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Recap Of South Alabama’s First Scrimmage

March 4, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Jones

Head coach Joey Jones working with the field goal unit during South Alabama's Scrimmage on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

South Alabama held it’s first scrimmage on Saturday in front of some 200-plus visitors. The visitors were high school Juniors who are on the Jaguars recruiting radar for the upcoming class. This was their opporutinity to see campus, tour the facilities and also see the Jaguars in action.

In the scrimmage, Demetre Baker scores two of the four touchdowns on the day while leading the runningbacks with nine carries for 42 yards. On the first scoring drive, C.J. Bennett was 3-of-4, all three completions went to Bryant Lavender for gains of 14, 6 and 25 yards respectively. Lavender’s last reception of the drive moved the Jags inside the 10 yard line and setting Baker up for his touchdown. Terrance Timmons also had a 14-yard rush on the drive.

The second scoring drive saw Bennett connect with Anthony Ingram for an 11-yard catch to begin the drive. On third down and needing one yard to move the chains, Bennett would find Kennedy Helms for a 30-yard completion which would set Baker up for his second touchdown.

C.J. Bennett would end the day going 11-of-17 for 114 yards while adding two runs for nine yards. Trey Fetner would end the day 4-of-7 for 60 yards while working with both the first and second team guys. He would lead the second-team on a 11-play 55-yard drive. He completed two passes to Saxton to move within the ball inside the 30-yard line. Baker would run four consecutive times to get the ball down to the two yard line. A false start penalty would back them up, but Fetner would find Jereme Jones just inside the endzone on the right side for the touchdown. Fetner commented after the scrimmage saying, “Actually, that wasn’t part of my progression. I saw a hole real quick, and I tried to get it in there. It was a mistake, but a good one, so we’ll take it. I did a decent job today, but the line and receivers did a great job. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, though.”

Other scores on the day was a 45-yard field goal by Michel Chapuseaux and a one-yard touchdown run near the end of the scrimmage by Julien Valentin. His touchdown would cap off an 11-play 40-yard drive by the third team offensive unit.

The Jaguar defense gave up 306 yards on 109 plays, which was an average of less than three yards per play. Ben Giles ended the scrimmage with nine total tackles and a pass break-up which was nearly an interception. Charles Harris and Desomnd LaVelle both added six tackles of their own and Randon Carnathan had five tackles. Will Thompson posted five-and-a-half tackles for loss and three sacks while Pat Moore totalled four-and-a-half tackles for loss and four sacks. Ceasare Johnson added five tackles and one-and-a-half sacks. Eddy Cabrera had the only takeaway by recovering a fumble late in the scrimmage.

Bryant Lavender lead the wide receivers with five receptions for 57 yards. While Ingram catching two passes for 39 yards and Wes Saxton also catching two for 25 yards.

“I’m excited about the new offense,” said Demetre Baker after the scrimmage. “I think I’ve still got a lot of things to work on, definitely some reads now that we are not running a lot of power-I. I never will be pleased, though, because I think that every day I can come out here and get a little bit better, run a little harder, make better cuts and read my blocks better.”

Coach Jones commented after the scrimmage by saying, “I thought Demetre had a good day running the ball. He ran real powerful today, he didn’t have any extremely long runs, but he had a lot of five- and 10-yard runs, fighting for tough yards.”

“I believe we are much further along than I thought we would be at this point with the operation of the offense, because the kids have bought in and the staff has done a tremendous job coaching it,” continued Jones. “When they go out on the field they understand what it going on, but it is going so fast they make a mistake or two. But I’m real pleased, because it puts a lot of pressure on the defense when you snap the ball extremely fast.”

Speaking about the depth on both sides of the ball, coach Jones had this following quote. “With the ones on both sides of the ball it was a back-and-forth slugfest. What I see when I look at the offense and defense is a lot more depth on defense. When you put the twos out there there is not a lot of change, but when you put the twos out on offense there is. One of the things we have to work on is our depth offensively.”

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark commented about the defense after the scrimmage was over. “We saw a lot of good things, and we saw some things we have to get better at,” he said. “sometimes that tempo really shows you some things. A lot of guys did a lot of good things, although you won’t know that exactly until you see the film, but we had some guys on the twos who really looked good. That depth chart may be changing next week.”

New offensive coordinator Robert Matthews commented on what he saw from the offense during the scrimmage. “I saw some good things, though I thought we made too many pre-snap penalty mistakes,” he said. “We had some false starts that are unacceptable. We are getting a lot of guys reps, we had seven quarterbacks take snaps today, which makes it hard sometimes with continuance but at the same time its good for our evaluations.”

The most resounding statement by Coach Jones was, “Today was a very big day regarding our depth chart where those guys could prove themselves. After this Thursday, the bulk of spring training will be over.”

South Alabama only has three more practices prior to spring break with the first being at 4pm on Sunday. The Jags are scheduled to work out in just shorts. Following that, they will return to the field on Tuesday in shells then in full pads on Thursday for their next scrimmage.

Jags return to field after Fan Day scrimmage

August 16, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kickoff

Michel Chapuseaux kicks off at the Fan Day scrimmage on Saturday.

The Jaguars returned to the practice on Monday after a well deserved day off on Sunday after seven practices in six days. Monday’s practice was another two-a-day where they would hit the field at 6:15am and again at 4:30pm.

The day off allowed the team to recover and it was evident on the practice field. It also allowed the team to review their performance in Saturday’s scrimmage and make adjustments. The first-team offense made first downs on all six third-down plays they faced. Additionally, they drove 35 yards in 30 seconds to score a touchdown in one of their two-minute drills.

C.J. Bennett completed passes to Jereme Jones and Corey Waldon for first downs in the first two plays of the third-down plays. Bennett then scrambled for a third first down. Jereme Jones then caught another pass from Bennett when the first team returned to the field. Bennett also found Taylor Noon and Anthony Ingram for first down catches as well.

Bennett opened the two minute drill with a completion to Tyrome Bivins for 14 yards and Bivins dove out of bounds to stop the clock. The next play was an incomplete pass, then Bennett found Waldon open over the middle to get the ball down to the 10-yard line. Bennett would rush the offense to the line and spike the ball to stop the clock.

On the next play, Bennett would find Jones in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown but it would be negated on a penalty, backing the offense up five yards. Bennett would respond with a 14-yard pass to Bivins, who would get out of bounds to stop the clock again at the one-yard line. Bennett would find Corey Besteda on the fade route in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

Trey Fetner could only manage one first down in six attempts against the second-team defense. Fetner would pick up the first down when he scrambled when the pocket broke down. He would also be sacked four times. Fetner would find Noon for a nine-yard gain to set up Jordan Means to make a 46-yard field goal.

The final week of preseason camp will end on Friday, giving the student athletes Saturday and Sunday off prior to starting classes on Monday.

Speaking after practice, Coach Jones mentioned that the day off on Sunday was visible in practice on Monday. “It was good — the legs came back a little bit, but I still think we are a little tired from camp. But I thought they fought through it and had a good practice. The offensive line is getting better, they have really made some improvement over the last couple of days.”

Coach Jones also spoke about the how the offense has improved in camp. “They [the offense] were getting beat on for a while the first couple of weeks, but they have turned it around and played a little better. It’s good to see them bounce back, though I’m sure the defense will bounce back tomorrow. It’s good competition out there.”

Pleased with the teams progress, Coach Jones does have a concern. “We are happy with how things are going other than injuries, we have a lot of people banged up right now. It’s nothing major, but we have several of them with bumps and bruises; guys have been out three or four or five days, they’re missing practice. Other than that, I think everything is going good.”

The Jags will practice once on Tuesday then one final two-a-day on Thursday before the final scrimmage of preseason camp. Coach Jones stressed that time is running out for player to make their way into the depth chart. “This is basically the last week they will have a chance — not that they won’t have a chance ever — but the bottom line is we are looking hard at this week to make decisions what to go into game week with.”

Fan Day scrimmage 2011

August 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Anthony Ingram Touchdown

Anthony Ingram catches a touchdown pass from Trey Fetner with cornerbacks Travis Brooks and Ameriol Finley.

South Alabama held their first scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday in conjunction with Fan Day at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They also debuted their new blue uniforms as well, but it not know when and how often they may be used this season.

The first half of the scrimmage was not open to the fans to view but the offense scored three times. The first team offense scored a touchdown and a field goal, while the second team offense added another field goal on their final possession before a break.

C.J. Bennett lead the offense on a 10 play 57-yard drive leading to a Jordan Means 30-yard field goal. Demetre Baker carried the ball four times for 39 yards in his only appearance of the day. Bennett also connected with Corey Waldon for a 25 yard completion on the drive.

On the first team’s last possession, Bennett lead a 60-yard, seven-play touchdown drive. Santuan McGee would pick up the first first-down of the drive on an 11 yard rush. McGee would finish with 26 yards on five attempts. J.J. Keels would move the chains again after rushing for eight and four yards respectively. Bennett would move the the team into the red zone after a 13-yard strike to Waldon. The very next play appeared to be a touchdown pass from Bennett to Waldon again, but it was negated by an offensive pass interference call.

Keels would move the ball 16 yards before Devin Robinson would find the end zone on an 18-yard run.

Trey Fetner lead the second team on a 54-yard drive that culminated in a 28-yard field goal by Michel Chapuseaux on the final snap before the break.

Fetner completed a pass to Jake Howton for 47-yards of the 54-yards the drive covered on a post pattern. Devin Robinson also rushed three times for 12 yards after the big completion.

The only score of the second half came on the next to last series. Fetner found Anthony Ingram open down the middle of the field for the 40-yard touchdown pass.

The Jaguar offense gained 328 yards and averaged just under five yards per play for the day. Fetner went 4 of 7 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown. Bennett finished 2 of 4 for 38 yards. J.J. Keels carried the ball 13 times for 74 yards and Devin Robinson rushed 14 times for 57 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Desmond LaVelle lead the team with seven stops total, five of them were unassisted. Cori Barnett and Cordivido Grice also added five stops themselves. B.J. Scott and Damond Smith added three tackles for the first team. Ameriol Finley, Ben Giles, Maleki Harris, Ceasare Johnson and Ramon Lewis all added three tackles for the second and third team units.

The scrimmage ended with some special teams work on kickoff returns and placekicking. Each kicker attempted three field goals each. Jordan Means split the uprights from 37, 40 and 50 yards. Chapuseaux made a 49 yard attempt and Lawson McGlon also made a 45-yard attempt.

“I thought we responded well today,” said coach Joey Jones after team’s first live scrimmage. “We put them in some situations that they hadn’t been in in practice where you are tackling full speed. There is a difference, I don’t care who you are and how hard you practice — and we practice hard — games are different because there is that little extra burst that you always have to give. We realized in the scrimmage today that we have to do a little bit more of this where they are used to game-type situations. I thought they got a little tired, but that’s due to the fact that we’ve been practicing 10 days in a row. The bottom line is they need to realize that the game is a little different than practice. The kids are fighting through it, I thought they gave good effort.”

Coach Jones continued speaking about the running backs in this scrimmage, “Of course Kendall Houston didn’t play today and Demetre, we got him out after about six plays. We know good and well what he can do. We’re trying to develop some depth, and J.J and Devin looked good. And Santuan has always looked real good, so we feel like we’ve got five guys back there that can play.”

“We had plans to have our No. 1 units go in there for 15-18 plays then have the twos and threes work a good bit today, which is what we did,” Jones commented. “I thought the offense picked it up today and put some things together. It had been looking pretty bad the last few days to be honest, the defense had kind of been dominating them. The offense played a little better today, it was good to see them fight back.”

“We’ve got some good freshmen, I believe they are going to find some playing time,” Jones finished. “We’re going to have to make a decision next weekend after the scrimmage whether to redshirt them or play them; that’s a valuable decision. Some of those guys are stepping up and could fill some starting roles before long, but we’ll see how things progress.”

Jake Johnson, finished with an unassisted sack at inside linebacker, spoke after practice about the scrimmage. “I think we got game speed, because in practice we’re going full speed to the ball but we have to slow up and not hit. Today it was up tempo with linemen coming off hard and cutting us, running backs were running hard. We’re not there yet, but it was good for a first scrimmage to see that and where we need to be.”

The team will be off on Sunday to rest. They will return to practice at 6:15am on Monday at the Jaguar Practice Facility.