Happy Thanksgiving Jag Nation

November 24, 2011 · By · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

Men’s Basketball defeats LSU in Overtime

November 23, 2011 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags overcame a 12 point deficit to defeat LSU in overtime in Baton Rouge on Wednesday night.

Augustine Rubit was the leading scorer for the Jags with 20, a season high. While Xavier Roberson added 19, a career high also. Antoine Lundy, another career high with 13 points. While Javier Carter had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

South Alabama’s run started in the final eight minutes of the second half after LSU took the lead by a score of 61-50. They Jags then scored seven consecutive points. The run would be ended with a field goal by LSU but the Jags would tie the game at 63 after two baskets by Lundy and another by Carter.

Rubit would give the Jags the lead with 3:01 left in the second half, it’s first lead since the first half. The teams would exchange baskets before LSU would sink two foul shots to pull ahead 67-66 with 2:13 left in the second half. Two more foul shots would extend the LSU lead to three points.

Freddie Goldstein would make one free throw with about 18 seconds left in the second half. The Jags would maintain possession after he would miss the second shot, but the ball would go out of bounds on LSU. Goldstein would then tie the game at the buzzer on a jumper sending the game into overtime tied at 69.

Carter would give the Jags the lead in overtime after sinking two foul shots. But LSU would make two foul shots to counter, but Roberson would hit two key baskets. Rubit would seal the game with a field goal with 24 seconds left in the overtime period for your final score of USA 79 – LSU 75.

South Alabama returns to the hardwood on Wednesday, November 30 when they host UAB at the Mitchell Center for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff. Come out and support your Jags!

Monday November 21, 2011 press conference

November 22, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Captains Jon Griffin, Paul Bennett, Anton Graphenreed and Kevin Helms at mid-field for the pre-game coin toss.

Head coach Joey Jones along with senior cornerback Anton Graphenreed spoke to the media on Monday to reflect on Saturday’s loss to Cal Poly as well as the entire 2011 season.

Coach Jones said that he had mixed emotions about the season in his opening statement: “Looking back at the season, there are mixed emotions about it. We did some good things, and we probably could have done some things better. Obviously that last game didn’t end up on a good note. That’s the first time since I have been here that we got whipped up like that. They (Cal Poly) are a very good football team and we knew it. When you look at the season ahead of time – the N.C. State, Kent State and Cal Poly games – you knew they would be tough games to win. But I thought it was a good season. Our seniors have done a good job of leading this team, and I am proud of those guys.”

“We do have some work to do in the offseason. I told the kids this morning that we have great challenges ahead of us – 13 ballgames and 12 of them are Division-I programs. Obviously that’s where we want to go, and we knew where we were going and that it is going to be a challenge. I think somehow and some way this last game reminds me of what we need to do to get back to where we were fundamentally, and that means getting after it and being extremely tough – tough mentally and physically. That starts in the offseason, and we’re going to get that done.”

“I think when you win a lot of ballgames sometimes you soften up a little bit. I don’t think we got soft, but I do think there was a point where we didn’t cross every T and dot every I like we were two years ago. So we have to fight through that, especially with what we have coming up the next couple of years. We’re going to find some leaders and some discipline in our program. We obviously had too many turnovers this year, and we can’t win ballgames with that. Things like that are where we have to be a more disciplined football team, and we’re going to start working on that next Monday.”

When asked about the most important thing to focus on now that the season is over, Coach Jones said: “We want to focus on discipline. For the most part, it was a year where we didn’t play well but it was because of our mistakes and discipline. We have to correct that. The second thing is I think we have to develop more leadership as we go. We have freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are going to move up a class, and they have to learn to lead. We’re going to develop leadership in the offseason by the way we handle our workouts and by the way we approach everything. Those two areas are probably the biggest things we are going to focus on. We’ll obviously look at X’s and O’s as a staff, but I’m more concerned about the other two.”

Coach Jones answered a follow up question about developing leadership. “Most people say leaders are born, that they don’t develop that much in their lifetime. I disagree with that somewhat. We’re going to put the expectation on them now that they have to lead for next year. I told them this morning that we have until next August to develop leadership and discipline. If we can do that and we can put that expectation on them, then we will have some guys rise up. I also think we have to put them in situations where they can lead. In the offseason, that’s all you have. But the way we develop those guys is in offseason workouts, and that’s going to be a real critical time for us. One thing we’re going to do different is when we (coaching staff) get back off the road, the coaches are going to get back in that weight room. We’re going to be in there and motivate those guys. (Strength and conditioning head) Coach (Justin) Schwind is doing a great job already, but I think our staff needs to be in there as well, and that’s one thing I’m going to change.”

