Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-13

September 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian were joined by director of football operations Brendt Bedsole at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard.

First thing was a quick look back at the Lamar game. Coach Jones said that the Jags played pretty well. Both the offense and defense were solid but special teams needs more work. One of the major miscues in special teams play was a kickoff that went out of bounds.  The talk quickly turned to Saturday’s game against NC State. Coach Jones said that they are well coached, they have a good quarterback and good receivers. Their defensive front is sound as well. He also mentioned receiver “number 6″ T.J. Graham, a 6′ 180-pound senior wide receiver for the Wolfpack, as someone who scares him.

As for preparations, Coach Jones said that they will prepare for this game just like any other game. However a deviation from their normal preparations thus far will be the addition of stadium noise to their practices. NC State will have 60,000+ fans there, they will be loud and will be a factor. So they will use speakers to play music, fight songs and general crowd noise.

The first email question asked about getting second and third string players into games. Coach Jones said this is key to helping build depth by exposing them to game situations. It also helps to let those guys get repetitions that can’t get so many at practice.

The next question was about offensive linemen.

Another email question was about the Sun Belt wins against BCS teams. FIU defeated Louisville, Troy has traditionally been a strong team, Louisiana-Lafayette has been coming along. North Texas has hired a good coach that should turn them around and a new stadium. Florida Atlantic should be turning it around as well with a new stadium. But wins speak well for the conference tring to find it’s way.

Asked about scheduling Southern Miss as a regional rival and what took them so long to do that. Coach Jones said that they make a great rival because these two schools are so close together. But they had their schedules set so far out that it was difficult to schedule with them. The date that they had open sooner was already scheduled with another team for the Jags.

Back to NC State, they said that the players will not have the opportunity for a walkthrough of the stadium until around 6pm on Friday evening. Even then the weather may be suspect. The players should not be overwhelmed in their stadium. Carter-Finley stadium seats 57,583 people but Ladd is not a dinky stadium seating nearly 40,000 itself.

Coach Jones mentioned again that NC State has a good, big quarterback who stands at 6’6” with a good arm. He does a good job of making the most of what’s around him. After a loss last weekend to Wake Forest, they will bounce back and be ready for the Jags.

Logistically speaking, South Alabama will send 68 players and 65 staff and support personnel. President Moulton, the vice president and others will all be on the flight as this is a historic event for the school.

They did take some time to joke about last years flight to UC-Davis and how old the plane was. One of the jokes was that the kids knew it was old because it still had ashtrays.

Lee asked if they have challenges now that they also have replay. Coach Jones said that they do, if the challenge does not go the Jags way then they lose a time out. They have two challenges per game. This is a bit of a test this year before getting into Sun Belt games next season.

Caller said that the Jags have gotten off to a great start with the program and asked if that was a help or a hinderance in scheduling games. Coach Jones said that, when you are talking about FCS teams it may be a hinderance. Teams that are kind of like South Alabama would probably see a hinderance, but SEC teams like LSU and such aren’t worried about them. They will pay lots of money (Coach Jones said $1 Million) to play them.

Someone emailed a question about Anton Graphenreed and that it seemed that he was getting beat by the receivers. He asked how that can be corrected for a team like NC State. Coach Jones said that some of those were because of communication problems between the safety and the corner. The corner thought he had help over the top by the safety when the safety did not properly communicate that he was not helping over the top. Things like that.

Another question was asked about rotating Kendall Houton and Demetre Baker at running back and if that might hurt them by trying to establish a flow in the game. Coach Jones said no, he thinks it’s great to give those guys a rest. It will help them over the course of a season to not take as many hits, keep fresher legs and wear down defenses. It may cause problems with a quarterback, but running back he doesn’t think so.

An email question came in asking about trick plays. Coach Jones said that everyone works on some trick plays but you don’t use them often. Coach Jones isn’t a big believer in trick plays, but you always have them ready just in case you need to swing the momentum in your favor in a close game. If you are ahead, you don’t want to waste that play. You only use it when you need it.

Lee turned to Bedsole and asked him to talk about facing a team like NC State. He said that even at FCS schools, the starting 11 could probably play at some FBS schools. But South Alabama, in his estimation, has probably 35-40 guys that could play at a school like NC State at this point in their program.

Lee asks about the mental part of the game. Could NC State look past South Alabama to their next game. Could they lose focus. Coach Jones said that it can happen. As a coach, he has seen times when it was hard to get the team up for a not so good opponent. But with NC State coming off of a loss, he does not think that will happen. South Alabama’s challenge is to not over hype the game and to make sure they peak towards the end of the week just in time for the game.

Talking about travel, the Jags will travel two weeks in a row. But they did that last year with Lamar and UC-Davis. However it would be nice to have a week between NC State and Kent State.