The Jags Offense Continue To Improve As They Head Into Their Game Against FIU

November 2, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 
Dearman and Matthews

Offensive lineman Drew Dearman, his father and Offensive Coordinator Robert Matthews after the annual Red & Blue Spring football game.

The Jags offense has been improving over the last few weeks. When offensive coordinator Robert Matthews evaluated where the South Alabama offense rated at the beginning of the season and how it rates now, he said they were getting better.

“I think we’re getting better,” Matthews said. “We’re certainly not where we want to be yet, but there’s been a lot of improvement. Really, we’re still learning. Every game you should get better. We’re in Season One of this offense and obviously the first four or five games we were rotating two quarterbacks and that was the plan we had. I think since we’ve had just one guy in there we’ve shown a lot more consistency. I think that we’ll continue to get better as the kids continue to work hard.”

The Jags began the season with a 1-4 record before they dumped the two-quarterback rotation. At the time they averaged 13.4 points per game and 300 yards of total offense per game. However since they chose a starting quarterback to play the entire game, the Jags are 1-2, is averaging 30 points per game and 364 yards of offense per game.

More consistency has been achieved from Ross Metheny working with the offense and getting a majority of the snaps in practice, rather than splitting the reps with the first team offense 50-50. This has helped bolster his confidence and the teams confidence around him.

“I think the guys need to know who the guy behind the center is,” Matthews said. “I think that’s important. And that’s not to say that playing two quarterbacks can’t work because a lot of teams do it and it is very effective. Look what Troy is doing with (Deon Anthony) and (starter Corey Robinson). It is a nice change of pace for them.”

“I think every team needs to find what their niche’ is,” Matthews continued. “For us and for this offense, one quarterback is the way we want to go with it. I think it helps the guys just from a practice reps standpoint. It’s hard to get two quarterbacks ready for everything. We still practice two quarterbacks for each game, but Ross gets the majority of the reps and the reps aren’t split as much and I think that helps his productivity too.”

But the changes to the offense has not been limited to choosing a starting quarterback. Defensive back Gabe Loper has made the move from defense to wide receiver in the last few games. That allowed T.J. Glover to move from receiver to running back to give the Jags backfield another speed option to get to the edge.

“That’s what our job as coaches is, trying to get the players in the best position as possible so they can make plays,” said Matthews. “I know that sounds really generic, but it’s true. We try to evaluate it every day. Certainly getting Gabe has helped us. It gives us another guy who can stretch the field. He has good height and great ball skills and that move has helped us. Its freed up some other guys to play some different positions which has been able to keep us more balanced.”

In the 10 teams that comprise the Sun Belt, we will compare the statistical rankings between South Alabama and FIU.

South Alabama ranks 9th in scoring offense with an average of 19.6 points per game through eight games while FIU ranks 7th with an average of 21 points per game through nine games.

The Jags rank 8th in the conference in scorind defense by giving up an average of 29.5 points per game through eight games. FIU ranks last in 10th place with an average of 34.8 points per game through nine games.

South Alabama ranks 10th in the conference in total offense with 324 yards per game average through eight games. FIU ranks 8th in the conference with an average of 386.4 yards per game through their nine games this season.

The Jags rank 3rd in the conference in total defense by allowing an average of 368.5 yards per game. FIU ranks 8th in the conference as they are allowing an average of 416.8 yards per game.

The Jags rushing offense has moved up to 9th in the conference with an average of 133 yards per game while FIU is just ahead of the Jags in 8th place with an average of 140 yards per game.

South Alabama’s rushing defense is ranked 3rd allowing 142.9 yards per game while FIU allows an average of 167.2 yards per game. The Jags pass defense is ranked 4th in the conference by allowing an average of 225.6 yards per game while FIU is ranked 7th while allowing an average of 249.6 yards per game.

The Jaguar pass offense is ranked 10th in the conference with an average of 191 yards per game while FIU is ranked 4th in the conference with an average of 246.4 yards per game.

In special teams stats the Jags rank 6th behind FIU’s 3rd place rank in kickoff returns. FIU averages 22.6 yards per return while the Jags average 20.5 yards per return. Again South Alabama ranks 5th place behind FIU’s 2nd place rank. FIU averages 8.1 yards per punt return while the Jags averaged 7.1 yards per return.

FIU is ranked 8th in 3rd down conversions while the Jags are ranked last in 10th place. The Jags average is 29.8 percent conversion average while FIU is converting 37.1 percent of their attempts.

South Alabama is tied for last place in the conference with Troy with penalty yards per game average. Both schools average 74 yards per game in penalty yards while FIU is one spot ahead of them in 8th with an average of 73.2 yards per game.

In time of possession stats the Jags rank 6th place with an average ToP of 29:28 per game while FIU is ranked in 5th place with an average ToP of 31:02 per game.

In the turnover margin stat, South Alabama ranks 9th in the conference with a -5 turnover margin which is one spot ahead of FIU who ranks 10th in the conference with a -6 turnover margin.

In red zone stats, the Jags rank 5th in red zone offense while FIU ranks 8th in the same stat. THe Jags are converting 81.2 percent of their trips to the red zone while FIU is converting 75.9 percent of their trips.

In red zone defense the Jags rank 1st in the conference by only allowing their opponents to score 73.7 percent of the time they get into the red zone. FIU ranks last in 10th place allowing opponents to score 88.6 percent of the time.

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