Anton Graphenreed’s opening statement: “The season didn’t really go as planned, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great program. I enjoy being around my teammates and coaches. There were a lot of mental errors, and those are things that can be fixed. The team is young and has a lot of growing to do, and I think they will do that.”

“There are a lot of people who have stepped up tremendously, and all they are going to do is keep getting better. Like I said, the season didn’t go as planned but we learned from it. And I think that will help going into next year. It will let them (the team) know that there are more things that need to be worked on, even when everyone else is resting. That’s just a personal commitment that each and every one of these players need to make and live by it. I believe they will do it, and next year will be a lot better. It’s going to be a lot tougher, but my teammates will rise to the challenge. I trust and believe in that.”

Finally Graphenreed spoke about what is next for him now that his collegiate football career is over. “I really don’t know what God has in store for me. I’m just going to keep training and working hard, and graduate. Whatever opportunity arises, I will jump on it. But for right now, I have to prepare myself for any opportunity. I’m not going to just sit around and wait on anything.”

Jags vs Cal Poly gameday, Senior Day

November 19, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

It’s senior day at Ladd-Peebles Stadium as the Jaguars host the Cal Poly Mustangs.
Thirteen seniors will be honored before the game.

#2 Jereme Roberts CB, #5 Paul Bennett TE, #7 Lamontis Gardner WR, #12 Kevin Helms TE, #14 Anton Graphenreed CB, #19 Coleman Hornaday S, #19 Jordan Means PK, #26 Donte Rome WR, #51 Chris Brunson OL, #54 Jon Griffin OL, #64 Ryan Norris OL, #69 Brian Krauskopf OL and #85 Robby Stoner TE.

These seniors came to South Alabama to build a program. They bought into a vision, because nothing existed. They played hard and they won. These guys will forever be known as the foundation and cornerstone of the South Alabama Jaguar football team. They join the first senior class who were honored a year ago in that presitgous group.

Thank you for your hard work, dedication and most of all your willingness to share a vision with the coaches, the school and the fans.

The game will kick off at 4pm and will be broadcast locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com.

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-11-15

November 17, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian are joined by Jinni Frisbey, Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine.

The outgoing seniors will be missed, they came into this program and knew they would not be playing for bowl games or conference championships but still came in and worked hard. They showed the young players how to practice and how to prepare.

Orthopedic Group injury report: Jereme Jones has been recovering well and could be ready to play on Saturday. B.J. Scott injured his knee against Georgia State and will not play due to a partially torn ligament in his knee. Bryson James has a lower back injury from the weight room and the will miss the game due to precautionary reasons. Demetre Baker dislocated his shoulder against MVSU and has rehabbed very well and will be able to play some this weekend.

Lee asked if this has been a better than average year for injuries which she agreed with. The players have played through some injuries but overall the injury list has been shorter than others and they hope it will continue this way.

Fuego Restaurant’s Who’s Hot segment: Coach Jones was a little off guard by Lee’s question for a most valuable player on offense and defense for the Jags. He said that would be hard to say but he would have to go with the tight ends because their play is so critical for the offense. Defensively he mentioned team leader in tackles Jake Johnson and Romelle Jones as two players. He also mentioned Charles Harris but said that they have many possible MVP’s on both sides of the ball.

Caller asked about an update on Brandon Ross again and since Coach Jones said that the triple option is the best offense, why isn’t South Alabama running that offense. Jinni started with an update on Brandon and his ACL tear. He also had to have another surgery on his MCL which is unusual. He has been out practicing and is looking good but will not play this year.

As for the triple offense question, Coach Jones answered. He said it was the best designed offense because you don’t have to block two people and have double teams on some the other players. Coach Jones said they want to get to some of elements of that offense. Some teams have changed it up some to run it from the shotgun. Jones also said he has run the shotgun variation of it some at the high school level. But right now they have a throwing quarterback who can still run some but were scared to get him hurt this year and will look at adding some elements of it to the offense next year.

Another caller asked if Kendall Houston is a senior, which he is not. He is a redshirt freshman this year and will still has three years of eligibility left.

