Monday Press Conference

October 16, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Quarterbacks Trey Fetner and transfer Ross Metheny participating in position drills.

South Alabama head coach Joey Jones held his weekly Monday press conference with quarterback Ross Metheny and defensive lineman Randon Carnathan. They reflected on the loss at Arkansas State and previewed this weekend’s homecoming game against Florida Atlantic.

Below are some highlights from the press conference.

Coach Jones began with his opening statement. “I was real pleased with the performance the other night. I thought we played hard as usual. Offensively we got a good bit better. We were more consistent, converted on third down, only had one turnover and punched the ball in the end zone. We did some really good things.”

“Defensively we played well except for the penalties, which is something we need to take care of. I was real pleased overall. We are making progress and moving forward, this is not a team that is getting down because we’ve lost a few games. They [the players] understand where we are and have taken that challenge every week, and I think that is why we are getting better. And the staff has done a good job of motivating on both sides of the ball and with special teams.”

“Special teams play the other night was really good again. [Michel] Chapuseaux was player of the week in the Sun Belt [Conference], he had three field goals and a good game, we had good kickoff return yardage and blocked a punt. We did a lot of good things on special teams as well.”

Jones then fielded a question about whether his team is frustrated as losses mount. “Let’s face it, we’ve won a lot of ball games around here the last three years, so I think earlier in the year were frustrated. When we had those tough games against N.C. State and Mississippi State it got to us a little bit. Now they realize where we really are, that we are team that is climbing.”

“This is a great lesson for them, life isn’t always going to be perfect. They are coming to work and really taking that attitude. I’m not saying that to make our team feel better, I’m saying that because I believe it. They have learned if we don’t work then we are not going to have a chance to win.”

“Last week before the game, I had people not involved with our program telling me before the game that this was going to be a tough one, acting like we were going to get our tails beat. But our kids didn’t believe that, they went out there and worked and played a good game. In the fourth quarter we put ourselves in a position to win, so I’m encouraged and I think they are too.”

Coach Jones then answered a question about what they can take away from Saturday’s game at Arkansas State. “Let’s face it, offensively we have been struggling and we played better that day so that certainly encourages our team. Not that the offense is there yet or we are not going to work anymore. But we moved the ball and did some good things offensively, and when have that it encourages the rest of the team that this thing can get rolling if we get going. We have played pretty well in the other two phases of the game, we just need to get going offensively.”

“I kept waiting for us to break out and have a good game, which we did the other night. Of course, we have to do that week to week, but we did some good things that we can hang our hat on.”

Jones fielded a question about whether the offense’s performance was due to using one quarterback instead of the two-quarterback system they used in the first five games of the season. “Any time you have one quarterback, he gets more reps in practice. It was just time. Ross [Metheny] came in and did a real good job with his leadership skills, I thought he handled things well by not forcing the ball. We had that one turnover, but a lot of times when things weren’t open downfield he dropped it off to a running back or he pulled it down and ran for a first down. Those kind of decisions sustain drives, which is what he brought to the table this week.”

Jones then spoke about Florida Atlantic, who visits this weekend. “FAU is a very physical football team, I’ve watched them on film where they have faced Alabama and Georgia and they banged with those teams. Defensively, their front seven are very physical guys. They have great athletes and a fifth-year senior quarterback, we understand going into this game that this is another good football team we are facing.”

“Both of our records are alike, but they have been fighting against some very tough teams as well. They are used to winning too, they won the Sun Belt a few years back, and so they understand how to do it.”

Next up was quarterback Ross Metheny. He first spoke about the Arkansas State game. “Offensively, it was probably our best game so far this year. We executed better in both the run and pass game, and I think our guys are encouraged by it. Obviously, we didn’t win which is the number-one goal, but we played better and more as a unit. It’s a good block to build off of moving forward.”

Metheny then fielded a question about his comfort level with the offense against Arkansas State. “It was big for us as a unit to go down on that first drive and get a touchdown. We hadn’t really done that since week one. It was a big confidence-builder for our guys to go down on the first drive and score. After [each team’s first possession] we figured out that it was going to be the type of game that was a shootout. We were prepared for that, and I think we executed better.”

He then spoke about Florida Atlantic. “They like to play a lot of man coverage. That’s just their identity. They’re real solid on all three phases of the defense. They have some really good athletes in the secondary, their linebackers run well and their defensive ends are explosive off the edge in the pass rush. We’ll game plan and will be ready. Our guys are excited for the challenge and looking forward to it.”

Finally defensive lineman Randon Carnathan spoke the Arkansas State game. “Defensively we played good, but not good enough honestly. We had a couple of costly penalties – a lot of mental things that we have to take care of. As a unit, I feel like we’re playing well. We just have to keep building, and work hard each week as the season progresses.”

He then spoke about the Florida Atlantic game coming up this weekend. “Defensively, we just have to keep playing hard. We have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We play hard. There’s no quit on either side of the ball. We just have to put it all together and get a ‘W’. It’s as simple as that.”

The Jags homecoming game against Florida Atlantic is set to kick off at 2:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.


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