Monday press conference previewing Georgia State

October 18, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

Jaguars taking the field vs UT-Martin

Anton Graphenreed joined head coach Joey Jones for Monday’s press conference at the University of South Alabama Football Fieldhouse.

Coach Jones opened the press conference with the following statement reflecting back on the Jags win over UT-Martin. “I thought our kids were extremely ready to play. They came out from the first play mentally, physically and emotionally ready to go. When you do that you’ve got a chance, and that was our challenge to them the last two weeks. We played a really good football team, in the first half I think our offense had it 48 plays and their offense had it 20 plays. We did all we could do to keep it away from their offense. Our defense came out and played great, and our offense kept it away from them in the first half, which was the difference in the half. We continued that in the third quarter and played really well, but in the fourth quarter their offense showed what it can do. They have a really good offense and scored 17 points in the quarter to make it a real close game there at the end.”

“I was real proud of our guys, I thought we played the game very well. We could’ve wrapped it up a little better, but as far as the way we played, I was extremely proud of that.”

Coach Jones commented on the homecoming crowd that was present for the game on Saturday. “It was a great crowd. One of the most exciting parts was getting off the bus when we went to the Jaguar Prowl, it’s probably the biggest crowd we have had for that since I’ve been here. They [the players] were excited, and the fans were very excited. The one thing our kids continue to do , they’re shaking hands and hugging little girls and having a good time walking through, it’s been a great tradition for us that I think will only get better and better as time goes on.”

When asked how well the defense played in the first three quarters, coach Jones answered with the following statement. “I think the whole team played well. The defense played real well, we stopped what they did well running the football, and that’s where you start trying to stop an offense. The stretch play — which is an outside running play — we did a great job of stopping that, and that was the best play they had in their offense. When they didn’t have that anymore, they had to resort to something else which I think helped. And again, offensively, keeping the ball away from them, running the clock, getting the third-and-twos and making it to move the ball as methodically down the field as possible; that’s the kind of team we are. And we didn’t have any turnovers. If we don’t have any, we have a chance to play with anybody.”

Coach Jones then began talking about this weekend’s contest in Atlanta against Georgia State. “As far as Georgia State, it all starts with the head coach. Bill Curry is a great football coach and a great man. They’re putting a program together like we are and have recruited some really good, athletic players. I have all the respect in the world for their coaching staff.”

“Offensively, quarterback Drew Little really makes them go. He gave us a hard time last year, completing a lot of passes. He’s a big guy, a Roethlisberger-type who is 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and can really deliver the ball. They’ve got two more quarterbacks that they’ve rotated into games, so you really don’t know what to prepare for other than to prepare for all of them. I think they are more athletic than they were on defense last year, they’ve done a good job recruiting real tall, rangy athletic guys. They run a lot of different looks, they’re real hard to prepare for from a standpoint of what we’re going to do so we have to cut our game plan down some offensively to be able to attack all the looks they have.”

Coach Jones was then asked what Georgia State does offensively that might concern him. “The biggest thing is the multiplicity of it, they have Kelton Hill who is a great runner and a good thrower, Drew Little is more of a thrower and not a runner, then you’ve got Schlechter, who is a combination of the two. The difficulty is being able to have plans when those guys come in the game, and our guys realizing when they come in and making adjustments accordingly.”

Another question asked about playing in a domed stadium again, the Jags won their previous experience in a dome against UT-San Antonio in double overtime. “That was a great atmosphere we played in at San Antonio. Our kids liked it, they really did. It was a little difficult to communicate with the crowd as loud as it was, but the kids really liked the atmosphere. I think they are very excited about going to the Georgia Dome, a lot of them haven’t been there so it will be the first time for most of them playing in the dome. It’s a great place and it’s their Homecoming so I would think they have a good crowd there as well.”

Jaguar cornerback Anton Graphenreed commented on the defensive performance in the first half against the Skyhawks. He said that they “We pretty much just stuck to what we practiced all week. I think we held on to our fundamentals a lot longer this game, especially in the first half. Everything was just dominant from the snap of the ball. I just wish we could have come out in the fourth quarter and put the nail in the coffin, but that’s something that we just have to work on and stay on each other about not letting up because no one is going to let up on us.”

Graphenreed also mentioned that this weekends game will be a bit of a homecoming for him being from Georgia. Lots of his family and friends will be there for the game. He also has experience in the Georgia Dome twice in high school.

He also said that last years game was similar to the last weekends game against UT-Martin. He said that the Jags jumped out early but didn’t finish well. He wants to make sure that they go out and not let up this weekend.

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