Henderson State preview

October 27, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
CJ Bennett directing the offense

CJ Bennett directing the Jaguar offense in the first half against Georgia State.

The Jags host Henderson State, their first of three home games to round out the third season. It was announced on Tuesday, that the Jaguars final regular season game this year will be televised by UTV44 in the local market while being available nationally on ESPN3.com. Kickoff is still scheduled for 4pm against Cal Poly.

So far the Reddies are 4-3 on the season with wins over Harding (35-21), West Georgia (50-30), Southeastern Oklahoma (30-14) and East Central Oklahoma (42-21 in overtime). They come into Mobile on a three game winning streak.

The Reddies average 30.7 points per game while giving up 27.9 points per game on average. They have 132 first downs on the season, 69 of them came through the air while 46 have come on the ground. The remaining 17 have come through penalties. Their opponents have gained 148 first downs with 75 through the air and 58 on the ground. The remaining 15 have been given up by penalty.

The Reddies have gained 2,428 yards of total offense with an average of 346.9 yards per game. 1,449 yards have come through the passing game as their quarterbacks have gone 152-of-252 on the season with 11 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. That breaks down to 5.8 yards per passing attempt and 9.5 yards per completion. They have gained 979 yards rushing on the season for an average of 139.9 yards per game and an average of 4.4 yards per rush with 15 touchdowns.

Defensively the Reddies have given up 2,690 of total yards which is 384.3 yards per game on average. They have 1,680 yards through the air as opposing quarterbacks have gone 162-of-263 with 12 touchdown passes but only 4 interceptions for an average of 240 yards per game. They have also given up 1,010 yards rushing for an average of 144.3 yards per game and 3.7 per rush.

The Reddie offense has fumbled the ball 20 times while losing 11 of them to the opposing team. While the defense has forced and recovered the same number (20 fumbles and 11 recoveries). The Reddies have been flagged for 64 penalties for 577 total yards or an average of 82.4 yards per game. Their opponents have been flagged for 56 penalties for 516 yards for an average of 73.7 yards per game.

HSU has a solid special teams unit with an average of 22.6 yards per kick return and 12.7 yards per punt return. While defensively they give up an average of 20.3 yards per kick return and only 3.8 yards per punt return.

HSU has a very bad 3rd down conversion rate of only 29% on the season by only converting 27 of 93 attempts but are converting 62% of their 4th down conversions (8-of-13). Opponents are converting 44% of their 3rd down attempts going 52-of-118 and also converting 47% of their 4th down conversions (7-of-15).

The Reddies score 76% of the time in the red zone with 65% of their trips being touchdowns. Their opponents score 70% of the time in the red zone with 56% of them being toucdowns.

Henderson State have a few players to watch out for. Jarvis Smith is their main running back with 603 yards on the season with 85 carries. The next closes rusher has 39 attempts for 236 yards.

The Reddies also have two quarterbacks who has seen a fair amount of playing time. Nathan Nall has played in six games going 80-of-137 for 790 yards, three interceptions and 6 touchdowns. Kevin Rodgers has seen action in 4 games while going 72-of-115 with 6 interceptions and 5 touchdowns. Though it sounds like Nall is injured and Rodgers will be taking is place against the Jags.

HSU has a pretty good stable of receivers. The top two are Nick Johnson with 26 catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns on the year. Robert Jordan has 24 catches for 263 yards but no touchdowns. They have five other receivers with between 10 and 15 catches and over 100 yards receiving on the season.

The Jags will kickoff against the Reddies at 4pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. South Alabama will be wearing their all blue uniforms for the first time so the athletic department has asked fans to wear blue to the game.

Go Jags!

South wins shootout against Henderson State 37-31

November 8, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

CJ Bennett looks on as Kendall Houston runs the ball in the second half of the Jaguars win over Henderson State.

South Alabama came away with the homecoming victory in a shootout on Saturday against Henderson State, 37-31. It wasn’t unexpected by anyone who looked at the numbers really. Both teams averaged over 425 yards per game. It was just that the Reddies are a Division-II team from Arkansas, not a team that most people in the Southeast would normally hear about unless you lived in Arkansas.

CJ Bennett went 20-of-26 passing for 280 yards for the Jags with Kendall Houston adding 140 yards in a record offensive game for South Alabama. The Jags totaled 542 yards for the game.

Henderson State, whose offensive strong point happened to match up with the Jaguars defensive weakness, went after the Jaguar secondary. Two season ending injuries in the secondary has left the Jags without any sense of comfortable depth, which the Reddies exploited to the tune of 359 yards on their quarterback’s 23-of-43 performance.

Bennett spread the ball around well by connecting with nine difference receivers with six of them having multiple receptions in the game. TJ Glover lead the receiving corps with five catches for 78 yards and a new career high of 189 all-purpose yards. However, Bennett also took three sacks in the game.

Houston carried the ball 27 times for the 140 yards which marks his fourth 100 yard game of the season. The three other running backs 99 yards on 9 carries.

Special teams had some high points and some low points. The kickoff squad gave up two returns to the end zone, however one was called back on a block in the back, saving a touchdown. Darius Davis ending the game with 5 returns for 186 yards, his touchdown went for 93 yards.

On the other side, Scott Garber averaged 59 yards per punt with both being touchbacks. Lawson McGlon made three of four attempts, including a career long 40 yard field goal as time running down in the 3rd quarter. McGlon attempted a 43 yard kick at the end of the first half, however it was rushed and came up short, so it’s hard to count that against him.

The 43 yard attempt came after the Jags were in a great position at the Henderson State 12 yard line with 3rd and six after calling a time out. However Bennett took a 14 yard sack and with the Jags without any remaining time outs, had to rush the field goal unit onto the field to hastily attempt the kick. Coach Jones was visibly annoyed by the turn of events on those two plays.

Coach Jones said after the game, “I want to congratulate Henderson State for playing a very good football game. We knew watching on film that they were a very good team. But I probably didn’t do a great job of getting the team ready in my opinion. That’s probably the first time since I’ve been here that I didn’t think we were 100 percent sharp like we normally are. And I’ll take the blame for that. We can make all the excuses we want, but the bottom line is there are no excuses. That’s not to take anything away from Henderson State, they have a great football team. I kept trying to tell our team, and I guess they didn’t hear that.”

He continued, “We knew they were good on film. They’ve been throwing for 400 yards all year long, so it didn’t surprise us. Their quarterback is a really good player and puts the ball on the money; that worried us going into this game. We knew that they had some really good receivers and some good athletes on that team.”

However a day later after reviewing the game field, Coach Jones had more to say about the game and how his players played in the game. “It’s always, when you feel terrible in a game and after a game, when you go back and look at the tape, it’s a lot better than you thought it was. And when you think it was great, you go back and look at the tape and realize it was a lot worse than you thought it was. It was that way. We played really hard and did a lot of great things. We had some bad plays and did some bad things, but if you take those five or six plays out of the game we played a really, really good game. So, I was really pleased after I watched the film, much more so than I was Saturday night.”

The Jags have played eight consecutive games since their open date after the season opening game against Pikeville College. With injuries and fatigue, the Jags are definitely looking forward to the end of their second season on Thursday night. With a short preparation and hopefully a refocusing on the job at hand, I think the Jags second undefeated season is within grasp. But as the old adage goes, “never count your eggs before they hatch.”

The Jags will host Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday evening with kickoff scheduled for 6:00pm at Ladd-Peebles stadium.

Go Jags! Beat those Boll Weevils!!