Monday Press Conference
The Jaguar football team is fresh off of their 38-21 win over Kent State where they put together a balanced, complete performance. The win snapped a two-game losing streak and evened their season record at 3-3 overall.
But they will have to turn around and learn how to defend an offense that is rarely seen in the college ranks these days, the option.
Below is highlights of the Monday press conference.
Head coach Joey Jones opened the press conference with his opening statement where he spoke about how pleased he was to see his team win a more comfortable game. “I thought we played a fairly complete game (last week), and played well in all three phases,” Jones said. “I liked our confidence and how we approached the game. We didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t have a ton of penalties, so it was just a game that you like as a coach. But you always see things you can fix and get better from when you watch the film. It was a good game overall, and I’m real pleased with the way our kids came out and played against Kent State.”
The focus then turned to Texas State. “Defensively, they are number one in the league in points allowed,” Jones explained. “That’s the only way you can rate a defense to me. They are keeping people out of the end zone, and that’s what matters. They’re doing a great job and have a great scheme. They have a lot of movement on their front, getting people where they want them to be. They are very well-coached on defense. Offensively, they run an option scheme which causes some issues so we have to be smart about how we play. And their special teams are really sound.”
Jones then spoke more about defending the option. “You don’t see it as much,” he explained. “Our players, as well as players on other teams, don’t see it much in this day and time even in high school. But years ago you would play against it in high school and you could just brush up on it. But right now it is a totally new thing for them, so we have to be smart about how we present it to them. We have to present it to them in a way they understand it.”
He also spoke about the team’s confidence after the win over Kent State. “I think it did a lot for our confidence,” Jones said. “Our kids came off the field and realized they beat a darn good team. I thought we controlled the game very well. What it taught our players more than just confidence is if we play every quarter and treat each quarter like it is the end of the game, then we have a shot. From that standpoint, I thought we grew up.”
Running back Jay Jones was the offensive representative for the press conference. He reflecting back on his performance against Kent State. “The Kent State game was just a game that was focused on me coming out and making plays,” he explained. “Our offense is full of playmakers and to this point, I’ve just been playing my role like everyone else. Coach Jones told me before Saturday’s game to come out ready to get the ball. They just put me in great positions to make plays in the game.”
Jay then spoke about what Saturday’s success does for his confidence. “It does a lot for our confidence, because we’ve lost some close games this season that we felt we shouldn’t have and where we felt we were the better team,” Jones Said. “This past week, we took the preparation seriously. We just wanted to win every quarter. Winning it easily did a lot for our confidence and its going to help us this week.”
He also addressed how the offense seems to have more of a comfort level now. “I think it’s just everyone understanding what their part (in the offense) is,” Jay explained. “The receivers know that when I’m running the ball, they know that their blocking is key, whereas on a pass play, my blocking is key. We now know how good this offense can be if everyone does their role.”
He talked about how the offensive line has developed as the season has progressed. “We do a lot of group schemes with our offensive line and blitz pickups in practice,” he said. “They take everything seriously. When we’ve had injuries, a lot of guys have stepped up and made a difference. Our offensive line goes hard every play. They give me gaps and creases that help me make plays.”
The defensive representative was linebacker Enrique Williams. He talked about what the team’s win did in helping the team’s confidence. “Going into the week, the coaches were saying that we needed to make a statement,” Williams explained. “Not just win, but show other teams we can win by more than a touchdown or a field goal. A lot of our games have been going down to the last second, so we needed to come out and make that statement to the rest of our opponents.”
Williams explained how they will have to adjust to the Texas State’s option offense. “We’ve played against some option teams the past few years,” Williams said. “It’s always difficult (to face a team) when you have a running threat at quarterback, so we’re just going to have to be disciplined and stay in our gaps with everyone just doing their job.”
South Alabama will travel to San Marcos, Texas for a Sun Belt Conference game against Texas State on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm.