McGlon went 4-of-5 kicking field goals. Making kicks of 35, 28, 18 and 31 yards and missing one from 42 yards. Jordan Means would miss one PAT attempt and McGlon would make his three attempts.
Coach Jones remarked after the game, “We got ahead at halftime by playing really well offensively in the first half, and the defense made adjustments and played well after the first drive. We’ve been ahead a lot at halftime and the other team would fold, but this team didn’t fold. They came back out and got rolling on offense, and just played much better in the second half. My hat’s off to the Georgia State team for coming back and making a really good game out of it.”
Georgia State head coach Bill Curry remarked on the South Alabama program after the game. “I’m very much an admirer of coach Jones and the South Alabama program. I have been since the beginning,” explained Curry. “The way they do things, their emphasis on academics, integrity, the way they win, the way they dominated the turnover margin in their games and the way they had dominated the fourth quarter coming into our game. We hope to become a more consistent team and do a better job, so we can match up with them the next time we play, and we will get that done.”
South Alabama will host Henderson State for homecoming on Saturday, November 6 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm.
South Alabama Jaguar Rugby Club will visit Spring Hill College this Saturday for the team’s season opener. Looking to build a strong in-town rivalry, the Jags will need to bring their “A” game against an experienced Spring Hill team. Kickoff is set for 11am on Spring Hill’s campus. The Jaguars hope to start the rivalry out with a win and claim the honors of best rugby club on Old Shell Road. Schedule and contact info found on www.southalabamarugby.com.
The Jaguars prepare to take the field at Lamar University.
Saturday will see a battle between two start up programs in South Alabama and Georgia State. Each team took their own route to where they are today. South Alabama went on the fast track to Division I-A, or FBS, and layed a framework to gradually progress and be successful from day one. While Georgia State decided to defer a season and merely practiced all last season.
South Alabama put together a first season schedule that was meant to gauge their progression by measured challenges without unattainable goals. While their first test was against Hargrave Military Academy, the Jags passed with flying colors and they did not look back for the rest of the season.
As the Jaguars had progressed better than anyone would have thought, their second season opponents was shuffled to be all four year institutions and to present more challenges. Currently, the Jaguars have passed all of their tests by defeating Nicholls State at home and huge road wins against Lamar University and UC-Davis.
Georgia State, as mentioned before, only practiced all last season in preparation for this season. They scheduled pretty agressively by playing Lambuth, Jacksonville State, Old Dominion and most surprisingly of all the University of Alabama. So far they are 5-3 on the season with wins over Shorter, Campbell, Morehead State, Savannah State and North Carolina Centeral and losses to Lambuth, Jacksonville State, and Old Dominion.
Georgia Southern hired former ESPN analyst Bill Curry to start their football program. Curry, formerly of Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia Tech, had been out of coaching since 1996 with an overall record of 82-105-4 as a college coach. His best season came at Alabama in 1989, his last year when his team went 10-2, losing the Sugar Bowl 33-25 to Miami. His following stint at Kentucky never saw a winning record, only finishing 6-6 in 1993 with a loss in the Peach Bowl by one point, 14-13, to Clemson. The following three seasons the Wildcats went 1-10, and back to back 4-7 seasons before he was asked to step aside.
As to whom is the better team, that will be settled on the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, but we can agree to disagree with how these two programs have decided to progress and their scheduling decisions.
Georgia State by the numbers:
I picked up a little late into the show and Coach Jones was already talking about how Kendall Houston is a big bruiser in the middle, but Santuan McGee is a little faster and can attack the perimeter. They felt that the game was going towards being a perimeter running game because they were stacking the box more so they decided to play McGee more.
Lee then asked Coach Jones about the fumble that occurred with 2:15 left in the game at the South Alabama 36 yard line when they had about a yard to go for the first down. Coach Jones said that Trey Clark and CJ Bennett had a miscommunication on the snap which lead to the fumble. They were trying to get them to jump offsides and if that did not work, they were going to run a quarterback sneak.
Lee brought up an instance that happened in the Kentucky Wesleyan game about headsets. Coach Jones explained that the opponents headsets went out. Well, in most conferences, they have rules or contracts that if one sides headsets go out, then the other side has to take theirs off. In this case, this was not written into the contract for them to play, so USA did not have to do that but they went ahead and took their headsets off. But it was noticed that they were using cell phones to communicate, so Coach Jones called a time out and talked to the head referee and stated if they are going to use a cell phone that USA could use their headsets. Which was allowed.
