Gameday: South Alabama Versus UTSA

September 1, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

It’s finally here. That day we have been waiting for since the final whistle sounded back on November 19, 2011.

This season the South Alabama Jaguars begin their second and final season of their transition into FBS football. A season where they will be tested week-in and week-out. They will play 13 games in 14 weeks, eight games will be against Sun Belt Conference foes. They will also face their first team from the Southeastern Conference.

But it all begins here. The Jags welcome Texas-San Antonio who they defeated in double-overtime last season 30-27 in the Alamodome. The Jags finished the season 6-4 while the Roadrunners finished 4-6, dropping all four games on the road.

At 8:00am the gates to Ladd-Peebles Stadium will open for tailgating. Between 10:30 and 10:45 the Jaguars will arrive at the stadium and will have their traditional “Jaguar Prowl”. Gates open to the stadium at 11:00am and kickoff is scheduled for 1:00pm.

If you are not able to make it to the stadium, ESPN3 will be streaming the game live online. Check with your Cable/Internet provider if you have access.

Go Jags! Defeat those Roadrunners!

Jordan Means

Jordan Means – Photo from usajaguars.com

Also a table will be set up at Gate 4 for donations to help former Jaguar Jordan Means with his cancer treatment. Jordan, who graduated last year, had to sit out the 2009 season but participated in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Go by and help Jordan Kick Cancer.

Help Jordan Means Kick His Cancer

August 22, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 
Jordan Means

Jordan Means – Photo from usajaguars.com

Former Jaguar kicker Jordan Means is fighting cancer. Friend Jacey Blaire has graciously announced that 100% of her tips from 5pm til close today will be donated to Jordan for his fight against cancer.

Jordan, the first Jaguar football All-American, graduated in May then diagnosed in June with cancer. After surgery to remove it in July, he received bad news from his oncologist that most recent bloodwork showed that he needs chemotherapy immediately.

Jacey works at Picklefish at 5955 Old Shell Road, right across from campus and the Jaguar Softball Complex.

Come out Jaguar Nation and help one of our own.

If you can’t make it out today you can also donate online at http://www.giveforward.com/insuranceexpired

 

 

 

Jags blue out the Reddies 28-3

October 30, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon encouraging the team as they go to the sideline to start the game.

South Alabama rebounds from turnover fueled, double-overtime loss at Georgia state to force a school record seven turnovers in a 28-3 win over Henderson State. Demetre Baker and Jordan Means combined to account for 22 of the 28 points for the Jags while donning their all blue uniforms for the first time.

Last years game was much closer with the Jags icing the game with a late field goal to win 37-31. But the rematch was never in doubt really. Both teams went three-and-out on their first possessions, but Enrique William’s interception on the Reddies second drive got the offense in gear. They started at the HSU 25 and have first and goal on the two yard line, but three consecutive rushes, two by Houston and one by Baker could not get the ball into the end zone thus they would settle for the field goal.

On the Reddie third possession, Clifton Crews would force a fumble on their first play which would be recovered by Gabe Loper setting up Demetre Baker to rush for 16 and 7 yards respectfully for a touchdown to go up 10-0 in the span of about three minutes.

Then on the fourth Reddie possession, they would line up in the punt formation but would fake it and run but would be stopped short of the one yard they needed for the first down. This gave the Jags the ball at the Reddie 29 yard line. Baker would take it into the end zone again for his second touchdown of the game. What looked like a bad snap would be handled by Taylor Noon and pitched to Jordan Means to run with, but he would be caught failing to convert. This left the Jags leading 16-0 with 1:57 left in the first quarter.

After a HSU punt on another three-and-out, the Jags would start at their own 27 yard line. Jereme Jones would almost get caught for a loss, but would break a 65 yard run down to the Reddie 8 yard line before being tackled out of bounds. Jones would be injured on the play and taken to the sideline and eventually to the locker room.

The Jags would again fail to punch it in with 1st and goal from the Reddie 4 yard line on three consecutive runs by Baker. The Jags would settle for a field goal by Means what was shorter than an extra point to go up 19-0 with 12:52 left in the 2nd quarter.

Henderson State would finally move into Jaguar territory and get as far as the 43 yard line before the drive fizzled out and forcing a punt which was downed at the Jaguar 14 yard line.

The Jags Paul Bennett would catch a good pass from CJ Bennett but would fumble it to the Reddies at the Jaguar 42 yard line. But on 3rd and 6 on the Reddies possession, the Jags would force a fumble and Romelle Jones would recover it at the Jaguar 44 yard line.

The Jags would then march 56 yards in nine plays with CJ Bennett running it in from 9 yards out to cap off the drive. Means’ PAT would be blocked leaving the Jags lead 25-0 with 4:15 left in the 2nd quarter.

