Jones Praises Fans, Jags Return To Practice Field
During Monday’s press conference, head coach Joey Jones had this to say to the fans and students about Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky.
“I want to thank our fans, especially our students (for Saturday’s game),” Jones said. “Our student-section seemed to be as big as it has been in a while. They came out and supported us, and were really loud. Some of our coaches were talking on the sideline about how loud it was. We couldn’t even talk in the huddle during timeouts. It was such an electric feeling, and that’s the kind of environment we want to play in. Our fans created that, and we appreciate that. The game was big, obviously. It was one of those games where you hope you can hang around until the middle of the third quarter, and have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter and that’s exactly what happened. After we tied the game up with the two-point conversion, at that point I knew the game was on. Our kids had a lot of confidence. It’s a tribute to my (coaching) staff and players for what they have done.”
Ladd-Peebles Stadium was the loudest I have ever heard for a South Alabama football game. This is very encouraging, but as fans we cannot rest at that. We need to continue to be loud the whole game and make Mobile one of the most feared places to play in the Sun Belt Conference.
Coach Jones also said that the locker room was as fun as he has been in in a long time. They have been wanting to get a win over a good football team and he was proud of his team for that win.
He also said that the players are looking forward going to Tennessee to play in a 100,000-plus seat stadium. But to prepare for them, they are going to work on pure fundamentals during the bye week. He said, “If you look at every play in the game where we didn’t do well, there’s always a fundamental flaw. We have to learn to get better fundamentally, and this is a week you do that. You certainly start working on Tennessee and putting parts of the game plan in, but we have to come out of the next two days with two great practices from our players. If we do that and approach it that way, we can have a good week next week. But we have to get better fundamentally. We won the ballgame, but there are a lot of things we can get better at fundamentally and we have to continue to work on that.”
Concerning improvements from Tulane to Western Kentucky, Coach Jones pointed at tackling was much improved, especially against a running back that is hard to tackle. They improved their special teams work. Offensively the quarterbacks are making better decisions that are improving the offense. They have better balance.
He also mentioned the offensive line and how hard they have worked. He said, “It’s a position where you don’t get your picture in the paper very much or your name across the Jumbotron very often for making a good block. They just have to do it because they love it and this team. I’m so proud of those guys. They’re doing a really good job.”
Tuesday’s practice saw the Jags do exactly what coach Jones said he was going to do: work on fundamentals. They worked on tackling defensively and on special teams. He said that sometimes offensive players do not get a much tackling in practice so it’s good for them to work on it.
The Jags will practice again on Wednesday then the team will have three days off before returning to game-week preparation on Sunday.
They are not only working on fundamentals though. They are also putting in parts of the gameplan in this week so they will be ahead by Sunday.
The team is pretty healthy, excluding the players who are out for the season. Everyone should be ready to play by the time Tennessee time rolls around.