2012 Preseason Ranking By SportsRatings

August 11, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

SportsRatings, a website dedicated to rankings, power ratings, BCS projections, analysis and more, put out their preseason rating of South Alabama. The number should not surprise anyone as the Jags enter their second and final season of a two-year transition into the FBS.

They ranked the Jags #116 out of 124 schools and last in the Sun Belt. Lindy’s ranked the Jags #121, Athlon #123 and Phil Steele ranked them dead last. Athlon also had them projected to go 2-11 on the season.

SportsRatings projects the Jags to go 4-9 on the season. The likely wins they have are Nicholls State, FAU and MTSU with Troy and UTSA being toss-up games. They also mention doing better than 4-9 is “out of the question.”

In other projected stats, they rank the offense to be #123 as it faces a tougher schedule. The passing game is ranked #108. They point out C.J. Bennett’s 17 interceptions to only 7 touchdowns last season but point to Bryant Lavender and Corey Waldon, both top receivers last year, returning as positives. But they also point out they gave up 21 sacks in 10 games and that they think that could rise well into the 30s this season with better competition.

They point out that the rushing game returns most of players from last year, but with what should be a more balanced offense so they predict an decline in rushing totals. Their rank seems to be #121, but due to a typo this could be incorrect.

Finally the defense is projected to be #87 which is quite positive. They note the Jags return 15 of the top 17 tacklers from last season and that Ken Barefield is the only loss from the linebacker corps so they think they will improve on their rush defense. they also point out that in the secondary Charles Harris, B.J. Scott and Gabe Loper all return.

Finally they grade the 2012 recruiting as #113. You can read all of their coverage of the Jags here.

Barefield Dismissed From Team

February 28, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · 6 Comments 

It was reported this morning that Ken Barefield has been dismissed from the team for breaking unspecified team rules. He was the fourth leading tackler last season and started every game for the Jags in it’s three season history.

Barefield ends his Jaguar career with 114 total tackles, 63 solo, 7.5 TFL, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions. But his experience, knowledge and passion will be missed the most. However, the Jags focused their recruiting efforts in the secondary this offseason so from a numbers standpoint, the Jaguars should be fine.

Jags drop second straight game on the road

September 25, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Turner working with the offensive line between series.

The Jaguars football team put itself in an almost impossible position at Kent State on Saturday. The Golden Flashes held a 26-0 advantage at halftime and lead 33-0 early in the 3rd quarter before the Jaguars mounted a comeback.

South Alabama’s comeback was valiant and furious but fell 23 yards short of a potential game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion, 33-25 in the first of three meetings between these two schools. The Jaguars fall to 2-2 on the season after losing for the second week in a row to an FBS team. The Golden Flashes improve to 1-3 with their first victory of the season.

The Jags were behind 7-0 in the first quarter, but allowed 19 points in the second quarter to fall behind 26-0 at halftime to end the worst half of football in the programs short history to date. Defensively, South Alabama was being pushed off the ball giving the Kent State quarterback time in the pocket, opening gaps for running backs and throwing lanes for the receivers. Offensively, the Kent State defensive was causing fits for the offensive line, closing gaps when the running back got there and had tight coverage on the receivers.

The first quarter appeared to be a defensive standoff. South Alabama totalled five yards on nine plays. Four rushes netted 2 yards and 2-of-5 passing netted 3 yards. Kent State rushed 16 times for 53 yards and was 2-of-4 passing for 21 yards. The Jags only possessed the ball for 4:21 in that first quarter.

The second quarter was more of the same. The Jags rushed five times for 14 yards and was 3-of-11 passing for 25 yards and two interceptions while only possessing the ball for 5:38 in the quarter.

The halftime stats was demonstrative of how the first half went. Kent State scored 26 points with 13 first downs. Rushed 31 times for 142 yards while going 6-of-11 passing for 56 yards and no interceptions. They were 7-of-11 on third down conversions while only being were flagged twice for 20 yards. They held the ball for 20:01.

South Alabama on the other hand, has only two first downs. They rushed nine times for 16 yards and was 5-of-16 passing for 28 yards and two interceptions. The Jags punted five times for an average of 43.2 yards per punt. They were penalized three times for 36 yards and also went 1-of-7 on third down conversions.

After forcing the Kent State offense to punt on a three and out to start the second half, Kendall Houston would be caught behind the line and fumble the ball. The Golden Flashes would pick it up and return it 27 yards to the Jaguar 11 yard line. Two plays later they would make it 33-0 with 11:36 left in the 3rd quarter.

This is when the Jaguars finally came to life. Demetre Baker would spark the team with a 37 yard kick return to put the Jags at their own 40 yard line. Bennett would find Corey Besteda for 37 yards to the Kent 23 yard line. Bennett would then run the draw for another 18 yards to the Kent 5 yard line. Kendall Houston would gain three on the first down play. Bennett would try to find Kevin Helms in the end zone but it fell incomplete, then facing 3rd and goal at the 2 yard line, Coach Jones calls a time out with 9:48 left in the quarter. Out of the time out, Bennett would give the ball to Baker who would take it in for the first Jags points of the game. Jordan Means would add the PAT to make it 33-7.

After a 17 yard kick return, Kent State would start at their own 18 yard line against a rested and rejuvinated defense after halftime. After a two yard rush and an incomplete pass, Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith would find his receiver for an 18 yard pass but Jake Johnson would force a fumble that would be recovered by Ken Barefield at the Kent State 42 yard line.

