Coach Jones Pleased With Tuesday’s Practice

November 14, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

2012 South Alabama Football Senior class. – Photo from USAJaguars.com


South Alabama returned to the practice field on Tuesday to continue preparation for Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State.

“We had a pretty good day today,” head coach Joey Jones said. “I think we had a good one from the standpoint that they were paying attention and they had a good inside drill today, running the football on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. I thought we had a goods crisp period where they got after it and on Tuesday’s you’ve got to have a good physical practice because you’ve got to carry it over to the game.”

Similar to last week, the Jags practiced in shells and will most likely do it again on Wednesday as well. As they are in the midst of a long stretch of games with three more to go the staff does not want to over extend the players while still working on keeping them sharp and implementing the game plan for their next opponent.

Coach Jones also said in his weekly radio show that Demetre Baker was doubtful for the Jags game this weekend. This will likely put Kendall Houston as the starter against the Blue Raiders on Saturday. Baker missed the second half against North Texas with an ankle sprain suffered in the second quarter.

Houston has 185 yards on 71 carries this season and has made appearances in all 10 games. Baker is the teams leading rusher with 595 yards on the season.

Clifton Crews, who suffered a concussion in the second quarter against North Texas, is probable for this weekends game. He will still have to pass a battery of tests to make sure there are no lingering affects from the concussion before that decision is finalized.

Prior to this Saturday’s game, the University will honor 15 seniors in a pre-game ceremony. Trey Clark, B.J. Scott and Jake Johnson have started all 10 games this season. Cori Barnett and Brandon Ross have not seen the playing field this season due to injuries.

Ryne Baxter, Jonathan Cameron, Michel Chapuseaux, Andy Dalgleish, Kennedy Helms, Ellis Hill, Gabe Loper, Chris Rivers, Tremain Smith and Anthony Taylor will all join the previously mentioned players to be honored as the 2012 senior class.

“I want to thank our seniors for all they have done and committed to this football program, for what they have meant not only to this university but to our team,” said Coach Jones. “They are great leaders and great young men, they care about this team and have done all the right things to build this program from the ground up. Some of the guys have been here the whole time, some have transferred in, but the bottom line is that they have all contributed in great ways. They will be forever missed because they have done a good job here, they have created an atmosphere of hard work and character. We will be indebted to them forever.”

“I think this is a special day, it really is, because you almost treat it a little differently since it is your last day to play at home,” he continued. “Not that you are going to go out and play any harder, because those guys are going to play hard anyway, but you look at it with a little different perspective because you realize this is your last one. There are not many things in life that you know are going to end, maybe retirement.”

The parking lot at Ladd-Peebles Stadium will open at 8am for tailgating and gates to the stadium will open at 12:30pm. The Jaguar Prowl will take place around 12:10pm in the South parking lot. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm.

Two Unknowns In One Week For The Jags

September 6, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

As the Jags prepare for a bit of an unknown opponent, they are venturing into another unknown as well. This is the first time in their short four year existence that the Jags have to find a way to rebound from a season opening loss. But they will have an opportunity to do so when they host the Nicholls State Colonels on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The loss came in heartbreaking fashion as the Jags had retak a 31-30 lead with a 34 yard touchdown pass from C.J. Bennett to Jereme Jones with less than three minutes left in the game. After a 15 yard penalty on the kickoff gave UTSA great field position, they drove into field goal range where Sean Ianno kicked the 51 yard game-winning score with 16 seconds left in the game to avenge last season’s loss in San Antonio.

“If their kicker doesn’t make the last field goal then everybody is happy, but we’re still dealing with the same issues,” head coach Joey Jones observed. “My challenge to the team is three, four or five games from now, let’s look back and see how we improved. Let’s see if we’ve stopped turning the ball over and if we’ve stopped committing dumb penalties. If we can do that we will have a shot. We need to be a team that can get better as the season goes along.”

South Alabama defeated the Colonels in 2010 39-21 on Kendall Houston’s first career 100-yard game with two touchdowns on 12 rushes.

Also in that game two years ago, the Jags found themselves trailing in a game for the first time ever when the Colonels took leads of 7-0 and 14-7 early in the game. Those scores were made by Jesse Turner, who is listed as second string running back for Nicholls State, on a 33-yard run and a 95 yard reception in the first quarter.

However in the second quarter, South Alabama responded with 20 unanswered points and didn’t look back. The Jags would rack up 490 yards of total offense with 288 of them on the ground. Brandon Ross joined Houston by also rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown.

Nicholls State quarterback LaQuintin Caston led the team against the Jags  by going 13-of-23 passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns. In 2011 Caston threw for 870 yards and rushed for another 707 yards. However in the offseason he has made the move from quarterback to wide receiver. In a radio interview this morning, Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs said that he had problems in several games and they did not want to have one of their best players on the sidelines when they put another quarterback into the game.

Landry Klann is the projected starter at quarterback. He went 36-of-57 last season for 377 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colonel defense allowed less than 360 yards per game in 2011. They return seven starters from last season including their leading tackler Jordan Piper with 81 tackles and Siegan Vergenal who had 65 tackles.

However they will be without their top two returners from last season.

Coach Jones does not think reviewing the 2010 footage will be much of a benefit to the team. “This is a completely different ballgame,” he stated. “You can look at some things offensively because coach [Charlie] Stubbs has been calling the plays the whole time [he has been running the program], but they have changed on defense. We won’t really look back at that film.”

Stubbs is a well known offensive playcaller and should have plenty of new wrinkles for the Jags when they play on Saturday. They will definitely try to get the ball into Caston’s hands as well as their other playmakers.

Ross’ Lingering Knee Injury Career Ending

September 3, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Brandon Ross watching the Jaguars taking on UTSA on Saturday, September 1, 2012.

South Alabama running back Brandon Ross’ career appears to be over. Ross was working to return to the field after missing a year and a half following a knee injury and two surgeries.

Ross had looked good in preseason practices and scrimmages, even breaking a 55 yard touchdown in one of the scrimmages. He complained of occasional pain and soreness but he and doctors had said he would have to work through it and that it would get better.

Prior to the game on Saturday against UTSA, Ross had began experiencing more trouble with his knee. However, on Saturday he stood on the sideline only dressed out in his jersey and sweatpants.

“I think he’s done,” head coach Joey Jones said when asked about Ross’ status after the game on Saturday. “We had pretty much decided he would have to have a little more surgery again and I don’t think he wants to go through that again, so I think he’s going to hang it up. It was a little bit (of a surprise). He had performed well in the scrimmage but we knew he had been having some issues with the knee. I think it’s the best decision for him. I tell you, he’s a heck of a young man and I really respect his decision.”

Before his injury, Ross led the Jaguars in rushing in 2009 and up to the injury in 2010. Ross transferred to South Alabama after playing his freshman season at Memphis.

Jags Ready To Embark On Toughest Season Yet

August 31, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

On the eve of South Alabama’s season opener against Texas-San Antonio it’s a good time to look at what this season means to the program. After three seasons, the first two undefeated, and a 23-4 record the Jaguars are about to embark on their most challenging quest yet.

Last season they stepped up and faced two FBS teams, the first in the programs history. This season, they will face their first full Division I schedule. The only non FBS school on the schedule is FCS Nicholls State. Additionally, with the Hawaii rule, the Jags will play 13 games in 14 weeks this season including a full eight game Sun Belt schedule.

This is what the Jaguars have been working towards for the last several years. When they take the field, they will be a transitional FBS member.

Coach Jones can finally guage where his team stands in the FBS pecking order. “I think the biggest challenge for us, especially early, will be the depth on our team,” he Jones. “We’ve been recruiting to Division I really just this year. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have any Division I football players, we do. But do we have the depth that everybody else has because they’ve been recruiting for a while and have 85 scholarships and D-1 players? I would think that will probably be the biggest issue, depth, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.”

What about this season’s schedule? “The most difficult thing is playing 13 games in 14 weeks for us and playing pretty much all Division I opponents,” Jones said. “Whereas in past years we’ve played seven, 10 and 10 (games per season), we had some off weeks and some time to get ready for games. You’re going to get your three or four days of practice and that’s going to be it, then you’re going to have to move on to your next game.”

Gone is offensive coordinator Greg Gregory and in is Robert Matthews brining the spread to South Alabama. Matthews, who learned the spread at Oklahoma State and Southern Miss, will bring a completely different attitude to the offensive side of the ball. The offense will run as quickly as possible with a no-huddle tempo that is designed to keep the defense off guard and guessing what is coming next. Plus it is designed to take advantage of the depth South Alabama has at the skill positions.

The offensive line is where the biggest unknown is located coming into this season. Gone are three starters from the previous two seasons. However back is senior Trey Clark and sophomore Melvin Meggs. In steps Drew Dearman, Chris May and Shaun Artz. Also a second string, Ucambre Williams and possibly Kentucky transfer James Elliott if he receives a hardship waiver from the NCAA. But this is the biggest offensive line the Jaguars have had in it’s short history.

Behind the line, there is plenty of talent on the roster. C.J. Bennett returns as the starter with Virginia transfer Ross Metheny as his backup and redshirt freshman Trey Fetner as the third quarterback. The South Alabama backfield is also stocked with talent. Back are Demetre Baker, Kendall Houston and Ellis Hill from last season along with Brandon Ross returning from a knee injury and redshirt freshman Terrance Timmons among others ready to contribute. At wide receiver back are Jereme Jones, Bryant Lavender, T.J. Glover, Corey Besteda and Tyrome Bivins with true freshman Cameron Broadnax who showed plenty of skill in preseason camp. With two tight ends graduating, Greg Hollinger moved over from wide receiver joining JuCo transfer Wes Saxton to fill their positions.

The defense is arguably the strength of the team. Led by Jake Johnson, the linebackers are the heart of the defense, with Clifton Crews, Enrique Williams, Maleki Harris, Bryson James, Ben Giles and Cordivido Grice to help him out.

The defensive front will need to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks than in past seasons. Returning ends Anthony Taylor, Romelle Jones, Alex Page and Will Thompson will be joined by JuCo transfer Pat Moore to help towards that goal. At nose and tackle positions they return Randon Carnathan and Andy Dalgleish, who lead the group last season, with help from Montavious Williams, Rodney Thomas and Shane Doty (who moved from offensive line).

In the secondary, Alabama transfer B.J. Scott has stepped up as a leader. The staff focused their recruiting efforts to find more help there too. Darrius Morrow and Tyrell Pearson both come in and are expected to start. Alonzo Long will suit up next to Scott at free safety. Gabe Loper should get playing time as he is the returning secondary player with the most interceptions last season.

Michel Chapuseaux takes over the placekicking duties with Scott Garber also returning to handle punts.

“We want to be competitive. We want to win every game that we play,” head coach Joey Jones said. “That’s our goal. Now, is that going to be tough to do? Sure. I understand that it will be. The bottom line is I don’t want to cut our kids short in what we’re doing. We’re going to prepare and we’re going to go out there and prepare to win. But we also know there’s a difficult schedule ahead of us and we’ve got to step up each week. I think that our kids probably will play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder this year. Bottom line, every week that we play we’ve got to prove something. Anybody that we beat will be a big deal. We’re representing a lot of people, not just our football program but the university.”

The schedule will be tough. After UTSA and Nicholls State, the Jags travel to N.C. State again and Mississippi State before returning home for their first-ever Sun Belt Conference game against Troy. Troy, whom most expect will quickly develop into one of the leagues best rivalries, will mark the first part of the season. After their one and only off week, the Jags then visit the SBC defending champion Arkansas State. Then the downhill stretch of FAU (home), ULM (away), FIU (home), North Texas (away), MTSU (home), ULL (away) and their “bowl game” of the season at Hawaii.

If you only count wins and losses as the measuring stick for a season, it could be a difficult season. But if you expand your criteria for this team that will be completing it’s two year FBS transition at the conclusion of this season, you may be surprised.

Jags Improve In Second Scrimmage

August 20, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of preseason camp.

C.J. Bennett and Brandon Ross lead the Jaguar offense in Saturday morning’s scrimmage for the South Alabama. Ross scored three touchdowns on four carries while Bennett threw for 117 yards and two touchdowns while going 9-of-10 in the scrimmage at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Ross’ first rush of the scrimmage was a four yard gain before crossing the goal line from one yard out on his second carry in a red zone possession for the offense. On the second snap after the mid-scrimmage break, Ross took the ball down the sideline for a 55 yard touchdown. Later in the scrimmage he got one more carry for a two yard touchdown. He racked up 62 of the 141 yards of rushing offense on the day to lead all Jaguars.

Ross is returning from a near one-and-a-half year absence following a knee injury in the 2010 season. Ross was the Jaguars’ leading rusher in 2009 and 2010 at the time of his injury.

Bennett led the first team offense on a 97 yard, 11 play drive for its first possession of the scrimmage. He completed six passes for 80 yards of the drive. He opened with a seven yard pass to T.J. Glover, he later found Bryant Lavender for 13-yards on two occasions and also found Tyrome Bivins for 12 yards to get to midfield. Demetre Baker added a two yard run before Bennett hit Jake Howton for 23 yards. Bennett rounded out the drive with a 25 yard strike to Cameron Broadnax for a touchdown.

Bennett only led the offense one other time. That drive spanned 65 yards in seven plays and it was capped off by a 31 yard touchdown pass to Baker.

The first team defense only surrendered two field goals on the day. The final field goal allowed came on a red zone possession at the 15 yard line.

Ben Giles and Anthony Taylor both lead the team with seven tackles each. Taylor added two pass-breakups to his total as well. Jesse Kelley added six tackles. Giles and Kelley both were credited with 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Randon Carnathan and Enrique Williams recorded three tackles each while Davin Hawkins led the reserves with five tackles.

Offensively, Terrance Timmons rushed five times for 29 yards, Ellis Hill had four rushes for 18 yards and Baker added 17 yards on the ground. Broadnax, Glover and Lavender along with Nathan Sassaman all had two catches each as they combined with four different quarterbacks to tally 181 yards through the air.

Michel Chapuseaux made field goals from 37, 42 and 39 yards. Aleem Sunanon convered the final score of the scrimmage with a 32 yard field goal.

“Offensively and defensively, it was good,” Head coach Joey Jones said about the scrimmage. “Overall I’m sure we’re going to see some things on film that we need to correct. But we’re not quite where we need to be on special teams, and our sideline organization needs to get better. It wasn’t terrible, but there are some things that we have got to shore up. That’s why we do this. I think we will come out next week and do it again, and hopefully we will be perfect at it when we come out on Thursday.”

“We are evaluating our players and will see where we are on the depth chart, and make those decisions this weekend,” Jones continued. “Monday we’ll starting putting the game plan in for Texas-San Antonio, we’ll have a few extra days to getting ready for them.”

“I was monitoring a couple of spots, but we still had to do things against our offense,” said defensive coordinator Bill Clark. “We got our first guys a lot of good work, I thought we tackled well and got to the ball. Our goal was to go 100 percent on our assignments today, we’ll have to see the film, but I think we looked pretty sound. It’s basically what we wanted to see. We’ve still got work to do, but it was a good finish to camp.”

“I thought the defense came out and stopped the run pretty well and I thought they got after it,” coach Jones said about the defense.

Senior Safety B.J. Scott felt that Saturday’s scrimmage was better than the first one of the preseason. “We just had that in the back of our heads and we came out here and just got after it,” he said. “I think we all as a whole feel a little bit more comfortable and focused. It’s all mental at this point. We’re pretty much done beating up on each other.”

“Fundamentally we have improved a lot since camp started,” offensive coordinator Robert Matthews said. “We were able to execute a lot of base plays early today, in the second part of the scrimmage we tried to do some different things that we have been working on. Our guys know what to do, now it is just doing it at the speed and the tempo we expect. I think we are getting closer but are not there yet.”

The Jags returned to the practice field on Sunday so the student-athletes can take Monday off for the first day of fall semester classes.

 

Jags Return To Field After Scrimmage

August 14, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
CJ Bennett in the rain

Quarterback CJ Bennett prepares to take a snap in the light rain at the Jaguar Practice Facility.

The Jaguars returned to the practice field on Monday to begin their second full week of practice as they are only 16 days away from their 2012 season opening game against Texas-San Antonio. After their day off on Sunday, Coach Jones thought they opened the second week with another strong effort after a rest day.

The practice on Monday spanned about two hours in full pads. Most of the first hour focused on individual skills drills before progressing to skeleton passing drills then full 11-on-11 team drills in the second half of practice.

The skeleton drills focused on open field and red zone plays while the 11-on-11 drills focused on the base playset. In the first four plays of team drills sophomore C.J. Bennett completed passes to four different Jaguar receivers.

Bennett and Metheny both found open receivers and enjoyed good protection as the offensive line only allowed two sacks during team drills. Jereme Jones hauled in an impressive one-handed touchdown pass. Wide receivers Cameron Broadnax and T.J. Glover both added some very nice catches as well. Kendall Houston and Senior Brandon Ross stood out amongst the running backs in individual drills.

Defensively the secondary allowed some receivers to get open during the skeleton drills. Safety Charles Harris broke up two passes while his counterpart B.J. Scott continues to be a vocal leader on the field. During individual drills Montavious Williams and Lucas Melo almost flipped a sled.

Also, the Jags got a visit from former Jaguar receiver Courtney Smith during practice.

“I thought it was great, it was one of our better practices,” Jones said after practice. “The kids came out ready to go and were mentally sharp.  I told them that if we can practice like this, we’re going to be a pretty good football team. But we have to continue to do that. They can’t worry about what happened in the scrimmage, on the last play or last week, all they can do something about is what is ahead of them. The kids understand that, and if they take each day and get better we will have a shot.”

“This week is a tough week, the second week of camp. There is no school and no game coming up this weekend, so we have to make sure it is a good work week,” Jones explained. “We’re going to finish this week getting a ton of reps, next week we will start backing off and focusing on quality reps. We just need to throw a lot at them and see what they can do.”

After Saturday’s scrimmage the coaching staff reviewed the scrimmage video and Coach Jones said he was pleased with what he saw. “I was real pleased, I thought there were some good things offensively. We executed much better, the offensive line is really starting to come along and the quarterbacks understand the offense,” he said. “Defensively we are real banged up right now, a bunch of starters are out but will be back by the middle of the week. Once we get all those guys out there I feel really good about what we are doing defensively.”

The players and coaches will return to the practice field on Tuesday morning at 7:40am and will keep that schedule all this week leading up to an 8am scrimmage on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Jags Complete Third Practice Of Preseason Camp Saturday

August 4, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head Coach Joey Jones talking with wide receiver Carr Tigner during preseason practice.

South Alabama got started early on Saturday morning to beat the rain chances and completed their full practice schedule for the day. It was overcast most of the morning, but the humidity made it pretty warm. The hydration staff roamed all morning making sure the players were well hydrated to help prevent players from overheating and cramping.

The Jags practiced for almost two-and-a-half hours on Saturday in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) with the offense focusing on inside running plays. In all, the offense ran over 100 plays against the defense working on the inside run, 7 on 7 skeleton passing and full-team drills.

The first half of practice focused on individual drills and fundamentals. The quarterbacks worked with the running backs and receivers in 10 minute periods while the offensive line worked with Coach Matthews. Additionally, the receivers and defensive backs would work one-on-one on while other personnel worked on inside drills.

The defensive linemen and outside linebackers worked on the sleds early in the practice. The secondary and inside linebackers did drills with Coach Clark, the defensive coordinator, while also going through various formations before going against the offense.

During skeleton drills, C.J. Bennett started with back-to-back completions to Jereme Jones and Bryant Lavender. Transfer quarterback Ross Metheny hit Jared Palmer in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown later in the drill. Tyrell Pearson deflected a pass as well as picking off a pass that was deflected by lineback Jake Johnson. Darrius Morrow also broke up a pass during the drill.

Bryant Lavender added three receptions during the final team drills of the day. Corey Besteda added a few catches during the day as well. One fully extended catch and a Tyrone Prothro-like near catch along the sideline, however it appeared that he could not come down with it in the end.

In the first practice, there were four or five players who obviously cramped up. After the practice, the staff made sure to remind them to eat plenty of food and, particularly protein and drink lots of gatorade. It was obvious today that the staff helped the players to correct those problems from the first day.

Coach Jones made note in the post-practice talk that he is seeing the benefits from the offseason strength and conditioning workout regimen. The benefits are not only physical, but mental and in leadership roles.

“We’ve got more leadership on this football team,” Head coach Joey Jones said. “What I am hearing is guys leading others, which hasn’t happened as much in the past. That’s going to make things better as we go through this football season.”

“I was happy with the effort, they came out ready to go and their minds were on it,” he said. “Obviously we have some things that need to be sharpened up, but this was really just our second day of practice. We have a way to go, but I was real proud of the effort.”

“We wanted to concentrate on running the football and stopping the run when you put shoulder pads on for the first time,” Coach Jones further explained. “The inside drill went really well, I thought the defense got after it while the offense hit a few plays. It was good to see the intensity. I’m not worried about results right now, I’m concerned with the process. It’s not going to be perfect now, we know that, but if we continue to work on the process we’ll have a chance to be good later on.”

There were times when the offense looked flat later in practice. But that really is to be expected at this time. Coming into preseason camp, the quarterbacks and receiver tend to have an edge but the defense will typically pick up quickly and surpass the offense. Which I believe explains today. Also, this is the third day of intense workouts in the humid weather, that much intense work will take something out of you this early in camp.

On the injury front, Brandon Ross was dressed out but did not participate in contact drills. However he did hold pads for certain drills. Qudarius Ford iced up his knee late in practice. Will Thompson had an occasional limp. Eddy Cabrera got winded late in the conditioning drills.

In recruiting news, Alabama commit Darius Paige appeared at practice today. Paige, a 6’3″ 275-pound defensive tackle from Pensacola, Florida observed practice with Assistant Athletic Directory Haven Fields. Paige, who committed to the Crimson Tide back in May, has been offered by a number of schools including: Arkansas State, Clemson, FIU, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Mississippi State, Tennessee and South Alabama.

The Jags will have Sunday off before returning to the practice field on Monday morning at 7:15am.

South Alabama Completes First Preseason Practice

August 3, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of preseason camp.

 

The University of South Alabama opened preseason camp on Thursday night at the Jaguar Practice Facility behind the Football Fieldhouse. The Jags begin preparing for their season opening match-up against UTSA on August 30 a nearly three hour session. (See videos at end of article)

The players hit the field in shorts and helmets as they began preseason camp which began with individual position drills, one-on-one position drills, multiple 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills, group position skills and about 10 minutes of 11-on-11, offense vs defense drills where they ran around 30 plays.

After warm-ups practice began with individual skill drills for around 30 minutes before going into the first skeleton passing drills which lasted for about 15 minutes. The first and second team units combined for about 24 snaps and the third team was on the field for about 15 or more plays.

The squad came together for another skeleton passing session over an hour later. The first and second teams run about 16 plays each while the third team added at least 10 snaps themselves.

Head coach Joey Jones was pleased with the session but was quick to let the players know that more is expected of them and they still have a long way to go.

“It was a long practice and it was hot out here,” Coach Jones stated. “They came out with great effort and intensity, but we did have a few guys cramp up. They were mentally sharp, but what I challenged them with is to work on everything individually to make our team better. If they can do that and we are better on August 30 than we are now, then we will be achieving our goals. We can’t rest, we need to keep pushing.”

Coach Jones said that he expects a similar distribution of plays to continue next week as they get closer to the first of three preseason scrimmages. After the scrimmage, the coach staff will begin to focus on potential starters and forming a depth chart. “For a week and a half, I would say that we will give equal reps at least through the threes,” he explained. “After that, we’ll have to start to make some decisions.”

Coach Jones was also pleased with the performance of the quarterbacks and receivers. He attributed their success today with their voluntary workouts over the summer.

“I thought our quarterbacks distributed the ball very well,” he said. “You could tell that they have been working through the summer. They knew where to go with the football, and they placed the ball in some good spots. I was pleased with that.”

Some notable players were not on the roster today, Receiver J.J. Keels and Linebacker Logan Bennett were both absent from roster. We were unable to get any reasons why they were not on the roster, however it is suspected it was academics.

The Jags will return to the Practice Facility at 6:30pm on Friday and are scheduled to wear shorts and helmets again.


Head Coach Joey Jones speaking about the first practice of preseason camp.


Demetre Baker speaking after the first practice of preseason camp.


Quarterback CJ Bennett speaking after the first practice of preseason camp.


Brandon Ross speaking after the first practice of preseason camp.


Linebacker Jake Johnson speaking after the first practice of preseason camp.

Preview of the rematch with Lamar

September 8, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags take the field in Beaumont lead by the cheerleaders and Courtney Smith.

The trip to Beaumont, Texas last year was the first true road game by the Jaguars and they passed that test with flying colors. Yes, they had a road game in Dothan but it was nowhere near a real opponent. No disrespect meant towards Edward Waters, but they were outmatched on the field and the facilities were glorified high school facilities.

While the Jags won the game with a shutout 26-0, it was a hard fought game. The Jags first score was a fumble returned for a touchdown about four minutes into the game. After that, the Jags musted a field goal late in the first quarter by Lawson McGlon and missed one as time expired in the second quarter.

McGlon kicked a field goal with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Then Ellis Hill scored a one yard touchdown on a pass from Brennan Sim. McGlon added two more field goals in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring.

Kendall Houston led the way on the ground with 166 yards on 21 carries for the Jags and averaging 7.9 yards per rush in his first start for the Jags. Houston was promoted to the starting position after Brandon Ross went down with a season ending knee injury. Courtney Smith lead the receivers with 59 yards on 7 receptions.

But Coach Jones expects Lamar will be much improved from year one to year two like the Jags were from year one to year two.

Last year the Jags outgained the Cardinals 376-160 in an extraordinary defensive showing by the South Alabama. However the Jags only converted one of 14 third down attempts. C.J. Bennett went 13-of-16 for 109 yards. They also won the time-of-possession 34:21 to 25:39 and the turn-overs 4-to-1.

“They played us really well last year,” Coach Jones said. “I thought we had a good day offensively, but we didn’t score much. We need to be able to punch the ball in the end zone more and our kids are fully aware of that.”

Defensively, South Alabama recovered four out of five fumbles, held Andre Bevil to 105 yards passing on 15-of-30 passing and a mere 56 yards rushing on 27 carries. They also held the Lamar offenseto 2-of-13 on third down conversions.

But Lamar had lost one of their defensive players to an injury. They have added some big transfers to the offensive line, a new quarterback as well as some guys on the inside of their defense. This will not be the same team that the Jaguars faced last season.

“They are a much-improved ball team,” Coach Jones continued. “They brought in some really good players on their offensive line and shored up some things. They’re trying to run the football more, you can tell they have really spent some time on their running game. They will be a much more balanced team offensively. And defensively they are more athletic, especially inside. They have some defensive tackles who are very good football players”

In their 58-0 win over Texas College, Lamar racked up over 200 yards rushing on 53 attempts. They totalled 320 total yards in the game. When they play in Ladd-Peebles, they will rely on their big offensive linement to open holes in the Jaguar defense for their running game. The Jaguar’s linebackers and safeties will need to play a good game to contain their offensive ground attack.