Lee brought up the old football adage that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none,” and asked coach Jones if he had ever heard of that. Then he followed up by asking about how that works with three, clearly meaning Gibbon, Sim and Bennett. Coach Jones jokingly said that then you have three quarterbacks. But more seriously, Lee asked how they determine who is going to play a series. Coach Jones answered by saying that it’s mostly by feel. Certain quarterbacks bring certain qualities to the table so determine what they want to do in the game and work on that throughout the week and see how the players react and how they look throughout the week.
Offensive line coach John Turner joined Lee and Joey on the radio show and immediately started talking about the offensive line. Lee remarked that people have told him that putting together an offensive line is the “toughest, most difficult thing to do in football.” Coach Turner agreed that it has been tough, but he never completely agreed that it fits his description. He mentioned that if you go back to look at the game film from their first scrimmage it was, as he said, a “borderline fiasco.” He then went on to praise them for working really hard to become some great offensive linemen. However, he cautioned that they are not there yet, but they are working every day to get better.
Lee followed up by asking what Coach Turner meant by “borderline fiasco.” To which Coach Turner answered by saying that they weren’t quick and coach Gregory had just gotten there and was just installed his new offense. So they had to change all of their calls and all of their communication on the fly. Then Coach Clark’s defense was coming out with multiple blitz’s and everything which put a lot of pressure on the offensive line.
Coach Jones was quick to praise the offensive line because, without them, the offense would not be able to do anything. He then spoke highly of his offensive line unit and how hard they have worked to improve and help this team win each week.
Lee then mentioned Cam Newton and the Auburn offensive line and how it has improved. Coach Turner agreed that it was quite evident that the Auburn offensive line has worked hard to get better and it is evident. But Lee followed up talking about how, in most cases, the player like Cam Newton who is making the plays get so much praise while the offensive line is basically a second thought. Coach Turner said that it goes with the territory, when a player decides to play that position, they understand it. They don’t worry about seeing their names in the paper, they are proud of the plays they make and the success the team has when they do a good job.
Lee paraphrased an email question about, when the Jags get to the FBS level, how many of the current players will still be with them. Coach Jones said that the team will lose seven seniors this season and many six to nine next season. So most of the players will be here in 2012. They will have 85 scholarships and probably will not lose but about 18 players up to then.
Going back to the offensive line, Lee asked how the Jaguar offensive line will stack up against opponents next year like Kent State and NC State. Coach Turner said that if you look at them on paper, you would say no. But he said that you cannot measure what is inside these players. Coach Turner then emphasized that he knows these guys are going to be ready, they are going to get after it and will play hard when the time comes.
A caller asked about Georgia state, which lost their previous game against Old Dominion 34-20. Coach Jones said that they were close at halftime but the score got stretched out in the second half. Ole Dominion went and got more junior college players so they are fairly mature. They went 9-2 last season in their first season of football.
Another email question came in asking if the players, after two road wins including the one in California, are up for this game. Coach Jones said that there is no doubt that they are ready. This team is closer to us and feels more like a rival type game. Probably the closest thing they have to one right now. The players are looking forward to playing at home again as well.
Coach Jones said he cannot wait to see the crowd and neither can the players. They know its going to be a bigger crowd, that they are coming home and that it’s going to be a big game against a good team.
Lee asked Coach Turner how they prepare for Georgia State. Coach Turner said that they line up in multiple fronts and bring multiple blitz’s against opposing teams. So he anticipates a big time challenge for the guys on the offensive line. They will have to be able to recognize all the different looks and be able to make adjustments within their schemes.
When asking about recruiting linemen, it was obvious that they want to recruit size, strength, smarts and good foot speed, just like anyone else. But Coach Turner said that their offense likes to move, that they like to pull linemen and move them around on each play, so they like athletic offensive linemen. But Coach Jones has said from day one that they want “tough, tough football players.” Coach Jones also said that when other teams look at their game film, they are impressed by how tough and how hard these guys play. It’s a real testament to the South Alabama players.
Georgia State likes to pass the ball, similar to UC-Davis. However they like to run the ball a bit more than UC-Davis does. UC-Davis seems to throw the ball, then run to try to do something a little different. While Georgia State is a bit more balanced between the two.
Lee then pointed out that Coach Turner was a coach at UT-Chatanooga which is a Division I-AA team. He asked if the Jags would match up well against them. Which Coach Turner replied that the thought that they would when he was trying to answer someone just the other day. He went through a mental list of the players they had up there and said that he believed USA would be a strong contender against them and in that division of football.