Henderson State would start at their own 32 yard line after a short kickoff was fair caught at their 32 yard line. The Reddies would then begin driving into Jaguar territory getting down to the 37 yard line. But the defense would hold on 4th and 11 at the Jaguar 42 to get the ball back.

The Jags would then use their hurry-up offense to try to put points on the board before halftime. Bennett would find Lamontis Gardner for 3 yards on first down. The Jags would call a time out with 41 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for 8 yards and a first down at the HSU 47 with the Jags calling their 2nd time out of the half.

Bennett would find Corey Waldon for 13 yards down to the Reddie 34. Bennett would rush the offense up to the line and spike the ball to stop the clock. Bennett would tuck the ball and run for 6 yards before stepping out of bounds at the Reddie 28 yard line. After an incomplete pass on 3rd down, Means would line up for a 45 yard field goal into the wind with 9 seconds left until halftime. His kick would just barely make it over the crossbar giving the Jags a 28-0 halftime lead.

Henderson State would add a field goal with 33 seconds left in the 3rd quarter to break the shutout, however that would be the only score in the second half.

The first part of the second half was really sloppy for the Jags. After playing a penalty free first half, they would lose some composure in the second half.

It did give Coach Jones and the team to go deeper into their depth chart for a second time this season. At one point, there was only one starting player in the lineup on offense. JJ Keels saw plenty of time at running back and Greg Hollinger got more time than he had all season as well.

Romelle Jones continues to play like a beast on the defensive line. The secondary is playing thin without Damond Smith and BJ Scott. Jereme Jones suffered a bit of a hyper extension to his shoulder but is okay. We probably will not know if he is able to go on Thursday until Tuesday’s radio show.

Drew Dearman has been seeing more playing time on the offensive line and the coaches seem to be quite comfortable with his play. He did a great job on Saturday.

Coach Jones had the following to say at his post game press conference. “Those takeaways were big and we had a short field on offense a good bit tonight, and that’s always a good thing. I thought we really played a good game defensively for the entire game. We didn’t give up any big plays, and if we don’t do that then we are going to be very hard to score on. They did that tonight and I was proud of them.”

“We were prepared, the coaches had them prepared and we had a good week of practice,” he continued. “We match up with teams that are in the spread formation pretty well. I think our athletes fit the spread defensively, and we had a good pass rush tonight. That’s one thing we haven’t had in a while. We put pressure on the quarterback, and we were hitting them and trying to knock the ball loose.”

The Jags defense held the Reddies to 155 yards passing and a mere 55 yards rushing for only 210 total yards. While the Jags offense racked up 252 yards rushing and another 123 yards through the air for 375 for the game. The Jags also held a 37:06 to 22:54 time of possession advantage as well.

Demetre Baker had his first 100+ yard rushing game with 113 yards on 20 carries. Jereme Jones ran once for 65 yards, Myles Gibbon ran 7 times for 27 yards. JJ Keels ran 12 times for 27 yards. While Kendall Houston only carried the ball three times on the opening drive for four yards and that was his game.

CJ Bennett went 11-of-18 for 101 yards with one interception for the game. Myles Gibbon went 4-of-8 for 22 yards and no interceptions. Corey Walden and Bryant Lavender both caught three passes each. Waldon had 35 yards and Lavender had 26 yards.

The Jags have a quick turn-around as they host Mississippi Valley State on Thursday night with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Jags will be dressed out in their white uniform, so the athletic department is asking the fans to wear white to the game.

Jags hold on to 33-30 homecoming victory over UT-Martin

October 17, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kendall Houston run

One of several punishing runs by Kendall Houston vs Tennessee-Martin.

South Alabama held on after a late charge by the UT-Martin Skyhawks to win 33-30. Although, their rally was aided by some questionable calls down the stretch by the officials.

South Alabama again did not play a complete game. They came out with an opening drive score but would continue to play well in the first three quarters. However the fourth quarter would see the Skyhawks put up 17 unanswered points.

The first half was all Jaguars statistically. They rolled up 239 yards to only 64 for the Skyhawks and possession the ball for over 21 minutes.

“Our guys were really physically and mentally ready to play, and I thought we had a great game plan. The coaching staff did a great job offensively, defensively and special teams,” said coach Jones. “We played really good football for three quarters. Had we not done that, we would have lost the ball game. There were a lot of positives in this game, so I was real proud of the way we came out ready to play. When we are ready to play, we’re a good football team.”

Coach Jones continued by talking about the Skyhawks. “That is a really good football team. After the first three quarters, people watching might not have thought so because we were playing so well. But you saw what they could do in the fourth quarter. They are very well-coached and they never quit.”

