Jake Johnson Added To Senior Bowl Squad

January 22, 2013 · Filed Under Football, Senior Bowl · Comment 
Senior linebacker Jake Johnson zeroes in on a NC State runner for one of his 14 tackles in Raleigh, NC.

Senior linebacker Jake Johnson zeroes in on a NC State runner for one of his 14 tackles in Raleigh, NC.

University of South Alabama linebacker Jake Johnson has been added to the Senior Bowl according to sources and social media reports.

Johnson, a 6’1″ 240-pound Fredericksburg Virginia native, was the only Sun Belt player to average more than 10 tackles per game and was a first-team all-conference selection after finishing the season with a school record 131 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. He was the leading tackler for the Jags in seven of their 13 games and notched double-digits in tackles on five seperate occasions. He had a season-high of 15 tackles against Florida International and Middle Tennessee. He also collected 14 tackles against NC State and 10 against Mississippi State.

Johnson collected 245 total tackles and 25.5 stops for loss and nine sacks with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups during his three seasons with South Alabama.

He participated in the NFLPA Collegiate bowl on Saturday where he recorded two solo tackles and two assists.

Jake Johnson becomes the second Jaguar in the schools short history of football to be invited to participate in the Senior Bowl hosted in Mobile, Alabama.

From the SeniorBowl website:

The Senior Bowl is home to a one-of-a-kind NFL Convention. In addition to the two NFL coaching staffs who coach the two Senior Bowl teams each year, over 800 NFL general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, personnel directors, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 NFL teams annually attend Senior Bowl Week in Mobile.

Coaching staffs for the game each year are selected by the NFL office. In addition to the coaches, each NFL team chosen by the league to coach the Senior Bowl teams also brings its training, video and equipment staffs to the contest to work with the Senior Bowl players and maximize the many benefits that the players will receive by playing in the contest.

The Senior Bowl has been played in Mobile every year since 1951. It’s first year in 1950, it was played in Jacksonville, Florida.

Congratulations Jake!

Four Jags Earn Conference Honors

December 5, 2012 · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

Game Captains for South Alabama Romelle Jones, B.J. Scott, Greg Hollinger and Alex Page meet the Troy captains at mid-field for the coin toss in the two teams first meeting and the Jaguars first Sun Belt Conference game.

Four Jaguars have been honored with All-Sun Belt Conference honors on Wednesday.

First-team selection Jake Johnson was the top tackler in the conference. Alex Page was voted to the second-team All-Sun Belt team. While B.J. Scott and Enrique Williams were chosen for honorable mention recognition.

Voting was conducted by the 10 head coaches in the conference and selected members of the media. This was the first time in the programs four year history that they were able to be selected for All-Conference honors.

Jake Johnson is a 6’1″, 240-pound senior linebacker from Fredericksburg, VA. He is the only player in the conference that averages double-digits in tackles after totally 131 total stops in 13 games this season. He ranks third in the conference with 15 tackles for loss with at least one in every game this season. He also has three sacks and six quarterback hurries. He led the team in stops seven times this season and had double-digit tackles in a game five times this season.

Alex Page, a 6’1″ 245-pound junior defensive lineman from Prattville, AL, ranked fifth in the conference with six sacks and eighth with 11.5 tackles for loss. He recorded a career-best 64 tackles which ranked fifth on the team and the most among the Jags defensive linemen. He also became the first player at his position in Jag history to record double-digit tackles with 10 against FAU.

B.J. Scott is a 5’11” 205-pound senior safety from Prichard, AL. He transferred to South Alabama from the University of Alabama with two years of eligibility. Scott ended the season with 84 tackles, six of them for a loss. He also had two interceptions, three passes broken up and two forced fubmles with a fumble recovery. He had four games with double-digit tackles including a career-best 12 in the season finale against Hawaii. He finished tied for 15th in the conference this season with an average of 6.5 tackles per game.

Enrique Williams is a 6′, 235-pound junior linebacker from Mobile, AL. He finished the season with 105 tackles, which was good enough for seventh in the conference, with six of them for losses. He finished four games with double-digit tackles and led the team in tackles on five occasions. He had a career best 12 tackles against then #23 ranked Mississippi State and again at Arkansas State in the Jags first ever conference road game.

The defense, led by these four individuals, allowed an average of 383.7 yards per game to finish the season ranked second in the conference in total defense and ranked 3rd in the conference against the pass. The Jags also led the conference in red zone defense and was second in opponent third-down conversion percentage as well.

 

USA Falls In Hawaii 23-7 In Season Finale

December 3, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The University of South Alabama dropped their season ending game in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday night 23-7. The Warriors gained a season-best 410 yards in the win in Aloha Stadium.

South Alabama would take the opening kickoff and drive down into the Warrior red zone however an interception in the endzone would end the Jaguar scoring threat. However, Hawaii would then drive 80 yards for a touchdown to begin the scoring.

