Kent State preview

September 22, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Jaguar secondary

The Jaguar secondary going through pregame warmups at NC State.

The South Alabama Jaguars are rebounding from a loss for the first time in the programs short history. While the Jaguars did lots of good things in the game against NC State, they will have to continue to improve in order to be ready for their next opponent.

Coach Jones will be the first to say that the Jags played a great game, but did not make enough plays to win the game. They have flaws that they must correct. While Kent state has faced some very tough challenges in their first games of the season, they are still a good football team.

Coach Jones said that he and his team know that the Golden Flashes are a good offensive team and are also known for their defense. “They were top five in the country last year against the running game,” he said. “They have one of the best players I have seen in Roosevelt Nix on the defensive line – he was a preseason All-American. He is undersized, but can really play. Alabama didn’t block him, so we have to be ready for those guys because they are really good.”

In their first three games, Kent State has rushed for 181 yards total, -9 against Alabama. They have thrown for 294 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Their defense has allowed 515 yards and eight touchdowns rushing and 461 yards passing with two passing touchdowns but have five interceptions to their credit.

Through their first three games, Kent State has only scored 19 points while giving up 105 points. But they have only allowed just over 325 yards per game and the defensive front forced five turnovers against Alabama in their opening game of the season.

In Monday’s press conference, Corey Waldon said, We are hungry — we want it. We feel like we let ourselves down. We had a meeting as a team after the game, and we felt like that it was on us to win that game and we let it get out of reach. It’s on us to go into practice this week hungry and get better.”

Kent State’s numbers are skewed because they have played some difficult opponents in Alabama and Kansas State under first year head coach Darrell Hazell. Coach Hazell spent the previous seven seasons at Ohio State University under Jim Tressel where he coached wide receivers. He has coached a number of All-Big Ten players with six of them currently playing in the NFL. He has also coached at Rutgers, West Virginia and Army among others.

While on paper this looks like the Jaguars should be able to win the game. If they played like they did against NC State, they will definitely have a chance if they capitalize on turnovers and protect the ball themselves. While it seems that the Jags are putting the loss behind them and preparing for their next trip, will they be able to do that when they hit the field in Ohio? I think they will be able to.

The Jags and the Golden Flashes kickoff at 2:30pm in Kent, Ohio on Saturday. The game will be shown for free on kentstatesports.com.

Jags on TV and quotes from Coach Gregory

August 11, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Gregory

Coach Greg Gregory from joeyjonesfootballcamps.com

Speaking about quarterback C.J. Bennett: I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama.

Announced TV dates and Kickoff times

South Alabama announced Wednesday evening that the Jaguars first televised game will not be the North Carolina State game as first thought. Actually it will be much sooner than the September 17th game.

Dr. Joel Erdmann, USA’s Athletic Director, announced that South Alabama’s season opening matchup against West Alabama will be aired live locally on UTV 44 as well as being aired nationally on ESPN3. While he was at it, he announced the kickoff times for the first four games of the season.

South Alabama and West Alabama will kickoff at 6:30pm on Thursday, September 1 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Jim Cox will handle the play-by-play, Dan Brennan will handle the color analysis and Pat Greenwood will handle sideline reporting for the broadcast. Actually Pat Greenwood will being handling sideline reporting for both WNSP’s radio broadcast and the television broadcast.

South Alabama’s first ever game against a FBS team will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina against NC State which can also be viewed on ESPN3. Kickoff is scheduled for 5pm Central time and will be the Jags first road game of the season.

Other kickoff times that were announced were games against Lamar on September 10 with kickoff at 4pm and the second FBS opponent for the Jags on the road at Kent State will kickoff at 2:30pm Central time. Other times will be officially announced in the future. However according to the season tickets, home games against Tennessee-Martin, Henderson State and Cal Poly will all kickoff at 4pm. The Thursday night game against Mississippi Valley State will kickoff at 6:30pm.

ESPN3.com is currently available to over 70 million homes across the country to fans who receive high-speed internet from providers who are affiliated with ESPN.