Stats wise, South Alabama and UT-Martin both had 325 yards of total offense. The Jags picked up 197 yards on the ground while adding 179 yards passing. The Skyhawks rushed for 131 yards and threw for 211 for their total.

The Jags dominated the time of possession statistic with 38:02 of possession time to UT-Martin’s 21:58. The Jags held the ball for 11:48 seconds in the second quarter alone.

Kendall Houston lead all rusher with 85 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Demetre Baker added 51 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. While C.J. Bennett went 12-of-19 for 179 yards and a touchdown and zero interceptions.

Corey Besteda had three catches for 64 yards and the one touchdown through the air. Lamontis Gardner added 40 yards on three catches and Kevin Helms added 44 yards on two receptions.

Scott Garber punted seven times for an average of 43.4 yards per punt with one spectacular 64 yard punt. Jordan Means added two field goals of 21 and 32 yards but did have a PAT blocked.

Gabe Loper picked off a pass by Derek Carr from a deflection and returned it 27 yards for the Jags.

South Alabama had two good drives that consumed a fair amount of time off of the clock in the second quarter for points. The first was a nine play, 80 yard drive for a touchdown consuming 5:05 off of the clock. Their next possession was a 12 play 62 yard drive down to the UT-Martin 4 yard line but the Jags would have to settle for a field goal as time expired. It spanned 4:31.

In the third quarter, the Jags would capitalize on a turnover for a touchdown. After Gabe Loper intercepted the ball and returned it 27 yards, Kendall Houston would take the next play 16 yards and into the end zone.

UT-Martin would respond with an 80 yard drive in nine plays for a touchdown to cut the Jaguar lead to 10 points at 23-13 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.

The Jags would respond with a two play 42 yard touchdown drive. The drive would begin with a 40 yard completion from Bennett to Besteda to get to the UT-Martin two yard line. Then two plays later Kendall Houston would pick up the one yard needed for the touchdown to make it 30-13 with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

On UT-Martin’s ensuing possession, Alex Paige would force a fumble by Tevi Barksdale which he would recover at the Skyhawk 22 yard line. However the Jags were not able to put the ball in the end zone, but settled for a 32 yard field goal to extend their lead to 33-13 with 1:22 left in the third quarter.

UT-Martin would go three and out on their next possession as would the Jaguars in their possession after that.

UT-Martin would then begin their rally with a five play 40 yard drive to the South Alabama 21 yard line but would have to settle for a field goal.

The Jags would get the ball with 12:22 left in the game and would only manage one first down and use up 3:49 off of the clock before having to punt.

The Skyhawks would put together a 13 play, 87 yard drive in 4:39 to further cut into the Jaguar lead, 33-23 with 3:54 left in the game.

South Alabama would recover an onsides kick but keeping the ball on the ground with Kendall Houston would only get them six yards in three tries before having to punt. This gave the Skyhawks the ball with 2:07 left in the game.

UT-Martin would put together an 8 play 74 yard drive for a touchdown in 1:45. Another onsides kick would be recovered by the Jaguars effectively sealing the game with 22 seconds left. One kneel from the victory position would put the game to rest with the final score of 33-30.

South Alabama’s next game is their final road game of the 2011 season. The Jags will kick off against Georgia State in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia at 2pm central time with pregame coverage beginning on WNSP 105.5 FM at 1:30pm CT.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-20

September 21, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 
Coach Jones Observing warm-ups.

Head Coach Joey Jones oversees the Jaguars pre-game warm-ups at N.C. State.

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian were joined by defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Coach Brian Turner at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.

They immediately started reflecting on the NC State game with an overview of how the team played. Coach Jones said that he thought the team played an very, very good game. He pointed to some basic tenets that coaches look to in order to get their team into a position to win the game. Things such as stopping the run, be able to run the ball yourself and possess the ball more than your opponent, all of which the Jags did in the game. However another area that you need to do well in is turnovers. While the Jags did recover a few turnovers, they also turned the ball over a few times themselves.

But he pointed out Kendall Houston’s performance on the ground as he rushed 18 times for 117 yards against the NC State defense. His was a large majority of the teams 139 yards rushing (minus sack yardage). Defensively the Jags were worried about stopping the NC State run because they were so big, however they were able to stop their running game. They knew their quarterback was good and he had a great night going 17-of-20 for 297 yards, but the two deep post routes were what really hurt the team.

Overall, Coach Jones said that the Jags were very physically tough and played extremely well. They got after them on every play and were not intimidated nor did they back down. He said that lots of great things happened, but that it was one of those games that you have three or four plays in the game you have to make but the Jags didn’t make them. Coach Jones said he has been on both sides of the field in these types of games and they just didn’t get those plays to go their way.

