USA Football Press Conference
On Monday South Alabama held their weekly press conference. They previewed the upcoming homecoming game against Kent State. Below are some highlights.
Head coach Joey Jones began with his opening statement. “We know Kent State is a very good football team. But we’re focusing on is ourselves like we always have. I believe that’s really important. We had a great week last week. Last Wednesday’s practice was our best practice of the year. We’re a little ahead on the game plan, we just have to continue to perfect it.”
“They have the standout guys,” Jones continued concerning Kent State. “Everyone knows about Roosevelt Nix. He is a great player. Dre Archer is an extremely fast guy. When he has the ball in his hands, you just kind of hold your breath, he is a good player. They have a lot of good players. They’re offensive linemen are big, physical guys, as are the defensive linemen. They are just well-coached and know how to play the game. We are going to have to play a really good game to beat these guys.”
Jones spoke about Kent State’s experience playing in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “I think it could help them, the fact that they have been here. It’s like any game, once you get between the lines it is a football game. But I think having played down here in the GoDaddy.com Bowl could help them.”
Jones also spoke about areas that the team has improved in since the beginning of the season. “We’ve become much more consistent offensively. Our quarterbacks are playing extremely well, the offensive line is better and we’re getting better play at receiver and running back. We’re just better overall, and have improved from a consistency standpoint. Our challenge is to play for four quarters. Defensively, our guys have a lot of confidence. We have a lot of seniors who understand what it takes. We’re playing real physical against the run. Stopping the run is always going to be important when you play defense. As we have progressed, we have gotten a better understanding of (defensive coordinator) Coach (Kevin) Sherrer’s system. The kicking game has been up and down. Overall, we’re doing some good things, but we don’t have the consistency right now in the kicking game that we need to win big ballgames. That’s something we’re working on right now.”
Senior wide receiver Bryant Lavender spoke about what he noticed about Kent State’s defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix when viewing game footage. “We played against Kent State a couple of years back and he was very explosive, as he is now. He has a quick first step and he’s a great player. He’s the type of player that when he’s in the game, his motor’s always running.”
Lavender also spoke about the team’s confidence at this point in the season. “Morale and confidence are high, because we know that we have the opportunity to win the game. It’s now more about concentrating on when we get in that situation and what we are going to do when we get in that situation. We know we are a good football team. We know that we are able to be in the game. It’s just about making the play that can get us the ‘W’.”
Defensive lineman Jesse Kelley spoke about how having a week off will help the team going into Kent State. “Having a bye week is also good because we have an opportunity to go home and see loved ones you haven’t seen throughout the busy football season, especially if you live three or four hours away. You’re also able to relax and take your mind off football and watch other football.”
He also spoke about where they feel they are at this point in the season. “We’re just taking it week-by-week and not looking over anyone. Our opponent this week is Kent State and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the win versus Kent State. And next week, we’ll move on to the next opponent.”
The Jaguars and the Golden Flashes kick off at 2pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday as the Jags look to avenge their 33-25 loss in Kent, Ohio in 2011.