Jags face tough test in Cal Poly

November 16, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Turner with the offensive line, including several key seniors who will be graduating.

South Alabama’s second Senior Day will recognize 14 student-athletes playing in their final collegiate game on Saturday. The final regular season game for both schools.

But it will not be an easy contest for the Jaguars. While Cal Poly’s record is 5-5 on the season, with two of the losses against FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools and their most recent loss coming to Eastern Washington, the defending FCS (formerly Division I-AA) champion 53-51 in triple-overtime.

The Jaguar defense has not allowed a touchdown in the last eight quarters and currently ranks 20th in FCS by only allowing an average of 19.6 points per game and are among the top 12 nationally in pass (168.9 yards per game average) and total defense (302 yards per game on average).

Cal Poly will bring their unique mixture of triple and spread option attack to Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They average 257.7 rushing yards per game, which is 7th in FCS. They average 31.5 points per game as well.

The Cal Poly quarterback Andre Broadous has rushed for 617 yards and 17 touchdowns while also going 92-of-159 passing attempts for 1,085 yards and eight touchdowns. Jake Romanelli has gained 966 yards and seven touchdowns rushing as well. Mark Rodgers has rushed for another 468 yards and Deonte Williams has added 357 yards as well. All three are averaging over four yards per rush.

Defensively, Cal Poly is giving up an average of 415 yards per game and 32 points per game. They also give up an average of 279.8 yards per game passing.

Jordan Means is tied for 19th in the nation in FCS averaging 1.33  field goals per game and 65th in the nation in scoreing with 6.44 points per game. While Scott Garber is 13th in the nation with a 42 yards per punt average with two downed inside the 20 yard line in three of the last four games.

Kickoff at Ladd-Peebles Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Jaguar Prowl is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. at the south side of the stadium with the gates opening at 2 p.m.

The Jaguar Seniors will be recognized at 3:35 p.m., 25 minutes before kickoff.

Monday press conference November 15 2011

November 15, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar defense lines us against MVSU.

South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones is joined by cornerback Anton Graphenreed and tight end Kevin Helms for schools Monday press conference.

Coach Jones kicked it off with his opening statement. “We have a very good football team coming in this week, they might be the best team that’s played in Ladd-Peebles Stadium against us in my opinion. It’s a very disciplined team that runs the triple option, which always presents problems. To me, it’s still the best offense ever invented because basically — without getting too deep into it — at the side of attack there are two guys you don’t have to block, so you create double teams for everybody else. Thank goodness we’ve had some time to work on it over the last couple of weeks, I don’t know how you do it when you have just one week to prepare for an offense like this.”

“They run the football a lot, but they are very diverse in what they do running it, so it will be a big challenge for our defense. They are averaging 31.5 points and 257 yards rushing per game, so they are obviously very sound. Their quarterback [Andre] Broadus runs the ship very well, and he can also throw it which creates problems as well. [Jake] Romanelli is a big, imposing fullback and is their leading rusher averaging about 100 yard per game. Needless to say, we have a challenge defensively.”

“Offensively we are going up a very sound football team up and down the line of scrimmage, they are really coached well and have good football players. In the secondary they’ve got a start in Asa Jackson; a lot of NFL teams are looking hard at him, from what I hear he is going to be a draft pick.”

“Their kicker has most of his kickoffs go to the end zone, which creates problems when you start your offense on the 20-yard line every time; that’s a big weapon for them.”

When asked on whether Cal Poly is similar to anyone the Jags have faced this season, Coach Jones answered, “No, they are just totally different. The analogy would be to look at the service academies or Georgia Tech with what they do offensively. They are very disciplined an know what they are doing.”

The next question posed to Coach Jones was about the senior class. “The seniors, in my opinion, have been as crucial to the success of this football program as anything that you could think of. You can talk about facilities or a lot of different things that we’ve done to get this program going, but these seniors have come in and paid a dear price. They have done things the right way — we always talk about fundamentally building a strong foundation — and their leadership has been tremendous.

“I think we will go on for years and years because of what they have done the last three seasons, so my hat is off to them for what they have done for this program.”

Coach Jones then spoke about how important is is to end the season on a good note. “You always want to end the season on a good note, I think that is very important because I always think it kind of carries over to the next year. I don’t know if it’s any different than any other year, I just think the fact that these guys have been working their tails off and these seniors who have been around for three years — the guys who helped start this program — I’m sure they don’t want to leave on a bad note. And our younger guys want to send them off on a good note because they appreciate what those guys have done.”

“Our guys have been focused last week and this week, they understand we have a real good team coming in here and it’s going to take all we can do to beat them.”

