Monday press conference reflecting on Lamar, Looking ahead to NC State

September 13, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 
Offensive Line

Coach Turner working with the Offensive line between drives.

On Monday South Alabama head coach Joey Jones and two players participated in their Monday press conference recapping the Lamar victory and their trip to Raleigh, North Carolina for their first game against an FBS opponent.

Similar to Coach Jones post game comments, he reiterated that he thought the team played well overall. But that there are always things that can be worked on. He was pleased with the intensity and how physical the team played as well. Also, he thought the team played smart by not turning the ball over unlike last week when the Jags turned the ball over four times in the first half.

Coach Jones then turned towards the next game against North Carolina State. He mentioned their quarterback whis is 6’6″ with a strong arm. They also have good play makers outside with a good running back and big offensive linemen. Defensively, they also have good players and are well coached.

Coach Jones spoke about the team facing it’s first FBS team. “I think the biggest difference is that we’re going into a stadium that will probably have 60- to 70,000 people at the game,” said Coach Jones. “The crowd noise can be a different factor. Obviously we have never been in front of a crowd the size of the one that could end up being at the game. We’re going to make sure we get the crowd noise playing during practice to try and mimic that as much as we can so we’ll be used to it. Other than that, our preparation will be the same. We prepare for every game the same way. Our kids are excited about playing in an environment like that. I think that anytime you have a game like this, the emotional level is always going to be up. You want to go out and gain the respect of whoever you play against. Our goal each week is to gain the respect of our opponents by how hard and smart we play, and by the discipline with which we play.”

Both tight end Kevin Helms and linebacker Jake Johnson said that they are preparing for NC State just like they would any other game. They are not going to treat them special and they are not deviate from what has gotten them to the point they are now.

Kevin Helms spoke about what this game means to the South Alabama program. “It will show us who we really are and what kind of teammates we have on our team. We’ll see who has the heart and who is really a football player. This will either make us or break us. I hope the recruits and fans can see what kind of a team we are. Coach Jones preaches ‘be physical, be tough and be nasty,’ and hopefully we can go out and show everybody what kind of team we are.”

Talking about the differences between NC State and previous teams that South Alabama has faced, Jake Johnson said, “The biggest thing when you play a team like that is how they execute during a game. We’ve played some good teams since I’ve been here at South Alabama, but when you play a team like North Carolina State, their execution is going to be perfect. I like that better because I can read their linemen better. That’s the biggest thing for me, everything is smoother because they’re so well coached.”

He continued speaking about the difference preparing for a team like NC State and the expected crowd. “It will be nice playing in front of a huge crowd. I haven’t played in front of 60- or 70,000 people in awhile. But that’s the only thing that will really be different. It will be nice playing in a great atmosphere.”

Helms also spoke about the difference preparing for NC State and the crowd. “I’ve never played in front of a big crowd, except here in Mobile. I came from a junior college, where there aren’t a lot of people watching and the same in high school. The big difference will be how loud N.C. State’s fans will be. Noise really makes a difference, you can have stupid penalties if it’s real loud. Hopefully we’ll go through practice this week and prepare for it.”

South Alabama and NC State kicks off at 5pm central time (6pm eastern) and will be televised on ESPN3.com with radio coverage by WNSP on WNSP.com and 105.5 FM.

Go Jags!

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