The Jaguar defense would bend but not break the rest of the first half by holding the Warriors to three field goals for a 16-0 lead heading into the locker room for halftime. The South Alabama offense could not put together another good drive in the first half. On their subsequent five possessions of the first half, the Jags would punt each of those five possessions.

At halftime, the Jaguars would only have 55 yards of total offense with only six of those yards coming on the ground from the rushing attack.

The Jags would avoid their first-ever shutout with an 80 yard, 11 play drive that would span over five minutes. C.J. Bennett would come in and see playing time for the first time since the Jaguars game against Troy on September 29 to lead the Jaguar offense on the scoring drive. Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for a 25 yard completion to get the drive going. Julien Valentin would keep the drive alive with an eight yard rush for a first down. Bennett would keep the ball to pick up a first down on fourth and one at the Hawaii 4 yard line. Bennett would then cap off the drive with a three yard touchdown toss to Wes Saxton.

The touchdown drive would account for nearly half of the Jaguars totoal offensive output for the game. USA would end the game with 166 yards of total offense, 148 yards passing and a program-low of 34 yards rushing on 18 carries. However the Jags would gain 17 first downs, which was close to Hawaii’s 20 for the game.

Hawaii would end the game with 410 yards of total offense, 229 yards rushing matched the most ever given up by the Jaguars defense. The Warriors threw for 181 yards as well.

Senior Center Trey Clark, who started every game in his career at South Alabama and every game in South Alabama history spoke after the game. “They were tough. They were a physical group. They had some movement going on, and came with a few blitzes that gave us some problems. I think we did alright for the most part, but those sacks and fumbles hurt us.”

“The biggest thing was that we weren’t going to lay down — we weren’t going to quit. We just had that mindset that we were going to fight to the last whistle. I’m just proud of the seniors, my teammates and the coaches.”

“We came out and put together a good drive but threw an interception, and end up down 16-0 at halftime,” head coach Joey Jones explained. “We didn’t do much offensively in the second quarter, and they made some big plays. We gave up a long play on the first drive, but in the second half the defense came out and played better. They just controlled the game.”

T.J. Glover would end the game with 34 yards rushing on nine carries. Julien Valentin would add 20 yards on nine carries. Kendall Houston, who saw some action early, gained 10 yards on three carries. Ross Metheny would lose 43 yards combined in all of his sacks.

Metheny would go 11-of-24 for 111 yards and two touchdowns but also took five sacks. C.J. Bennett would come in and go 3-of-7 for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Corey Besteda would catch three passes for 42 yards, Gabe Loper would catch four passes for 32 yards, Saxton would catch three for 27 yards. T.J. Glover would add 12 yards on two receptions and Bryant Lavender would add 25 yards on one catch. Jereme Jones would keep his consecutive game with a catch streak alive with one catch for 10 yards.

Glover would have a season-high of 169 all-purpose yards as he accounted for 115 yards in kick returns, 34 yards rushing, 12 yards receiving and an eight yard punt return.

This game was the final game of 2012 season for South Alabama and the last in their two-year transition into the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. Next season the Jags will be eligible for the Sun Belt Conference title and for a bowl game.

The Jags will lose a long list of senior talent this season. Many of these guys committed to South Alabama before the school had anything to show. They bought into a vision and they helped to make that vision a reality. They created the foundation that all future success will be built upon.

B.J. Scott, Jonathan Cameron, Brandon Ross, Gabe Loper, Cori Barnett, Charles Harris, Chris Rivers, Michel Chapuseaux, Jake Johnson, Anthony Taylor, Tremain Smith, Phillip Press, Trey Clark, Kennedy Helms, Ryne Baxter and Andy Dalgleish all will not put on the Jaguar uniform again. But they will not be forgotten.

Thank you guys. Thank you for coming to South Alabama, working hard and helping to build this program. I hope to see you around the program in the future. I also wish you the best in all of your future endevours.

“It was a great experience, and we were able to play another non-conference game,” B.J. Scott said after the game. “We got a chance to experience a bowl-like atmosphere, and we have a lot to look forward to next year. We were just a few plays away in every game we lost this year. For the young guys, I just want them to stay focused and continue to work hard. I feel like we can easily flip this season around with just a little more attention to detail and focus.”

“I think we will have a great team next year,” Scott said.

Jags Name Permanant Team Captains For 2012 Team

November 16, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Clifton Crews and Gabe Loper leap in an attempt to block a field goal against Florida Atlantic.


The South Alabama Jaguar football team took a vote of its players and selected the 2012 season’s four permanent captains. The players selected and were announced at the end of Thursday’s practice. The players selected were: Center Trey Clark, linebacker Jake Johnson, defensive back B.J. Scott and defensive end Anthony Taylor.

Each of the four players have contributed heavily to the Jaguars success on the field. Clark has started every single game in the program’s history so far.

Also, each of the players selected are seniors who will be recognized prior to kickoff against Middle Tennessee on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Saturday’s game is the Jaguars final home game of the 2012 campaign and thus is Senior Day.

“It means a lot, especially coming from my peers,” Mobile native B.J. Scott said. “It means that I have the respect of my teammates and it lets me know that they believe in me and they think highly of me. I’m just going to go out there and lead them and be the guy that they chose.”

“To me, that’ the highest honor you get,” Jags head coach Joey Jones said. “Your stats and leading tackler in conference is big, being able to have tackles and catch passes and whatever you do stat-wise, that’s something you’ll remember. But you’ll always remember being a captain. It’s the biggest honor on the team because thats what everybody else on the team thinks of you. They think you’re the guy to put in front of them.”

“These four guys have been great examples of leadership on our team” Jones continued. “We have others certainly on this team, but those four guys were picked by their teammates.”

Coach Jones Pleased With Tuesday’s Practice

November 14, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

2012 South Alabama Football Senior class. – Photo from USAJaguars.com


South Alabama returned to the practice field on Tuesday to continue preparation for Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State.

“We had a pretty good day today,” head coach Joey Jones said. “I think we had a good one from the standpoint that they were paying attention and they had a good inside drill today, running the football on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. I thought we had a goods crisp period where they got after it and on Tuesday’s you’ve got to have a good physical practice because you’ve got to carry it over to the game.”

Similar to last week, the Jags practiced in shells and will most likely do it again on Wednesday as well. As they are in the midst of a long stretch of games with three more to go the staff does not want to over extend the players while still working on keeping them sharp and implementing the game plan for their next opponent.

Coach Jones also said in his weekly radio show that Demetre Baker was doubtful for the Jags game this weekend. This will likely put Kendall Houston as the starter against the Blue Raiders on Saturday. Baker missed the second half against North Texas with an ankle sprain suffered in the second quarter.

Houston has 185 yards on 71 carries this season and has made appearances in all 10 games. Baker is the teams leading rusher with 595 yards on the season.

Clifton Crews, who suffered a concussion in the second quarter against North Texas, is probable for this weekends game. He will still have to pass a battery of tests to make sure there are no lingering affects from the concussion before that decision is finalized.

Prior to this Saturday’s game, the University will honor 15 seniors in a pre-game ceremony. Trey Clark, B.J. Scott and Jake Johnson have started all 10 games this season. Cori Barnett and Brandon Ross have not seen the playing field this season due to injuries.

Ryne Baxter, Jonathan Cameron, Michel Chapuseaux, Andy Dalgleish, Kennedy Helms, Ellis Hill, Gabe Loper, Chris Rivers, Tremain Smith and Anthony Taylor will all join the previously mentioned players to be honored as the 2012 senior class.

“I want to thank our seniors for all they have done and committed to this football program, for what they have meant not only to this university but to our team,” said Coach Jones. “They are great leaders and great young men, they care about this team and have done all the right things to build this program from the ground up. Some of the guys have been here the whole time, some have transferred in, but the bottom line is that they have all contributed in great ways. They will be forever missed because they have done a good job here, they have created an atmosphere of hard work and character. We will be indebted to them forever.”

“I think this is a special day, it really is, because you almost treat it a little differently since it is your last day to play at home,” he continued. “Not that you are going to go out and play any harder, because those guys are going to play hard anyway, but you look at it with a little different perspective because you realize this is your last one. There are not many things in life that you know are going to end, maybe retirement.”

The parking lot at Ladd-Peebles Stadium will open at 8am for tailgating and gates to the stadium will open at 12:30pm. The Jaguar Prowl will take place around 12:10pm in the South parking lot. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm.

Monday Press Conference

November 13, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Defensive coordinator Bill Clark working with Jake Johnson and the linebackers during individual drills on Saturday morning.


The University of South Alabama held their weekly media day on Monday with head coach Joey Jones along with seniors Trey Clark and Jake Johnson. They reflected on the teams loss at North Texas and previewed this weekend’s game against Middle Tennessee State.

Below are highlights from the press conference.

Head coach Joey Jones opened the press conference with his opening statement. “I want to thank our seniors for all they have done and committed to this football program, for what they have meant not only to this university but to our team. They are great leaders and great young men, they care about this team and have done all the right things to build this program from the ground up. Some of the guys have been here the whole time, some have transferred in, but the bottom line is that they have all contributed in great ways. They will be forever missed because they have done a good job here, they have created an atmosphere of hard work and character. We will be indebted to them forever.”

He then spoke about Senior Day this weekend. “I think this is a special day, it really is, because you almost treat it a little differently since it is your last day to play [at home]. Not that you are going to go out and play any harder, because those guys are going to play hard anyway, but you look at it with a little different perspective because you realize this is your last one. There are not many things in life that you know are going to end, maybe retirement. They [the seniors] plan for it a little bit and react in a great way but if they come out with the same attitude that they have all year long then they will enjoy the day very much and take it all in.”

Jones then fielded a question about frustration at being close to winning several games without actually getting the win. “I don’t know that there is anyone more frustrated than I was after the game. I didn’t talk to my wife, I didn’t talk to anyone on the plane coming back, I’m just that way. The next day I wake up and the sun comes up.”

“It has been difficult,” he continued. “One of the things we showed our players today is video of all the plays that had we made we would have won the ballgame the opportunities missed. Not that you are going to make every play every game, but there are certainly 12 to 15 plays in a game that if we make them the game is close and we win. That’s the difficult thing, leaving plays on the field. You’ve got to make those plays. You hear coaches say it all the time, you have three to five plays a game that make the difference.”

“Unfortunately — and fortunately — we are in Division I football right now, and the margin of winning in this conference are about that much [fingers held approximately an inch apart]. Right now we are not making those plays to win the ballgame at the end. Against FAU we did, we made a bunch of plays in the end. They are not difficult, astronomical diving catches, you just have to make simple plays and execute, throw it, catch it, tackle somebody. That’s the negative side of it.”

“The positive side of it is that we are putting ourselves in a position to win games in our first year [in the league]. But all of that doesn’t matter because we are here to win ballgames. We’re not young anymore, we’re 10 games into the season, so we have got to develop and be able to make those plays in games to be successful. I told our players this morning that they are growing up at this point, you’ve got to take the responsibility to look ahead of time and see yourself making those plays. It’s not good enough to just get to the fourth quarter, we have to make those plays in the fourth quarter. We have to coach better, everybody’s unit has to do better.”

“We’ve learned a lot from this season. We’ve learned how tough it is in the Sun Belt Conference. You look at Louisiana-Lafayette take Florida to the wire and Middle Tennessee beating Georgia Tech, it’s a tough league. Florida Atlantic beat Western Kentucky this past weekend, and we beat Florida Atlantic. It isn’t very far from the top to the bottom of the conference. I think in years past it has been a big gap, but right now there’s not a big gap at all between the top and bottom. We had to step in during a year when the Sun Belt is very good, but it has helped us learn a lot about what we have to do as a program to get better and be able to beat some of those teams. We are in that learning stage right now.”

Jones then spokes about Middle Tennessee State, who visits Mobile this weekend. “Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State are probably the two hottest teams in the league right now, they beat Western Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and beat Georgia Tech, they know how to win. The only loss they have in the conference was to ULM when ULM still had their [starting] quarterback. They are playing very good football.”

“They’re running backs are very deep, they have a great offensive line, a good quarterback and a couple of stud receivers on offense” Jones explained. “You can’t just say that you are going to take away the run or take away the pass, they can do both very well. They are very balanced on offense.”

“Defensively, they are very athletic. Tyrone Nix, their defensive coordinator, has been all over the place coaching, he is a very knowledgeable guy who understands the game and how to get those kids to play hard for him. They are a very well-coached team, and that’s why they are in the position they are right now, they’re very good.”

“I know if they win the next couple of weeks they’ve got a chance to play for the [conference] championship with Arkansas State being their last game. I’m sure that’s what their eyes are on right now.”

Senior Offensive lineman Trey Clark, the only player to start all 37 games in the programs history. He began by talking about Senior Day this weekend. “I’m sure with it being our last game as seniors at Ladd-Peebles Stadium that it is going to be emotional with a lot of energy. It’s important for us to stay focused on playing well and trying to get a win. It’s going to be emotional, but we have to stay focused on Middle Tennessee.”

Clark then spoke about what his time at South Alabama has meant to him. “It means a great deal. I’m so fortunate to have been given such a great opportunity to come and play. I have made so many friends and memories along the way, I’m just so thankful and grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I’m looking forward to Saturday and getting a win for our last home game.”

Next he spoke about the Jaguars overall record. “It can be very frustrating, especially the way we have lost these past several weeks. But I’m so proud of my teammates and the coaches because we haven’t given up. We come to practice every day with the attitude that we are going to improve and win. I’m so proud of our attitude and willingness to keep going despite the adversity.”

Clark then spoke about the development of the offense this season. “It helps any time you have players stepping into a role and actually getting game experience, and it certainly helps once you get a few games under your belt. We were still really close the first couple of games. Here of late, we have made strides and put it together more. The young guys have done a great job, and have improved all season.”

Senior Linebacker Jake Johnson also spoke about Senior Day this weekend. “It’s going to be emotional for all of the seniors heading into our last game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the last game here in Mobile in front of our fans – it’s going to be hard. But once that game is over you get over it. We have to stay focused on Middle Tennessee and what our opponent does.”

Johnson also spoke about what his time at South Alabama has meant to him. “It means a lot to me. I transferred here [from Virginia Tech], I just wanted to play again. I didn’t want to play a position that I knew I wasn’t going to play. I wanted to play a position that I could excel at and make it to the next level. I found my home here at South Alabama, and I have had a great experience my first two years along with this year. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. We have played tough every single game this year, there have just been a few bumps in the road each game but we’re right there. My experience has been great here, and I can’t wait to continue it with these next three games.”

He also spoke about the Jaguars overall record this season. “It’s disappointing after the game. Nobody wants to lose. But it does give you the hope being that we are in just about every game. We’re right there every game, right down to the fourth quarter. It gives me the hope that we can get it done and put it all together.”

Johnson then previewed Middle Tennessee State this weekend. “They are a good offense. They have a great quarterback, and a good athletic offensive line. They come off the ball probably faster than anybody we will play this year. They have a good running back and good receivers, they are a good all-around team. We just have to eliminate the big plays. Doing the little things in practice this week are what is going to help us get over that hump.”

South Alabama and Middle Tennessee State kick off at 2:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Jags Fall To North Texas 24-14 On Saturday

November 12, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Receiver Jereme Jones looks in the pass from CJ Bennett in the first half of the 33-31 loss to Texas-San Antonio.


Jags gave up two long touchdown runs over 50+ yards as they lost to North Texas 24-14 on Saturday.

After holding the Jags on a fourth and one at the 49 yard line, Jereme Brown broke the second play of the second quarter, the first play of the possession for UNT, for a 51 yard touchdown run to tie the game with the Jags 7-7.

South Alabama would mount another scoring a little past midway through the second quarter that began with a 17 yard completion from Ross Metheny to Wes Saxton. After an incompletion, Metheny would complete passes to Bryant Lavender and Greg Hollinger for 6 and 14 yards respectively. A facemask penalty would move the ball to the North Texas 13 yard line where Metheny would find Jereme Jones for the touchdown and a 14-7 lead with under three minutes to go in the half.

The next possession by North Texas would begin with an illegal formation penalty against the Jags on the kickoff and wouldn’t get any better after that.

After an incomplete pass, UNT’s Derek Thompson would complete back to back passes for 15 and 18 yards to quickly move down to the Jaguar 33 yard line. Another incomplete pass and a rush for one yard forced the Mean Green to call a time out with 1:33 left in the half to consider their options for a 3rd and 9.

Coming out of the time out, Thompson would connect with his receiver for an 18 yard gain and a first down. After two more incomplete passes and UNT wuold face another long third down play. This time they would only get four yards but one of the Jaguar defenders would pick up the ball, thinking it may have been fumbled, and took off with it. That would draw a delay of game penalty on the Jags to give the Mean Green a fourth and 1 at the Jaguar 5 yard line. Then a substitution infraction would give UNT a first down at the 2 yard line. After a rush for no gain and an incomplete pass, Thompson would find an open receiver for the touchdown to tie the game at 14 with 17 seconds until halftime

South Alabama would begin the second half with a promising drive that would stall at the North Texas 11 yard line with a fourth and 1. Michel Chapuseaux would attempt a 28 yard line but it would miss wide right.

After taking over at the Jaguar 20 yard line, UNT would be flagged for a false start. But this would not matter as Brandin Byrd would take the first down handoff 85 yards for a touchdown to take a 21-14 lead with 9:32 left in the third quarter.

On the next Jaguar possession, Terrance Timmons would fumble the ball away at the Jaguar 46 yard line. North Texas would capitalize by driving down for a field goal to cap off the scoring 24-14.

A couple of possession later, the Jags had a golden opportunity to cut into the Mean Green lead when Tyrell Pearson would pick off a pass at the North Texas 40 yard line and return it down the left sideline. He would return it 38 yards to the two yard line and try to dive/reach for a touchdown, but the officials would rule it a fumble that would go into the end zone and out of bounds giving the ball back to North Texas at the 20 yard line.

The fourth quarter would become a punt fest. The Jags would go for it near midfield when they faced a fourth and 23 at the Jaguar 47, but Metheny’s pass completion to Gabe Loper would come up 2 yards short of the first down.

The Jags record falls to 2-8 (1-5 SBC) while North Texas’ record improves to 4-6 (3-3 SBC).

South Alabama held edges in some statistical categories. Jags edged the Mean Green in total yards (366-303), net passing yards (233-106), first downs (24-12) and time-of-possession (33:08 – 26:52). North Texas would lead the Jags in rushing yards 197-133.

Kendall Houston led the Jaguar running game with 42 yards on 11 carries, and his first touchdown since Georgia State over a year ago, as he filled in for Baker who did not see the field in the second half. Baker would end the game with 39 yards on six carries, Glover would add 36 yards on eight carries and Metheny would gain 17 yards on eight carries.

Metheny would go 23-of-45 for 233 yards and a touchdown. Lavender would haul in six passes for 36 yards, Jereme Jones would add five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Saxton had three catches for 38 yards, Corey Besteda had two catches for 31 yards, Loper added 26 yards on two catches. Greg Hollinger and Corey Waldon would both add a catch for 14 yards each.

Alex Page and Bryson James would both end the game tied for the most tackles with seven. Jake Johnson would add six tackles and a tackle-for-loss. The Jags were unable to get to the quarterback for a sack in this game.

“We played a good first half. We played hard and smart. They dominated us in the third quarter,” Jaguar head coach said after the game. “We had a good drive [to open the second half], and we missed a chip-shot field goal that would have put us up 17-14. We were playing great defense but we missed the field goal, then they scored on a long run and kind of dominated us from that point on. We didn’t much on offense after that.”

“We’re just a few guys behind right now,” Jones continued. “Everything we do has to be perfect, but I told them in the locker room that we have to stick together. This is as tough of a thing as any of us have been through, nobody likes to lose. We have to stick together and back up and support each other. This [transition to FBS] is a tough thing to go through. My hat’s off to North Texas. They came out and made great adjustments at halftime, and played a better game in the second half.”

“The good teams learn from the losses, watch film, make corrections and move forward. That’s what we have to do,” quarterback Ross Metheny said. “We have to put it behind us. It’s tough. There comes a point where being so close is not enough. We’re so close in so many games, and hopefully we’ll put it all together. We have three more chances to win football games, and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

“I told the guys in the locker room that I will never quit on them,” stated Jones. “We knew this year was going to be like this, so we have to stick together. Those guys really care about each other, and that’s all I can worry about right now. I can’t worry about what anybody else says. We just have to keep working and building these men up. They’re going through a tough thing right now. They have been asked to step up in a very good Division I league and try to win, we’re just coming up a little bit short in a lot of games.”

South Alabama returns home to Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday for their final home game of the season against Middle Tennessee. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm on Saturday.

Jags Practice In Shells On Tuesday

November 7, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Enrique Williams combines with another Jaguar to tackle a FIU runner.

South Alabama deviated from their usual schedule on Tuesday morning by practicing in shells rather than full pads. Coach Joey Jones mentioned conserving energy in a long season as a reason for doing that. Though the intensity and work was the same as if the team had actually wore full pads.

“We just felt like we’re at least 13 or 14 weeks into practice, and this just gives them a little (break),” Jones said. “We didn’t practice any different, we just took the pads off. A lot of teams go to that late in the year to just give them a little mental break.”

One area of concentration was to make sure to get reps for backup players in every phase of the game. Jones noted that it was very important for those players who don’t get to see as many reps in practice as the starters to be ready in a moment’s notice.

“I thought we had pretty good focus,” he said of the practice. “We’ve got to make sure that our back-up guys, guys that are on our second string, are ready to go too. I think that sometimes you lose focus as a back-up but you’re one injury away from playing. We’ve got to get with those guys and make sure that they’re ready to go. Other than that, I think we had a good practice.”

Linebacker Jake Johnson did not practice on Tuesday as his right arm is in a sling. Though the injury is not serious and is expected to be back at practice on Wednesday. Johnson continues to be the leading tackler in the conference with 92 as he collected 15 total against FIU, 12 of them solo. He average 10.2 tackles per game.

Randon Carnathan’s season is over as Coach Jones said during his radio show that he had a torn ACL.

Linebacker Enrique Williams ranks 4th in the conference with 82 tackles and averagind 9 tackles per game. Alex Page is ranked #2 in the conference with five sacks. Pat Moore is tied for 4th in the same category with four in eight games.

Moore also ranks #7 in the conference in tackles for loss while Page ranks 8th in the same category.

Jags Fall To FIU After Valiant Rally In Second Half

November 3, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Bryant Lavender hauls in the pass from Ross Metheny at the goal line against FIU, but would be called down inside the one yard line.

South Alabama put up a valiant fight in the second half but just could not erase the first half deficit to fall at home against Florida International 28-20.

Coming into the game the FIU Golden Panthers were chosen to win the Sun Belt Championship in the preseason, but where 1-8 and were 0-5 in the Sun Belt. Head coach Joey Jones told everyone all week that FIU was a better team than what their record said. They definitely were a big team and played well in the first half.

The South Alabama defense held FIU to 31 yards in the second half, a mere 18 yards rushing and 13 yards passing to help the team fight it’s way back into the game.

The Jags scored first but FIU would score 28 consecutive points in the first half to go into halftime with a 28-7 lead. But the Jags would not allow them to score again for the remainder of the game.

“Obviously we dug too big a hole in the game and got behind 28-7 at the half,” coach Jones said. “We made a good comeback but we didn’t score down there in the red zone in the second half. That was the tale-tale sign of the game right there. We dug too big a hole early.”

“They’re very athletic on the defensive front and they just get after you,” Jones said of FIU. “They held Western Kentucky to 14 points and we knew they were good on defense.”

South Alabama’s first score came on their first possession. They drove 53 yards in nine plays after Pat Moore recovered a fumble. T.J. Glover scored on a 15 yard run around the left side, which was his first rushing touchdown since November of the 2010 season, to take a 7-0 lead with 7:36 left in the first quarter.

