Commentary: Jaguars Winning Ways Similar To National Championship Contender

October 24, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · Comment 

There is no doubt the Jaguars first season of football has already exceeded many peoples initial vision. They thought that if the Jags could win a couple games, it would be a pretty good season. But with the Jags 4-0 and dominating every opponent in all phases of the game, this was unexpected by many local observers.

South Alabama is starting to get noticed around the state too. UAB and Troy fans are already talking up their programs and talking down to the Jaguars. This started after the first game and again after the second game. Are they already worried about their place in the state’s college football pecking order? If not, then maybe they should.

Looking at the Jaguars and the current #1 team in the state, the University of Alabama, you can see some parallels between the two teams (overlooking the last two or three games by Alabama). The Jags and UA are both led by good defensive play based on stopping the run.

The Jags Justin Dunn would probably be the Jags closest player to parallel the impact of Dont’a Hightower. Hightower played (out for season with a knee injury) inside linebacker and made lots of tackles and stuffed the run. Charlie Higgenbotham would be the closest Alabama’s Rolando McClain. He does a good job helping to stop the run and is able to drop into coverage as well. Although Josh Chestang could also be tagged as a possible McClain parallel too.

In the secondary, Jerron Mitchell is probably the closest cornerback to the skill and ability to match Javier Arenas in coverage and tackling. Althought I haven’t seen him blitz the quarterback like Alabama does with Arenas. While Zach Brownell seems to have the same nose for the football as Alabama’s Mark Barron. They seem to put themselves into the right position to pick off an opponents pass.

Even the Jags and Alabama seem to have somewhat similar strengths and weaknesses on offense. Both teams run the ball very well with a good stable of running backs, but both are somewhat struggling in the passing game. The Jags don’t utilize the ‘pistol’ formation nor do they use the ‘wildcat’ formation either. Coach Jones and Coach Gregory feel that freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon is athletic enough that they do not need to use those formations. So they are too different to be compared to each other beyond the fact they are both starting quarterbacks.

Courtney Smith is big, fast and is a threat to score anytime he gets the ball, which is exactly what you would say about Julio Jones. Its hard to compare the rest of the receiver corps because of how few passes have been thrown and how many receivers have caught passes.

Again, both teams are very strong in the rushing game. Obviously Alabama’s Mark Ingram is quite a spectacular player, but so is Trent Richardson too. There are many traits that are shared by Ingram and Richardson for Alabama and Brandon Ross, Santuan McGee and Anthony Mostella.

I strongly urge you not to misconstrue these comparisons. It’s not meant to further praise Alabama or to proclaim the Jaguars just as good as Alabama. It’s merely meant to go towards showing what a good job coach Jones and his staff are doing here in Mobile. Alabama is currently ranked in the top two spots in all of the polls and rankings. Both teams are winning with fundamentals, strong defenses and a lots of rushing yards.

As mentioned in the Coach Joey Jones Radio Show, the Jags need to work on their passing game to be a more complete team. They are definitely dominating by running the game, but a football team wants and really needs to be able to move the ball by passing or running the ball.

Something else the Jags need to work on lately are their penalties. In the first two games the Jags did not commit many penalties. Against Hargrave they committed 4 for 30 yards and against Army prep they committed 5 for 40 yards. But against Georgia Military they committed 10 for 158 yards and against Louisburg they committed 6 for 52 yards. The Jags improved against Louisburg by reducing their number of penalties and yards but it is still more than the first two games. The Georgia Military game is obviously the low point of the Jags season thus far. If you subtract their penalty yards from their offensive production, they only gained 93 yards.

With this type of play out of such young players the Jaguars have quite a bright future ahead of them. With increasingly better opponents coming in the near future, the Jags will be in the position to play competitively and win.

Coach Joey Jones TV Show Preview

October 8, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

I hope Pat Greenwood and UTV-44 will not mind this, but I am going to post an overview of the Coach Joey Jones TV Show that will air Saturday morning only an hour before kickoff. You really should record it and watch it later if you can. Its set to air from 10:30am for a half-hour leading into the SEC Network Game of the Week.

Pat and Coach Jones began the show talking about the win over Army Prep. Coach Jones said during the second drive by the Jags, he could see the Army Prep defense showing signs of weakness. They were visibly huffing and puffing, resting their hands on their hips and getting down into the stance late. He credited the humidity for helping to wear them down so early, but he also praised the Jags for jumping on the early and hard.

Pat also mentioned Courtney Smith’s new nickname of ‘quick six.’ He then asked coach Jones if they saw something that they wanted to exploit with the screen pass to Courtney. Coach Jones said that they thought they could possibly score early behind the passing game and thats what Coach Gregory thought also and it worked.

They spoke about the fumble by Courtney in the first quarter and Coach Jones said that is something they work on in every practice, including the practices since Army Prep.

Pat pointed out that Myles had a good game. Coach Jones agreed and said that he had more confidence going into the second game and did a good job.

Coach Jones mentioned after reviewing the Ralph Turner play that they need to get the ball into his hands more since he is a playmaker.

Pat asked if Coach Jones knew they were as deep at running back as they seem to be after so many players got touches against Army Prep. Coach Jones said he actually did not think they were quite that deep at RB, but he was quite happy to see so many players get some playing time. Plus Coach Jones said that the team is much farther along that they thought they would be and he is quite happy about that.

Coach Gregory joined Pat and Joey for a segment where they talked about his previous experience. When asked if he was pleased about the first two games and in particular the Army Prep game, Coach Gregory said he was not satisfied. The team left alot of points out on the field early and they have to work on converting scroring attempts into points.

Pat and Greg went back to his time at South Florida and how he missed the start of the program but was there for their rise on the national landscape. Coach Gregory said he was quite surprised at the calibre of players that Coach Jones and his staff have assembled. He wasn’t at the school when they were recruited and wasn’t sure what he would have to work with when he took the job. He also mentioned that he thought South Alabama is in a great place to recruit and he thinks that the Jags can develop like South Florida has.

Looking to Georgia Military, they mentioned that they run multiple formations on offense and they utilize a 3-3 stack type defense. The stacking of defensive players helps to mask where the linebackers are going to attack and such. Coach Gregory also mentioned that they bring alot of pressure.

The injury report is pretty clear. The Jags have recovered from some bumps and bruises and is pretty much healthy. The only exception is John Mark Patrick who is still sidelined with a knee injury from the Hargrave game.

Coach Jones reiterated that Georgia Military brings experience in both players and coaches to the game. He likened it to having two Hargrave’s with one with a years experience to mentor the young players.

GO JAGS!!

Looking forward to Georgia Military, since 1995 they have had 30 NFL players with 18 different teams. So they are a very talented team.

Jags Win Impressively Over Army Prep To Stay Undefeated

September 27, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coming off of a three week layoff was nothing that the Jaguars could not overcome on Saturday. Not even a rain storm could slow them down too much. The Jaguar offense rolled up 500 yards of total offense while only surrendering 225 to Army Prep in an impressive 56-0 victory.

Of the 500 yards for the offense, 309 came from the running game but built their early lead via the passing game. On the games first series and facing a 3rd down and five, freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon found Courtney Smith on a wide receiver screen for a 63 yard touchdown pass 1:06 into the game.

Army Prep’s first series ended with a punt that was blocked by the Jaguar defense, however the Jags turned the ball back over on a fumble. After the defense forced another punt, Erling Riis returned the punt to the Black Knight 37 yard-line. The Jaguars only needed six plays to get the ball into the endzone when Gibbon hit Corey Besteda on an 18 yard slant play for the touchdown with 6:16 left in the first quarter.

After another Black Knight punt, the Jaguars used 1:31 in four plays to cover 36 yards for their third touchdown of the first quarter. It was capped off by Brandon Ross’s second and final carry of the game for the two-yard touchdown.

A fourth consecutive Black Knight punt set up the Jaguars for a third consecutive scoring drive, a four play 58 yard drive taking only 1:54 off of the clock put the Jaguars up 28-0 with 13:00 left in the second quarter. Brennan Sim came in for relief of Gibbon on this series. Sim found Ralph Turner for a 40 yard gain to start the possession and it was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown run by Anthony Mostella.

Army Prep took the ensuing kickoff on an 11 play 46 yard drive before fumbling at the Jaguar 10 yard line. The Black Knight defense tightened up and forced a Jaguar punt.

The Jaguar special teams pinned them back at their own six yard line when Jerron Mitchell scored on a 27 yard interception return with eight minutes left until halftime to extend the Jaguar lead to 35-0.

The second half saw the Jaguars continue their scoring when a fumble recovery would be converted to an 11 yard touchdown run by Ryan Scott with 12:50 left in the third quarter.

The Jaguar defense would force Army Prep to punt again on their next series leading to Scott scoring again on a five yard run for a 49-0 advantage.

Army Prep would then throw another interception on their first play from scrimmage which lead to the Jaguars final scoring drive. Eddy Cabrera would intercept the pass to set up the 5 play 61 yard drive was capped off by an 18 yard pass from Nick Owens to Nick Brunson with 3:10 left in the third quarter for the final score of 56-0.

Army Prep only threatened to score twice in the game, but came away empty handed both times. In the first quarter they completed a 66 yard pass but on the very next play Justin Dunn would force a fumble that Charlie Higgenbotham would recover at the South Alabama 10 yard line. The second threat had the Black Knights in the red zone but back to back sacks ended the possession.

Four quarterbacks saw action in the game for the Jaguars. Myles Gibbon finished 6 of 7 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns, Brennan Sim went 2 of 5 for 46 yards and Nick Owens went 2 of 2 for 23 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Graham did not attempt a pass. In all the Jaguar quarterbacks went 10 of 14 for 191 yards and three touchdowns.

Courtney Smith led the receivers with two receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown. Nick Brunson was the only other Jag with multiple receptions with two for 23 yards and a touchdown. Corey Besteda was the other Jaguar receiver with a touchdown.

The Jaguar rushed 44 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns total while averaging seven yards per attempt. Eli Smith lead all with nine carries for 94 yards and a long of 31 yards. Ryan Scott had eight carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Pacillo had seven carries for 40 yards, Anthony Mostella had five carries for 40 yards and Santuan McGee also had five carries for 19 yards.

On defense, three Jags had five tackles: Justin Dunn, Logan Bennett and Brett Hancock. Seven Jaguars had three tackles. Clifton Crews and Randon Carnathan both had a each.

Coach Jones was pleased with his team. “It was obviously a great effort. I thought we’d play well, but I didn’t know we’d play that well,” he said. “We had a lot of time to prepare, and that really made the difference today. That’s why we played as well as we did.”

Coach Jones continued, “The biggest thing I talked to the team about today was the way we prepared,” Jones said. “It would’ve been easy for our kids to let up in practice, and easy for our coaches to let up in practice. The kids didn’t lose their focus, they knew that we had an opportunity to be extremely prepared and that’s what happened today. What I learned about them is that they’re listening to what we’re saying, and they’re buying in. Just to see the looks in their eyes in the locker room after the game, you can see that things are starting to turn. You start to see the evolution of a team. We’ve certainly got a long way to go, but I think they’re starting to turn into a team and we’re only going to get better from there.”

Army Prep head coach Tom Simi had good things to say about the Jaguars as well. “We played what is going to be a very good team in South Alabama today,” Simi said. “USA is a program that is just starting, but they have some good players on their team already and I’m sure they are going to rise quickly. Obviously, today was extremely challenging for our kids.”

Coach Jones and the Jaguars will have two weeks to prepare for Georgia Military Junior College for their game scheduled on Saturday, October 10 at 11:30am

The Jaguars Are Ready For Army Prep

September 25, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Brandon Ross diving for one of his two touchdowns in the Jaguars historic win over Hargrave Academy on September 5th, 2009. Photo courtesy of Doug Roberts.

The Jags are primed and ready for the second game in school history. After a three week layoff that seemed almost like an eternity, practices are over with and all that is left is execution on game day.

Obviously Coach Jones was worried about the long layoff between the emotional first game and the second game. But Coach Jones says the practices have been good. “The tone has been good out here,” he observed. “We have had some good practices the last two weeks. The guys have come out to work, practices have been real businesslike. The emotional level has picked up this week, which is what you want. You want to peak on Saturday – our kids understand that, they will be ready. I have not been part of anything like this, it has been tough. A lot of things in life can be negative but we were able to turn it into a positive, we’ve had a long time to get ready. We feel like we have worked against them every day for two-and-a-half weeks, that has got to help us.”

He also said that he is not concerned that the players were focused on only playing well in the program’s debut game. “The bottom line is that every game is a big game, and our kids understand that,” he said. “They want to have a great season, not just a great first game. We’ve been working a lot of hours so that any time that we go on the field we will be ready.”

The long layoff has given the team a chance to spend extra time practicing against scout teams that are running plays and formations that their next opponent, the Army Prep Black Knights, is expected to use against the Jags. But it has also given the staff a chance to thoroughly go over game film from the first game to identify things that need to be addressed.

Coach Jones said, “There are a lot of little things that we have been able to improve on the last few weeks. Our offense is always working on scoring in the red zone, it seems like we talk about that a lot because it’s hard to score down there. The Jaguars scored on three of five chances in the red zone against the Tigers. Defensively we did a lot of great things, although we gave up some short passes so we’ve been addressing that. This is a running team we’re playing against, though, so our challenge on defense this week is stopping the triple option.”

The Jags did a great job of stopping the run against Hargrave by only allowing 106 yards on 27 rushes out of the 344 yards they allowed for the game against the Tigers.

The Jags will have a walk through at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Friday and will finalize preparations for the game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4pm. Also an online audio feed will be available for free at www.usajaguars.com with pregaming starting at 3pm as well as postgame wrap up afterwards.

Also read the great article posted today about Tony Threatt entitled “The Heart Of The Matter.” It is a very good peace about the freshman defensive back for the Jaguars]

After Three Weeks, The Jags Are Ready To Play

September 24, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama students swinging their white towels during the schools first game against Hargrave Academy. Photo courtesy of Doug Roberts.

“This almost seems like our first game again because we’ve had two off weeks and there’s that kind of anticipation. We practiced four or five weeks for the first game, and now we’re practicing three weeks for the second ballgame,” USA head coach Joey Jones said at Media Day on Monday. “The anticipation is there, and I know our kids have really worked hard the last two weeks.”

It does not feel that way to the fans though. Everyone is itching to see the Jags on the field again for their follow up their 30-13 showing against Hargrave Academy. In the game the Jags had 429 yards of total offense which was lead by Brandon Ross with 139 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The entire team ran for 265 yards combined. Courtney Smith had five receptions for 104 yards and also scored the first points in program history on a 60 yard reception from Myles Gibbon with seconds to go in the first quarter.

At one point the Jags were up 20-0 before Hargrave began their attempt at a comeback.

The Black Knights of Army Prep come into Mobile with a 1-2 record. They opened the season with a 21-14 loss to Army’s junior varsity team then came back to win against Hudson Valley Community College (N.Y.) 46-44. They then lost last Friday 13-8 against Nassau Community College (N.Y.).

Army Prep runs the triple option on offense and a 3-5-3 formation on defense. As coach Jones has said in every talk since the Hargrave game, they are very disciplined. “Army Prep is a very disciplined program,” said Coach Jones. “Their offense is very hard to defend from a mental standpoint, you’ve got to be in the right places at the right times – we’ve been working on that for the last week or so. Defensively, they run a flex front, and it’s a little bit of a different front. Most people run a 4-3 or a 3-4, but they run a different front that we’re having to work on a little bit. They’ve got some good players, and we recruited some of the players on their team. I look for it to be a great ballgame this Saturday.”