Bennett would throw an incomplete pass to begin the series but would run a quarterback keeper for 11 yards and a first down at the Kent State 31 yard line. Baker would lose a yard on first down, but Bennett would find Kevin Helms this time for 21 yards to the Kent State 11 yard line. Back to back rushes by Baker would gain 3 yards and no gain. Kent State would call a time out with 5:28 left facing a third down and 7 and their 8 yard line. Bennett’s pass to Bryant Lavender would fall incompleted and the Jags would settle for a 25 yard field goal by Jordan Means to inch closer, 33-10.

Kent State’s next drive started at their 28 yard line and would manage one first down and span five plays and 17 yards taking 1:54 off the clock. A short is fielded by Jereme Jones at the Jaguar 22 yard line and returned 7 yards to the 29.

Bennett would loft up a big pass to Bryant Lavender spanning 61 yards to the Kent State 10 yard line. Lavender would fumble and the Jags would recover it at the 10. Houston would rush for five yards to the 5 yard line, but would give four of it back on the next play. On 3rd and goal Bennett’s pass to Waldon would go incomplete. A bold but necessary move to put points on the board led to Coach JOnes’ decision to go for it on fourth down. Bennett would find his clutch receiver Jereme Jones in the end zone for the touchdown with 1:05 left in the third quarter. Means would add the PAT to shrink the lead to 33-17.

A 28 yard kick return would put Kent State at their own 37 yard line to start their next possession. A short pass for two yards and a one yard rush
would end the quarter.

Starting the fourth quarter, Kent State faced a third down and 7. Keith’s pass would fall incomplete forcing the Golden Flashes to punt again. Jereme Jones would field the punt at the 13 yard line and return it 15 yards to put the Jags in business at their 28 yard line.

Again the Jaguar offense came out with momentum. Bennett would find Lavender for 7 yards, then Baker would rush for five more yards to the Jaguar 40 yard line and a first down. Then Bennett would find his go to receiver Bryant Lavender for 19 yards to get into Kent territory at their 41 yard line. Bennett would run for six yards, Baker would rush for 13 and a first down at the Kent 22. Houston would rush for six yards and Bennett would run for seven more and another Jaguar first down. Houston would rush for four more yards to the Kent 5 yard line. But two consecutive incomplete passes would force another fourth down decision for Coach Jones. Bennett’s pass to his clutch receiver would fall incomplete and turn the ball over on downs to Kent State.

Kent would go three and out after only gaining 8 yards during the possession. Jereme Jones would field the punt at the Jaguar 45 and return it eight yards to the Kent State 47 yard line.

Another big pass play from Bennett to Waldon would cover 42 yards to the Kent 5 yard line. A substitution infraction would move the ball to the three yard line. Houston would rush for one yard then Baker would punch it in on second down. Playing catch-up with the points, the Jags went for the two-point conversion and Bennett would find Kevin Helms in the left side of the end zone to pull within one score of the Golden Flashes at 33-25.

Kent State would return the kickoff to the 22 yard line and start their drive with 5:59 left in the game. The defense and coaches knew that they were going to give the ball to their big running back Trayion Durham, which they did. On first down the ran for 3 yards however Damond Smith would be flagged for a personal foul giving the Golden Flashes 15 extra yards out to their 40 yard line and a first down. Durham would rush for one yard on first down then on the next play he would rush for nine, but Kent State would be flagged for a personal foul themselves, thus backing them up to their 26 yard line facing second down.

Durham would rush again for two yards on second down. Rob Hollomon would rush for eight more yards on third and 22 and the Jags would call a time out with 3:22 left before the Kent State punt. Jereme Jones would receive the punt at the Jaguar 19 yard line and return it 10 yards.

On first down, Bennett’s pass would fall incomplete intended for Waldon. The second down pass intended for Lavender would also fall incomplete. Bennett’s third down pass would be intercepted at the Jaguar 47 yard line and returned one yard. However, the Jags didn’t give up.

On first down Durham rushed for three yards and the clock was running since the South Alabama was out of time outs. Durham rushed for two yards on second down. Then Anthony Meray would be stopped for no gain at the Jaguar 43 yard line. Kent State would let the play clock expire before punting.

After a touchback, the Jags started at their own 20 yard line with 29 seconds and 80 yards between them an possibly tying the game. Bennett’s pass intended for Lamontis Gardner fell incomplete on first down. Then his pass intended for Greg Hollinger would also fall incomplete. On third down Bennett would find Jereme Jones open for 23 yards and a first down out to the Jaguar 43 yard line. The offense would rush to the line and spike the ball stopping the clock with 4 seconds showing. Bennett would run around and eventually toss up a ball that would be caught by Corey Besteda but he would be caught trying to get to the left sidelines at the Kent State 23 yard line ending the game.

The final stats was much better than the halftime stats. Jags would have 14 first downs to Kent’s 16. The Jags would gain 93 yards on 27 rushing attempts for a 3.4 yard per rush average. Kent State would rush 49 times for 187 yards for a 3.8 yard per rush average.

Jags quarterbacks would go 14-of-38 for 281 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Kent State would go 10-of-19 for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Jags would outgain the Golden Flashes 374 yards to 281. Kent would win the time of possession 34:59 to the Jags 25:01.