FIU would answer the Jaguar score with a 76 yard drive on eight plays and capped off by a 26 yard touchdown pass from Jake Medlock to Willis Wright. They would score again with a 27 yard pass before the first quarter ended to take a 14-7 lead.

In the second quarter FIU would score their third touchdown of the game on a 19 yard run by quarterback Medlock with 7:45 left in the second quarter to make the score 21-7 FIU.

Later Kendrick Rhodes would score with on a 2 yard rush to pull ahead 28-7 with 1:07 left in the second quarter.

The Jags would down the second half kickoff for a touchback to start on the 25 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Ross Metheny would find an open Corey Besteda over the middle and he would take it in for a 75 yard touchdown to cut the FIU lead down to two scores, 28-14. That touchdown reception was the longest pass play in school history.

The Jaguar defense would hold FIU to a three and out on their first possession of the second half. Glover would return the punt down to the FIU 19 yard line, but they would not be able to put the ball into the end zone. Michel Chapuseaux would connect on the 39 yard field goal attempt to further cut into the FIU lead, 28-17.

FIU would drive from their own 32 yard line down to the Jaguar 42 before the drive would stall out and force a punt. Glover would call for the fair catch at the Jaguar 9 yard line. On third and seven from their own 30 yard line, Demetre Baker would rush for four yards but would fumble the ball and it would be recovered by FIU at the Jaguar 33 yard line.

Again the Jaguar defense would force a three and out. The FIU punt would fly into the end zone for a touchback.

On first down from their own 20 yard line, Metheny would run for 13 yards out to the 33 yard line. After Terrance Timmons rushed for a five yard gain, Metheny would hit Wes Saxton for a 24 yard gain to the FIU 38 yard line. Metheny would come back and hit Corey Besteda for an 11 yard gain to the FIU 27 yard line. Then the Jags would be forced to call a time out.

After the time out, Metheny would complete another pass to Saxton for five more yards to the FIU 22 yard line. Metheny would run for two yards to set up a third and 3 at the FIU 20 yard line, when FIU would call a time out with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.

After the time out, Metheny would complete a pass to Bryant Lavender for 13 yards to the FIU 7 yard line and the end of the fourth quarter. After the break, Trey Fetner would come in to run the wildcat for a three yard gain to the FIU 4 yard line. The Jags would be forced to call a time out as the play clock was running down.

After the time out, Metheny would complete a pass to Lavender again to inside the one yard line. Fetner would come in again to take a snap from under center, but Demetre Baker, who had lined up at tight end, moved early to draw a false start penalty. Instead of third and less than one, it becomes a third and goal from the five yard line. Metheny’s pass would fall incomplete intended for Lavender again. Chapuseaux’s kick would split the uprights to make the game a one score game at 28-20 with 13:05 left in the game.

Yet again the Jags defense would hold strong and force a three and out. After a 36 yard punt the Jags would start at their own 25 yard line.

After being sacked for five yard, Metheny would run for 20 yards out to the Jaguar 40 yard line. On first down at the FIU 47 yard line, Metheny would hit Saxton again for 25 yards down to the FIU 22 yard line. Terrance Timmons would then run three consecutive times for 2, 8 and 4 yards respectively to put the ball at the FIU 8 yard line. Houston would then run for two yards to set up a third down and four at the FIU 6 yard line. Metheny’s pass intended for Saxton in the end zone would be tipped and fly incomplete for a fourth down. Chapuseaux’s kick would bounce off of the left upright, no good with 5:17 left in the game.

The Jags would force yet another three and out to get the ball back with 4:15 left in the game. After driving from their 33 yard line down to the FIU 43 yard line, Metheny would throw three consecutive incomplete passes to face a fourth down and 10. Demetre Baker would take the pitch and gain seven yards to turn the ball over on downs with 3:00 left in the game.

Once more the Jags would force a three and out and get the punt at the Jaguar 31 yard line with 35 seconds left in the game.

Metheny would be flushed out of the pocket and goes down after gaining one yard. They would get up to the line and spike the ball. On third and nine, Metheny’s pass would fall incomplete then the fourth down pass would fly high and be intercepted at the Jaguar 32 yard line. FIU would kneel on the ball once to run the final seconds off the clock.

Overall the Jags led in all offensive categories. The Jags rushed for 188 yards to FIU’s 181, threw for 270 yards to FIU’s 153 for a total yardage of 458 for the Jags to 334 for the Golden Panthers. The Jags had 22 first downs in the game to FIU’s 20 and the Jags held a 30:07 to 29:53 time of possession advantage.

The Jags committed four penalties for 33 yards while FIU committed five penalties for 49 yards in the game.

Unfortunately leading all of those statistical categories does not mean much when you don’t convert that into points on the scoreboard.

Demetre Baker beat out Ross Menthey for the leading rusher for the Jaguars. Baker rushed 15 times for 74 yards while Metheny rushed eight times for 56 yards. Glover also ran four times for 30 yards and Timmons rushed eight times for 27 yards. Fetner and Houston also got carries in the game.

Metheny went 19-of-37 for 270 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. He also took two sacks in the game.

Wes Saxton was Metheny’s favorite target in the game with six receptions for 92 yards. But Corey Besteda had the most receiving yards with 96 on three catches including the 75 yard touchdown catch to open the second half. Lavender caught four passes for 26 yards, Jereme Jones caught three for 34 yards. Waldon, Glover and Baker also caught passes in the game.

FIU’s Kendrick Rhodes rushed 27 times in the game for 149 yards to lead all rushers. Quarterback Jake Medlock was 9-of-19 for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

Jake Johnson lead all defenders with 15 total tackles, seven of them being solo including one sack and a quarterback hurry. Alex Page, Enrique Williams and B.J. Scott all were next on the team with six total tackles. Enrique Willaims had one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries as well.

Montavious Williams and Will Thompson both recorded sacks in the game.

While some fans were disappointed that the Jags let a win get away from them, it is still amazing to think that in the Jags first season as an FBS transitional team we are disappointed that we should have won a game against a fellow FBS and Sun Belt team.

The Jags will travel to Denton, Texas to take on North Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 4pm according to the schedule on the UNT Football website.

Jags Fall In Monroe 38-24

October 28, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Receiver Jereme Jones looks in the pass from CJ Bennett in the first half of the 33-31 loss to Texas-San Antonio.


The South Alabama Jaguars fell 38-24 at Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night. Jereme Jones caught two touchdowns in the game to give him a team-leading five touchdowns on the season.

Jones had a career high seven catches for 62 yards. His two touchdown catches in the game tied the school record set by Courtney Smith in 2009. Demetre Baker recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the season with 115 yards on 14 carries for the Jags.

Ross Metheny was 21-of-41 for 211 yards with a career long 21 yard run as well. Bryant Lavender caught six pass for 33 yards while Gabe Loper had three catches for 48 yards. Baker’s 100-yard effort was the first for him since Henderson State last year.

ULM quarterback Kolton Browning completed 23-of-35 attempts for 250 yards. Brent Leonard had nine catches for 126 yards and four touchdown catches.

“We played pretty good football for three quarters, and we played tough. ULM is a very good football team,” said Jaguar head coach Joey Jones. “I’m proud of the way we played for three quarters, but they took the game under control a little bit in the fourth quarter. Their quarterback and receivers made some great plays. There were some things we could have done better, but I’m proud of where we are and what we accomplished today. We have to be honest with ourselves the negative things that happened, if we fix them, we’re probably in the game even more. But the positive side of it is we’re pretty close to a team that is really good in the conference, and is probably the top team in the league.”

“Overall, I’m proud of the team,” he concluded. “We just have to work on us. We’ll start fixing some things here and there, and we’re going to be there.”

Enrique Williams led the Jaguar defense with 11 tackles which was his third double-digit tacklet game in a row. Jake Johnson added nine tackles with two for a loss. Terrell Brigham had eight solo tackles, an interceptions and another pass break-up. Clifton Crews and B.J. Scott both had six tackles with two for losses.

South Alabama scored first late in the first quarter on a four play 72 yard drive that spanned only 47 seconds. After back-to-back dropped passes had the Jags facing third and 10 at its own 28 yard line when Demetre Baker broke free for a 61 yard run up the middle, the Jags longest play from scrimmage this season. Then Metheny found Jones in the end zone on the next play to take the 7-0 lead.

After ULM tied the game at 7, the Jags took the next possession and covered 86 yards in 10 plays to retake the lead. Facing third and 10 at the ULM 37, Jones would draw a pass interference penalty that would move the ball 15 yards with an automatic first down. Then, facing another third and 10, Metheny would find Loper in the end zone for the touchdown for the 14-7 lead.

ULM would tie the game again with under 2 minutes left until halftime. The Jags next possession would be a three-and-out. The Scott Garber punt would be blocked and ULM would have the ball at the Jaguar 37 yard line with 28 seconds left until halftime. After a 15 yard completion and a six yard run, the Jags would take a time out with 10 seconds left to prepare their defense. But Browning would still find Leonard in the end zone for a touchdown with six seconds left to take a 21-14 lead into halftime.

The Jags would put together a big 13 play, 93 yard drive to tie the game at 21 with 4:24 left in the quarter. Baker would keep the drive alive with a two yard run on fourth and one on the drive. Trey Fetner would cap it off with a two yard run.

ULM would pull away by scoring the next 17 points. The Jags would add a field goal in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 38-24.

The Jags return home to face Florida International with a 2:30pm kickoff scheduled at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. This weekend will be Hall of Fame weekend with former Jags Juan Pierre, P.J. Walters, Frantisek Babej and Cindy Summers all being inducted into the Jaguar Hall of Fame. They will be honored on the field during halftime.

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