Lee said he had picked out three plays that were key. First was the on-sides kick fumble. Second was the open receiver around the 30 yard line but the ball wasn’t thrown well to him which would have easily been a touchdown. The third play was when Jake Johnson forced the fumbled at the 5 yard line when the Wolfpack was driving which Graphenreed recovered but fumbled back to them. Lee said you could also point to the play deep in the Wolfpack territory when Bennett lobbed a pass to an open Kevin Helms but was picked off at the 5 yard line.

Coach Jones pointed out another one where the Jags scored but the play was called back on a procedure penalty which he also pointed out was not there on film. Coach Jones was quick to follow that up by saying things like that happen and that the bottom line is you have to make plays. He ended that by saying that the core of the game, he thought the team played very well and put themselves in a position to win the game.

They had themselves in a position to win the game if they made some or all of those key plays against a team that beat Florida State the previous year. And this was only the 20th game in the schools history. Coach Jones said he does not like losing but he still considers the game a success for the program. None of them enjoy losing so he talked to the team that they can continue to look back at this game and play the what-if game or they can turn around and concentrate on making themselves better this week. They can correct those things that they did wrong and get ready to play the next game and then they can say that they beat someone.

He’s proud of where the team is but they have to do better.

The first caller said that South Alabama’s “ones” seemed to matched up well with the NC State “ones”, but he asked Coach Jones how different the Jags “two’s” were from the NC State “two’s”. Coach Jones said that there were probably some difference there, but he said he didn’t notice it much. He continued by saying that the Jags are fairly deep at some positions like defensive line, linebackers, receivers and running backs. But they lost Ken Barefield which hurt their secondary depth some. But Coach Jones did not think that personnel was as much of a factor in the game as missed opportunities were in the game.

Lee then turned to Coach Brian Turner and asked him how he felt the Jaguar defensive line did against NC State. He started off saying that it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems either. He thought that they played well up front and did not get pushed off of the ball as much as they feared they would earlier in the week due to their size. The defensive line did a great job holding their gaps and doing their job.

Lee asked if the Jags had a good pass rush on Glennon even though he completed 17-of-20 passes. Coach Turner said that their gameplan was to blitz them alot but play coverage, however when you do that you tend to only rush three or four guys and when the opponent has five or six guys protecting the quarterback, your rushers are getting double-teamed often. They didn’t get alot of pressure on Glennon, but they did get to him. Romelle Jones came away with two of the Jags four sacks on Glennon. He also said that they should have gotten to him more often.

Lee then introduced the Fuego “Who’s hot” segment. Offensively, Coach Jones said that Kendall Houston was the hot guy for them this week but he also pointed out the offensive line for their work blocking against NC State. Defensively he pointed out Romelle Jones for having probably his best game of his career, he is quick and is also learning the game very well. Also Coach Jones pointed out B.J. Scott and Charles Harris for playing a very good game defensively at the safety positions.

Lee then introduced the Orthopedic Group’s Injury Update. Coach Jones said that the Jags came out of this with some bruises. Ken Barefield got hurt and missed the end of the game but will be able to play against Kent State this weekend. Rush Kendricks has an injured ankle and will not be able to play this weekend. He said that it looks like everyone else will be back, he mentioned Jake Johnson has a small injury with his quad but will be okay.

Lee asked how Johnson played in the game. Coach Jones said he played very well, like the whole defense did. He said for the “who’s Hot” segment it’s hard not to just list out all of the defensive players because of how well they played.

Lee asked Coach Turner about one of the concerns going into the game about intimidation as they went in to play against an ACC team. He asked if he caught any of the intimidation factor early on from the team. Coach Turner said that he did not see any intimidation in their eyes before the game, they were focused and ready to play the game.

They next caller to the show expressed how proud of the program the fans are for how hard they played and how composed they were. Lee asked a few email questions to both coaches. The first asked if NC State showed anything that was unexpected and if they thought the Jag players were in better shape than them. Coach Jones said that they did not show anything that was unexpected and he also said that he thought both teams were conditioned pretty well. Coach Jones didn’t notice anyone out of shape on either team. Coach Turner agreed to both statements by Coach Jones. Nothing surprising and he didn’t notice anyone out of shape either.

Lee then asked about Coach Crain and how he is doing. Coach Jones said that he is doing better, he’s been in the hospital since Friday. They finally found out that he had a staph infection and have him on antibiotics to help that. He has actually been dealing with that for the last month or so Coach Jones said.

The next email quested asked how coach Jones thought about how well Jag Nation traveled to NC State for the game. He said it was incredible. He said that after the Jags would get a big play he would sneak a look up at the Jaguar section going crazy. He said it was probably between 700 and 800 people strong in that section. After the game, the players went over to the Jag section and held up their helmets and thanked the fans for coming to the game to support them.

The next email question asked Coach Jones what the thought about the officiating and if there were any bad calls in the game by the ACC officials. Coach Jones said that there are rules where Coaches will get fined for speaking badly of officiating. Lee then chimed in saying that sometimes a no answer speaks more loudly than an actual answer which Coach Jones agreed with. He also told Lee that things happen and you have to deal with it and move on.

Lee followed up by asking if Coach Jones called the officials over anytime during the game. Coach Jones laughed and said “calling them over” is a good way to put it. Coach Jones then said that he will send in game film and call someone at the conference office to help educate the referees because, as Coach Jones said, everyone makes mistakes (except coaches with a laugh). So they send that film in so help the refs educate themselves and continue to get better.

The next email question asked if there were mismatches or communication problems in the secondary allowing for some big pass plays by NC State. On one big pass play for a touchdown, corner back Damond Smith fell down and the other one was some miscommunication in the secondary. He praised how well the secondary played the whole game, especially against #6 T.J. Graham who was really quick.

Lee followed that up by asking if there was an effort to keep the punts and kickoffs away from Graham. To which Coach Jones said yes, because NC State actually leads the nation in kickoff returns. So they tried to kick some sky kicks. The first kickoff return they got out to around the 42 yard line which was their only long kickoff return of the game.

Lee then asked who was covering T. J. Graham. Coach Turner answered that it depended on where he lined up as to who was covering him. They didn’t assign a specific person to cover him.

Another email question asked about conference realignment and if South Alabama could benefit from it. Coach Jones said that as a fan he doesn’t like it so much but for the school it could be good. While they like the Sun Belt, it could be an opportunity for something good to happen. He said it’s going to happen sometime in the future, you can see it and there will be some big shake-ups on the horizon in the next couple years.

Loyd Meyers joined the show to talk about the homecoming game against Tennessee-Martin on October 15th. On Thursday night October 13th there will be a pep rally at the Bell Tower followed by a volleyball game vs Troy. Friday night there will be a homecoming parade and luck worked out for a moonlight madness where the Jags basketball team can begin practicing for their upcoming season. The soccer team will be playing at The Cage as well.

Lee brought up that they have not talked about C.J. Bennett’s play against NC State yet during the show. Coach Jones said that if you look at the whole game, he played a very good game and made some unbelievable throws. It was great to see that out of a redshirt freshman to go into that type of environment and play that well. He is doing a great job understanding secondary coverages and going to the right place with the ball. He also mentioned that he got the team out of third down many times. Coach Jones did mention that he did have a high throw across the middle that was intercepted. He also mentioned about the throw the Kevin Helms where he floated it behind the safety but he didn’t see the backside corner. Coach Jones also mentioned that they did not show him that coverage in practice so there were some things they could have done to prepare him for that situation a little better.

Lee then turned to ask Coach Turner about their defensive line rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they rotate defensive linemen every three plays no matter what. They want two fresh guys every play pretty much, so they are rotating their interior linemen, their inside linebackers and outside linebackers.

Lee asked about the play of Romelle Jones and if he has been playing better lately. Coach Turner said that the last two games he has been really playing well. He has been the defensive lineman of the week the last two weeks for his play against Lamar and against NC State. Lee asked to clarify if it is the same rotation all the time. Coach Turner answered that it is the same rotation all the time, they are not rotating based on match-ups but every three plays they are getting fresh guys on the field.

Lee then asked about recruiting and stated that he knows that they cannot comment about specific recruits, but asked if they are getting top notch athletes now. Coach Turner said they are definitely getting very good talent. He also said that they currently have 11 verbal commitments on their recruiting board right now. He also said that they are recruiting against schools from the Big East, Conference USA and the Sun Belt. They may be losing some, but they are also winning some battles against those schools. He praised the coaches for their hard work recruiting and staying on the best players for the South Alabama program.

Lee asked that, aside from the verbals, what positions are being recruited this year. Coach Jones said that he says this every year, but it’s true, they are recruiting offensive linemen. They are probably going to lose four seniors on the offensive line so they have quite a bit to fill. Two tight ends with Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms being seniors will need replacing. Offensively they are pretty good, they will always look out to pick up a player here or there for a backup role if they are a really good player.

Coach Jones said defensively they need a defensive end, that they kind of refer to as their outside linebacker who is very athletic to rush the quarterback. Also they need to continue to shore up the secondary. They have some good players back there, but they don’t have depth.

Lee asked about C.J. Bennett being a redshirt freshman and if that would be detrimental to trying to bring in other quarterbacks to the program the next four years. Coach Jones said that they do not want a player who does not think they cannot come in and beat out C.J.

Lee then asked about popular spots for South Alabama to recruit. Coach Turner said that when the program started, they were not recruiting the entire state of Georgia. They are now. He indicated that obviously Alabama is their home state, but they are also recruiting Florida all the way down to Miami, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Coach Turner also mentioned that Myles Gibbon is from Canada so they are willing to go anywhere to get good players to find players that fit into the program and fills their needs.

Lee then transitioned to previewing the Kent State game. Lee said that this is a little different than the schools other 2-for-1 series. We travel to Kent State, then they travel here before we visit them again. Coach Jones said that they are a very good defensive team but they have struggled on offense but they have played Alabama so it’s hard to tell how good they really are because how strong the Alabama defense is this season.

Lee flashed back to the NC State game again by asking about Scott Garber and the special teams play. Coach Jones said that the special teams play was very good. He thought the kicking game was much improved against NC State. He said Jordan went 2-of-3 hitting a 46 yard attempt and missing a 44 yarder. He also thought that Scott’s punted was very good too. They changed and went to a rugby punt style.

Following up on that, Lee asked who and why they decided to go with the rugby style punt. Coach Jones said it’s hard to return a rugby style punt because it’s a low punt but it takes time for the punter to move out and kick it that it gives the coverage team time to get down and cover the returner. So you can get 40 and 50 yard punts pretty easy without a return because of that.

Lee asked about Garber being run into during one of his punts, he said that he thought that it was an automatic 15 yard penalty and a first down. Coach Jones said that it’s a judgement call, that they have bumping the kicker and hitting the kicker with two different penalties and that it’s a judgement call. He indicated that Coach Perry read the rules once they returned back to Mobile and that is how it is written, it’s a judgement call.

Lee said that they talked last week about trick plays. Wake Forest burned NC State with a couple of them and he asked if the Jags ran any. Coach Jones said that they tried a reverse but the defense caught it for a loss. The play-action pass on 3rd and one to Kevin Helms he thought was a good call at the time. Then there was a play at the five yard line where the tight end was wide open at the corner of the end zone but Bennett didn’t see him and went down for a sack. They weren’t trick plays he said, but they were different plays to call at those times and they didn’t execute them very well.

Coach Turner previewed what the defense sees in Kent State coming up this weekend. He said that they started the season throwing the ball much more, but now they have settled in running with a 260 lb running back. He said that it was going to be a good match-up between the two teams.They have a very good defensive lineman who game Alabama some problems blocking and Alabama has some very good offensive linemen. They round out the program saying that the team definitely has a different attitude going up to Kent State and that it should be a very good and competitive game.

Additionally it was announced during the WNSP morning show and reiterated again during the radio show that South Alabama picked up another verbal commitment from Georgia. Lamar Counties Fredrick Walker is a six foot two inch, 320 pound nose tackle. He wasn’t interested in any big programs so he turned down Central Florida and South Florida. He chose South Alabama over Georgia Southern to make the 12th verbal for the Jags 2012 recruiting class.

South Alabama and Kent State kick off on Saturday October 24th at 2:30pm. The game will not be televised, however Kent State will be broadcasting the game online at KentStateSports.com for free for the first time.

Jags streak end with loss at NC State

September 17, 2011 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 
CJJ with NC State Coach in pre-game warm-ups

Coach Joey Jones speaks with an NC State coach during team warm-ups.

South Alabama may have lost the game if you looked at the scoreboard, but if you watched the game and look at the stats, you will see it wasn’t a total defeat. In only it’s third year of football, the Jags proved that they have come a very long way in a very short time.

Facing their first FBS (Division I-A) team, the Jags performed well. It’s easy to say that NC State now knows who South Alabama is.

The game by the numbers. NC State outgained the Jags through the air 297 – 182 yards. However the Jags outgained the Wolfpack 104 – 95 on the ground. State held the overall yardage gained 392 to 286 yards.

The Jags gained 18 first downs to State’s 19. The Jags averaged 3.2 yards per rush on their 33 attempts while State rushed 37 times and averaged 2.6 yards per rush. The Jags ran 65 offensive plays to 59 for the Wolfpack.

The Jags punted four times for an average of 41.8 yards per punt. The Jags also held the time-of-possession advantage 32:45 to State’s 27:15. South went 7-of-15 on third down conversions while State was 5-of-9.

Unfortunately the Jags were flagged nine times for 50 yards while State was only flagged once for 15 yards.

Kendall Houston rushed 18 times for 117 yards with a long of 24 and averaged 6.5 yards per touch. Demetre Baker added 18 yards on eight carries with the Jags first touchdown against a FBS opponent. CJ Bennett went 17-of-32 for 182 yards and two interceptions.