Dan’s inteview with Coach Greogory

Dan of Dan and Shelby, the morning show for local radio station 95WKSJ, has a football blog on the 95KSJ website. On Wednesday he was able to speak to Coach Greg Gregory about the upcoming season.

I will hit some of the notable pieces from the article. When asked to compare South Alabama to his former school, the University of South Florida who is arguably the measuring stick for modern start-up program. Coach Gregory said that “There is no doubt South Alabama will get to the same level as USF prior to them getting in the Big East.” He continued, “I think this program can go as far as the administration wants it to go.”

Another big question that everyone has for the 2011 Jaguars is how will the offensive line do when facing such an upgraded schedule. “We block better than a lot of football teams that you see on tape. I think we have enough talent to compete with anybody we play. I don’t really worry about our line. They are tough and they are going to compete. I don’t think it will be a major issue for us.”

Probably the answer that will get the most scrutiny by people around the state is when he is asked to evaluate quarterback C.J. Bennett. “Even when he came in last year as a 17 year old, all along I knew he’d be our guy,” said Coach Gregory. “I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama. He’s a player. He can really throw it. Smart, sees things. When he tells you something happened on the field, that’s what happened. He is very polished. And he’s very excited to be here. He’s as accurate as you want, has as quick a release and the biggest thing is his willingness to pull the trigger. He’s got the best release I’ve ever been around.”

With Brandon Ross set to miss probably the first half of the season at least, Coach Gregory had some good thoughts on the Jaguar backfield. Kendall Houston picked up the role of being the big, hard running back where Ross left off after the injury. But this season he will have some help with the addition of Demetre Baker from the University of Georgia. Coach Gregory said that, “Baker has more flat out speed. Both of them are violent runner. They run the ball hard. Kendall’s probably a little more reliable right now at holding the onto the ball but Demetre’s a really good player.”

Go on over and read the whole write-up. He talks about replacing Courtney Smith, Jereme Jones place at receiver and transfer B.J. Scott possibly playing a part on offense in the future.

South Alabama Football Announces First Division-I Foes And Travel Packages For 2010

June 29, 2010 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Earlier this month South Alabama announced the school’s first two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS or formerly Division-I) opponents. In the 2011 season, the Jags will play North Carolina State and Kent State on back to back weekends on September 17 and 24. Both games will be away games as part of a 2-for-1 series with both schools.

The 2011 schedule will have six other Division-I schools, four of which will be visiting Mobile. Lamar and UC Davis will complete their home-and-home contracts with Lamar visiting on September 10 and UC Davis visiting on October 1. Tennessee-Martin will visit on October 15 and Cal Poly will be the final game of the season on November 19.

Head coach Joey Jones had the following to say about how the future schedules affect South Alabama. “We feel like this is a great step forward for where we want to go. Obviously, playing all of these Division I schools on the schedule in our third year will present a challenge. In the grand scheme of things, it’s about where we are going and preparing for a schedule that will feature pretty much all FBS opponents the following year.”

He continued, “Each year we want to step up the level of competition on our schedule – our kids and staff want to be challenged. Certainly we will have some bumps along the way playing teams at this level, but it’s where we want to be and where this program is headed.”

As for the 2010 schedule, the Jags will have seven home games and the Athletic Department announced that all six of the Saturday home games will have 4pm kickoffs. While the lone Thursday night game will be the season finale against Arkansas-Monticello on November 11 with a 6pm kickoff.

The Jags will have their first road games ever this season and travel packages are available for those games. On September 25 the Jags travel to Dothan for their first ever away game when they play Edward Waters in the Wiregrass Football Classic. A game ticket and tailgating will cost $35 while a $78 package which includes travel to and from the game is also available.

The away game against Lamar on October 16 has a three day package including round-trip transportation from the USA Campus is available. It features two nights at the MCM Elegante Hotel and Convention Center with a reception and several other goodies for $75 up to $475 depending on the costs of the ticket, number of paying travelers and amount of people in the hotel room.

A three day trip has also been put together for the UC Davis game on October 23. It includes a two night stay in the Embassy Suites Riverfront Promenade and more. The cost is $260-$375 not including air fare.