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Jags Return To Practice Field

September 3, 2013 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
First year defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer talks with the defense on the sidelines at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the Jaguars season opener against Southern Utah on Thursday night.

First year defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer talks with the defense on the sidelines at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the Jaguars season opener against Southern Utah on Thursday night.

South Alabama returned to the practice field on Sunday night for the first time since the Jags season opening loss to Southern Utah. Prior to the light workout in shorts and helmets, they had a team meeting that lasted almost two hours.

The two days prior, the coaching staff poured over the game film breaking down the game and grading performances. Head coach Joey Jones told AL.com, “Looking at the film, I feel like we did some really good things. But the thing we didn’t do was obvious – we didn’t finish the game. We were up eight points with eight minutes left and we lose the ball game. We learned a hard lesson from that.”

“Defensively, we’ve got to stop them, and offensively we’ve got to make first downs late to win the ball game. That’s bottom line. But, the positive side, even though we had a couple of special teams breakdowns, special teams was great. Kickoff coverage was probably the best we’ve ever had – it averaged on the 15 yard line. Kickoff return, we averaged 31 yards per return. Punt team was a 42.1 (yard) average and tackling with a less than 1 yard return.”

“We did some good things. When you have a loss you tend to look at things and it seems like everything is gloom and doom. In some ways it is. But we did some positive things. The thing I challenged the guys with today was we’re going to fight and we’re going to get better. We’re a better team. If we had finished out the game the other night we’d feel a lot better, but we just didn’t finish. So we’ve got to learn to win ball games. We’re at a point with our team, we’ve just got to get that taste of it again. We had a chance and we let it slip away.”

South Alabama started the game by moving the ball quickly with two first downs in their first three offensive plays of the game, however their drive stalled and forced them to punt. Southern Utah was able to capitalize on their drives and went up 10-0 on their first two drives of the game. The Jags would cut the lead to 10-7 prior to halftime.

SU would add a field goal in the second half before the Jags took the lead 14-13 then extended their lead to 21-13 early in the fourth quarter.

Unlike last season, the Jags took care of the ball with only one turnover, however that turnover proved to be costly as Southern Utah turned that turnover into six points but failed on the two-point conversion in an attempt to tie the game.

Besides not finishing the game, the Jags allowed too many big plays. Yet, the Jags could have won the game late with a couple first downs or two field goals in the first half.

It was evident that the Jaguar offense has improved from last season. Shavarez Smith and Danny Woodson gives Metheny and Bridge more options to throw to. Jay Jones showed his speed with a 57 yard run. Brandon Bridge also showed his ability with his 40 yard touchdown run in the first half.

The defense began the game fairly shakey, but in-game adjustments held SU to only three points through the second and third quarters. The Jaguars defensive line had problems getting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run as SU running backs picked up some big gains. The secondary did not come up with any turnovers, but did break up five passes. However when the game was on the line, they gave up a huge first down on 2nd and 12 and a 13-yard first down on a 3rd and 5.

The Jags will look to correct these areas this week before they travel to New Orleans to face an improved Tulane team on Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm.

Coach Jones did say that defensive back Tyrell Pearson and tight end Ben Giles will return from suspension for violations of team rules. Cornerback Akeem Appleton will serve one more game suspension after sitting out the Thursday night game as well.

Jags Return From Spring Break

March 21, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Akeem Appleton Catch

Akeem Appleton looks the ball in for a catch during a spring scrimmage.

After a week off for spring break, the Jaguars returned for their final week of practice leading up to Saturdays annual Red-Blue spring football game.

After a week off, the Jaguars came with plenty of effort, but were lacking in execution.

They began practice with special teams working on punting. Next the offense and defense worked against each other by position. They then broke off into work with position coaches for about 40 minutes. Later they would come back together for another offense versus defense segment as they worked on inside plays. They also worked on skeleton passing drills and play-action passing drills.

In the final session, the team again worked on game-like situations by simulating two-minute drills. The defense kept the first and second team offense off of the scoreboard.

The first-team offense moved the ball into the red zone after C.J. Bennett threw completions to Jereme Jones and Bryant Lavender for a first down at the 19 yard line. Bennett would stop the clock by spiking the ball on first down but would not be able to score after three consecutive incompletions ended their drive.

Trey Fetner led the second-team offense by scrambling twice to pick up a first down and stopping the clock on the second by finding the sideline to step out of bounds. However the defense was not to be out done. Back to back sacks and a broken-up pass by Terrell Brigham would end the possession.

After practice coach Jones commented on what he saw. “Offensively, we came out and had a few missed assignments, we jumped offsides a couple of times. We were not quite as in sync as we were. It wasn’t a lack of effort or want to, it was just making some mental mistakes. Defensively, I thought we came out and had a pretty good practice today.”

“We are going to do a few fundamental things the first part of practice, then at the end we’re going to split them into their teams,” Jones continued. “Coaches have started talking smack to each other, and the players have here and there also. It will be a fun time, the culmination of spring practice, so we’ll give them the last 30 minutes to do that and get ready for the game on Saturday.”

They will practice once more on Thursday beginning at 6:30am at the Jaguar practice facility. The Red & Blue game at 2pm on Saturday, March 24 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be free and open to the public with the Gumbo-Chili cook off during the morning.