Monday press conference November 15 2011

November 15, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

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.

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