C.J. Bennett would be the leading rusher with five rushes for 40 yards. Demetre Baker would have 10 touches for 28 yards, Kendall Houston had 11 touches for 23 yards and Myles Gibbon ran once for two yards in the first half.

Bennett got the most passing stats going 14-of-36 for 281 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Gibbon threw once and it was incomplete. Bryant Lavender caught five passes for 97 yards, Jereme Jones had three for 31 yards and a touchdown. Besteda has two for 71 yards, Kevin Helms had two for 32 yards and Waldon and Gardner had one catch each for 42 and 8 yards respectively.

The Jaguar defense held Durham to 72 yards on 27 carries and Anthony Meray to 64 yards on 13 carries.

Defensively Jake Johnson totalled 17 tackles, 6 solo and a forced fumble. Ken Barefield totalled 10 tackles, 4 solo and a fumble recovery. No Jag recorded a sack. Kent State only got one sack.

The average field position was interesting. In the first quarter, the Jags average field position was the Jaguar 15 to Kent State’s Jaguar 46 yard line. It improved in the second quarter where the Jags averaged their own 32 while Kent averaged their own 41 yard line. The third quarter, the Jags averaged the Jaguar 42 yard line to Kent State’s own 38 yard line. Then the fourth quarter the Jags averaged their own 32 and Kent’s worst of the game, their own 26 yard line.

Coach Jones commented after the game. “The first half was just a comedy of errors.  We fell behind 26-0 at halftime, but we talked to them and they came out ready to play,” he said.  “I didn’t think we were ready to play early, and I take the blame on that. But the field position was horrible in the first half, and turnovers and all of the things we talk about that we can’t do we had happen. In the second half, we came back and played our football and started moving the ball, scoring and the defense started stopping them. We played a good second half, but came up just a little bit short. I’m real proud of the way they came back. Most teams beat themselves and I keep preaching that, we just have to make sure we avoid doing that.”

Talking about the second half adjustments he and his staff made, Coach Jones said, “We changed a few things in the running game, and made some checks and started running toward the boundary. That helped us, and we started pitching and catching it pretty good. But we just got some momentum; we never got any momentum in the first half.”

South Alabama gets a much needed week off before hitting the road again for their road game against the University of Texas San-Antonio on October 8th. This game is currently scheduled to be aired on the Longhorn Network.

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.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-06

September 7, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian was accompanied by defensive coordinator Bill Clark for the Joey Jones Radio show from Baumhower’s restaurant on Airport Boulevard.

Lee asked about perspective about the UWA game. He asked if he thought that the Jags played a good game. Coach Jones started off by saying “I don’t know,” he then continued by saying that he thought the players played hard, that they got after it physically, they were there emotionally and were ready to play. But he said that they did make some mistakes and did not play what he considers ‘South Alabama Football’. He mentioned the four turnovers in the first half and the play on special teams.

He also mentioned the field position because the offense didn’t play well and the mental mistakes and the special teams play had them, on average, starting at their own 19 yard line. He did not know where the defense averaged their starting position but he thought it would be near midfield.

He then said that if your field position is that bad you are not going to play well. But, bottom line, those things are fixable and they have to turn them around quickly. If they want to be a good football team, they have to fix them quickly.

Lee then mentioned to Coach Clark that they have less to work on than Auburn’s defense. Coach Clark was quick to deflect that by telling Lee that, to them, it’s all about the next game. As they were looking back on the game, they liked the effort but they also have things they want to work on and get better at. Coach Clark also mentioned that it he likes that they have film of their opponent for the next game. For UWA all they had was what film they had from the previous year.

Lee then went about talking how Steve Spurrier benched Steven Garcia then he came off the bench to lead the team to a come-back win. He then transitioned that into talking about Kendall Houston and Demetre Baker being suspended for the first half of the game against UWA and asked if they have been in the game, would it have been different?

Coach Jones said yes it would have been different, however you don’t know for sure that it was. Jones also said that when you walk out onto the field without two guys like them and Corey Besteda, who is another big play guy at receiver, it leaves a bit of a void that the team has to overcome.

The Jags did score on their opening drive of the game, but Coach Jones said they threw the ball alot in that drive. But then the turnovers took over. He rounded out the answer by saying in the future they want those guys out on the field and that they do not want that to happen again.

Lee introduced the ‘Who’s hot’ feature sponsored by Fuego Mexican Restaurant. On offense, Jones recognized Kendall Houston for his job coming in and playing a good game and breaking lots of tackles. Defensively he recognized Enrique Williams for his performance. Williams had 11 tackles after coming back from a shoulder injury in preseason camp.

Lee and Coach Clark began talking about the defense and the secondary. Lee asked about how B.J. Scott, Damond Smith and Charles Harris in the secondary changes the defense. Coach Clark agreed with Lee’s comment that they are good cover guys so they can leave them in coverage and get a good pass rush on the quarterback.

Jones agreed with what Lee Shirvanian said about what a good job the defense did to prevent Worsham from making any big plays. While he did lead their team with five receptions for 44 yards, his longest was 13 yards.

Lee mentioned that in previous airings of this show, Coach Jones had said that special teams had improved. So he asked Coach Jones if he had a better game at that phase of the game. Coach Jones said no, but he did say that there were some positive things and negative things. But they know what they need to work on and they will get to work to correct them.

The first email question that Lee asked was if there have been any difficulty keeping the players and staff focused with NC State and Kent State games approaching. Coach Jones said he has not thought about those games and cautioned that his players better not be thinking about those games either. He cautioned that Lamar has had this game circled since last year and want to come to Mobile and win. So his players better not be caught looking ahead because Lamar could jump up and bite them.

Coach Clark answered from the prospective of the staff that it has not been hard to stay focused on Lamar and not look ahead to the two games ahead.

The next question emailed to Lee asked if that was indeed the wishbone formation that he saw near the goal line against UWA. Jones confirmed that it was the wishbone and went on to say that they use it when they get near the end zone.

Lee stepped back after a short talk about the wishbone and the single wing offense to talk about high school football. When he moved to South Alabama in the 80’s, he said that the offenses were ‘the quarterback hands off to the running back’ type of offenses. Now you see shotgun formations, trips left and trips right. The offenses have really opened up.

Coach Clark then chimed in talking about how the high school offenses have evolved. The rise of the throwing quarterback then the advent of the running quarterback. Then you put those together. Coach Clark also mentioned that Coach Jones was one of the first to use the spread and throw the ball around alot in the high school ranks in Alabama.

The next sponsored segment was the Orthopedic Group injury update. Coach Jones said that the team came out of the game looking great on the injury front. Looking back to what they were like during the summer, they are looking really good. He said it was about two pages of injuries, down to one page, down to half a page and now it’s only about three players with injuries. He announced that Greg Hollinger will be back for the Lamar game, which is a tall receiver that has shown some good play in practice.

Coach Jones said he came in last year and tore his quad muscle then this year he hurt his shoulder at the beginning of the summer. Greg is about 6’3″ and weighs about 215-lbs. Jones said that last year he was a terror against the first team defense, which Coach Clark agreed with. They are now ready to get him on the field.

Lee asked about Melvin Meggs, who he saw leave the game. Coach Jones said he had cramps and that was all with him. He also mentioned B.J. Scott having cramps late in the game as well. Other than those, he said that they don’t have any injuries.

Lee asked about Enrique Williams and his injury last year going into this year. Coach Clark said that it wasn’t a worry that he was missing practice time. He continued by saying that he has been in the system for a while so they were comfortable with his play, but he was still out there with Coach Crain and the linebackers so he would know what was going on without physically participating.

Lee asked coach Clark as to who is their field guy who makes sure they are lined up correctly and takes control on the field. Coach Clark said that they depend on the Mike Linebacker who is either Jake Johnson or Bryson James and they also depend on their safeties Scott and Charles Harris.

Lee circled back to Hollinger and asked how much playing time he would see. Coach Jones said that they rotate in receivers quite a bit and feel they are interchangeable. They are two deep so he would expect Hollinger to see action for about half the game because they feel he is that good of a receiver.

Lee made light that Lamar will be the first team that we will have faced twice. He also said that the defense played very well, shutting out Lamar at home. Coach Jones agreed, he said that it was the start of a three game series with road games against Lamar and UC-Davis before returning to Mobile to face Georgia State. They really considered it the first road game too, the Dothan game wasn’t the full road game experience to them.

The WNSP staple caller Scooter called in and asked a few questions and made a couple comments. One of his questions was to Coach Jones about his preference of field, was it grass or artificial. Coach Jones said he was a traditionalist and preferred grass, but that field turf has come a very long way and makes such financial sense now for many places. Scooter followed it up with a question about burns and scuffs on the artificial turf. Jones said that they do still get burns and scuffs, but it’s not like what it used to be on the old turf.

Lee asked about the field turf and drainage since it rained heavily on Thursday. Coach Jones said that it drains very well, within 30 minutes or so it was drained and in great condition. It’s one of the major advantages of the artificial fields.

Another caller asked that, if South Alabama defeats NC State, would he name every player on the team as captain for the rest of the season like Coach Belichick. Coach Jones said that was a great idea and he might do that if they win, but he quickly turned the conversation back to Lamar.

Lee turned the conversation from TV, that one caller was calling about, to uniforms as being a big issue after the first week of play. Coach Jones let out a very audible “Oh god” when uniforms were mentioned. Lee asked if USA would ever go to something like the Georgia uniforms. Jones was quick to say “no.” However, he did mention that his wife liked the Georgia uniforms. But Coach Jones said that the Georgia uniforms were nowhere near as bad as the uniforms that Maryland wore for their game.

Coach Jones said that he has liked some of the Nike ProCombat uniforms that they have designed in the last few years, but that the Maryland uniforms were horrible. Coach Clark agreed and said that they took away from the game itself. They like to do things that the kids like, but Maryland’s were just too over the top.

Lee mentioned Tim Brando and what he said on his show about the uniforms. Brando said part of the allure of college football is the tradition of college colors so he was against it. Coach Clark said that they (South Alabama) likes to mix it up, but as long as you stay within your colors.

Another caller asked for Coach Clark to comment on Ken Barefield’s play on Saturday. Clark acknowledged that it was a very good comment. He said that Ken is a very good player and since his move to linebacker from safety, it gives them a fifth defensive back in the game in a way. They felt that they have found him a better place to play because of his agressiveness during the game. He can be their Sam or nickle linebacker. He is very mobile, as fans saw during the game when he leapt over the offensive player attempting to block him. Plus he added an interception in the red zone.

Lee asked both Coach Jones and Coach Clark as to what Lamar brings when they come to Mobile on Saturday. Coach Clark said that they had two of their starting receivers out and their starting tight end out on offense, but from last year to this year they added three transfers to their offensive line. The guard they added was the #2 guard in America two years ago and signed with USC but didn’t get in there. The right tackle came from Arkansas, is a big guy at about 6’7″ or 6’7″ and 300+ pounds who transferred to them. Their quarterback threw for over 400 yards before playing us last year. But they brought in a transfer at quarterback that signed with West Virginia and was the #5 running quarterback in the state of Texas, while also returning their quarterback from last year. He also said that they just have good players across the entire team.

Lee asked if the Jags would see much of a change in their defense from last year. Coach Jones said that they have changed personel some, but the biggest change has been the interior of their defense. They have changed from a 4-2-5 to a 4-3 defense. Last year they had lost two linemen to injury. They will have some big guys inside and he said that probably their two best players are the two guys on the inside.

Lee said that Kendall had a break-out game against Lamar by rushing for over 160 yards against them. He asked if the Jags could do that again. Coach Jones said he hopes so, but that the offense has to be balanced and they have to be mindful of the plays that they call.

Lee said he was a little hesitant to ask, but he asked both coaches what they thought of the Kent State game. Coach Jones said that the Kent State defense scared him a little because they were getting through Alabama’s offensive line at will early in the game. They did a good job of stopping the run early. But he wasn’t really watching them all that closely, they were watching the game as a game and preparing for Lamar. They will get to Kent State when it’s time.

West Alabama game notes

September 4, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Wishbone

Demetre Baker, Paul Bennett and Kendall Houston line up in the wishbone at the goal line.

The Jaguars get the job done, but it wasn’t pretty. The Jags had to shake off four turnovers in the first half to get the 20-10 victory and extend their all-time record to 18-0.

The Jaguars racked up 205 yards on the ground and another 151 yards in the air in the game. The rushing attack was lead by Kendall Houston who ran for 78 yards on 11 touches for two touchdowns after being suspended for the first half with three other players. Ellis Hill added 40 yards on seven carries in the start. Demetre Baker, another player suspended for the first half, added 39 yards on six carries. C.J. Bennett ran for 31 yards on eight runs with a touchdown. Santuan McGee chipped in 17 yards on four carries.

C.J. Bennett was 12-of-21 for 151 yards and three touchdowns with one sack. Bryant Lavender lead the receivers with three catches for 55 yards. Corey Waldon also had three catches for 21 yards. Jereme Jones added 27 yards with his two catches. Four other receivers had receptions in the game, highlighted by Lamontis Gardner with a 28 yard reception.

South Alabama gained one more first down than West Alabama with 18 to their 17. Both teams gained 10 first downs on the ground. The Jaguars rushed for 205 yards on 36 carries to UWA’s 167 yards on 47 carries. USA averaged 5.7 yards per rush to UWA’s 3.6 yards per rush. Also the Jags only lost 10 yards while running the ball compared to UWA’s 49 yards lost rushing.

USA was 12-for-21 passing with three interceptions for 151 yards while averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and 12.6 yards per completion. UWA went 10-for-22 passing with two interceptions. They averaged 4.6 yards per play and 10.1 yards per completion.

South Alabama gained 356 yards on 57 offensive plays with an average of 6.2 yards per play. USA fumbled three times and lost one, both of the recovered fumbles were by Baker. West Alabama ran 69 plays while gaining 268 yards while averaging 3.9 yards per play. They fumbled twice and recovered both of them.

UWA won the time of possession battle 32:39 to 27:21 and also possessing the ball for 10:18 in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Gary Johnston was the Tigers leading rusher with 72 yards on 22 runs and a touchdown. He also threw for 101 yards while going 10-for-22. His favorite receiver was Gerald Worsham with five receptions for 44 yards. Ken may added 48 yards on three catches. Two other players had receptions as well.

UWA’s Gabe Poe lead all players with 12 total stops. Enrique Williams lead the Jags with 11 total stops, five solo. B.J. Scott  added 10 more stops, 8 of them solo. Ken Barefield was credited with a sack for 12 yards and Clifton Crews with Enrique Willams both credited with half a sack.

After the game Coach Jones commented on the game. “Not having Kendall and Demetre the first half didn’t help, but they are great running backs,” he said. “Those two guys are probably the core of our offense running the football. We’re a very good football team with those two guys running it.”

“Obviously it wasn’t a great ball game; we didn’t play extremely well though I thought West Alabama played really hard,” Coach Jones continued.  “When you have four turnovers in the first half, it’s not a good thing — we have to learn to protect the football. We had some penalties and untimely things happen, so we have to go back to work and see how we can get better.”

“But I think that was a great second half. We pounded the ball at them and ran it really well, we got Kendall and Demetre in there and controlled the ball,” he continued. “I thought we played better in the second half, but we have to play four quarters to beat good teams and we just didn’t do that tonight; we didn’t play extremely well the whole game.”

West Alabama coach Will Hall commented after the game as well. “I thought they wore us down a little bit. It’s a credit to them and their defense as well. We came out offensively in the second half and went three-and-out, and USA got it and went down and scored. There were some good adjustments by USA at halftime.”

“We spilled our guts out on the field. I expected our kids to do that, but I’m so proud of how they did. Credit to coach Jones and coach [Bill] Clarlk. They do a great job and have a great thing going here at South Alabama. I think these are the two most up-and-coming programs in the state of Alabama. I can’t say enough though about what they do at South Alabama and I can’t say enough about our kids’ effort tonight. I really think we have a chance to have a good D-II football team.”

Tremain Smith went off in the first half with the trainers looking at his hand, plus Melvin Meggs had to come off the field but redshirt Drew Dearmon came in and performed well on the line. Meggs should be back next week and hopefully Smith’s re-aggravated injury isn’t serious.

South Alabama will host Lamar on September 10th with kickoff slated for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

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Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23

August 24, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 1 Comment 
Baker and Jones

Coach Jones looks on as Demetre Baker looks to the sideline before blocking for a field goal attempt.

The Joey Jones Radio Show started season three with host Lee Shirvanian and guest Joel Erdmann today.

They started the show off by talking about the depth chart now that they are finished with preseason camp and are into game prep mode. The first thing that Lee asked coach Jones about were there any surprises that emerged that he wasn’t thinking about. Coach Jones said that they don’t have many changes.

He mentioned on the offensive line that Levi Slaydon did not return so they had to fill that position. Jermaine Smith and Brian Krauskopf have stepped up and are neck-and-neck for that starting job. Other than that change, the offensive line is the same as last season. At tight end it is pretty much the same with Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett there. A little bit of a change will be the backfield with the addition of Georgia transfer Demetre Baker with Kendall Houston. He indicated that they would be co-starters in the backfield.

When coach Jones moved onto receivers, he mentioned that they have more names out there than they did last year. Last year Courtney Smith was the big name and the other receivers were ‘the others’.

Lee then started talking about the defense and mentioned that there were many familiar names on that side of the ball. He first mentioned Cori Barnett at the Sam position with Ken Barefield as his backup. Barefield played defensive back last season for the Jags.

When asked about how Cori emerged as being a starter, Coach Jones said that he had a great spring and awarded him with a scholarship for how well he did in the off-season. He mentioned that he is a bit undersized but still plays very well, he’s smart and knows all the answers to questions over on defense. Ken will still play alot.

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USA Makes Statement Against Lamar

October 19, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar offensive line lines up against the Lamar defense. They helped Kendall Houston rush for 166 yards, the new single game record for Jaguar running backs, and did not allow a sack in the game.

South Alabama went on the road to Beaumont, Texas to begin their season-defining three game stretch and came home with a big win and a huge statement, 26-0. The Lamar Cardinals had averaged just over 341 yards per game but were held to a season low of 161 yards of total offense as the Jaguar defense came out ready for a big fight.

The Jags were quite conservative with their play calling in the game. After losing your first string running back to a season ending ACL tear, it was good play calling on Coach Gregory and Coach Jones’ part. While the scoreboard did not show what the Jaguar faithful were used to, it was definitely a resounding win.

The defense would score the only touchdown in the first half and the offense would only score one touchdown in the game. The rest of the scoring rested on the foot of Lawson McGlon who was officially 4-for-5 in the game but did make a kick that was nullified by a penalty. So a position that, at the beginning of the season, looked like it could lose a close game turned out to be the one that put the game out of reach.

“We sputtered somewhat on offense when we got the ball into the red zone, but we moved the ball well between the 30s,” said Coach Joey Jones after the game. “We had to settle for four field goals, but when you’re on the road sometimes that happens. I’m really proud of Kendall and the way he came in for Brandon after we lost him last week. He really stepped up and ran like a Division I running back tonight.”

“We know that UC Davis is a very good team. They’ve beaten San Jose State and won their conference last year,” Coach Jones stated on their upcoming opponent. “They’re a very sound team, we are going to have to go out to California and see what we’ve got. But, our kids are real excited about that. We’re trying to take this thing with baby steps, and we’ve taken some big steps already. It’s a great win, but where we stand I don’t know. At the end of the year I think we’ll be able to look back and see where we are as a team. All I know is that we came on the road, and were on the bus for six hours. The kids did a great job being focused, and we played a great ballgame. It’s a big win for our program.”

“You have to play great defense on the road, and we did that tonight,” Coach Jones commented. “I’m real proud of the staff and players. They played lights out tonight. They knew this was their first big challenge, and answered that call.”

The Jaguars did not come out of the game unscathed. Unfortunately Chris Brunson suffered a broken ankle in the first half of the game against Lamar and will be out for the remainder of the season. Brunson was also a backup to Trey Clark, the center, who suffered a sprained ankle but should be okay. Coach Jones will probably try Brian Krauskopf in practice until Clark’s ankle is better and to give him experience in case he is needed in a game situation.

The Jags travel to Davis, California to face the Aggies of UC-Davis in a 4pm (Central, 2pm Pacific) game against their second of three consecutive FCS teams and their second in a row on the road. For a more detailed breakdown of the game, continue below.

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Another Big Jaguar Win 45-6 Over Missouri S&T

October 10, 2010 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 

Brandon Ross scores a touchdown early in the Jags game against Missouri S&T.

The Jags stay undefeated when another big win at home against Missouri S&T, 45-6. They improve to 5-0 on the season and 12-0 overall in the programs history.

Jordan Means opened up the scoring with a career-long 36 yard field goal on the Jags opening drive, just two and a half minutes into the game. The drive covered 41 yards in six plays but stalled and had to settle for the field goal.

Brennan Sim, the starting quarterback, took the first four snaps, including completing a pass to Courtney Smith for 29 yards. However, on a scramble the lowered his head for a few extra yards but was hit hard and had to leave the game. Myles Gibbon came in on third down but his pass to Courtney Smith was incomplete forcing the field goal attempt.

The Jags held the Miners and forced a punt. On the subsequent South Alabama possession, Sim returned to the field. Sim then completed his first pass attempt to T.J. Glover for 14 yards. Then two snaps later Sim was sacked and fumbled the ball which Missouri S&T recovered at the USA 26 yard line.

On the first play, Missouri S&T ran for one yard but offsetting penalties, holding on MS&T and a horse-collar tackle on USA, nullified the play. Missouri rushed twice for two yards on the first and no gain on the second. Then facing third and eight at the USA 24 a pass reception by Chad Shockley from Steve Watson for 13 yards got the Miners down to the Jaguar 11 yard line. The following play was an 11 yard touchdown reception again by Chad Shockley. However the extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the Miners with a 6-3 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter.

C.J. Bennett was under center for the next South Alabama possession. The opening play was a run by Ralph Turner for eight yards to the USA 41 yard line, but a holding penalty put the Jags back at the 31 yard line. On first and 12, Bennett’s pass attempt to Lemontis Gardner was incomplete, but the very next play Bennett hit Corey Waldon for a 42 yard gain to the Miners 27 yard line. Brandon Ross followed it up with two rushes, one for 13 and another for 14 to score the answering touchdown. With the Jordan Means extra point the Jags regained the lead 10-6 with 3:10 left in the first quarter.

On the subsequent MS&T possession, after an incomplete pass and a two yard rush, Enrique Williams sacked the quarterback Watson for 14 yards causing a fumble. Randon Carnathan picked up the fumble and returned it eight yards for the touchdown. Means point after was good extending the Jags lead to 17-6 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

Missouri S&T’s next possession went 25 yards in nine plays covering 6:10 before being forced to punt, which was downed at the Jaguar five yard line.

C.J. Bennett handed off to T.J. Glover for three yards. Then Kendall Houston ran for another ten yards to give the Jags some breathing room. Bennett tried to connect with Ryne Baxter but the ball fell incomplete. Then the following play he hooked up with Corey Waldon for 16 yards. Another incomplete pass before another Kendall Houston rush for 25 yards put the Jags at the Miners 41 yard line.

Following a time out by South Alabama, a rush by Bryant Lavender for 38 yards to the three yard line. Houston then plunged in for the touchdown. The Means PAT made the score 24-6 with 7:28 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguars defense held the Miners to -4 yards in a three and out on their next possession. The punt went 39 yards but Jereme Jones got most of it back on a 20 yard return to the Missouri 39 yard line.

It only took the Jags three plays to score. A six yard run by C.J. Bennett to the 33 yard line. Brandon Ross then rushed for 22 yards to the 11 yard line. However, Ross would need to be helped off the field with an apparent knee injury. Kendall Houston would cap off the drive with an 11 yard rush for the touchdown. With the Means PAT, the Jaguar lead extended to 31-6 with 4:10 left in the second quarter.

Again the Jaguar defense shut down the Miner offense with another three and out punt. The Jaguars started at their own 40 yard line. Bennett’s two passing attempts went incomplete. Then on third and ten Bennett was sacked and fumbled which was recovered by Missouri S&T at the Jaguar 31 yard line.

The first Missouri play was a 15 yard completion to the Jaguar 16 yard line. Following an incomplete pass, Watson completed a pass for a loss of one yard. Then on third and 11, an incomplete pass brought up fourth down. Missouri S&T then faked a field goal but only managed to gain three yards before Justin Dunn made the tackle.

The Jags ran out the final 54 seconds of the first half with two rushes by Ellis Hill for seven and eight yards respectively.

Missouri received the kickoff to begin the second half and started at their own 12 yard line. The Jags defense started the half with big to force a three and out. The Miners punt went 43 yards but Jereme Jones returned it 24 yards to the Miners 34 yard line, but a face mask penalty on Missori put the ball at the Miner 19 yard line.

Gibbon connected with Courtney Smith for 14 yards to the five yard line. Santuan McGee came up a yard short, only gaining four of the needed five yards. But Gibbon would plunge in for the score on the next play. The extra point put the Jaguar lead at 38-6 with 12:28 left in the third quarter.

On a drive that ended the third quarter and began the fourth quarter, the Jags had another scoring opportunity. The Jags drove 54 yards in eight play and getting down to the Miner four yard line before facing a fourth and three at the six yard line. Lawson McGlon attempted a 23 yard field goal but his plant foot slipped causing him to fall but the kick went wide left.

Later in the fourth quarter, Missouri started at their own 12 yard line. After a time out before the Miners third and two, they come up short on a rush and only gained one yard. Then, after a bad snap, the punter picked up the ball and tried to run for the first down but ended up losing five yards.

Santuan McGee would run four consecutive times for three, three, three and seven yards respectively before scoring the final touchdown of the game.

South Alabama gained 202 yards on 33 rushes and 167 yards passing for a total 369 yards. The Jaguar defense only allowed 71 yards on 41 rushes and 83 yards passing for at total of 154 yards.

South Alabama had several players run the ball. Brandon Ross rushed 6 times for 55 yards before leaving with a knee injury. Kendall Houston ran 4 times for 49 yards, Bryant Lavender ran once for 38 yards, Ellis Hill seven times for 29 yards and Santuan McGee six times for 21 yards. While several others also ran the ball for single digit yards.

Six Jags caught passes. Courtney Smith caught three for 73 yards, Corey Waldon caught two for 58 yards, T.J. Glover caught one for 14 yards and Richard Ross caught one for 11. Two others had one reception each.

