Metheny Leads Conference In Total Offense Per Game, McClain To Fill Romelle’s Shoes

October 31, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 
The Jaguars rally at mid field after they enter the field to just prior to kickoff against Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The Jaguars rally at mid field after they enter the field to just prior to kickoff against Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

Head coach Joey Jones said that Romelle Jones would be a game-time decision on if he would be able to play. But someone has to fill his shoes in case he cannot go on Saturday against Arkansas State.

In steps Jerome McClain. It’s highly likely that he will be called upon to start in place of Romelle, who suffered a knee injury against Texas State on a chop-block.

McClain has seen playing time in all seven of the Jags games and has 16 tackles to show for it. McClain is a 6’3″ 275-pound Pensacola native and is a JuCo transfer from Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Arkansas State will bring an experienced and strong offensive line to Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Red Wolves know Ladd well as they have played in the GoDaddy.com bowl over the past two seasons.

In preseason camp the Jags lost Will Thompson for the season and lost Randon Carnathan in the Jags second game against Tulane with an Achille’s heel injury. In order to absorb the injury to Romell until he can return to the field, Coach Turner told AL.com that they will move Ceasare Johnson back to the inside.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, quarterback Ross Metheny leads the conference in total offense with an average of 267.3 yards per game, which puts him ahead of Troy’s Corey Robinson who is averaging 265.5 yards per game of total offense.

Metheny is in third place in the conference in scoring touchdowns with an average of 7.1 points per game with eight rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion pass reception for a total of 50 points. He also ranks fifth in the conference in overall scoring with his 7.1 points per game average. He also ranks fourth in the conference in average passing yards per game with 227 and pass efficiency with 143.5.

Wednesday’s practice was solid accoring to coach Jones. He said he thought the team started off slow and possibly a little tired, but picked up the pace towards the end. He also said that its about the Jags approach to the game will be key in the game. He said they could not go out there and expect good things to happen, but rather they have to go out and make good things happen.

USA and Arkansas State kick off at 6:30pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in a Sun Belt Conference game.

Rubit Named SBC Preseason Player Of The Year, Ammons Named To All-SBC Team, USA Picked 2nd In Conference

October 31, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 
Augustine Rubit was named to the All-SBC First Team and also SBC Preseason Player of the Year. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit was named to the All-SBC First Team and also SBC Preseason Player of the Year. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit was named the 2013-2014 Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year.

Rubit, a senior from Houston, Texas, was voted the Player of the Year after last season and earns the preseason honor for the second consecutive season. He was named to first-team All-Sun Belt Conference Team and was joined by junior Mychal Ammons who was named to the third team.

Rubit lead the conference for the third consecutive season with 10.5 rebounds per game and finished second in the conference in scoring with a career-high 19.4 points per game. He recorded 16 double-doubles and set a new school record with 198 free throws made in a season. He is only 42 rebounds away from becoming USA’s career leader.

Ammons earned his first All-Sun Belt recognition. He was the team’s second-leading scorer and was third on the team in rebounding. He was also the team’s most-accurate 3-point shooter by connecting on 39.4% of his outside shots.

Western Kentucky was voted to finish first in the Sun Belt standings this season with a total of 91 points and five first-place votes. The Jags were voted to finish second with 78 points and two first-place votes. The full list of Sun Belt rankings are below.

1.  Western Kentucky 91 (5)
2.  South Alabama 78 (2)
3.  Arkansas State 74
4.  Georgia State 73 (2)
4.  Louisiana Lafayette 73 (1)
6.  Arkansas-Little Rock 48
7.  Texas-Arlington 36
8.  Texas State 34
9.  Troy 26
10. Louisiana-Monroe 17

Along with the honors for Rubit and Ammons, the conference announced its TV package for the season. The Jags have six games scheduled for television coverage with a possibility of two other games being added during the season. USA’s road opener at Texas on November 12 will be shown on the Longhorn Network and the road trip to former Sun Belt rival Middle Tennessee on November 30 will be available on CSS while Root Sports will broadcast the USA vs Gonzaga game on December 14.

South Alabama will have three conference games broadcast on the Sun Belt Network including one home contest. The Jags vs ULM on January 18 in the Mitchell Center will tip off at 7:30pm (it was originally announced for 4:05pm).

The Jags two other Sun Belt Network appearances will be January 11 at Arkansas State (7pm tip) and at Louisiana-Lafayette on March 2 (3pm tip).

The Sun Belt Network is a joint partnership with Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). Each broadcast game will be available in 13 states across the southeast and are often available on ESPN3.com and ESPN GamePlan outside of the CSS and CST market footprint.

Jags Host Arkansas State On Saturday For 6:30pm Kickoff

October 30, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach_Jones_Scrimmage

The Jaguar football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday after their normal off-day on Monday. They continued preparation for Arkansas State, which is coming off of a 23-7 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Red Wolves (3-4 overall, 1-1 SBC) will bring in an explosive offense with several playmakers which will challenge the Jaguar defense. Defensively they tend to scheme well over the last few years. Arkansas State has won the last two SBC Championship.

ASU runs a more traditional spread offense, so the defense will have to change their mindset back to their more “normal” mindset from last week when they faced the option of Texas State. The Jags will have to play their responsibilities and go from there.

The ASU running back, David Oku, from last season is back and will have to be contained. Their quarterback last season graduated and has a good quarterback who transferred in from Utah State.

The team has shown they can put the previous games result behind them and focus on their immediate obstacle and they will need to do so again in order to even their conference record against Arkansas State.

But what may help the Jaguars is that the Red Wolves are 0-3 on the season when playing away from home. They have wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Troy and Idaho. Their losses include Auburn, Memphis, Missouri and most recently Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Jags and Red Wolves are scheduled to kick off at 6:30pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Athletic Department is encouraging fans to wear BLUE to the game.

Go Jags!

USA Soccer’s Lauren Allison Gets Second SBC Offensive Player Of The Week Honor

October 30, 2013 · By · Filed Under Softball, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 
Lauren Allison, a freshman, earned her second honor as Offensive Player of the Week after scoring four goals over the weekend to close out the regular season. | Photo usajaguars.com

Lauren Allison, a freshman, earned her second honor as Offensive Player of the Week after scoring four goals over the weekend to close out the regular season. | Photo usajaguars.com

South Alabama Jaguar Soccer Freshman forward Lauren Allison was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Allison, after being held goalless for four games, returned to form over the weekend with four goals in two matches including her first career hat trick against Louisiana-Lafayette.

On Sunday, she had a goal and an assist for a nine-point weekend that helped propel the Jags from fourth place to second place in the conference heading into the Conference Championships.

This is the second time this season Lauren has been named the SBC Offensive Player of the Week. Earlier this month she earned the honor after a one-goal, two-assist performance against Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State.

Allison, a native of Bicester, Oxfordshire, United Kingdon, has 39-points on the season which is the fourth-best in USA single-season history. She has 14 goals which is also tied for fourth-most in a single-season at USA. Her 11 assists leaves her two assists away from making it into the Jaguars single-season top 10.

Allison led the conference in points, points per game, goals, goals per game, assists, assists per game and game-winning goals through the regular season. She had been ranked as high as second place in the NCAA in points, third place in goals and fourth place in points per game earlier this season.

Non-AQ Top 10

October 30, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Non-AQ Top 10
RK
TEAM
RECORD
PTS
1
Fresno
State (8)
7-0
114
2
Northern
Illinois (4)
8-0
111
3
Brigham
Young
6-2
96
4
Ball
State
8-1
86
5
East
Carolina
5-2
43
6
Ohio
6-2
42
7
Louisiana
5-2
37
8
Tulane
6-2
32
9
Boise
State
5-3
30
10
Rice
5-2
26

Dropped from rankings: Bowling Green

Others receiving votes: Buffalo 21, Bowling Green 14,
Toledo 6, Marshall 1, Troy 1.

Monday Press Conference

October 29, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Helmet_Camera

Head coach Joey Jones met with media on Monday for the weekly press conference. Jones along with defensive lineman Montavious Williams and offensive lineman Ucambre Williams reflected on the game at Texas State and looking ahead to this weekend’s match up against Arkansas State.

Below are highlights.

Jones began with his opening statement. “We’re obviously disappointed about Saturday’s game. Our kids played well late in the game. They (Texas State) committed a couple of late penalties and gave up a couple of touchdown passes to us. We kind of took over in the fourth quarter, but didn’t finish it. But it started with us not playing well early in the game. There was a lot more than just that fourth-and-24 play.”

“But it kind of started with us not playing well early in the game,” Jones said. “We don’t need for it to come to a point late in the game where we have to make every play to win. We need to take care of things before that. A lot of people talk about that one play, but certainly there were a lot of plays before that and early in the game where we could have done a lot better.”

“We need to play well and mature a little bit more and understand that we’ve got to make some plays there at the end because it has come down to that a lot of the time. If we make two or three plays this year everybody’s happy but unfortunately we didn’t in a couple of games and we’re not happy. It’s all about wins and losses and we’ve got to make those plays.”

“All I know to do is fight,” Jones continued. “That’s just the way I am, and that’s the way our players are too. It’s something we have to fight through mentally. We have played well this year. We’ve done a lot of good things. We are a much better team, but all of that doesn’t matter. What matters is wins and losses. But we are a better team, and I think we can bank on the fact that we are better and continue to improve.”

Jones spoke about Arkansas State. “They are probably the most talented bunch on offense that I have seen on film as far as the skill positions are concerned. They have a couple of great receivers, and a really good quarterback transferred in from Utah State. And their running backs are great. They are leading the league in offense. They are very explosive on that side of the ball. And they’re really good on defense as well. They have some seniors up front. They are the defending Sun Belt champions. They’ve won it the last two years. They know how to win, and understand what it takes to win. We know it is a great challenge for us.”

Jones spoke about how playing a full Sun Belt schedule last season is helping the team now. “We kind of found out about all these teams and what they are about by playing that schedule. We lost a couple of close games last year and won one. Just being in those different environments helps you understand teams better, and you always know how to play them the next year when you have played them before. It makes a big difference.”

Defensive lineman Montavious Williams spoke about the disappointment level after the Texas State game. “It’s difficult because I heard that the spread of points that we’ve lost is 11. As a senior it hurts, and I don’t get another shot at this, but try to make the most of it and hopefully get a bowl game for us and our fans as well.”

“It hurts me because defensively we were on the field last and the offense gave us a chance to win the game and we didn’t do our job,” Williams said about the importantance of finishing games. “I feel like we failed them so we have to get back at practice and have the best week we’ve had so far.”

Williams talked about feeling pressure: “It’s kind of self-imposed and fan-imposed as well because they’ve been behind us the last four or five years and we want to give them something to cheer about and hopefully build our fan base.”

“Defensively, it’s tackling.” Williams said is the key for this week against Arkansas State. “I think Coach said we missed 14 tackles, as opposed to a game where we win and it’s five missed tackles or seven missed tackles. We have to put more emphasis on that and get back to the basics.”

Offensive Lineman Ucambre Williams also reflected on the Texas State game. “It’s very hard to come back from a loss like that, but the biggest thing we have to do is move on to the next week and have a great week of practice. That’s the only thing we can do, not think about it and move on to Arkansas State.”

“It hurts a lot. It’s like being on the top of the world and then someone comes and knocks you down, but we just have to move on from it. We’re going to finish the season strong, I promise you,” Ucambre said about the disappointment after the Texas State game.

Ucambre spoke about the importance of finishing games. “It’s very important to finish and also to start. We started off slow at Texas State and that hurt us. The start and finish of each game is important. Coach talks about finishing every quarter and winning every quarter. We have to instill that (belief in us) this week in practice and come out with a victory Saturday.”

Ucambre also talked about having to face three of the top teams in the conference in the final five games of the season. “Having them at home is a key factor. They’re all tough teams, everybody in the Sun Belt is tough, so we have to come out and play hard.”

“On the offensive side of the ball we have start off strong and finish strong,” Ucambre said when talking about the keys for this week. “We kind of get lackadaisical when we get a lead but this week we really have to try and work on that and sustain it for the entire game.”

The Jags and Red Wolves kickoff at 6:30pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Moore Makes Four Consecutive SBC Freshman Of The Week For USA

October 29, 2013 · By · Filed Under Volleyball · Comment 
Mallory Moore earned her first Freshman of the Week honor to make it four consecutive for USA. Photo by Brad Puckett | usajaguars.com

Mallory Moore earned her first Freshman of the Week honor to make it four consecutive for USA. Photo by Brad Puckett | usajaguars.com

The University of South Alabama women’s volleyball team had their fourth consecutive Freshman of the Week honoree. Mallory Moore earned her first weekly Sun Belt Conference Honor and the sixth on this season.

Moore joins teammates Mechell Daniel and Jessica Lewis as Jaguar Freshmen of the week honorees this season.

Moore, a Guntersville, Alabama native, helped South Alabama to a pair of wins  where she recorded 24 kills for a 2.67 kills per set average while hitting .435 and seven block assists.

USA will host Arkansas State on Friday at 7pm and then travel to Arkansas-Little Rock for a 1pm match on Sunday.

USA Soccer Finishes Season With 3-1 Win Over ULM

October 28, 2013 · By · Filed Under Soccer, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

newjagsmall

The South Alabama women’s soccer team scored twice in a two minute span against Louisiana-Monroe to end the regular season with a 3-1 win on Senior Day.

The Jags (12-5-2, 5-2-1 SBC) also claimed maximum points on Thursday against ULL to finish the weekend with six points and helps the team to climb from fourth to second in the unofficial final regular season standings.

The Jags are tied with the ULL for second, but would be seeded ahead based on their win over them on Thursday.

Senior Shelby Owen opened the scoring for the Jags in the third minute. ULM (6-12-1, 1-7-0 SBC) could not manage a shot on goal until the 18th minute. They needed at least a share of points to receive a berth in the SBC Championship in San Marcox, Texas on November 6 – 10.

Five minutes into the second half, they would tie the game after a penalty.

The Jags responded with two goals in the 78th and 80th minutes of the match to put the game away. The Jags will now prepare for the Sun Belt Championships on November 6-10 when they face Georgia State. The Jags defeated the Panthers in Atlanta on October 10 by a score of 2-1.

Final seedings will be announced by the Sun Belt Conference soon.

Jags Fall To Texas State On Last Second Field Goal

October 28, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Pads_Gloves

The South Alabama Jaguars fell on a late field goal on Saturday in San Marcos, Texas 33-31. They fought back from an 11 point deficit at halftime. They scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and 28 points in the second half.

USA tied the game with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Ross Metheny to Shavarez Smith. Texas State would drive down and score a 37 yard field goal to regain the lead with 7:56 left then on the Jaguars next possession, Metheny’s pass would be intercepted and returned 29 yards for a touchdown by Justin Iwuji to give the Bobcats a 27-17 advantage.

But the Jags would not give up. With 5:20 left in the game, Metheny connected with Danny Woodson for a 42 yard touchdown to climb within three points again at 27-24. Texas State would drive and add their third field goal of the game to go back up by six points, 30-24 with 2:22 left in the game.

The Jags would add another long touchdown when Metheny connected with Danny Woodson again for a 43 yard touchdown to take their only lead of the game 31-30 with the PAT.

However, the Bobcats were not giving up with 1:32 left. After gaining a first down out to the Texas State 40, Tyler James would connect with Jafus Gaines for a six yard completion on a slant. He would run up and spike the ball. Jones would connect with Gaines again for five yards and an apparent first down, but the Bobcats would be flagged for offensive pass interference to back them up to the Texas State 31 and face 3rd and 19. Jones would then attempt a pass over the middle which Maleki Harris would knock down to bring up 4th and 19. A false start would make it 4th and 24 at the Texas State 26 yard line.

The Jags would take their final time out of the game to set their defense for the 4th and 24 play. Texas State’s Tyler Jones would air it out down the right sideline and connect with Ben Ijah for 51 yards to the Jaguar 23 yard line. After a rush for a loss of 1 yard, Texas State would take their final time out of the game with :08 left in the game.

Jason Dann would add his fourth field goal of the game from 41 yards out to give Texas State a 33-31 lead with :04 seconds left. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty would be flagged on the Bobcats to back up the kickoff 15 yards. The kickoff would make it into the endzone and downed for a touchback.

The first play would be incomplete to Jereme Jones leaving :01 on the clock. The next pass would be caught by Jereme Jones then the lateraling would begin. Jones would get it back to Metheny who would toss it back to Jones, who would toss it to Shavarez Smith, then to Cris Dinham, then back to Metheny, then Smith again who would try to get rid of it but would fumble it to be recovered by Texas State at the Jaguar 43 yard line.

The Jags were outgained in total yards 452 – 409. Texas State had 234 yards rushing and 272 yards passing. The Jags gained 109 yards rushing and 300 yards passing. The Bobcats ran 79 plays and controlled the ball for 37:21 of the game compared to the Jags 65 offensive plays and 22:39 time of possession. The Jags were a mere 4-of-13 in third down conversion attempts and 1-of-2 in fourth down conversions. Texas State converted 8-of-17 third downs and both of their two fourth down attempts.

Cris Dinham was the leading rusher for the Jaguars with 54 yards on four carries. Ross Metheny gained 40 on 10 carries and Jay Jones managed 15 yards on five carries. Metheny was the only rusher to find the endzone.

Danny Woodson caught five passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns (one for 42 and the other for 43 yards). Wes Saxton caught the most passes with 10 for 89 yards. Jereme Jones caught four passes for 50 yards. Shavarez Smith added 41 yards on three receptions. Jay Jones caught three for six yards and Bryant Lavender caught two for seven yards.

Ross Metheny went 27-of-43 for 300 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Brandon Bridge did not see time in the game.

Enrique Williams led the Jags with 13 total tackles and one tackle for loss. Qudarius Ford had nine, all but one solo. Montell Garner was the only Jag with an interception. Pat Moore collected two sacks for 18 yards and Montavious Williams got one sack for 14 yards.

“I thought they outplayed us for three quarters,” Head coach Joey Jones said in his postgame press conference. “They controlled the game. We fought our way back into it and had a chance to win it. We had them on fourth-and-long and they convert it. But I thought they outplayed us most of the game. They ran the ball well on us. We didn’t do anything offensively in the first half. We can’t fall behind that much and expect to win ball games. We had a chance though, we just didn’t get it done.”

“Our kids are always going to come back and fight,” Joey Jones stated. “I told them in the locker room that we have to close those games out. We went ahead with a minute-and-a-half left, we just had to find a way to stop them.”

Defensive lineman Romelle Jones was injured in the first half of the game on a chop-block by the Bobcats. They were penalized for the block. The senior attended the Jaguars conditioning workout on Sunday but the extent to the injury is not know just yet. Though there was more optimism about his return, but further tests and results of prior tests are still pending.

Right now, Romelle is listed as day-to-day until they know more.

“I was a little worried about that after the game,” head coach Jones told AL.com on Sunday. “The report I got was fairly negative. I think we’re going to get some more tests run, but he seems to be walking pretty normally and I think he should be back sooner than we thought originally.”

The Jags (3-4 overall, 1-2 SBC) will return to Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Arkansas State on Saturday. They will try to even their overall record and their Conference record while trying to stay alive for the SBC championship.

Saturday’s game is set to kick off at 6:30pm in their annual Hall-Of-Fame game. It will also be televised nationally on ESPN3.

The Sun Belt Conference Announces Affiliation With New Miami Beach Bowl

October 25, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football, News, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

SunBeltLogo_2013

The Sun Belt Conference announced that it has tie-ins with the newly created Miami Beach Bowl. The Bowl will be owned and administered by the American Athletic Conference and will be played at the Miami Marlin’s new stadium, Marlins Park, which opened two seasons ago.

The Sun Belt will be in the six year bowl rotation for the game along with Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference.

In 2014 and 2015, Conference USA will face a team from the AAC. In 2016 and 2018, a team from the MAC will face an AAC team. That leaves a Sun Belt team to take part in 2017 and 2019.

“The Sun Belt Conference is excited to be included in this new bowl game,” said Commissioner Karl Benson. “Our student-athletes and fans look forward to postseason opportunities and I know that the Miami Beach Bowl will be a great showcase for college football.”

“We are very pleased to host the Miami Beach Bowl at Marlins Park,” said Marlins President David Samson. “Bringing postseason football back to the site of the Orange Bowl should bring a smile to the faces of college football fans throughout South Florida. The history of college football in Miami is replete with fond memories of great players making historic plays on these hallowed grounds. Marlins Park is a perfect venue for exciting college football, and we look forward to many memorable matchups in the years to come.”

Marlins Park will be able to seat 34,000 for football with 50 luxury suits, a retractable roof, climate controlled temperatures and a natural grass playing surface. It opened in 2012 for Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball team.

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