Coach Jones cautioned that while many football fans expect us to play teams like Alabama, but he said his guys are not experienced enough to play against Alabama. He praised how well his staff has done and that they will let teams like Georgia State go play Alabama while they work on getting better and building a program step-by-step.
Travis Toth came on to preview the upcoming game against Georgia State. He said from a marketing standpoint it’s their biggest game since the inaugural game. Plus other factors like Alabama and LSU having their bye weeks, former Alabama coach Bill Curry coaching the other team and the Jags returning after a very successful two game road stretch. Also another measuring stick because they go to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on November 18. This is the weekend for those people to come to the stadium and check it out.
Travis also stressed that it is a “white-out” as the team will be wearing their white uniform from head to toe. This should be the largest crowd to date, Coach Jones said that Kendall broke the record rushing, Courtney broke the record receiving and that it’s time to break and attendance record.
South Alabama kicks off against Georgia State on Saturday at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. GO JAGS! Beat those panthers.!
South Alabama Head Coach Joey Jones talks with Courtney Smith during a stoppage in play against Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
South Alabama’s game against UC-Davis really lived up to its billing. It had excitement, adversity, tough play, heart and a little luck. This recipe came out in favor of the Jaguars, 24-21. But most of all it answered some lingering questions that Coach Jones wanted answers to. The Jags were behind against Nicholls State early in the game, but pulled away in the second half. However, the Jags needed some fourth quarter heroics and a little luck to pull out the win in California.
The Jags had to overcome four turnovers, two interceptions thrown by Brennan Sim and two fumbles, one from Sim and another by Bennett late in the game and frankly nearly disastrous, for the win. However, the defense continued to step up and make plays when necessary. Anthony Taylor made two crucial sacks on the final Aggie drive to set up the attempted field goal to send the game into overtime.
Coach Jones wanted to see what his team could do if they were down in the fourth quarter. He wanted to see how his kids would respond having to play a full four quarters of football. Well, he got his answer alright.
“We came through at the end, the defense did a great job,” said head Coach Joey Jones. “We fumbled the ball on the 30, but we sacked them and made them kick a field goal that was fortunately wide right.”
“I have to tell you, UC-Davis is a great, first-class football team,” Jones continued. “We came out to California and beat an extremely good football team tonight. They have great players and are very well-coached team. We had so many setbacks during the game, whether it was penalties or turnovers, but never had the feeling we were out of the game. Our kids kept playing hard. It’s just a great statement for our program. People have been asking me all year long, and I know where we are now; we beat a great I-AA program that won its conference last year, is probably going to win it this year, and beat San Jose State this season. We’re up there. Are we Division I-A yet? No, but we’re probably close.”
The Jags will return to Ladd-Peebles stadium to round out their season with three consecutive home games. The first of which will have Georgia State, in their first season of football, coming to Mobile coached by former University of Alabama head coach Bill Curry on Saturday, October 30th. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm.
Continue for a more detailed breakdown of the game.
The Jaguar defense lines up against the Lamar offense early in the first quarter of the Jags 26-0 win.
It seems like this keeps being said week after week, but when building a program from scratch and gradually increasing the strengths of your opponents in measured steps, it becomes repetitive. However the schedule was thought over and debated by the coaches and administration as to how to continually progress this program. So when you hear or read that the upcoming opponents of the Jaguars is the their biggest challenge, it’s true.
This week is no different. UC-Davis presents the next step in South Alabama’s progression and will be their biggest test to date. So, lets break the numbers down.
UC-Davis, as a team, averages 19 points per game while giving up 27.2 points per game to their opponents. The Aggies have 86 first downs on the season and is average 14.3 per game with about 65% of their first downs coming through the air. Their opponents have 117 first down on the season, which is an average of 19.5 per game and only 10 more first downs through the air than on the ground.
The Aggies have given up 1028 yards rushing on the season for an average of just over 171 yards per game while only rushing for 447 yards themselves for an average of 74.5 yards per game. However, through the air, the numbers are more even. The Aggies have 1207 yards with an average of just over 201 yards per game while their defense has given up 1,292 yards with an average just over 215 yards per game.
So, the Aggies average 275.7 yards of total offense while giving up 386.7 yards per game. The Aggies average 4.7 yards per play whiel the opponents average just over a yard more with 5.8 yards per play.
The Aggies handle the ball pretty well by only fumbling the ball nine times and losing only six of them. Defensively they have forced 13 fumbles while recovering six of them as well for a 0 turnover differential in fumbles.
Aggies quarterbacks are 108-for-189 for a completion average of just over 57% with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. The opposing quarterbacks are 102-for-176 for a completion average just under 58% with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Thus the Aggies have a -1 turnover differential passing and a -1 in overall turnover differential.
Time of possession between the Aggies and their opponents is also pretty equal with 28:21 for the Aggies and 31:39 for their opponents.
UC-Davis has a 3rd down conversion percentage of 29% going 22-of-75 and a 4th down conversion percentage of 43% going 3-of-7 on the season. Their opponents has a 3rd down conversion percentage of 39% going 35-of-90 while also having a 4th down conversion percentage of 62% on 5-of-8 attempts.
The Aggies offensive line gives up an average of just over one sack per game with a total of eight sacks on the season for 51 yards. The Aggie defense has sacked the quarterback an average just under two a game wiht 11 for the season for 85 yards.
UC-Davis has been in the red zone 17 times and scored 15 times for an average of 88% of the time, 59% of the time they score touchdowns. Their opponents have been in the red zone 24 times and have scored 20 times for an 83% average with 45% of them being touchdowns.
In the Aggies two home games, they have averaged 9,294 fans.
Scoring wise, UC-Davis has started out and ended games on the slow side and only scoring 35% of their points in those two quarters. The second and third quarter scoring is almost dead even. Defensively, the Aggies come out the opposite. They are strong in the first and last quarters but give up most of their points in the second and third quarters. Opponents have scored 33% of their points in the first and last quarters.
Individually the Aggies leading rusher is Josh Reese with 268 yards on 67 attempts for two touchdowns and an average of 44.7 yards per game. Nick Aprile is thier only other back in double digits with 188 yards on 47 carries for four touchdowns and averaging 37.6 yards per game.
The Aggies top receiver is Sean Creadick with 34 receptions for 429 yards and one touchdown while averaging 71.5 yards per game. Dean Rogers has 18 receptions for 247 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 41.2 yards per game. Anthony Soto has 16 catches for 154 yards and no touchdowns while Josh Reese also has 16 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. The other receivers each have less than 10 receptions each and less than 100 yards on the season.
Aggie kickers have attempted nine field goals and have made eight of them. The kick returners average under 20 yards per return, none have gone for a touchdown. Punt returners have had only three attempts, one has returned two for an average of six yards while the other has returned once for 24 yards. However the Aggie punt team has allowed a punt return for a touchdown.
The Aggies schedule started out with a lopsided loss to Cal 52-3 followed by another loss against Portland State 41-33 but they rebounded at U of San Diego for the 38-24 win then lost again on the road at Weber State 20-9, but have since reeled off two consecutive wins again Division I-A San Jose State on the road (14-13) and South Dakota (17-13) for homecoming.
On the other hand, the Jags have some pretty big numbers to throw around. But the most concerning number right now is that they are 18-of-61 on third down conversions which averages out to be 30%. While in the last two games, against Lamar and Missouri S&T, they combined to go 7-of-32 or a mere 21.8% on 3rd down conversions. Obviously, they have faced stiffer opponents in these two games but this is still a bit of a concerning statistic going into a big game for the program.
The team flies out of Mobile at 9am on Friday morning with kickoff against UC-Davis is 2pm Pacific time which is their normal 4pm central time here in Mobile. You can listen to the game on 105.5FM WNSP with the pregame starting at 3pm with Lee Shirvanian and Pat Greenwood. Also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for score updates. You can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/usathunderjags
Coach Jones looks on from the sidelines as the Jaguars take on Lamar University.
Chris Brunson out for the year with a broken ankle. When asked, Coach Jones said that we are not deep at that position. Brian Krauskopf was used at center in practice, but he will probably move into Brunson’s spot. Brian is probably the most valuable player on the line because of his flexibility and ability to do whatever the team needs.
Kendall Houston rushed for more yards himself than Lamar’s entire team in the game. Mitch Rodrigue is the other coaching guest on the show.
Caller asked about the logistics of traveling to California. Coach Jones said that they are flying out of Mobile Airport at 9am on Friday and land in California around 12:40 pacific time. When they went to Lamar for the game, they carried everything they needed in trucks mostly.