Jinni spoke on the radio show later that USA has 11 certified trainers which is the most in the conference. Plus they have five athletic training facilities where most schools only have one or two. Also Jinni spoke about what happens on gameday. When a player comes off the field and needs to see a trainer, she lets the position coach know and keeps them well informed about what is going on. If they are getting evaluated, taped or need to go to the locker room, she is finding the position coaches and letting them know the status of that player.

 

Jags face tough test in Cal Poly

November 16, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Turner with the offensive line, including several key seniors who will be graduating.

South Alabama’s second Senior Day will recognize 14 student-athletes playing in their final collegiate game on Saturday. The final regular season game for both schools.

But it will not be an easy contest for the Jaguars. While Cal Poly’s record is 5-5 on the season, with two of the losses against FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools and their most recent loss coming to Eastern Washington, the defending FCS (formerly Division I-AA) champion 53-51 in triple-overtime.

The Jaguar defense has not allowed a touchdown in the last eight quarters and currently ranks 20th in FCS by only allowing an average of 19.6 points per game and are among the top 12 nationally in pass (168.9 yards per game average) and total defense (302 yards per game on average).

Cal Poly will bring their unique mixture of triple and spread option attack to Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They average 257.7 rushing yards per game, which is 7th in FCS. They average 31.5 points per game as well.

The Cal Poly quarterback Andre Broadous has rushed for 617 yards and 17 touchdowns while also going 92-of-159 passing attempts for 1,085 yards and eight touchdowns. Jake Romanelli has gained 966 yards and seven touchdowns rushing as well. Mark Rodgers has rushed for another 468 yards and Deonte Williams has added 357 yards as well. All three are averaging over four yards per rush.

Defensively, Cal Poly is giving up an average of 415 yards per game and 32 points per game. They also give up an average of 279.8 yards per game passing.

Jordan Means is tied for 19th in the nation in FCS averaging 1.33  field goals per game and 65th in the nation in scoreing with 6.44 points per game. While Scott Garber is 13th in the nation with a 42 yards per punt average with two downed inside the 20 yard line in three of the last four games.

Kickoff at Ladd-Peebles Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Jaguar Prowl is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. at the south side of the stadium with the gates opening at 2 p.m.

The Jaguar Seniors will be recognized at 3:35 p.m., 25 minutes before kickoff.

Monday press conference November 15 2011

November 15, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar defense lines us against MVSU.

South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones is joined by cornerback Anton Graphenreed and tight end Kevin Helms for schools Monday press conference.

Coach Jones kicked it off with his opening statement. “We have a very good football team coming in this week, they might be the best team that’s played in Ladd-Peebles Stadium against us in my opinion. It’s a very disciplined team that runs the triple option, which always presents problems. To me, it’s still the best offense ever invented because basically — without getting too deep into it — at the side of attack there are two guys you don’t have to block, so you create double teams for everybody else. Thank goodness we’ve had some time to work on it over the last couple of weeks, I don’t know how you do it when you have just one week to prepare for an offense like this.”

“They run the football a lot, but they are very diverse in what they do running it, so it will be a big challenge for our defense. They are averaging 31.5 points and 257 yards rushing per game, so they are obviously very sound. Their quarterback [Andre] Broadus runs the ship very well, and he can also throw it which creates problems as well. [Jake] Romanelli is a big, imposing fullback and is their leading rusher averaging about 100 yard per game. Needless to say, we have a challenge defensively.”

“Offensively we are going up a very sound football team up and down the line of scrimmage, they are really coached well and have good football players. In the secondary they’ve got a start in Asa Jackson; a lot of NFL teams are looking hard at him, from what I hear he is going to be a draft pick.”

“Their kicker has most of his kickoffs go to the end zone, which creates problems when you start your offense on the 20-yard line every time; that’s a big weapon for them.”

When asked on whether Cal Poly is similar to anyone the Jags have faced this season, Coach Jones answered, “No, they are just totally different. The analogy would be to look at the service academies or Georgia Tech with what they do offensively. They are very disciplined an know what they are doing.”

The next question posed to Coach Jones was about the senior class. “The seniors, in my opinion, have been as crucial to the success of this football program as anything that you could think of. You can talk about facilities or a lot of different things that we’ve done to get this program going, but these seniors have come in and paid a dear price. They have done things the right way — we always talk about fundamentally building a strong foundation — and their leadership has been tremendous.

“I think we will go on for years and years because of what they have done the last three seasons, so my hat is off to them for what they have done for this program.”

