Monday Press Conference Reflects on GSU; Previews Idaho

September 23, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 
Maleki Harris, a senior from Cordova, Alabama, recorded his second double-digit tackle total against Mississippi State where he also forced two fumbles. The Sun Belt Conference named him the Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, September 15, 2014.

Maleki Harris, a senior from Cordova, Alabama, recorded his second double-digit tackle total against Mississippi State where he also forced two fumbles. The Sun Belt Conference named him the Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, September 15, 2014.

University of South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones was joined by linebacker Maleki Harris for their weekly press conference on Monday. They reflected on the Jaguars loss to Georgia Southern and previewed this weekends visit to Idaho.

Coach Jones began with his opening statement. “It’s obviously a big game this week. Idaho is scoring a lot of points, and really playing better defense as I have watched them throughout the year. Our focus is on that. I told the guys yesterday that last week doesn’t mean anything. We have to move forward; that’s the way life is. I wish we would have played a little better. We did some really good things and did some bad things, but our kids are playing their tails off. They’re playing with great effort. We’re going to fix some things this week and get ready to play.”

Jones stressed that the team is not playing at the level they need to be playing at in order to win games. On Sunday, he talked to the offense about what is going on and what they need to do in order to make corrections and win games.

“We have good players and we’re calling good plays; we’re doing a lot of things right,” Jones said. “But out on the field some of the things are clicking. We have to get to where everyone on offense is being more consistent, and that’s really all it boils down to. We addressed a lot of issues as an offense and we are going to implement those, but the bottom line is we have to go get it done on the field. We’re not far off and we’re not going to panic right now, but we certainly have to pay attention to detail and get better. If we don’t get any better on offense then we’re going to have a tough time. I feel like our defense and special teams are playing well enough to win right now, the offense just needs to pick it up a bit.”

“Offensively, their quarterback is a very talented player,” Jones said turning his attention to Idaho. “He stands in the pocket and throws the ball. He has a good arm and understands where to go with the ball. Defensively, they have improved. They were giving up some points early in the year, but their coaching staff has done a good job of simplifying their scheme. They are much more sound right now. It’s going to be a tough ball game, it always is. This conference has a lot of good teams, and we have to be ready for each one. But we have to get better ourselves and concentrate on that, more so than concentrating on Idaho.”

Maleki Harris told the media that the coaches are putting them into good positions to make plays, but the players need to go make the plays. He pointed out that Idaho is a good team and that he and the team need to go up there focused and take care of business.

When asked about his play, Harris said that he is listening to his coaches and they are putting him in good positions to make plays. “They are giving us a good game plan each week, and they have us prepared for every game. It’s just a matter of going out there and making sure I do everything they coach me on and just follow what they tell me to do.”

“I feel like our defense is as good, if not better than last year,” Harris said when asked about the defense. “We’re playing at a higher level. I feel like our secondary is playing better than they were last year. Our linebackers are playing well, and our defensive line is talented and has depth. Defensively, I feel like we’re on pace to pick up where we left off last season.”

“One of the things Coach (Jones) has been preaching is the little things are what separates the good teams from the great teams,” Harris answered when asked about the team. “We have to capitalize on opportunities when they are there, and just make plays and do our jobs and handle our responsibilities. The little things are the difference in us being 3-0 and 1-2.”

Coach Jones, the players and staff look to get back to even on the season when they travel to Idaho to take on the 0-3 Vandals. Kickoff is scheduled for 4pm CDT and can be heard on 99.9 WMXC or viewed on ESPN3.

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