Everything they needed for the game but not necessary for practice, stayed on the truck and went on to California. Shoulder pads and helmets obviously was needed for practice, so they came back with the team to Mobile. Jersey’s and such went out to California. The stuff they needed for practice they will carry with them on the flight in bags when they leave on Friday.
It’s a very tedious process and has to be well thought out. Even more so when you have to get on a plane. They even continued to have meetings on Tuesday to tie up loose ends.
Lee asked about how USA uses tight ends. Most teams use one tight end if they use one at all. Typical teams that run the spread offense don’t even use a tight end. Coach Rodrigue said he thought Tight End was one of the most important positions on the field. They can be utilized in so many ways and South Alabama uses them in all of them. As a receiver, as a blocker and in the back field as a full back.During the course of a game, coach Rodrigue estimated that they probably use four different tight ends.
Lee asked Coach Jones why they use the tight ends so much. Coach Jones said that they want to be different. Coach Jones went to the spread in the late 90’s when everyone was running the I formation. Now seemingly everyone has transitioned to the spread with four wide.
So when they began to form the program, he knew he wanted to be different. They knew they had Brandon so they had a big strong back for a good running game, which is one thing they wanted to do, run the football. Coach Jones believes that championships are won by running the football. You can run out of the shotgun, but when you use tight ends, you spread the defensive front out. With four wide-outs, that defensive front shrinks and makes it harder to run.
But with a tight end detached from the line, you have more running lanes and also more passing opportunities. With tight ends in the game they have to still be concerned about the run. You can’t block a tight end with a cornerback and you can’t cover a tight end with a linebacker.
Coach Rodrigue also chimed in by noting that defensive coaches want to know, first off, what personnel are in the game. When a defensive coach first hears that they have two tight ends in the game they immediately think that they will be attached to the line and think run. But the South Alabama offense, by utilizing tight ends the way they do, they can pretty much do anything they want. USA can line up with two tight ends but an empty backfield.
With such a good running game, the tight end can easily get open for a pass on a play action pass.
A person emailed a question about the last two games and the Jags being 1-for-20 on 3rd down conversions. Coach Jones didn’t know about the stat but did say that they got quite conservative in the red zone and need to try to do that better.
Coach Jones previews some information about UC-Davis. They are a really good, sound football team. They won their conference last year and picked to win it again this year. They beat Stanford a couple years ago. Defensively they play really hard. While they may not be as athletic as some of the teams that USA has played, he said that they played better as a team. Special teams are good and limit turnovers. They aren’t going to make mistakes and give you the game. You have to go out there and beat them.
UC-Davis is really efficient throwing the ball, but they are trying to find a running game. Sometimes they run it well but it’s not consistent. When you are not balanced, teams try to exploit that and that’s what has happened to the Aggies.
Coach Rodrigue attributes their good practices and success in games to practicing early in the morning. He thinks they are wide eyed and haven’t gone through a day to have stuff lingering in their mind from a normal day of class and stuff. They are out there focused on football. Good practices leads to good games.
Someone asked how competitive the coaches think we would be against a Division I-A team. Obviously we have a ways to go to be competitive against the BCS schools but Coach Rodrigue thinks we could be competitive against some Division I teams, including being competitive in the Sun Belt. He thought our Achilles heel would be our lack of depth. Experience and depth would be negatives for our team.
The Jaguar offensive line lines up against the Lamar defense. They helped Kendall Houston rush for 166 yards, the new single game record for Jaguar running backs, and did not allow a sack in the game.
South Alabama went on the road to Beaumont, Texas to begin their season-defining three game stretch and came home with a big win and a huge statement, 26-0. The Lamar Cardinals had averaged just over 341 yards per game but were held to a season low of 161 yards of total offense as the Jaguar defense came out ready for a big fight.
The Jags were quite conservative with their play calling in the game. After losing your first string running back to a season ending ACL tear, it was good play calling on Coach Gregory and Coach Jones’ part. While the scoreboard did not show what the Jaguar faithful were used to, it was definitely a resounding win.
The defense would score the only touchdown in the first half and the offense would only score one touchdown in the game. The rest of the scoring rested on the foot of Lawson McGlon who was officially 4-for-5 in the game but did make a kick that was nullified by a penalty. So a position that, at the beginning of the season, looked like it could lose a close game turned out to be the one that put the game out of reach.
“We sputtered somewhat on offense when we got the ball into the red zone, but we moved the ball well between the 30s,” said Coach Joey Jones after the game. “We had to settle for four field goals, but when you’re on the road sometimes that happens. I’m really proud of Kendall and the way he came in for Brandon after we lost him last week. He really stepped up and ran like a Division I running back tonight.”
“We know that UC Davis is a very good team. They’ve beaten San Jose State and won their conference last year,” Coach Jones stated on their upcoming opponent. “They’re a very sound team, we are going to have to go out to California and see what we’ve got. But, our kids are real excited about that. We’re trying to take this thing with baby steps, and we’ve taken some big steps already. It’s a great win, but where we stand I don’t know. At the end of the year I think we’ll be able to look back and see where we are as a team. All I know is that we came on the road, and were on the bus for six hours. The kids did a great job being focused, and we played a great ballgame. It’s a big win for our program.”
“You have to play great defense on the road, and we did that tonight,” Coach Jones commented. “I’m real proud of the staff and players. They played lights out tonight. They knew this was their first big challenge, and answered that call.”
The Jaguars did not come out of the game unscathed. Unfortunately Chris Brunson suffered a broken ankle in the first half of the game against Lamar and will be out for the remainder of the season. Brunson was also a backup to Trey Clark, the center, who suffered a sprained ankle but should be okay. Coach Jones will probably try Brian Krauskopf in practice until Clark’s ankle is better and to give him experience in case he is needed in a game situation.
The Jags travel to Davis, California to face the Aggies of UC-Davis in a 4pm (Central, 2pm Pacific) game against their second of three consecutive FCS teams and their second in a row on the road. For a more detailed breakdown of the game, continue below.
Brennan Sim leads the Jaguar offense in the second half against Nicholls State.
South Alabama will meet it’s second big test of the 2010 season, and their biggest test to date, when they travel to Beaumont, Texas to play Lamar University on Saturday, October 16th. Lamar, like South Alabama, is a new program. They are re-starting their football program which ended competition in 1989.
Head Coach Joey Jones commented on Lamar by saying, “When you turn the tape on and watch Lamar, what you see is a bunch of really good athletes. They have done a good job recruiting from the junior college ranks in Texas and all over. Their staff has done a good job of pulling in some immediate talent.”
Their first game of the season was a loss at McNeese State who was then ranked number 11 in the NCAA FCS. They came from behind to defeat Southeastern Louisiana, who in turn upset nationally ranked Texas State just a week ago. Their other losses were to Stephen F. Austin (ranked 5th) and Sam Houston State, both of which are among the three teams still undefeated in the Southland Conference.
Coach Jones also said, “When you look at what they do offensively, they are a quick-strike, big-play team. They have a really good quarterback who is very accurate, he can scramble around and make plays. And they have some great receivers who are tall and can run. Lamar really knows what it is doing scheme-wise, offensively. It looks like last week, they really tried to run the ball more, and did a very good job of that. I think it’s helped their football team from a balance standpoint.”
One of their standout players is Receiver J.J. Hayes who has 31 catches for 372 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Next in line is Marcus Jackson who has 27 catches for 557 yards and five touchdowns. These two receivers account for over 50% of the passing yards for the team. However Hayes was injured in one of their games recently when his face mask was pushed into his neck causing a neck and throat injury. He returned to practice today but his availability for Saturday’s game in unknown currently.
Last week, the Cardinals rushed for 147 yards in their win, which is just nearly 100 yards more than their season average of 53.5 yards per game. However, their defense has been giving up an average of 410 yards per game while the Jags have averaged 447.4 yards per game.
Coach Jones continued about their game with Lamar by saying, “We’re excited about the game and going on the road. It looks like a great environment to be in after watching it on film, our kids are looking forward to that.”
The Jags have been a little beat up lately with some nagging injuries on the offensive line, but some of them should be in better shape this week. However the most overshadowing injury to date was the loss of running back Brandon Ross to a season ending ACL tear.
The Jags kickoff against Lamar on Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas at 6pm.
See below for Lamar by the numbers.
South Alabama Rugby is up and running at full throttle.
The men’s team will be sending participants to the Deep South Selections Camp to tryout for the Deep South Collegiate XV’s All-star squad. The selected few will represent the Deep South Rugby Union as they compete against other regions over the next year.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been working hard to prepare for their matches. South Men’s will open their first season with a match at Spring Hill College at 12pm on Saturday Oct. 30th, and both teams will compete in the 32nd Annual Battleship Rugby Tournament at the USS Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama (November 13-14, 2010)