Cornerback Jerron Mitchell said, “It’s all about being disciplined. Army’s coaching staff has done a great job with preparing their kids, making everything fundamentally sound. Coach Clark and his staff have done a great job with laying out the option figuring out ways to stop it.”

Offensive lineman Chris Brunson was confident in his teammates on the line. He said, “Army runs a different look. Their players are smaller but quicker, while Hargrave was bigger but more physical. But, we can still duplicate what we did against Hargrave.”

The parking lot will open at 8am at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and the gates will open at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the USA Ticket Office or visiting the Mitchell Center ticket office until Friday at 5pm. Tickets will be then be available beginning at 10am at Ladd-Peebles.

Shuttles will be running from Bell Air Mall in the south parking lot behind Target and J.C. Penney to the stadium beginning at noon. Continuous service will be provided until 90 minutes after the game for a $2.50 charge for round-trip service. Also there will be buses running from campus to Ladd-Peebles stadium at 11am, noon, 1pm and 2pm, which will be free for students and $5 for round trip to all other individuals.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-09-22

September 22, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The show started with Lee and Coach Jones joking about having enough time to get ready for Army Prep. Coach Jones likened it to getting ready for a bowl game, which Lee pointed out would not be too far in the future. Lee also mentioned a pep rally this evening at Bel Air Mall from 6-7pm plus a pep rally on campus, probably at the Mitchell Center on Friday.

Mentioning the need for game time experience, Coach Jones said that game experience is invaluable. The team can practice for weeks on end, but game experience is needed to reinforce what they have gone over on the practice field. They understand why they ran something 45 times the last week when they see and understand it on the field during a game.

Speaking about Army Prep, coach Jones said they are very disciplined, more so than Hargrave but probably not as athletic as Hargrave. As we have mentioned over the last two week, Army Prep runs the triple option (defending the triple option, Jags continue Prep).

Army Prep copies the varsity team down to a T. Everything from Offense, defense, and special teams are all the same between the two squads. Coach Jones mentioned that it will be a challenge and the Jags must match their discipline but that he felt really comfortable about his team.

Lee asked about the triple option and Coach Jones answered that the quarterback can give the ball to the full back up the middle or keep it around the end or pitch to the back off the end. Its just like the wishbone offense except they line up in the double split formation. This is where they have two split ends that line up about a yard outside the tackle.

Lee called Army Prep and was told by their athletic director that these kids can not and will not be recruited by South Alabama. They were very secretive about any information about the players. All of these players have been tagged for West Point Academy. Coach Jones said he has heard it both ways, that they can and they cannot recruit their players. But he decided to be on the safe side and not recruit any Army Prep players.

Coach Brian Turner came in for the second segment. Lee introduced him and congratulated him on his defensive lines work against Hargrave in the first game.

Lee then turned to recruiting since Coach Turner is the recruiting coordinator for the Jaguars. Coach Turner said that they can make 42 evaluations as per the NCAA. So they have six coaches traveling seven times during the year to make their number of 42 evaluations. The coaches are still evaluating players and their board has about 100 players that they are watching or have already offered scholarships to. Coach Jones said that they ahve to re-evaluate and re-rank players from time to time to make sure they do the best with their resources. They have been doing that over the last week. Coach Jones said that when you have two scholarships for defensive linemen or a receiver, you want to make sure you use those two scholarships wisely.

Lee asked about Coach Turners thoughts on kids verbally committing early and the possibility of an early signing period. He said No if its in December. He thinks it would hurt schools like South Alabama if it were to be in December. But if the early signing period was in May he would be for it. Lee asked what if it was in September? Coach Turner said he possibly would be for it.

Lee asked how many scholarships can USA give in February? Coach Jones said they have about 25 scholarships to give, but they also have some gray shirts commitments so they probably have about 20 to sign actually in February.

Beginning segment three, Lee mentioned again that Coach Jones will be at Bel Air Mall this evening from 6-7pm signing autographs and attending the pep rally scheduled there.

Lee and Joey talked about some college football happenings around the nation briefly and then asked if USA could play any Sun Belt schools earlier than their first full year in Division-I. Coach Jones said yes, they could but in 2012 they would still be a Division I-AA school and that Division I school can only schedule one per year. Most of the schools already have one scheduled but that they are also still working on the schedules that far out.

Lee then asked Coach Turner, how many defensive line players are in the rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they have nine players in the rotation. During Hargrave they had 10 but due to a knee injury one will be out for Army Prep. He also said that is a good part of being a young team is having the ability to rotate a large number of linemen into the game.

The fourth and final segment started with the injury report. Coach Jones said they are very healthy except for John Mark Patrick, who went down late in the Hargrave game with a knee injury. They think he should be back this season and hope to have it back for Georgia Military.

Lee asked about transfers from other schools. Coach Turner said that the player has to initiate the contact and then before the coaches and talk and try to recruit the player, they have to have a release from the school. Coach Jones said that if a player transfers between schools in the conference, they have to sit out a year but Coach Turner said that he would not want a player transferring to another school within the conference.

Lee also brought up how he liked how the Auburn players were coached to give the ball to the officials, even in the end zone. It makes for a more speedy game and it seemed more classy. Coach Jones agreed, he does not like kids to showboat or toss the ball around. USA also runs a more up-beat offense but they have taught the players to hand the ball to the official especially during the hurry-up drills.

Jags Continue Preparation For Army Prep

September 17, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama has started early in preparation for their game against Army Prep on September 26. Most teams do not get three weeks between games, but since this is the Jaguars first season with a limited number of games it worked out that way. So Coach Jones and his staff have started working on things the team can do better from the first game and preparing for the unusual offense they will see on the field.

The Jaguar offensive practice has been centered around red zone work, something that Coach Jones thought the team struggled with against Hargrave Academy. They have also worked on first down production and third down scenerios. The offense has also worked on another situation every day this week, picking up the blitz.

The defense has been focusing all week has been going against the base plays of the triple option. Coach Jones thinks that having three weeks between games is a positive in that the defense gets more time to prepare for this type of offense. “Kids nowadays don’t grow up playing in that offense,” Coach Jones said. “When I grew up pretty much everyone ran the option, so it was nothing to go out there, line up and know where you were supposed to go – but, you just don’t see it any more. You have to be very disciplined to play against the option. That’s why the Armys and the Navys are very successful in Division I football. They play teams with better athletes, but the offense is a great equalizer.”

The staff and in particular Coach Jones has been surprised in a good way by his teams performance on the practice field with the lone exception being Tuesdays practice. Tuesday’s practice was described as the offensing having a lull. “I think that we have practiced much better than I would have anticipated,” Coach Jones observed.

Another plus for the long layoff between games is the team gets to mend injuries sustained in the first game. All but one injury has cleared up since the first game. John Mark Patrick, who came off the field late in the Jags game against Hargrave with what appeared to be a knee injury, did not return to practice this week. He said it was a little unusual this late in September to be about 99% as he said. But also the Jags have only played the one game as well.

The Jags will take a three day weekend before beginning game-week preparations on Monday for the Black Knights of Army Prep.

Defending The Triple Option

September 15, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · 5 Comments 

A very crude diagram of the triple option. It gives the quarterback three options: hand off to the fullback, pitch to the tailback or keep it himself to run.

The Jags will start preparing this week for their game against Army Prep on September 26. Army Prep, like Army, runs the triple option offense. In both teams first game of the season, Army gave Ohio State a handful before the Buckeyes sealed the win when an Army two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was intercepted and returned for two points for the Buckeyes, for the final score 31-27.

The triple option is a very tough offense to prepare for and defend from a mental standpoint. Blitzing and stunting can easily be punished by an observant and well run offense by taking advantage of personnel being out of position. Its pretty easy to rack up yardage on the ground playing sound triple option football.

The best philosophy, which is really what any defense wants to do against any offense, is to limit production on first down and to try to keep the offense in third-and-long situations. Basically against the triple option, keep things vanilla and play assignment-sound football.

One popular way to defend the triple option is by modifying the base 3-4 defense into a 5-3 type defense using the 5 technique for the defensive tackles and the 0 technique for the nose guard. The 5 technique aligns the defensive tackle at the outside eye of the offensive tackle, keying first the tight end then the offensive tackle. Typically this technique has four duties or uses: 1) keep the offensive tackles off of the linebackers, 2) the defensive tackle cannot be blocked singularly by the offensive tackle, 3) to check for the trap, and 4) rush the pass. The 0 technique has the nose guard line up directly in front of the center and he will read and react to both of the offensive guards and the center.

In this scheme, the five defensive linemen line up against the five offensive linemen with their assignment being to tackle the fullback in the dive play and to keep the offensive linemen from getting to the linebackers. The two linebackers line up about five yards off the line with their outside leg splitting the crotch of the 5 technique linemen, basically lining up half a body to the inside. This way they can play the B-Gap and the fullback on the dive play or they can scrape and play the quarterback on the pitch. The outside linebackers, if a tight end is present, will use a heads-up technique on the tight end, which will allow them to play the quarterback or the pitch.

That only accounts for seven of the eight players in the box. The biggest adjustment is moving the strong safety into the box seven yards behind the nose guard. This allows him to scrape inside out on most plays. His deeper alignment allows him to move without running into the linebackers. His job to pursue from the dive play to the quarterback rolling out to the pitch.

Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on the cornerbacks who will be in man-to-man coverage most of the time. They will normally line up about seven yards off the line and either straight on with the receiver or one to two yards inside so they can use the sidelines as an extra defender. The free safety plays the deep middle with his job to get depth and play the ball on the pass or give run support once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage.

Obviously, with the free safety playing deep middle with eight in the box, the seven yard cushion by the corners is to protect from a receiver engaging the corner and getting the inside position for a quick pass with a long run for a big gain or touchdown.

I do not know if this is what the South Alabama defense will employ for this game. It will be interesting to see what Coach Jones and Coach Clark put together to defend Army Prep’s triple option.

Here are some videos demonstrating the triple option in use.


Nebraska running the triple option in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Quarterback keeps the ball.


Florida running the triple option with Tebow pitching to Harvin.


Highlight video of Navy running the option.

South Alabama Sports Update 2009-09-13

September 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Soccer, Volleyball · Comment 

Football

Coach Jones and his staff will continue with with preseason camp-like practice schedule this week before going into game week practice starting Monday, September 21. This weeks practice will continue preparing the offense for the rest of the season by continuing to add more passing plays to the playbook that will translate to more passing during game situations.

There were several upsets around the nation in week two of college football play. Several teams came off big opening week games to fall in their second game. With three weeks between the Jags first game against Hargrave Academy and their second game against Army Prep.

Army Prep lost to the JV team from West Point 21-14 but came back for a win in their second game of the season in a high scoring affair against Hudson Valley Community College 46-43. Army Prep will play Nassau Community College this weekend before their trip to Mobile to face the Jaguars.

Volleyball

The Jags opened the Jaguar Classic with a loss against Southern Mississippi on Friday but came back to win two matches on Saturday beating Nicholls State 3-1 (17-25, 28-26. 25-10, 25-13) and Jackson State 3-2 (25-12, 20-25, 25-18, 16-25, 15-8).

These two wins on Saturday improved the Jaguars record to 6-4. They will close out their non-conference tournament schedule next weekend in Prairie View, Texas for the Lady Panther Invitational. The Jags will take on Nicholls State again on Friday Sept. 18 in the opening day of the Lady Panther Invitational. Then Friday, September 25 the Jags will open their regular season SBC play at home when they host Florida Atlantic at 5pm in Jaguar Gym.

Soccer

The Jaguars match with Stetson that was scheduled for Sunday was postponed due to lightning and eventually cancelled due to an unplayable surface due to heavy rain. The Jags will next play Georgia State in Atlanta on Friday, September 18 at 6pm followed by a trip to Columbia, South Carolina for their final non-conference match of the season when they play South Carolina on Sunday, September 20.

The Jags will begin their SBC scheude in Jonesboro, Arkansas when they take on Arkansas State on Friday, September 25.

No Letdown In Practice After The Programs First Victory

September 10, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon scrambling for a touchdown in Saturday’s historic 30-13 win in South Alabama first-ever football game against Hargrave Military Academy. – Photo by Doug Roberts.

Coach Jones was concerned on Tuesday that the team might have a lack of focus and intensity in practice. But on Tuesday he could tell they had leftover energy from Saturday’s big win over Hargrave Academy.

Wednesday’s practice began with about 15 minutes of special teams work, then it was following special teams was about 30 minutes of position drills. Next the offense had a 10 minute session of recognizing and picking up blitz’s from the defense then a 15 minute session of skeleton passing drills.

Then the Jags went into some situational work. They spent about 15 minutes in red zone situations with drives beginning at either the 20 or 25 yard lines. The first possession was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Eli Smith on fourth-and-goal. The very next offensive possession saw Myles Gibbon find Courtney Smtih for a 25 yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone.

The defense forced a field goal attempt, which was missed. Then Gibbon found Kelly Vail on a crossing pattern which scored another touchdown when Vail found the pylon on the left side of the end zone. This touchdown was followed up by a defensive stop with another missed field goal attempt. Brennan Sim also threw for a touchdown.

Practice ended with 20 minute scrimmage with the Jags utilizing the second and third string players to develop experience and depth for the squad. Zach Rone sacked Brennan Sim twice to force a three-and-out on the first drive. Sim would lead the offense into the red zone on the next possession. Eli Smith started the drive with a nine-yard run to get a first down. Then Sim would complete passes of 21 and seven yards to Donte Rome to get two more first downs on the drive. A two yard run by Jeremy Pacillo would put the offense at the 18 yard line, but an Eddy Cabrera interception after an incomplete pass would end the drive at the five yard line.

The defense would force another three-and-out after a tackle for loss, a sack and a broken-up pass on third-and-16.

Gabe Graham would hit Josh Dees for a 12 yard first down pass to get to the Offense’s 49 yard line. A three yard pass to Rome would move the offense across midfield, but he was sacked on fourth down to end the day.

Coach Jones spoke after practice about the teams intensity, “Practice has been really good, we’ve come out here twice and got after it. We’ve tried to keep the intensity level up, and they have done well responding to that. I’ve been real surprised, to be honest, because when you’re three weeks away from a game right after a big win you expect a letdown – they haven’t done that. In the back of their minds, I think they would like to have a game this Saturday, but they’re not letting that show in practice.”

Even though the season has officially started, Coach Jones and his staff are going through a practice schedule that is similar to what they did during preseason camp. “We feel that the format is a good for learning in practice,” Coach Jones said. “We change things up with the situations that we cover, but we feel that it is a format we want to use most of the time.”

“We’re trying to get our young kids to watch film, to teach them and let them learn,” Jones said about second and third stringers scrimmage at the end of practice. “We’re going to let them go again tomorrow. We feel that we have a good hour and 45 minutes to practice with the older guys, and since the younger guys are working hard as well this gives them 20 minutes to get out there for live action.”

The Jaguars will practice again Thursday afternoon with a tentative scrimmage set for Friday, but will have the weekend off. The next game will be Saturday, September 26 against Army Prep with kickoff at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.