Corey Waldon lead the Jaguars receivers with 5 catches for 57 yards. Jereme Jones added five catches for 35 yards. Bryant Lavender caught three passes for 39 yards. Besteda, Houston and Gardner all had receptions as well.

Jordan Means made field goals of 46 and 36 yards but missed an attempt from 44 yards.

The Jags defense played very well most of the time. Jake Johnson paced the team with eight total tackles, five solo and a sack. Charles Harris also added eight total tackles, three solo. Romelle Jones sacked Glennon twice for 17 yards. Alex Page also added a sack for the Jags total of four sacks.

With a cleaner game penalty wise and some better coverage on a few big plays, the Jags would have made this a much closer game that it ended up being. Even with those miscues, the Wolfpack did not have an easy game like they first thought.

The Jags have some things to work on this week in preparation for their trip to Kent State. But they have many things that fans and coaches can be proud of. Being outsized and out manned, the Jaguars played with heart, and when they played smart and disciplined, they outplayed the Wolfpack.

West Alabama preview

August 31, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Line of Scrimmage

With less than 36 hours until kickoff of the Jaguars third season of football, the excitement is in the air. Coach Jones is excited, the players are excited and the students and fans are excited.

South Alabama is encouraging everyone in attendance to wear their home Red colors. The USA Athletic Marketing Department will be handing out free red shakers at all gates beginning at 4:30pm. The parking lot will open at noon for tailgaters to start their festivities.

Shuttle service will begin at 2:30pm and will be running continuous from the Bel Air Mall parking lot south of Target and J.C. Penny until 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game. The price of a round-trip ticket is a mere $2.50, so if you don’t have a parking pass and still want to come out to the game this is an excellent deal. The Jaguar Prowl is scheduled for 4:10pm with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm. After the game there will be a fireworks show.

The Game will be televised locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com.

South Alabama will try to extend their winning streak to 18 games when they host fellow in-state foe West Alabama. Last seasons stats for both teams looks like we could see a shoot-out.

West Alabama averaged just over 449 yards per game while the Jags averaged over 439 yards per game. Though USA’s average points per game was 41.3 to UWA’s 29.7.

C.J. Bennett returns as one of nine returning starters, to guide the offense after starting the final three games of the season totaling 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season. UWA’s will be without Deon Williams who went 223-for-356 for 3,392 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

Kendall Houston returns to lead the Jaguar rushing attack with transfer Demetre Baker. Houston rushed for 891 yards with five 100+ yard games and 10 touchdowns. He averaged over six yards per carry. UWA returns T-Ray Mitchell who ran for 843 yards and six touchdowns. Gerald Worsham caught 80 passes for 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns as their go-to receiver.

Bryant Lavender, Jereme Jones and Corey Waldon will step up to try to fill in for departed wide receiver Courtney Smith. Lavender caught 16 passes last season for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Jones added 15 catches and two touchdowns and Waldon caught 14 passes for 291 yards. Tight Ends Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms both caught nine passes as well.

The Jags return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball. They held opposing teams to an average of just over 81 yards per game and just over 254 yards per game and a mere 13 points per game. They also average 2.5 turnovers per game and only allowing the opposing team to convert third downs 26% of the time.

Enrique Williams lead the team with 48 tackles while also breaking up three passes. Ken Barefield who also had three pass break-ups with 37 tackles and Jake Johnson who had 31 tackles and four sacks both ranked in the top five on the defense in tackles. Romelle Jones lead the group with six tackles for loss.

UWA returns linebacker Gabe Poe, their top tackler, who recorded 97 tackles, eight for a loss. Poe’s number was 33 more than the next closest defensive player. Deon Lacey added 49 tackles and Bryant McGowan added 46 tackles at linebacker. Defensive back D’Eric Jackson lead the team with three interceptions while returning two for touchdowns.

Their defense allowed 375.7 yards and 22.3 points per game.

Both teams return their punter with USA’s Scott Garber averaging 40.4 yards per kick including 16 punts downed inside the 20. UWA’s Brock Sharp averaged 37.9 yards per kick and should also handle placekicking after going 12-of-19 last year.

As for South Alabama’s placekicking duties, it is expected that Jordan Means will handle the duties after showing improvements. Although South Alabama has two other kickers who have experience  and have competed for that role throughout preseason camp. Means was 4-for-4 last season. It is unknown if Means or Chapuseaux will be handling kickoff duties for the Jags.

Jereme Jones averaged 19.4 yards per punt return last season and will share time with transfer B.J. Scott as the Jags will be without the T.J. Glover as he was deemed ineligible this season. UWA’s Wes Mounger averaged 21.9 yards per kick return and 11.9 yards per punt return is expected handle the same duties again this season.