Senior cornerback Anton Graphenreed spoke about playing his final collegiate game. “It really means a lot to me. I have put in a lot of time and my teammates have as well, especially the guys who came in with me. We worked really hard and tried to give our all this season. I just want to go out on a good note and leave one more lasting impression on the younger guys so they can carry that with them throughout their careers.”

Graphenreed spoke about the importance to him and the team about finishing undefeated at home in your career. “It’s extremely important because we work really hard to say that we never lost period. Things happen and that’s life, but we could always hang our hats on the fact that no one could say they came into our house and took it. When you say this is your home and you have great fans – we have awesome fans – you just don’t want to disappoint. I just want to continue that tradition, going out with another win at home and making sure that lasts for a very long time.”

Graphenreed next spoke about preparing for a run-oriented offense. “Our scout team is great. They prepare us for every game, and they work hard and keep bringing their all to practice. We need the closest thing to the real thing as possible before we get to the game. You don’t want to just go through the motions at practice and then you’re shocked when the game begins because you aren’t ready for it. But there is a lot of preparation that goes into it.”

Senior tight end Kevin Helms spoke about his final collegiate game as well. “It means a lot to me as well. When anything comes to an end in your life, you know you’re going to miss it no matter how hard it was. I am going to miss it every day, I’m sure. But all we can do is go out there and get this one last win to help the program out as much as we can before we are gone. I love my teammates, so of course I want to win.”

Helms also spoke about the importance of finishing undefeated at home in his career. “I like the streak of not being beaten at home. It makes you feel good – like no one can come into your house and mess around with you. You don’t like having that feeling that someone can come push you around. I would like to keep a goose egg in the loss column.”

Helms also spoke about the state of the program when he arrived. “When I got here it wasn’t much of anything. I came from a junior college that won a national championship my freshman year. I only lost two games in two years. Then when I came here in the beginning, you hardly had anyone who was going to be a college athlete. There were a few that were there and some are still here, but most of them are gone. I knew it was going to be better. But the first season we played, we were just a completely different team. We had a lot of good athletes, and we played good football. Then we got more transfers in the next year, and we had some freshmen come in and it was even better. We were just confident. And this third year, it has been even better. We have had some injuries along the way, but we have improved 100 percent every year, and I can only imagine that it will keep improving with the coaches recruiting and all of our facilities. It has been a fun experience. I love playing football, and I love playing here. It is a great place with great coaches who really do care about you. And we have great fans – people always show up to the games.”

South Alabama will host Cal Poly on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4 p.m. This Senior Day game will be aired locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com depending on your ISP for access.

South Alabama Football Announces First Division-I Foes And Travel Packages For 2010

June 29, 2010 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Earlier this month South Alabama announced the school’s first two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS or formerly Division-I) opponents. In the 2011 season, the Jags will play North Carolina State and Kent State on back to back weekends on September 17 and 24. Both games will be away games as part of a 2-for-1 series with both schools.

The 2011 schedule will have six other Division-I schools, four of which will be visiting Mobile. Lamar and UC Davis will complete their home-and-home contracts with Lamar visiting on September 10 and UC Davis visiting on October 1. Tennessee-Martin will visit on October 15 and Cal Poly will be the final game of the season on November 19.

Head coach Joey Jones had the following to say about how the future schedules affect South Alabama. “We feel like this is a great step forward for where we want to go. Obviously, playing all of these Division I schools on the schedule in our third year will present a challenge. In the grand scheme of things, it’s about where we are going and preparing for a schedule that will feature pretty much all FBS opponents the following year.”

He continued, “Each year we want to step up the level of competition on our schedule – our kids and staff want to be challenged. Certainly we will have some bumps along the way playing teams at this level, but it’s where we want to be and where this program is headed.”

As for the 2010 schedule, the Jags will have seven home games and the Athletic Department announced that all six of the Saturday home games will have 4pm kickoffs. While the lone Thursday night game will be the season finale against Arkansas-Monticello on November 11 with a 6pm kickoff.

The Jags will have their first road games ever this season and travel packages are available for those games. On September 25 the Jags travel to Dothan for their first ever away game when they play Edward Waters in the Wiregrass Football Classic. A game ticket and tailgating will cost $35 while a $78 package which includes travel to and from the game is also available.

The away game against Lamar on October 16 has a three day package including round-trip transportation from the USA Campus is available. It features two nights at the MCM Elegante Hotel and Convention Center with a reception and several other goodies for $75 up to $475 depending on the costs of the ticket, number of paying travelers and amount of people in the hotel room.

A three day trip has also been put together for the UC Davis game on October 23. It includes a two night stay in the Embassy Suites Riverfront Promenade and more. The cost is $260-$375 not including air fare.