Jags Prepare For Possibly Their Toughest Opponent Of The Season

October 1, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The first week of preparations for Georgia Military Junior College wrapped up on Thursday for the Jags. While most teams do not get multiple weeks to prepare for opponents in college football during the season, but since the Jags only have seven teams to face in their inaugural season they get to have this luxury. At least for this season.

But the extra time may be needed most for their upcoming contest on October 10th. Georgia Military JC utilizes a number of formations on offense, but defensive coordinator Bill Clark the extra time will give them plenty of time to learn and prepare for the different offensive looks they may see.

While Coach Clark has been pleased with their progress through the first week of preparations, he stressed that the Jags must be able to adapt to anything Georgia Military JC might through at them. “You’re going to get two-back I, or a tight end and three wide receivers, or four wide receivers, or a bunch formation,” Clark said. “They’re very multiple, with great players, and we’ve talked about the history of that program and what a good job they do, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

“We’ve had a good week. Any time you’re talking about a formation change almost every snap, there’s a lot of learning,” Clark continued. “Luckily, we’ve got an extra week, but then again so do they. We don’t know what wrinkle they’re going to add and we’re going to have to be ready for that. We’ve had a good week, had a few guys bummed up, but hopefully we can get them back healthy and ready to go next week.”

Coach Jones also spoke about Georgia Military JC and the challenge they will present to the Jaguars. “The coaching staff has been together, they’ve run this system for a while, and they’re very well coached,” coach Jones said. “Offensively, they’ve got some great athletes. Their quarterback is a tremendous athlete who can throw it and run it, and they’ve got one of the best running backs we’ll face this year – he’s a very fast running back. We’ve got a great challenge.”

Also their size and talent may make them the best team South Alabama will play in their first season on the field. “Their offensive linemen have the same size of some of the guys from Hargrave,” Jones said. “Some of them are 340 or 350 pounds, so we’ve got a great challenge, but I’m glad for the challenge. I’m looking forward to it because it’s good for our kids to have to step up and play a team like this. They’re very athletic. They’re by far the best defense of the teams we’ve played thus far.”

“They were 9-2 last year and at one point they were the No. 6 junior college in the country,” Coach Jones continued. “They’ve got great players, great coaching, and they’re really similar to Hargrave except that they’ve been around for another year and the guys are a little bit more mature.” On top of going 9-2, they also have won two national championships in the last 10 years.

Over the next five weeks the Jags will have four games, which is quite different from the past five weeks where they only had two games. Coach Jones said, “We’ve worked on some of our fundaments, and we worked offense and defense against each other to see the speed of the game. Defense ran their stuff, offense ran their stuff just to see speed because we’re going to see a lot of speed out there next Saturday. They were 9-2 last year and at one point they were the No. 6 junior college in the country. They’ve got great players, great coaching, and they’re really similar to Hargrave except that they’ve been around for another year and the guys are a little bit more mature.”

The coaches decided to give the players two days off this weekend after practicing for four days this week. But they will return to the practice field Sunday evening, hopefully refreshed and ready for game week preparations.

During Monday’s media day, coach Jones did have this to say about when asked if the team was farther along that he thought they would be. “We’re probably further along than I thought we would be. Our kids have really come together. There’s a chemistry part to a football team that nobody in the stands can see, and sometimes people on the team can’t even see it, but as a coaching staff we’re really noticing how these kids are coming together. That’s really pleasing. Some of the things we’re doing offensively, defensively and on special teams are great on the field, but I think a lot of it has to do with the chemistry of this team; that’s been a real key factor.”

Then following up on that question he was asked if he was concerned about the team chemistry going into this season. “(I had) extreme concern. I had done it before in my job at Birmingham-Southern, but that was a deal where we brought in all freshman. I knew bringing in some older guys who had been around and played in other programs would be a key to bringing us together. We did that, but I still wasn’t sure if it would work, but the plan has worked. The older guys have done a good job leading, and the younger guys have done a good job of listening and doing what they’re supposed to do, so it’s been good.”

The Jags will take the field against Georgia Military Junior College at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, October 10th with kickoff scheduled for 11:30am. This will be the Jags earliest kickoff of the season.

GO JAGS!!