Jags look good in situational scrimmage

August 26, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kickoff

Michel Chapuseaux kicks off at the Fan Day scrimmage.

On Thursday the Jaguars held a situational scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility. With the September 1st season opener less than a week away, the coaches wanted to cover as many game-like situations that the player could face this season as possible.

The first team and second team offenses and defenses faced the scout teams for about 80 plays as well as all special teams. The scrimmage began with a kickoff by Jordan Means with the first-team defense starting the day against the scout team offense at the offense’s 20-yard line.

The defense forced a three-and-out then the first team offense started at mid-field. The offense ran six plays with Kendall Houston rushing three times and C.J. Bennett finding Corey Waldon open for a seven yard gain. The offense got to the 35-yard line, but a field goal attempt was missed wide left.

The first team defense forced a second three-and-out. However they were quickly back on the field following a simulated turnover where the offense took over at the defense’s 45-yard line. The defense answered with a Charles Harris interception in the back of the end zone to end the drive.

First half highlights include a Lawson McGlon 37-yard field goal as well as a two-yard Demetre Baker touchdown run followed by a Jordan Means extra point.

The second half highlights saw a 41-yard touchdown run by Ellis Hill, a Gabe Loper interception in the back of the end zone during two-minute drills and extra points by McGlon and Means.

“It was a pretty crisp practice. We didn’t have a lot of mental errors out there,” Said head coach Joey Jones after the scrimmage. “The kids came focused and ready to go. I think they are ready for the game next week – there’s no doubt about it. We keep talking about working hard, and they have done that. They have paid their dues. We have been here three weeks and a lot of good work has been done, so they are ready to play.”

Coach Jones continued, “They know it is game week and that from this point forward we have three or four days of practice before the first game. They have worked all year, from January until now, just to have a chance to play in the game. That’s one thing about football; you work a long time just to have a few chances to get out in the spotlight, so our kids are looking forward to it.”

Coaches and Players return to the practice field at 7:15am on Friday morning to continue preparation for West Alabama.

Defense stands strong on Tuesday

August 17, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Field Goal Unit

Jordan Means lines up for a field goal attempt in the Jaguars Fan Day scrimmage.

The Jags returned to the practice field after their second two-a-day of the preseason camp. After the offense shined the day before, the defense stepped up their game.

As the preseason routine has gone, practice began with special teams work moving onto individual and group drills. They then worked on inside running game and play-action passing before moving into skeleton passing drills while Offensive and defensive linemen worked on pass protection.

The team took a 10 minute break before returning to team work against the scout team. The offense and defense came together and worked on third-down situations and two-minute drills.

In the third down drills, the defense forced five incompletions, two pass breakups and a sack in 12 plays. The offense gained positive yardage on only four of the 12 plays. Two of the positive yardage plays were quarterback draws by C.J. Bennett and Trey Fetner. Fetner would be key to the other two positive yardage plays with completions to Corey Besteda for 40 yards and a swing pass to Tyrome Bivins for 10 yards.

The defense stood strong again in two-minute drills. The first play saw Damond Smith intercept a pass to kill the drive. The next drive saw the defense force an incompletion. Fetner would follow up with a 21 yard completion to Donte Rome to get to the 29 yard line. Fetner would move the ball between the hashes to set up a 47 yard field goal. The defense would attempt to ice Jordan Means with timeouts, but it would not faze him as he would slip the uprights anyway.

Coach Jones spoke after practice how he liked seeing the defense respond. “You like to see guys who respond to adversity. The defense had a rough day yesterday and it responded (today). That’s what it’s all about – getting out there and fighting. We have a bunch of competitive guys.”

Speaking about how the practice went in general, Coach Jones had the following to say, “It went really well. I thought it was a better overall practice today than it was yesterday. For the end of camp, I think we’re okay. We don’t have anyone with dead legs, we just have some tired guys. But I’m real pleased with where we are.”

The Jags will visit Camp Grace for team-building exercises instead of hitting the practice field on Wednesday. “It helps you overcome your fears,” Coach Jones said. “You have your team helping you, and you find ways to work out a solution out there. It’s really a neat deal, and our kids love it. It’s just another way we can get together and team-build without having to be on a practice field, so I think it’s a valuable tool for us in the middle of camp.”

It also allows some of the banged up players to heal and for everyone to get a little rest from the drills they have been going through for the last two and a half weeks.

They will return to the Jaguar Practice Facility with their final two-a-day practice of preseason camp beginning at 6:15am on Thursday morning.

Fan Day scrimmage 2011

August 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment