Monday Press Conference

October 30, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

South Alabama held their weekly press conference on Monday. Head coach Joey Jones was joined by wide receiver Jereme Jones and placekicker Michel Chapuseaux. They recapped their game at Louisiana-Monroe and their upcoming game against Florida International.

Below are some highlights from the press conference.

Coach Jones’ opening statement. “On a positive note about the game the other night, it’s late in the third quarter, almost the fourth quarter, the score is 21-21 and I was thinking how we were playing with the top team in the league. I had a good feeling about it, then we faltered a little bit in the fourth quarter. Some of that is due to depth right now. We had to play a lot of guys out there with no reps. I noticed that they were rotating a lot of guys, they just had more depth than us and that affected us a little in the fourth quarter.”

“That’s the positive side of it,” Jones continued. “Like the young men said earlier, we don’t want to lose. We keep fighting, but deep down inside I know our kids are really improving, especially on offense, the defense has been pretty consistent all along. On special teams we didn’t play great the other night, and that really hurt us with field position. The kickoff coverage wasn’t great, and we had a punt blocked that affected us right before the half. We have some areas we have to improve on, and special teams is definitely one of them.”

“FIU’s team and their record don’t match up,” Jones observed. “They are 1-8, but I know that they have a great staff down there and they have great players. Their quarterback was hurt for a few games and they lost all those games when he was out, when he came back they barely lost to Troy, barely lost to Middle Tennessee and barely lost to Western Kentucky. They are a very good football team, there is no doubt about it. When I look at them on film, I don’t see a 1-8 team at all.”

Coach Jones then spoke about the strides that the offense have made in recent weeks. “I think that it’s two things. Number one, it’s just the maturity of the offense. It’s a new system for us, the players are starting to learn the system better. Second, I think that settling on a quarterback has really helped, Ross has come in and done a great job with leadership and with managing the game. We’ve had one turnover in the last three games on offense, that’s something we talked about after we played Troy and had four turnovers. I don’t want to say that we have fixed it, but we have definitely gotten better with taking care of the football, and that’s a big reason why we are having more success.”

“And I think that the guys are just growing together,” Jones continued. “On the offensive line there are a couple of guys who have really improved, they are starting to grow up. Chris May played a great game this past week, he’s a freshman and is starting to learn, so we have some young guys on offense who are starting to pull it together.”

Jones then answered a question about third down conversions. “We were 3-of-13, and we dropped five passes. If we catch those five passes we’re 8-of-13 and everybody is smiling. It’s not an execution thing from the standpoint of what we are doing schematically, we just had a bad night the other night catching the football. There’s no other way around it. We usually don’t drop many passes, but the other night guys had balls right in their hands and dropped it. We just have to catch the ball and we will be fine.”

A question was asked about the discrepancy between FIU’s record and being picked to win the Sun Belt Conference Championship. “Their record and what we see on film are just two totally different things. I can’t believe that you look at them and they are 1-8 because they are a lot better football team than that. They have had some injuries, they have had some bad breaks and they lost their quarterback. We know they are a very good football team.”

“Troy was down 16 points in the fourth quarter and came back and beat them,” Jones observed. “Middle Tennessee won at the end of the game, and they ended up losing to Western [Kentucky] 14-6. It was 7-6 in the fourth quarter against a team that is probably as good as anybody in the league. That record is very, very deceiving.”

Wide receiver Jereme Jones spoke about the game against ULM. “We played OK in the first half [at ULM]. We didn’t do too much offensively in the second half. You’re never satisfied with a loss. We can always get better, but we made strides offensively. I think we’re still trying to get to where we want to be [offensively]. We’re still trying to bring offense and defense together, so that’s going to take some time.”

He then spoke about what they team has learned over the last few weeks. “Offensively, we learned that we never can be satisfied no matter how well we play. Sometimes we [offense] may have to carry the team the way the defense did the first few games before we found our groove. Now the offense is playing good, so we just have to come together and play as a team in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams.”

He then answered a question about the progress they have made against conference competition. “We feel good, but you never can be satisfied. Our record is not where we would like it to be, but we’re still trying to find what we’re looking for to start winning. But you never can be satisfied.”

Jones was asked about how the offense has improved over the last few games. “The chemistry has improved. We’re not running a two-quarterback rotation anymore, so I think we’re [offense] starting to get a feel for [quarterback] Ross [Metheny] and are learning where he likes to throw the ball. We’re getting used to him being that leader on offense.”

Finally he answered a question about what the team needs to do in order to be successful against FIU. “We have to improve on converting third downs offensively. We didn’t do too well at that last game [Louisiana-Monroe]. We made a few plays, but we’re not making the ones we need to make to get a ‘W’. So we just have to convert better on third downs and not get in third-and-long situations. We need to focus on that at practice this week in order to put ourselves in a position to earn a win this week.”

Placekicker and the Jaguars first player to be chosed to the weekly “Player of the Week” list by the Sun Belt Conference for special teams play, Michel Chapuseaux answered questions at the press conference.

He first spoke about last weekend’s game in Monroe. “Special-teams wise, we have a lot to improve on. I have a lot to improve on with kickoffs. Field goals have been a big part [of scoring], and I’m just happy to have the [six consecutive field goals made] streak that I have to this point and hopefully I can continue. We just want to continue to improve and finish our season strong.”

He also answered a question about what the team has learned over the last few weeks. “We’ve seen that we can hang with these guys [Sun Belt opponents]. There’s not much difference between their play and ours. It just comes down to execution and discipline.”

He then spoke about the progress made against conference competition. “We’re not satisfied, but to see what we’ve come from from the beginning [of the program] and what we’re doing now is a little unrealistic in some parts. But it’s really good to see what is going on now and where this program plans on going next.”

He also answered a question about what the team needs to do in order to be successful against FIU. “We just need to keep on executing on special teams, on field goals, extra points and kickoffs. We have to tighten it up on kickoff coverage, and get them [opponents] pinned down further than what we have been so far. We just have to pick it up coverage-wise.”

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