Jags Take A Long Weekend But Are Back And Ready For Game Week

October 26, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Jones and his staff decided to shorten practice last week by a day by wrapping up on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Wednesday’s practice lasted about two hours that morning.

Over the three days of practice last week they covered basics by position. But the main focus was working on the passing game which included pass protection and being able to throw the ball when called upon to do so.

The accumulated work that the team has done since preseason camp and how hard the players practiced those three days last week contributed to the long weekend for the players. However, the weekend wasn’t so long for the coaches. Another reason for the short week was to help the assistant coaches to get a head start on their recruiting trips over the weekend. The early morning practice on Wednesday allowed the coaches to get on the road and recruit Thursday and Friday.

Coach Jones commented about the weeks’ practice: “I thought it was a great three days, we were really good. I’m very proud of how we practiced, we came out and got better. Any time you have change during a long season, it’s good for the team. I think it really perked the guys up, they practiced well. We came out these three days and gave great effort. I challenged them in Monday’s meeting and told them we have two choices – we can take these three days and get through them or we can take them and get better.”

“We want to be a Division I football program. That means we have to take every opportunity we have to build a foundation for how we do things. They guys really responded and practiced like champions.”

Coach Jones also spoke about what they practiced on during the week: “We really dedicated these three days to ourselves. We backed off and concentrated on fundamentals and just working hard – in other words, playing hard and playing fast. If you can do those things you have a chance to win every time out. If we would’ve worked on preparing for Fork Union, we would have lost some of the fundamentals. It was a good time to focus on those instead.”

Then on Monday Coach Jones spoke and media day about their upcoming opponent Fork Union Military Academy. “We’re excited about the game this weekend. We had a week off again, our last off week for the season, and we play three games in 12 days. It’s a little different because we’ve been in a slow-down mode and now we’re in a speed-up mode, especially with Saturday, Saturday, Thursday. I’ve been watching Fork Union on film and they’re a very good defensive football team. They have great talent on the defensive side of the ball, some really good players. I think they’ve got four guys that signed with Temple on that defense, so they’re a very skilled defensive football team. We’ve been working ourselves, and we talked to our kids last week about how we want to work against ourselves. We pretty much said forget game planning, we’re going to show the speed of the game with the offense going against the defense and the ones versus the ones. We had some great practices, the kids really picked it up, and I thought we really didn’t waste a day last week. We had some of the best practices we’ve had all year, I was really proud of that, and we’re looking forward to this weekend.”

Answering a question about the Jags not having any more off weeks, Coach Jones said: “There’s going to have to be a little more urgency to each practice. Our kids have been practicing that way, I’ve been really proud of them, but the interesting thing is going to be after that second Saturday game when we play a Thursday game. That’s going to be an interesting week. This week and next week will be no problem getting prepared, but that last week will be interesting.”

Speaking about improvements he wants the team to undertake: “Offensively it’s throwing the football, and that starts with protection and throwing and completing passes – that’s something we’ve got to work on. If we’re going to become a great football team we’ve got to be able to do that. That’s an area we need to work on.”

When asked what the team plans to do against Fork Union, he said “We’re going to come out and definitely try to throw the ball more than we’ve been throwing it. We feel like we can run the football, and that’s something we can always hang our hat on, but we need to try to work on the throwing game. We need to find out about our quarterbacks and receivers and what they can do for next year. We want to learn more about them in the next couple of weeks.”

When asked about Fork Union’s team coach Jones said: “They’ve got some good athletes. They’re a multiple offense like most of the teams we’re playing – they’re in the shotgun and under center. Looking at their team, if you looked at offensive and defensive sides of the ball, you’d probably say the defense shines a little bit more than the offense. They’re very sound defensively.”

To round out his portion, coach Jones commented on his goals for the Jags this week: “One of my goals for this week is to come out playing fast, start the game playing fast, proceed with that and play throughout the game that way. We’ve done a good job of playing hard, but I think offensively we’ve come out a little slow in a couple of games, and that had something to do with the defense we were playing being pretty good.”

Linebacker Enrique Williams answered a few questions as well, but the most striking answer he had was when he was asked about being a Mobile native and how important and how much fun it has been playing as a Jaguar. He said, “It has been great. A lot of my family and friends have been able to come to the games. It’s been the big talk around town, so it has been great to be part of the team and contribute on the field. One of the main reasons I signed at South Alabama was to be one of the first people to play for a big university in my hometown.”

The Jags host Fork Union on Saturday October 31st at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4pm.

GO JAGS!!

Jags Roll Up Another Impressive Victory To Stay Undefeated

October 18, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags posted another big win on Saturday with their 41-7 victory over Louisburg JC. Brandon Ross scored a season best three touchdowns in the win with 138 yards on 13 carries.

The Jags started out slow on this windy, chilly day. The Jags and the Hurricanes traded possessions and both sides were less than stellar punting the ball. But finally the Jags got their offense in gear after holding Louisburg to a three-and-out situation. Brandon Ross found a hole and broke free for a 60-yard run before the Hurricanes stopped him five yards short of the goal line. Anthony Mostella scored up the middle on the very next play to give the Jags a 7-0 lead.

Ross’ big run would be the only premiere play of the first quarter as both teams would combine for less than 100 yards of offense and seven punts.

The second quarter was a much different story. The Jags would rack 173 yards to 46 yards for the Hurricanes in the second quarter alone. With 7:50 left until halftime, the Jags would march 50 yard in five plays which was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run by Brandon Ross for a 14-0 advantage.

Ross would get his second touchdown run of the game with 4:26 left in the half with a two yard run to top off a four play 60 yard drive in 1:21 to put the Jags up 21-0.

The Jags would drive once more before halftime to add to their lead. Lead by Myles Gibbon, the Jags went 77 yards in seven plays taking 1:49 off the clock. Gibbon would find Kevin Helms wide open in the left corner of the endzone for a 6-yard touchdown reception. Michel Chapuseaux would miss the PAT leaving the Jags up 27-0 with 53 seconds until halftime.

A good kickoff return to start the second half would set up the Jags at the Louisburg 34 yard line and it would only take the Jags 43 seconds to find the endzone. Brandon Ross would get his third touchdown of the day to top off the three play 34 yard scoring drive with a 20 yard romp for the score. Chapuseaux would make the PAT to put the Jags up 34-0.

The Jags would kickoff after the touchdown and the Louisburg return man would bobble the ball and retreat back trying to find a hole to advance but would be tackled at the one yard line. This would lead to the Hurricane’s longest sustained drive of the game. Going 11 plays for 33 yards in 6:52 before punting away to the Jaguars.

The Jags would start at their own 20 yard line and drive 80 yards in nine plays. Santuan McGee would finish up the scoring for the Jags with a one yard run for the touchdown, putting the Jags up 41-0 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

The Hurricanes would avoid the shutout though. Driving 60 yards in seven plays in 3:03. The big spark was a 30 yard pass play to the Jaguar one yard line to set up the touchdown. It was the one and only time the Hurricanes made it into the red zone all day. The touchdown capped the scoring for the game with the final score being 41-7.

The next two Jaguar drives would end with fumbles before the final possession ran out the clock to end the game.

The Jags had 474 total yards for the game, 310 rushing and 164 passing with 22 first downs. Louisburg had 222 total yards, 52 rushing and 170 passing with 12 first downs.

A total of 10 Jaguars carried the ball for the 310 yards. Brandon Ross led the way with 13 carries and 138 yards, Ralph Turner had 2 carries for 49 yards, Santuan McGee 6 carries for 41 yards were the highlights.

Myles Gibbon was 6-of-9 for 89 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim was 6-for-7 for 70 yards and Nick Owens completed his only attempt for five yards.

Nine Jaguars combined for the 13 receptions. Courtney Smith had 2 for 25 yards, Drew Ezell had 2 for 23 yards, Kevin Helms had 2 for 15 yards and the only touchdown reception of the game, and Corey Besteda also had 2 for 13 yards to round out the multiple catch receivers.

Josh Chestang, Anton Graphenreed and Justin Dunn all had five tackles for the Jags.

Brandon Ross spoke after the game about his performance. “I always practice keeping my feet moving. I’m still trying to get better at it,” he said. “I do not want to get tackled by one person. If I’m going to get tackled, I’d rather get tackled by a group of defenders.”

Coach Jones mentioned Ross’ running in the post game press conference. “We challenged him to run like that every play. He’s starting to understand that he’s got a 230-pound body that’s hard to tackle,” coach Jones said. “When you lower your shoulders and a free safety is coming up to tackle a guy like that, that’s a tough thing to tackle. When he learns to run like that all the time, he’s got a chance to be a great one. He’s got a chance to be a very special running back and probably play beyond college.”

Gibbon also commented on Ross’ running ability as well as the entire running back stable. “Brandon is a great running back; everyone has seen that,” Gibbon said. “Even when he gets tired and we take him out, we have another three running backs that can get in the game and get the ball rolling. Having good running backs makes our lives a lot easier.”

Coach Jones further commented about the Jags play. “I thought we came out and played fairly well. The biggest thing we’re challenging our kids with is no matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to play with character,” Jones said. “We’ve got to practice with character, we’ve got to work hard to study our opponents film, and we’ve got to not change anything about the way we prepare for a game. That was our challenge this week. I thought the kids did that, they were prepared.”

Louisburg head coach John Sala gave a glowing commentary about the Jags in the post game press conference. “We came into this game with the mind-set to win it. We had a great chance and thought we could do a really good job,” he said. “Give a lot of credit to South Alabama. When they are that sound fundamentally and you have those types of players, that is a hard combination to beat. We go against better players all the time, but none that are that well-coached. That combination is just hard to beat at any level.”

The Jags will have next Saturday off before hosting Fork Union Military Academy on Saturday October 31 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4pm.