Coach Jones then spoke about how important is is to end the season on a good note. “You always want to end the season on a good note, I think that is very important because I always think it kind of carries over to the next year. I don’t know if it’s any different than any other year, I just think the fact that these guys have been working their tails off and these seniors who have been around for three years — the guys who helped start this program — I’m sure they don’t want to leave on a bad note. And our younger guys want to send them off on a good note because they appreciate what those guys have done.”

“Our guys have been focused last week and this week, they understand we have a real good team coming in here and it’s going to take all we can do to beat them.”

Senior cornerback Anton Graphenreed spoke about playing his final collegiate game. “It really means a lot to me. I have put in a lot of time and my teammates have as well, especially the guys who came in with me. We worked really hard and tried to give our all this season. I just want to go out on a good note and leave one more lasting impression on the younger guys so they can carry that with them throughout their careers.”

Graphenreed spoke about the importance to him and the team about finishing undefeated at home in your career. “It’s extremely important because we work really hard to say that we never lost period. Things happen and that’s life, but we could always hang our hats on the fact that no one could say they came into our house and took it. When you say this is your home and you have great fans – we have awesome fans – you just don’t want to disappoint. I just want to continue that tradition, going out with another win at home and making sure that lasts for a very long time.”

Graphenreed next spoke about preparing for a run-oriented offense. “Our scout team is great. They prepare us for every game, and they work hard and keep bringing their all to practice. We need the closest thing to the real thing as possible before we get to the game. You don’t want to just go through the motions at practice and then you’re shocked when the game begins because you aren’t ready for it. But there is a lot of preparation that goes into it.”

Senior tight end Kevin Helms spoke about his final collegiate game as well. “It means a lot to me as well. When anything comes to an end in your life, you know you’re going to miss it no matter how hard it was. I am going to miss it every day, I’m sure. But all we can do is go out there and get this one last win to help the program out as much as we can before we are gone. I love my teammates, so of course I want to win.”

Helms also spoke about the importance of finishing undefeated at home in his career. “I like the streak of not being beaten at home. It makes you feel good – like no one can come into your house and mess around with you. You don’t like having that feeling that someone can come push you around. I would like to keep a goose egg in the loss column.”

Helms also spoke about the state of the program when he arrived. “When I got here it wasn’t much of anything. I came from a junior college that won a national championship my freshman year. I only lost two games in two years. Then when I came here in the beginning, you hardly had anyone who was going to be a college athlete. There were a few that were there and some are still here, but most of them are gone. I knew it was going to be better. But the first season we played, we were just a completely different team. We had a lot of good athletes, and we played good football. Then we got more transfers in the next year, and we had some freshmen come in and it was even better. We were just confident. And this third year, it has been even better. We have had some injuries along the way, but we have improved 100 percent every year, and I can only imagine that it will keep improving with the coaches recruiting and all of our facilities. It has been a fun experience. I love playing football, and I love playing here. It is a great place with great coaches who really do care about you. And we have great fans – people always show up to the games.”

South Alabama will host Cal Poly on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4 p.m. This Senior Day game will be aired locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com depending on your ISP for access.

Basketball Season tips off this weekend

November 11, 2011 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

South Alabama Men’s basketball team starts their season on Saturday in Starkville Mississippi against Mississippi State University. Tipoff is scheduled for 1pm.

The University of Alabama football team will be playing MSU later in the day, so tune into WNSP 105.5 at 1pm for the Jaguars basketball game, then you can tune in to ESPN at 6:45pm for kickoff of the Crimson Tide.

Unfortunately Auburn’s football game will overlap the end of the Jags basketball game since their game is scheduled to kickoff at 2:30pm in Athens Georgia and will be broadcast on CBS.

South Alabama also announced two players signing with the Men’s basketball team for next season. Antoine Allen is a 6’1″, 185 pound guard currently attending Palm Beach State Junior College. He originally signed with Miami FL and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Delvin Dickerson is a 6’5″ 200 pound forward and currently attends Westbury Christian High School in Houston Texas. He will be a freshman next year at South Alabama.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-11-08

November 9, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Head coach Joey Jones was joined by coach John Turner and host Lee Shirvanian for his radio show on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

They have already started preparing for Cal Poly. The team is practicing three days this week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) then the coaches will be recruiting Thursday and Friday. The players will have Thursday, Friday and Saturday off before getting back in and starting back in game week mode.

The extra three days of practice will be a huge help for the team, especially for the defense as they have to prepare to defend the triple option. It’s an offense that you don’t see often anymore. Kids don’t see it in high school any more nor do you see in the college game much either. I wrote an article about basics in defending the triple option you can read by following this link.