The Jags cannot afford another turnover laden game like they had against West Alabama.

The kickoff for the rematch against the Cardinals is set for 4pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Jags on TV and quotes from Coach Gregory

August 11, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Gregory

Coach Greg Gregory from joeyjonesfootballcamps.com

Speaking about quarterback C.J. Bennett: I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama.

Announced TV dates and Kickoff times

South Alabama announced Wednesday evening that the Jaguars first televised game will not be the North Carolina State game as first thought. Actually it will be much sooner than the September 17th game.

Dr. Joel Erdmann, USA’s Athletic Director, announced that South Alabama’s season opening matchup against West Alabama will be aired live locally on UTV 44 as well as being aired nationally on ESPN3. While he was at it, he announced the kickoff times for the first four games of the season.

South Alabama and West Alabama will kickoff at 6:30pm on Thursday, September 1 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Jim Cox will handle the play-by-play, Dan Brennan will handle the color analysis and Pat Greenwood will handle sideline reporting for the broadcast. Actually Pat Greenwood will being handling sideline reporting for both WNSP’s radio broadcast and the television broadcast.

South Alabama’s first ever game against a FBS team will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina against NC State which can also be viewed on ESPN3. Kickoff is scheduled for 5pm Central time and will be the Jags first road game of the season.

Other kickoff times that were announced were games against Lamar on September 10 with kickoff at 4pm and the second FBS opponent for the Jags on the road at Kent State will kickoff at 2:30pm Central time. Other times will be officially announced in the future. However according to the season tickets, home games against Tennessee-Martin, Henderson State and Cal Poly will all kickoff at 4pm. The Thursday night game against Mississippi Valley State will kickoff at 6:30pm.

ESPN3.com is currently available to over 70 million homes across the country to fans who receive high-speed internet from providers who are affiliated with ESPN.

Dan’s inteview with Coach Greogory

Dan of Dan and Shelby, the morning show for local radio station 95WKSJ, has a football blog on the 95KSJ website. On Wednesday he was able to speak to Coach Greg Gregory about the upcoming season.

I will hit some of the notable pieces from the article. When asked to compare South Alabama to his former school, the University of South Florida who is arguably the measuring stick for modern start-up program. Coach Gregory said that “There is no doubt South Alabama will get to the same level as USF prior to them getting in the Big East.” He continued, “I think this program can go as far as the administration wants it to go.”

Another big question that everyone has for the 2011 Jaguars is how will the offensive line do when facing such an upgraded schedule. “We block better than a lot of football teams that you see on tape. I think we have enough talent to compete with anybody we play. I don’t really worry about our line. They are tough and they are going to compete. I don’t think it will be a major issue for us.”

Probably the answer that will get the most scrutiny by people around the state is when he is asked to evaluate quarterback C.J. Bennett. “Even when he came in last year as a 17 year old, all along I knew he’d be our guy,” said Coach Gregory. “I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama. He’s a player. He can really throw it. Smart, sees things. When he tells you something happened on the field, that’s what happened. He is very polished. And he’s very excited to be here. He’s as accurate as you want, has as quick a release and the biggest thing is his willingness to pull the trigger. He’s got the best release I’ve ever been around.”

With Brandon Ross set to miss probably the first half of the season at least, Coach Gregory had some good thoughts on the Jaguar backfield. Kendall Houston picked up the role of being the big, hard running back where Ross left off after the injury. But this season he will have some help with the addition of Demetre Baker from the University of Georgia. Coach Gregory said that, “Baker has more flat out speed. Both of them are violent runner. They run the ball hard. Kendall’s probably a little more reliable right now at holding the onto the ball but Demetre’s a really good player.”

Go on over and read the whole write-up. He talks about replacing Courtney Smith, Jereme Jones place at receiver and transfer B.J. Scott possibly playing a part on offense in the future.

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