C.J. Bennett went 5-for-10 for 107 yards. Gibbon was 2-for-4 for 17 yards and Brennan Sim was 2-for-2 for 43 yards.

Enrique Williams finished with a career high eight tackles and a forced fumble. Ben Giles added seven tackled while Justin Dunn added six himself with each of them with two tackles for loss. Tim Harvey and Jake Johnson had five tackles each and Ken Barefield and Alex Page each had four tackles. The defense held the Miners to an average of less than two yards per rush.

Coach Jones commented on the Jaguars performance after the game. “I thought the defense played very well. Obviously, early they made a drive, but as always our coaches on the sideline made adjustments and our kids adjusted to what they were doing. From that point on, they did a really good job. I was real proud of them today.”

Coach Jones commented on Brennan Sim returning to the sidelines after halftime without his shoulderpads. “Brennan got dinged a little bit, and we had to get him out. C.J. came in and played well. It seems like each game that there is a quarterback who steps into the mix and plays well. It’s more of a feel thing that we go with each game. I thought C.J. had a great game today.”

The Jags will go on the road for their next two games. The first is in Beaumont, Texas against Lamar for a 6pm kickoff. However reports are that Brandon Ross will have an MRI on his knee on Monday so the Jags appear to be without their number one running back going into their two game road swing.

Coach Jones commented about the players and the upcoming road games. “They know these upcoming weeks are going to be tough; we have to travel to Texas and California, and come back here and play Georgia State after that. As competitors we’re looking forward to that. They’re excited about getting on the road, going on a six-hour bus trip and playing a very good Lamar football team.”

October is shaping up to be a huge month for South Alabama football with games against Lamar, UC-Davis and Georgia State. The first two being road games. We will soon see much this team has grown and how far they are on their roadmap to Division I-A play.

Go Jags!

Jags Begin Season 2 With A 56-0 Win Over Pikeville

September 5, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Turner working with the offensive line after an early drive.

The Jaguars picked up where the left off last season, that is dominating their opponents. The Jags put up 56 points against Pikeville with the defense pitching a shutout and also holding the Pikeville offense to a mere 88 yards of total offense in front of a crowd of 22,376.

The Jaguar offense started the game slow and was only able to put up 7 points with about 3:30 left in the opening quarter. The key play was when Gibbon found Bryant Lavender for 53 yards.

The Jags roared to life in the second quarter. Starting with a nine play, 63 yard drive was capped off by a three yard run by Brandon Ross to double the Jaguar lead, 14-0. True freshman C.J. Bennett lead the offense on the drive. Bennett completed his first attempt to Corey Waldon for a 20 yard gain inside the Pikeville five yard line.

Then on Pikeville’s ensuing possession, Bryson James would intercept the Pikeville pass and return it 22 yards for a Jaguar touchdown. The point after was no good leaving the Jags with a 20-0 lead.

Starter Myles Gibbon would return to the game for some more action later in the quarter. He stepped in an lead the offense on a 83 yard, nine play drive. Gibbon would get the drive started with a 27 yard run to get their initial first down of the possession. Then the could hit Waldon for a 35 yard gain on 3rd and 10 to keep the drive going. Gibbon would later find Courtney Smith from the six yard line with about a minute left until halftime. The point after would be good and the Jags would go into halftime with a 27-0 lead.

Starting the second half, the Jags would start slow again but once Michel Chapuseaux made a 22 yard field goal, they would again come to life and add three touchdowns in the final quarter. Ellis Hill found an opening up the middle and scampered 56 yards for a touchdown to put the jags up 43-0. A mere two minutes later, Jereme Jones would ruturn a punt 54 yards for another Jaguar touchdown.

Johnny Lockett would round out the scoring with a touchdown with about 5:30 left in the game. This would finish off a six play, 47 yard drive lead by transfer Ray Cotton.

The Jags averaged over six yard per rush while totaling 242 yards on the ground. Twelve players combined to reach this number, with Ellis Hill rushing for 55 yards on two carries and Gibbon, Cotton, Santuan McGee, Kendall Houston, T.J. Glover and Ryan Scott would all gain somewhere between 26 and 33 yards for the game.

Myles Gibbon went 7-of-8 for 112 yards while C.J. Bennett went 4-of-6 for 93 yards. The Jaguar offense gained 462 yards total and 220 yards through the air.

Defensively, Ken Barefield and Enrique Williams each posted six tackles, leading the team. Bryson James and Jarred Williams also had four tackles each. James and Williams shared the team lead with 1.5 sacks each. James would have the only interception.

The Jags looked pretty solid on offense and defense against Pikeville. The offensive line had to make some adjustments, but found their groove and gave the skill players more time to make plays happen. The defense was giving up plenty of yards early on slant passes, but the defense tightened up and hit the Pikeville quarterback on almost every play.

The most glaring problem for South Alabama in the first game was placekicking. Too many kicks were missed and no sense of consistency. Kicking can be the difference between a win and a loss and right now if the Jags were depending on an extra point or a field goal to win a game, I don’t know what Coach Jones would do. Would he go for it or would he kick it with the results from the first game? We’ll see how it goes in the next game.

The Jags will have a week off before hosting Nicholls State at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on September 18 at 4pm. This game will be a white-out at Ladd. So wear your white Jaguar apparel and help cheer on the Jags.

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