They are working on fundamentals and are really focusing on special teams fundamentals. This week they have really broken down the special teams fundamentally this week and Coach Jones can see results.

Lee posed a question to Coach Turner about the offensive line preparation for Cal Poly. Coach Turner said that they have seen several 4-3 base defenses this year and over the past couple years so they are ready fundamentally. So they will repeat some of the game plans that they have installed already this year as well as any other plans they think are needed for this game.

In The Orthopedic Group’s injury update segment Coach Jones said that B.J. Scott is still recovering from his knee injury and is listed as doubtful for the game. Jereme Jones, who hurt his shoulder against Henderson State, is currently listed as questionable (50/50) but is looking better each day. Gabe Loper who left the game against MVSU with a hamstring issue will probably be ready by game time. Finally Bryson James has slowed with a back injury but is doing well and has more than a 50% shot at playing but will only list him as questionable right now.

Lee asked for another update on Brandon Ross’ status. He was at practice where he had been running and is looking pretty good. However he said that he is probably 75-80% and thought if they had pushed him harder, he probably would have been ready to play in the final game but there was no need to hurry his recovery just to play in one game and risk re-injuring his knee. They are focused on getting his well and ready for next season.

Lee mentioned their depth and running back and how injuries this season had thinned out the stable. Coach Jones said that Keels playing time was necessitated because of injuries at running back.

A caller asked if Coach Jones preferred playing in a divisional format with a conference championship or would be prefer something like the Big12 has where each school plays each other and have a conference champion coming out from that. Coach JOnes answered that he preferred the divisional format with a conference championship.

He actually talked to the team recently about something like that. This is their third season without anything to really play for beyond an undefeated season. It’s hard preparing for each game without a goal to strive for.

Next season that changes somewhat as they are playing in the Sun Belt Conference but will not be eligible for the conference championship nor will they be eligible for a bowl game. But they do have a bowl like trip to end the season at Hawaii to strive for. But they will be able to directly compare themselves to other teams in the conference. He guarantees that if they win more games than anyone else, they may not be recognized by the conference, but they will be recognized by the school.

Another listener called in about kickoff times and how they relate to Alabama and Auburn with their TV games. Coach Jones they talk about kickoff times alot in the offseason. He could not care what time they kick off beyond what is best for the fans. They don’t want 11am kickoffs because they have such a great tailgating presence and they don’t to do anything to hurt that.

Next year game times will be more fluid due to conference scheduling, TV and other outside factors. Coach Jones is worried about the quick turnarounds as they are starting to play Tuesday night games on ESPN. He does not want to play a Saturday game and have to turn around and play Tuesday. Or Play on a Tuesday and turn around for a Saturday game.

An email question asked if they would be able to sign a few JuCo players and be able to back sign them to this past recruiting season. Coach Jones said that they can and they will. They want several for offensive line and secondary players.

Lee asked if the offensive line was going to be the hardest hit group from graduation. Coach Jones said that they are the only graduating players on the team pretty much. They will be losing Brian Krauskopf, Jon Griffin and Chris Brunson, all starters on the offensive line. Jon Griffin has started every game since he has been at South Alabama. Two more players they are losing are Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms, which amounts to a lot of experience and ability.

Coach Jones is very confident in the leadership and ability in the players they have recruited. They can see their leadership and they will have a chance to step up and make a difference.

Other players that are Seniors are corner backs Jeremy Roberts and Anton Graphenreed, Safety Coleman Hornaday, Placekicker Jordan Means, offensive lineman Ryan Norris and wide receivers Lamontis Gardner and Donte Rome.

Lee asked how many offensive lineman they are targeting for this recruiting class. Both coaches answered that they are looking to sign seven to eight offensive linemen this time. They will be addressing that need with some JuCo players as well as several high school signees.

Coach Jones jumped in and said that their plan, which has been very successful so far, they have been very careful about who they sign. They didn’t sign just to have numbers, they signed a calculated number of players and thus they will be able sign over 20-24 scholarship players instead of the 10 that they would have been able to sign otherwise.

An email question about balancing money games against playing other teams to help get to a bowl game. Coach Jones said that they will have to play some money games for the financial stability of the program. But they hope to have some good scheduled games like Navy. But they were very fortunate to get teams like NC State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State to come to Mobile for games, but they lost some financially in doing that. But what they lose there, they gain with exposure and things for the area.

Lee asked if he could ever see a time when Alabama or Auburn could be on the Jags schedule. Coach Jones said that he could see a time when that could happen.

Rounding out the show, they had the Fuego Who’s Hot segment and asked who are the most improved players this season. Coach Turner said that Brian Krauskopf would be one that he would single out as the most improved this season in technique. Younger guys have gotten better as well and he named Tremain Smith, Shawn Artz and Drew Dearman out of the young guys that have really improved. Coach Jones said that Gabe Loper has really improved and come one this season. He did not begin the season as a starter but jumped in there when needed and has really improved. They started him at safety but they think he is more natural at corner back. Since moving back there he seems to have grown more comfortable there and settled in nicely.

Monday press conference for November 7

November 8, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Center Trey Clark and the offense make adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

Coach Jones was joined by offensive lineman Trey Clark for their Monday press conference. They reflected on the Jaguars win over Mississippi Valley State and previewed the Jags final game of the season against Cal Poly on November 19.

“I think it [the weekend] was a good break for our players and our staff to just get away from football for a couple of days,” said Coach Jones in his opening statement. “The players came back refreshed, and that was good. As far as the Mississippi Valley State game, I thought we played well. We had a really good first half, and we got a lot of guys playing time in the second half. We’re looking forward to (the) Cal Poly (game). We know they are a great football team, but one thing we are focusing on this week is fundamentals. We are going to practice for three days in pads, and have some physical practice and work fundamentals. We’ll also put the game plan in, but the big focus the next three days is getting better fundamentally. We’re excited about it. One thing our players have talked about is that we have had a good year, and we want to finish strong. The way you finish strong is by practicing hard and doing your part in practice, and then the games take care of themselves.”

In reply to a question about what Coach Jones would like to see after two consecutive wins, he answered. “We just want to finish strong, and that’s the biggest thing. We have played well all year. We had some issues in some games and some mistakes, but we played well all year. I want to finish on a good note. We have some seniors who came and started this program three years ago, and I want to send them off on a good note as well. They have done a lot for this program.”

Coach Jones then spoke about Cal Poly. “On the offensive side of the ball they run the triple option, which is what coach Bryant used to run in the 70s and 80s. It is a very good offense and very tough to defend. People have a hard time stopping it because it is the best offense put together in my opinion. On paper it is the very best one because you don’t have to block two people on the side of attack. If you read one and are pitching off of another, you’re basically double-teaming everywhere else. There’s just no other offense that can do that. It’s very tough to defend. Our kids don’t see it very much at all. I think it is hard to prepare for a game like that in one week, so us having two weeks to prepare helps. It gives us three extra days to work on that, and I am thankful that we do because they are very good offensively. Defensively, they are very sound and fundamental. They have strong guys up front. They don’t do a lot of things on the defensive side of the ball; they are just sound in what they do and are very well-coached.”

Coach Jones was then asked about remaining undefeated at home. “That’s always in the back of your mind, but we can’t get caught up in all of that. We know that what happens on the practice field creates success on Saturdays. We just worry about that. We have to do what is needed to get prepared for this team. It is a very good football team. UC-Davis beat them last week, and we know how good of a team they are. It took all we could do to beat them last year. They play very good football, so we just have to get ready.”

Coach Jones also spoke about Trey Clark’s importance to the program. “When you start on offense, you start with your center. Trey has been the core of our offensive line. He is very smart; he makes all of our checks and calls. He cares about it and is passionate about this team. He is a guy who has that much of what I call guts inside of him. He has the want-to to do it. He is a little undersized, but he plays big in the game and we can win with guys like Trey Clark – there’s no doubt in my mind.”

Clark spoke with the media about having another off week. “We will take this opportunity to go back and really work on our fundamentals. We’ll definitely take full advantage of this bye week in preparation of Cal Poly. We have started watching a little bit of film; they are very well-coached and a physical bunch. They have pretty good size up front, so I think this week will be great for us in terms of preparation.”

Clark then mentioned sending out the seniors on a winning note. “It is going to be a very emotional game for me playing with all of those guys for the last time. We want to do our best to send them off on a good note, and win it for the seniors.”

Finally Clark continued speaking about the emotions involved as the season finale approaches. “It’s definitely bittersweet. I thought we played well in the last two games, but at the same time you really don’t want it to end so soon because I have played with these boys for three seasons. Some of them are getting ready to go off and start the next chapter of their lives, and I’m going to miss so much being next to those guys. It’s one of those things where we just want to send them off on a good note and win it for the seniors.”

Next Page »