Monday Press Conference – ULL Recap, Previewing ASU

November 4, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of practice.

The University of South Alabama held their weekly press conference. Head coach Joey Jones was joined by tight end Braedon bowman and defensive back Montell Garner on Monday to recap their game against Louisiana-Lafayette and to preview their upcoming conference game at Arkansas State this weekend. Below are highlights of press conference.

Head coach Joey Jones’ opening statement.
“All year long we’ve talked about getting over the previous game whether we won it or lost it, we’re going to move on to the next one, so I don’t think it will be a problem getting our guys ready [for Arkansas State]. They understand what we need to do to get prepared for the next ballgame. The Louisiana-Lafayette game was real physical on both sides, there was a lot of great defense out there. They did a good job defensively of bending but not breaking against us, they didn’t give up too many big plays. We got down there late in the fourth quarter and didn’t punch the ball in the end zone, we just didn’t make plays like we could have, so the challenge to our team is to continue to improve there. We’ve been making those pretty much all year long but didn’t come through on that one.

“Next week is a new challenge for us, we’ve got another great team to play in Arkansas State. They are very, very good and explosive on offense and they play great defense so it’s going to be a challenge for our guys to go up there, but we are looking forward to it.”

Jones talked about how the ULL and Arkansas State offenses differ.
“I think they are a lot different. Offensively UL-Lafayette is a big power team and Arkansas State works more on the perimeter, they throw the ball out there a lot and try to get their running backs outside on the edges. They have a real athletic quarterback who is as good as any runner at the position that we’ve faced other than the guy at Georgia Southern, but he can throw it as well. They are more of a true spread team.”

He then talked about the opportunity the team has with its next two conference games against Arkansas State and Texas State.
“The next two weeks are our last two [Sun Belt] conference games. We’re sitting here at 4-2 and would like to finish strong. To win these two would ice bowl game possibilities, that’s big for our guys — they want to get that done and understand what is at stake.”

Jones fielded a question about the quarterback situation. Brandon Bridge came out with an ankle injury and Matt Floyd led the team down to the 2 yard line before a turnover kept them out of the end zone.
“I think Matt (Floyd) is a winner, and that he will come in and do well if need be. We’ll see how it goes this week, we don’t know how it will end up with injuries, but all I know is that I feel real comfortable with either one of them. It’s good you can say that as a head coach that you believe your back-up guys can come in there and play.”

He spoke about the Jaguar defense next.
“We play with a lot of passion over there, [defensive coordinator] Coach [Travis] Pearson and his staff have done a great job with them. They play hard, and our defensive front has played very well. We knew we had some really good starters coming back, our concern coming into the season was depth. But we’ve fixed some of those depth issues, obviously our starters on the defensive front are probably a little bit better than our backups, we’ve got guys who can rotate in there and play. Other than [linebacker] Maleki [Harris] getting hurt we’ve been injury free on defense as well, which has helped.”

Then the focus turned to the offense.
“We are struggling on third down, we were 4-of-15 last week; you have to convert third downs in order to keep drives alive. On deep-play balls we’ve had a lot of guys open for touchdowns and not been able to convert some of those. When you play Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette you better hit some of those big plays, they can change the game. It just comes down to execution, it’s not a matter of any secret X’s and O’s or some special play. It is just a matter of throwing and catching the ball most of the time.

“When you throw a long ball the percentage chances are less than a five-yard pass, so we have to hit some of those because if we can make some big plays with this offense, and we’re very capable of doing that, it’s going to make a difference in the game. You look at the Appalachian State game earlier in the year, we had a couple of big pass plays that just broke the ice where things started flowing very well. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get that going for our offense, and if we do that we can be a really good offensive football team.”

Tight end Braedon Bowman talked about bouncing back from the loss.
“We just have to execute on offense. We can’t get down into the red zone three or four times and come out with three or six points. We have to put it in the end zone. And we just need the defense to get the ball back quickly for us so we can keep scoring.”

Previewing Arkansas State
“They have a good offense that can put up a lot of points. Offensively, we need to execute our plays and keep the ball out of their offense’s hands. They have a powerful offense as well. We just need to move the ball and put it in the end zone.”

Bowman then talked about how physical the game against the Cajuns was.
“It was tough. Their ends squeezed hard, and they had some big linebackers that really filled the gaps hard. Running the ball was difficult. It was a physical game.”

Reflecting on the offense, Bowman finished by saying.
“I feel like we’re so close to the offense exploding. We left a lot of points out on the field (last week) that could have easily been a swing here or there. Our coaches will put together another great plan for us this week.”

Defensive back Montell Garner on bouncing back from the loss to ULL.
“From a defensive standpoint, we just have to keep chopping wood. We just have to do whatever is necessary to keep them (Arkansas State) out of the end zone.”

Garner on the defense.
“We’re taking good coaching, and one thing about being a good defense is you have to be consistent. You have to be disciplined and play sound in the gaps. We practice those things and we watch a ton of film. We’re real students of the game to where once we get into the game, we know what’s going on. We just have to continue to be consistent and play disciplined. We demand turnovers on defense – they change the ballgame.”

Talking about how physical the game was against the Cajuns.
“It was a very physical game. It’s just the mindset you have to have. You know they like to run the ball so you know it’s going to be a physical game. They try to bring it downhill, and you have to hit them in the mouth. It’s just the mindset that we all have to have defensively. We have to prove that week-in and week-out. Our coaches prepare us, and you have to overcome adversity and understand you’re never really out of a game.”

Previewing Arkansas State
“They have a running back with good speed, so we’re going to have to knuckle up and tackle. They live off the play-action deep ball and big plays, so we’re just going to have to be disciplined.”

Finally, Garner spoke about the defensive unit’s improvement throughout the season.
“We know what to expect when we see guys line up in formations. We see it on film and if everyone does their assignment according to how the defense is set up, it builds a wall. We really just key off of everyone doing their assignment and going 110 percent.”

South Alabama and Arkansas State will kickoff on Saturday in Jonesboro, Arkansas at 2pm. The game can be heard locally on 99.9FM with pregame starting at 1:30pm. You can also watch the game online on ESPN3.com.

Comments

Leave a Reply




%d bloggers like this: