Jones Happy With Wednesday Practice In Preparation For NC State

September 13, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Receiver Jereme Jones looks in the pass from CJ Bennett in the first half of the 33-31 loss to Texas-San Antonio.

The South Alabama Jaguars returned to the practice field on Wednesday morning for a two-hour practice as they continue to refine their game play for North Carolina State on Saturday. Coach Jones said he was happy with what he saw during the practice.

“We had real good intensity,” he observed. “We had some real good one-on-one periods where the offense went against the defense. (We had) perfect intensity to the point where we’re not tackling but we’re playing hard to the point where we would tackle. That’s going to help us. As fast as they are on defense and as big as they are on defense, we’ve got to see that. As well as they execute on offense we’ve got to have the scout team showing good looks and they did that today.”

One of the keys to the game will be how the offense improves on it’s performance last week in the red zone. The Jags reached the red zone five times but had to settle for three field goals. But they also have to improve on their third-down efficiency to keep drives alive.

“We’ve got to control the ball,” he continued. “We can’t go three-and-out and put our defense in a bind throughout the game. We’ve got to be able to control the ball and run the clock. We’ve got to be able to convert when we have the chance to make big plays. We’ve got to be able to convert big plays. And that’s any game, but it’s more so when you are playing a team with a great defense like N.C. State.”

As the Jags get ready to travel to Raleigh for the game, wide receiver Jereme Jones is one game away tying the school record for consecutive games with a reception set by Courtney Smith at 17 consecutive games which is every game he played for the Jaguars. Jereme has a catch in the last 16 consecutive games for the Jags.

Ross Metheny is expected to get playing time under center on Saturday in Raleigh as he has in the Jaguars previous two games. Metheny transfered to South Alabama after he graduated in three years brought two years of eligibility to South Alabama.

While at Virginia in the ACC, Metheny faced the Wolfpack once in his three years there. Metheny knows some of the players on the NC State team, but he never traveled to Raleigh. Virginia hosted NC State last season and was the only time the two teams met while Metheny was on the roster.

But Metheny may have more experience playing in larger stadiums that most Jaguars. “Fortunately I have been in a couple of those big stadiums before. UVA is a pretty big stadium itself and I’ve been to Florida State and (Virginia) Tech and all those places. I have some experience going to those places. I got in a couple of game reps in an environment like that and that’s always useful to have. But it’s a new game and a new experience and a new team with these guys. I’m excited to get there.”

Metheny played sparingly at Virginia and this season he has gone 6-of-12 for 58 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. He has also run 10 times for 14 yards.

C.J. Bennett has taken more reps in game that Metheny as he has gone 26-of-44 for 293 yards, one interception and two touchdowns.

But Metheny is eager to do anything to assist the team. “Anything I can do to help the team win is the main thing,” Metheny said. “It was good to get in there. I was telling someone those were the first meaningful snaps I’ve taken in three years. Anytime I got in at Virginia and got some experience, we were down big. It was that kind of situation. It was good to get in the game in that kind of environment and that stage and perform. I think it’s definitely useful going forward.”

Metheny continued, “Anytime you get some reps it becomes more comfortable. There’s definitely areas to improve on and that’s never going to change. I was comfortable (with the offense) coming out of camp, but anytime you get more reps and you’re preparing for a team and you get to practice, you get a lot more comfortable. So I’d definitely say I’m getting more comfortable with things.”

According to quarterbacks coach Bryant Vincent, Metheny has also caught on to the new offense quickly and has pushed Bennett throughout camp and the beginning of the season. “I think Ross has gotten better every day, every week, since he’s gotten here,” he said. “He’s a very driven, hard-working guy that really pays attention to every minor detail. I think he’s been a good addition for C.J. and for our football team because he gives us depth at quarterback and he gives us competition at the quarterback position.”

Tight end Greg Hollinger is listed as day-to-day but is expected to play in Raleigh however, he has been limited in practices this week due to a sprained left thumb. Hollinger was the only reported injury by the Jaguars staff.

The Jaguars and Wolfpack kickoff in Raleigh at 5pm CDT (6pm Eastern) at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game can be viewed on ESPN3 and WNSP 105.5FM will also carry the game, as they do every Jaguar game.


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