Monday press conference November 15 2011

November 15, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar defense lines us against MVSU.

South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones is joined by cornerback Anton Graphenreed and tight end Kevin Helms for schools Monday press conference.

Coach Jones kicked it off with his opening statement. “We have a very good football team coming in this week, they might be the best team that’s played in Ladd-Peebles Stadium against us in my opinion. It’s a very disciplined team that runs the triple option, which always presents problems. To me, it’s still the best offense ever invented because basically — without getting too deep into it — at the side of attack there are two guys you don’t have to block, so you create double teams for everybody else. Thank goodness we’ve had some time to work on it over the last couple of weeks, I don’t know how you do it when you have just one week to prepare for an offense like this.”

“They run the football a lot, but they are very diverse in what they do running it, so it will be a big challenge for our defense. They are averaging 31.5 points and 257 yards rushing per game, so they are obviously very sound. Their quarterback [Andre] Broadus runs the ship very well, and he can also throw it which creates problems as well. [Jake] Romanelli is a big, imposing fullback and is their leading rusher averaging about 100 yard per game. Needless to say, we have a challenge defensively.”

“Offensively we are going up a very sound football team up and down the line of scrimmage, they are really coached well and have good football players. In the secondary they’ve got a start in Asa Jackson; a lot of NFL teams are looking hard at him, from what I hear he is going to be a draft pick.”

“Their kicker has most of his kickoffs go to the end zone, which creates problems when you start your offense on the 20-yard line every time; that’s a big weapon for them.”

When asked on whether Cal Poly is similar to anyone the Jags have faced this season, Coach Jones answered, “No, they are just totally different. The analogy would be to look at the service academies or Georgia Tech with what they do offensively. They are very disciplined an know what they are doing.”

The next question posed to Coach Jones was about the senior class. “The seniors, in my opinion, have been as crucial to the success of this football program as anything that you could think of. You can talk about facilities or a lot of different things that we’ve done to get this program going, but these seniors have come in and paid a dear price. They have done things the right way — we always talk about fundamentally building a strong foundation — and their leadership has been tremendous.

“I think we will go on for years and years because of what they have done the last three seasons, so my hat is off to them for what they have done for this program.”

Coach Jones then spoke about how important is is to end the season on a good note. “You always want to end the season on a good note, I think that is very important because I always think it kind of carries over to the next year. I don’t know if it’s any different than any other year, I just think the fact that these guys have been working their tails off and these seniors who have been around for three years — the guys who helped start this program — I’m sure they don’t want to leave on a bad note. And our younger guys want to send them off on a good note because they appreciate what those guys have done.”

“Our guys have been focused last week and this week, they understand we have a real good team coming in here and it’s going to take all we can do to beat them.”

Senior cornerback Anton Graphenreed spoke about playing his final collegiate game. “It really means a lot to me. I have put in a lot of time and my teammates have as well, especially the guys who came in with me. We worked really hard and tried to give our all this season. I just want to go out on a good note and leave one more lasting impression on the younger guys so they can carry that with them throughout their careers.”

Graphenreed spoke about the importance to him and the team about finishing undefeated at home in your career. “It’s extremely important because we work really hard to say that we never lost period. Things happen and that’s life, but we could always hang our hats on the fact that no one could say they came into our house and took it. When you say this is your home and you have great fans – we have awesome fans – you just don’t want to disappoint. I just want to continue that tradition, going out with another win at home and making sure that lasts for a very long time.”

Graphenreed next spoke about preparing for a run-oriented offense. “Our scout team is great. They prepare us for every game, and they work hard and keep bringing their all to practice. We need the closest thing to the real thing as possible before we get to the game. You don’t want to just go through the motions at practice and then you’re shocked when the game begins because you aren’t ready for it. But there is a lot of preparation that goes into it.”

Senior tight end Kevin Helms spoke about his final collegiate game as well. “It means a lot to me as well. When anything comes to an end in your life, you know you’re going to miss it no matter how hard it was. I am going to miss it every day, I’m sure. But all we can do is go out there and get this one last win to help the program out as much as we can before we are gone. I love my teammates, so of course I want to win.”

Helms also spoke about the importance of finishing undefeated at home in his career. “I like the streak of not being beaten at home. It makes you feel good – like no one can come into your house and mess around with you. You don’t like having that feeling that someone can come push you around. I would like to keep a goose egg in the loss column.”

Helms also spoke about the state of the program when he arrived. “When I got here it wasn’t much of anything. I came from a junior college that won a national championship my freshman year. I only lost two games in two years. Then when I came here in the beginning, you hardly had anyone who was going to be a college athlete. There were a few that were there and some are still here, but most of them are gone. I knew it was going to be better. But the first season we played, we were just a completely different team. We had a lot of good athletes, and we played good football. Then we got more transfers in the next year, and we had some freshmen come in and it was even better. We were just confident. And this third year, it has been even better. We have had some injuries along the way, but we have improved 100 percent every year, and I can only imagine that it will keep improving with the coaches recruiting and all of our facilities. It has been a fun experience. I love playing football, and I love playing here. It is a great place with great coaches who really do care about you. And we have great fans – people always show up to the games.”

South Alabama will host Cal Poly on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4 p.m. This Senior Day game will be aired locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com depending on your ISP for access.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-10-18

October 19, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The Jaguar Defense lines up against UT-Martin.

Along with Lee Shirvanian and Coach Joey Jones are joined by secondary coach Duwan Walker at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile Alabama.

Coach Jones, talking about Coach Walker, mentioned that Coach Walker has had to deal with quite a bit of turnover in the secondary in the two and a half years he has been at South Alabama. But has done a great job with it and is well liked and respected on the team.

Coach Walker mentioned that the defense did a good job keeping to their game plan. They kept the offense off balance early, did not allow many “home run balls” execept for one big play early. They also mentioned that Gabe Loper is coming along at an good rate in place of Damond Smith. Coach Walker said they had a really good problem in that they were trying to get him on the field, but it’s unfortunate that the Smith situation happened to get him on the field though. This is the classic case for the backup where you always have to be ready to play.

In the Fuego who’s hot segment coach Jones mentioned Gabe Loper defensively for stepped up in a situation where they weren’t sure how he would react, but thought he would play well, and he exceeded their expectation and had a great game. Offensively Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms were mentioned. Coach Jones said that their blocking has been outstanding lately. They are very physical like the rest of the team, but these two are on an extra level.

The Orthopedic Group injury update segment only had one  questionable player. Melvin Meggs has a rolled ankle and will be evaluated the rest of the week to see how he is leading up to game time.

They mentioned that Jereme Jones is a fearless punt returner and it’s not from the coaches, he has the choice to fair catch they said. Coach Jones said that the rule of thumb on a punt is to put your heels on the 10 yard line and if you have to backpedal, let it go. Also, if there is any doubt let it go.

FIU and Arkansas State play tonight on tv. May not be much interest right now, but Coach Jones said that he watches whenever he has a chance to see how the Jags match up with future opponents.

A caller asked about Ameriol Finley and how he is coming along. They said he is a true freshmen with a great attitude and that he is a great athlete. He can play multiple positions and has played cornerback in a game recently for the Jags. Right now he is getting work at multiple positions and is a bit of a utility player for them right now.

BJ Scott brings alot to the table for the Jags. Mentally, he brings a sense of urgency to the team. He teaches kids how to prepare and how to watch film. The are little things that make such a big difference at this level.

Coach Jones said he has noticed that Scott has become a vocal leader on the team recently which has made a difference. Lee asked if they have considered using him on offense like he was used at Vigor. Coach Jones said he has thought about it often but jokingly he said the defensive coaches frown when he brings that up.

Turning towards Georgia State, they said that they are averaging around 16,000 for their home games, but the Georgia Dome seats somewhere over 70,000. The team isn’t doing so well are are currently 1-5 so far. Lee asked what Coach Jones sees in game film that is going on with their team. Coach Jones said that looking at the tape you can’t really tell what’s going on, they have some really good players and some really good coaches. Sometimes there are internal problems that can cause strife, but Coach Jones does not know if this is what is going on or not. He said that they are like a wounded dog, you never know when they are going to jump up and bite you, so you have to be prepared and not dismiss them because of their 1-5 record.

Lee asked if we recruit against Georgia State. Coach Jones said that we do, we recruit against them and we recruit pretty much the entire state of Georgia. Lots of recruits or potential recruits will be at the game to see who wins. It will be a measuring stick game for sure since both programs are pretty close in age. The state of Georgia has plenty of good players.

After a story by Coach Jones about the worst weather game he has ever played or coached in, Lee asked about conserving timeouts and his strategy with them. Coach Jones said that ideally you want to save them towards the end of a half, but he said that you just don’t want to “lose anything on a drive” which I believe he was indicating momentum. If it’s 3rd and 1 and you have an issue, you don’t want to make it 3rd and 6 if you have too many people or something, so in that case you may want to use a time out to keep the drive going and get that first down.

Asking about communication problems that the Jags had against UT-San Antonio in a dome, Lee asked how they can overcome that. Coach Jones answered that you overcome it by staying calm and poised. You can’t hear the snap count, so you have to go on ball movement and that the calm and composure is especially needed on the offense and offensive line to look at the ball and not to move until the ball is snapped.

Other than that, potential problems for players playing in a dome is the ceiling and lights. If you are not used to it, you can lose sight of the ball. What they did for the walk through before the UTSA game was to take some time and kick some punts so the returners can see what it’s like and get comfortable with it. They also had the quarterbacks throw some high, deep passes so the receivers and defensive backs could get comfortable looking for the ball as well. Coach Jones said that J.J. Keels had an instance where he lost the ball on a wheel route against UTSA.

Lee mentioned that they have three quarterbacks that they play. Coach Walker said that one of their quarterbacks, Little, gave us problems last year because he’s throws the ball very well but has a sternum problem. They have another one that runs the ball very well and can pose problems running. The third quarterback is a bit of a mixture of the other two so he can throw pretty well and also tuck it and run.

The final question was from a caller about the number of players that they will have next year. Coach Jones said they will have 85 scholarship players and will have a total of 130 players on the team.

USA Sports Marketing’s Lloyd came on to talk about the next home game on October 29th, which is just before halloween. This will be the third year of “trunk or treat” for the kids. He urged the fan to decorate for this and bring candy for the kids. They are doing a first, second and third again this year for the best decorated tailgating spot. But the biggest announcement is that the Jags are going to wear their all blue uniforms for the first time versus Henderson State for a “blue out.”

Coach Jones commended the fans for the environment for the homecoming game. They had the second largest crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for a game in the programs history. Coach Jones also mentioned that the Jaguar Prowl was great.

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.

Monday press conference reflecting on Lamar, Looking ahead to NC State

September 13, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Offensive Line

Coach Turner working with the Offensive line between drives.

On Monday South Alabama head coach Joey Jones and two players participated in their Monday press conference recapping the Lamar victory and their trip to Raleigh, North Carolina for their first game against an FBS opponent.

Similar to Coach Jones post game comments, he reiterated that he thought the team played well overall. But that there are always things that can be worked on. He was pleased with the intensity and how physical the team played as well. Also, he thought the team played smart by not turning the ball over unlike last week when the Jags turned the ball over four times in the first half.

Coach Jones then turned towards the next game against North Carolina State. He mentioned their quarterback whis is 6’6″ with a strong arm. They also have good play makers outside with a good running back and big offensive linemen. Defensively, they also have good players and are well coached.

Coach Jones spoke about the team facing it’s first FBS team. “I think the biggest difference is that we’re going into a stadium that will probably have 60- to 70,000 people at the game,” said Coach Jones. “The crowd noise can be a different factor. Obviously we have never been in front of a crowd the size of the one that could end up being at the game. We’re going to make sure we get the crowd noise playing during practice to try and mimic that as much as we can so we’ll be used to it. Other than that, our preparation will be the same. We prepare for every game the same way. Our kids are excited about playing in an environment like that. I think that anytime you have a game like this, the emotional level is always going to be up. You want to go out and gain the respect of whoever you play against. Our goal each week is to gain the respect of our opponents by how hard and smart we play, and by the discipline with which we play.”

Both tight end Kevin Helms and linebacker Jake Johnson said that they are preparing for NC State just like they would any other game. They are not going to treat them special and they are not deviate from what has gotten them to the point they are now.

Kevin Helms spoke about what this game means to the South Alabama program. “It will show us who we really are and what kind of teammates we have on our team. We’ll see who has the heart and who is really a football player. This will either make us or break us. I hope the recruits and fans can see what kind of a team we are. Coach Jones preaches ‘be physical, be tough and be nasty,’ and hopefully we can go out and show everybody what kind of team we are.”

Talking about the differences between NC State and previous teams that South Alabama has faced, Jake Johnson said, “The biggest thing when you play a team like that is how they execute during a game. We’ve played some good teams since I’ve been here at South Alabama, but when you play a team like North Carolina State, their execution is going to be perfect. I like that better because I can read their linemen better. That’s the biggest thing for me, everything is smoother because they’re so well coached.”

He continued speaking about the difference preparing for a team like NC State and the expected crowd. “It will be nice playing in front of a huge crowd. I haven’t played in front of 60- or 70,000 people in awhile. But that’s the only thing that will really be different. It will be nice playing in a great atmosphere.”

Helms also spoke about the difference preparing for NC State and the crowd. “I’ve never played in front of a big crowd, except here in Mobile. I came from a junior college, where there aren’t a lot of people watching and the same in high school. The big difference will be how loud N.C. State’s fans will be. Noise really makes a difference, you can have stupid penalties if it’s real loud. Hopefully we’ll go through practice this week and prepare for it.”

South Alabama and NC State kicks off at 5pm central time (6pm eastern) and will be televised on ESPN3.com with radio coverage by WNSP on WNSP.com and 105.5 FM.

Go Jags!

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 hold on to defeat Georgia State in battle of new programs

October 31, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach John Turner working with the offensive line in the second half of the Jaguars game against the Georgia State Panthers.

South Alabama fended off a second half rally by Georgia State to hold on to a 39-34 victory at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. It was evident that two weeks of travel had taken their toll on the Jaguars. Coach Jones mentioned that it was Wednesday before the Jags recovered from their trip to California. But South Alabama’s play in the second quarter was enough for the Jags to stay ahead late in the game with field goals.

On the opening drive, the Panthers moved the ball methodically with three first downs in the opening four plays of the game to go from their 40 yard line to the Jaguar 19. They would top off their 10 play 60 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass from Drew Little to Sidney Haynes on 4th down.

The Jags would answer as CJ Bennett would lead the offense on a 9 play 72 yard drive themselves. Kendall Houston would score from nine yards out, however Jordan Means would miss the point after attempt leaving the Jags behind 7-6.

After Georgia State got a first down on a clutch 3rd down completion, they would stumble due to a holding penalty and the Jaguar defense would force them to punt.

With 1:50 left in the first quarter, the Jags took over with great field position on their on 45 yard line. Then on second down, Bennett would find a ton of open green grass and would scamper for 26 yards down to the Panther 25 yard line before tripping up. However the Jags would not be able to move the ball any further. Lawson McGlon would miss the 42 yard attempt to leave the score 7-6 in favor of the Panthers.

The Jags defense would force another punt by the Panthers, however TJ Glover would fumble the punt giving the Panthers an easy chance to score at the Jaguar 14 yard line. Little would hit Jordan Giles to inside the Jaguar one yard line and would score two plays later on a quarterback sneak. With the PAT, the Panthers would go up 14-6 with 11:33 left in the second quarter.

South Alabama would answer right back with a 21 yard completion from Bennett to Courtney Smith on 2nd down to move out to the Jaguar 47 yard line. The first of three straight runs by Kendall Houston would move the ball across mid-field. With 2nd and 8 from the Panther 40, Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for a 40 yard touchdown strike. McGlon’s extra point would once again put the Jags within one at 14-13 with over nine minutes left in the second quarter.

After a 15 yard kickoff return to the Georgia State 30 yard line, Tim Harvey would pick off a deflected pass at the Panther 39 yard line. The Jags would open the possession with a completion from Bennett to Ralph Turner for 24 yards down to the Panther 15 yard line. Three plays later Bennett would connect with tight end Kevin Helms for a nine yard touchdown pass to take the lead. McGlon’s extra point would put the Jags up 20-14 with 6:57 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguar defense would hold the Panther offense to a three and out. South Alabama would not have an opportunity to return the punt as it was kicked out of bounds at the 20 yard line.

South Alabama would put together an impressive drive on the ensuing possession. After an incomplete pass and a five yard false start penalty, the Jaguars were facing 2nd and 15 from their own 15 yard line. Then a rush by TJ Glover would go 14 yards to the Jaguar 29 yard line. Then Kendall Houston would add six more yards for the first down and then some extra. Bennett would run for 13 yards down the left side before stepping out of bounds at the South Alabama 48 yard line. A completed pass from Bennett to Lavender would go for 18 yards to the Panther 34 yard line. Bennett would run for seven more yards followed by a Houston rush for 17 more yards to set up the Jags with a 1st and goal from near the 10 yard line. Back to back rushes would gain four yards from Glover and three more from Houston to give the Jags a 3rd and goal from the 3 yard line.

After a Jaguar time out, Bennett would throw to Jereme Jones on the left side of the endzone where he would make an amazing one-handed catch for the touchdown. McGlon kick would put the Jags up 27-14 with 41 seconds left until halftime.

Georgia State would start at their own 45 yard line after Chapuseaux’s kick would dribble out of bounds on what looked like an onsides kick or a surprise squib kick. A 13 yard completion would put the ball at the Jaguar 42 yard line. On the second play, Tim Harvey would pick off his second pass from Drew Little and would return it 47 yards to the Georgia State 18 yard line with 14 seconds left.

Coach Gregory, coming downstairs in preparation for halftime, had to hurry to the sidelines to call a pass play towards the endzone to try for a touchdown without any timeouts left. Courtney Smith just could not hold onto the ball in the endzone so the Jags decided to kick a 35 yard field goal. Lawson McGlon would make it to extend the Jags lead to 30-14 with 3 seconds left until halftime.

The 3rd quarter would be pretty quiet as both teams combined for three 3 and outs in the first four possessions. But the Jags would get in gear after a Panther punt would only go 27 yards out of bounds at their own 49 yard line. Houston would carry twice to open the possession for 8 and 5 yards respectively and a first down at the Panther 36 yard line. A 7 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender would put the ball at the 29 yard line. A rush for no gain by Glover would be followed by a 22 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender at the Panther 7 yard line with a first and goal.

Houston would then run for four yards down to the three yard line before getting dropped for a loss of three back to the six yard line. Bennett would then be hurried and would step up in the pocket and find Ralph Turner for an apparent touchdown, except an ineligible receiver down field would wipe it off the board. After an incomplete pass, the Jags faced 4th and goal at the 11 yard line. Lawson McGlon would make the 28 yard field goal to extend the Jags lead to 33-14 with 3:52 left in the 3rd quarter.

Chapuseaux’s kickoff would be fielded at the 9 yard line and Albert Lewis would return it 50 yards to the Jaguar 41 before being forced out of bounds. A two yard rush would open the drive for the Panthers before calling a timeout. on 2nd and 8, Andy Dalgleish would sack Drew Little for eight yards back to the USA 47 yard line. The next play would make up for it and much more as Little would connect with Danny Williams for a 47 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 33-21 with 2:11 left in the 3rd quarter.

TJ Glover would return the Panther kickoff 46 yards down to the Georgia State 38 yard line to start the next possession. Houston would power for 13 yards to the Panther 25 yard line and a first down. On 2nd and 10, Houston would rush for nine yards just shy of the first down at the Panther 8 yard line and running out the time in the 3rd quarter.

To open up the 4th quarter, Houston would run for six yards to the Georgia State 2 yard line. An pass intended for Lemontis Gardner would go incomplete in the end zone. CJ Bennett’s quarterback sneak would be fumbled and recovered by the Jags at the 1 yard line to bring up 4th down. With some shouts from the crowd, Coach Jones decided to kick the field goal to extend the Jaguar lead to 36-21 with 13:25 left in the game.

Georgia State would open their drive with a 39 yard completion from Little to Sidney Haynes to get down to the Jaguar 25 yard line. A four yard completion to Danny Williams would set up for a 20 yard completion to Travis Evans for first and goal at the Jaguar 1 yard line. The quarterback sneak would net them a touchdown, but Romelle Jones would stand big in the middle and block the extra point attempt leaving the Jags ahead by nine points at 36-27 with 11:24 left in the game.

A short kickoff would be fielded by Kevin Helms and returned 14 yards to the Jaguar 44 yard line. Three consecutive runs by Houston would go for 7, 7 and 10 yards respectively to net the Jags two first downs. TJ Glover would follow up with a 17 yard rush down to the Panther 15 yard line. Then the Georgia State defense would snuff out any further Houston Rushes, holding him to one yard on two plays. A 3rd and 9 pass attempt would fall incomplete off of Kendall Houston’s fingertips to bring up 4th down. McGlon would make a 31 yard attempt to put the Jags up 39-27 with 7:34 left to play.

A 26 yard kickoff return would put the Panthers at their own 44 yard line to start their next possession. The Jaguar defense would hold strong to begin the possession, but a 10 yard completion would add 15 more yards when Anton Graphenreed would be flagged for a facemask placing the ball at the Jaguar 20 yard line. An eight yard pass would put the Panthers at the Jaguar 11, but a delay of game penalty on 4th and 1 would put them back at the 16 yard line. An 11 yard completion on 4th down would give the Panthers a first down on the 5 yard line. On the next play Kelton Hill would run up the middle for the touchdown, cutting the Jaguar lead down to five points, 39-34 with 3:57 left in the game.

Starting at their own 26 yard line, faced a similar situation as the week earlier. They only needed two first downs to finish out a close game. Houston would run on the first two plays, going for 4 and 2 yards to bring up a 3rd and 4 at the Jaguars 32 yard line. Georgia State would call a timeout with 2:58 left to preserve time and prepare a defense. Bennett would find Courtney Smith for 5 yards and the first down. Houston would then run for 2 yards out to the USA 39 yard line. Another timeout by Georgia State would exhaust their allotment for the second half with 2:15 left in the game.

Houston would drive forward for six yards to bring up a 3rd and 2 from the Jaguar 45 yard line. Coach Jones would let the time run all the way down before calling a timeout with 1:28 left. Houston would find a hole and go for nine more yards and the crucial first down. With no timeouts left for Georgia State the Jags would kneel the ball twice and end the game.

South Alabama would go for 474 total yards, 293 on the ground and another 181 through the air. While Georgia State would gain the most through the air with 234 yard passing and only 46 yards rushing for 280 total yards.

South Alabama was 8 of 14 on third down conversions while Georgia State was 3 of 10. USA did not go for it on 4th down while the Panthers was 2 for 2 on 4th down conversions.

Kendall Houston would carry the ball 31 times for 175 yards and a touchdown. CJ Bennett would run 10 times for 80 yards and TJ Glover would add 35 yards on five carries.

CJ Bennett would play the entire game, going 12-of-24 for 181 yards for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Bryant Lavender would lead the receivers with four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Courtney Smith would add four more catches and 52 yards. Three other Jaguars caught passes.

Georgia State’s leading running back was Kelton Hill with three rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Travis Evans added 6 carries for 14 yards.

Drew Little would go 20-of-34 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Danny Williams would catch 5 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Sidney Haynes would catch 4 for 50 yards and the other touchdown. Six other receivers caught passes for the Panthers as well.

Lawson McGlon went 4-of-5 kicking field goals. Making kicks of 35, 28, 18 and 31 yards and missing one from 42 yards. Jordan Means would miss one PAT attempt and McGlon would make his three attempts.

Coach Jones remarked after the game, “We got ahead at halftime by playing really well offensively in the first half, and the defense made adjustments and played well after the first drive. We’ve been ahead a lot at halftime and the other team would fold, but this team didn’t fold. They came back out and got rolling on offense, and just played much better in the second half. My hat’s off to the Georgia State team for coming back and making a really good game out of it.”

Georgia State head coach Bill Curry remarked on the South Alabama program after the game. “I’m very much an admirer of coach Jones and the South Alabama program. I have been since the beginning,” explained Curry. “The way they do things, their emphasis on academics, integrity, the way they win, the way they dominated the turnover margin in their games and the way they had dominated the fourth quarter coming into our game. We hope to become a more consistent team and do a better job, so we can match up with them the next time we play, and we will get that done.”

South Alabama will host Henderson State for homecoming on Saturday, November 6 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm.

Another Big Win For The Jags, 52-3 Over Kentucky Wesleyan

October 5, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama’s Paul Bennett dives for the end zone in the Jaguars win against Kentucky Wesleyan.

South Alabama scores a 52-3 win over Kentucky Wesleyan at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Jags defense forced five turnovers which tied a school record in the game.

The Jags got started quick in the game. After taking the opening kick off out to their own 36 yard line, Brandon Ross took the first hand off from starting quarterback Brennan Sim, 62 yards down to the Panthers two yard line. After a one yard gain up the middle by Ross, Kendall Houston plunged in for the touchdown after only one minute of play.

The first possession by the Panthers started at their own six yard line after a fumbling the kickoff. Two offensive plays netted seven yards for the Pathers before an illegal procedure penalty took them from third and short to third and long inside their own 10 yard line. A screen pass lost five yards and forced the Panthers to punt out of their own end zone.

The punt went out of bounds at the KWC 38 yard line, but a holding penalty on the Jags put them at the 48. The first two pass attempts by Sim went incomplete before he found Kevin Helms for six yards forcing the Jags to punt. A 41 yard punt by Scott Garber was downed at the Panther five yard line.

Kentucky Wesleyan got their first, first down of the game after a six yard rush and a five yard pass completion, however two plays later Jake Johnson would pick off a pass and set the Jags up at the Panther 14 yard line.

Kendall Houston, after being stopped for no gain on his first rush of the possession, he would break loose and score from 14 yards out to put the Jags up 14-0 with 8:19 left in the first quarter.

KWC, starting at their own 20 yard line, got their second first down of the game after a one yard rush, and eight yard completion and another one yard rush. But then they went into backwards gear. Two incomplete passes on first and second down forced KWC to call a timeout, but immediately following the time out they get flagged for a false start and moved back to the 25 yard line. Then Logan Bennett sacked the quarterback to put them back where they started at the 20 yard line.

The Panther punt went out of bounds at the Jaguar 31 yard line, but a group of penalties occurred. Offsetting personal fouls for both schools but also a 12 yard penalty on the Jags for holding put the ball at their own 19 yard line.

Myles Gibbon saw his first in-game action since his knee injury. His first play back was a 41 yard completion to Courtney Smith. This was followed up with a 15 yard rush by Brandon Ross to quickly move the ball to the Panther 25 yard line. Gibbon’s next pass was complete again to Courtney Smith for 11 more yards, however this play would be wiped away because of an illegal chop block. The penalty moved the ball back to the 40 yard line. An incomplete pass to Brandon Ross forced a fourth down punt by Garber that went into the endzone for a touchback.

Two short Panther completions began their next possession before their largest gain thus far in the game. An 18 yard pass completion and run got the Panthers out to the 43 yard line. Then a 15 yard facemask penalty on the Jags would put the Panther into Jaguar territory for the first time in the game. After a couple more plays, the Jags force the Panthers to punt.

The Jaguar returner let the ball go and had it downed at the four yard line. Gibbon, playing his second series of the game, would find Lamontis Gardner for 33 yards out to the Jagaur 37 yard line. An incomplete pass and a short run by Houston would bring up their and long at their own 39 yard line. But South Alabama would convert when Gibbon found Corey Waldon for 46 yards down to the Panther 15 yard line. T.J. Glover would lose four yards on a rush but Gibbon would find Paul Bennett for a 19 yard touchdown pass to put the Jags up 21-0 with 10:54 left in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Sammy Bland would return the kickoff 18 yards but would fumble the ball back to South Alabama. C.J. Bennett would come in for the Jaguars on this possession. he started out with three pass attempts. The first was complete for five yards to Corey Besteda, the second was incomplete then the third was complete to Besteda again for another four yards. After a Jaguar time out, C.J. Bennett would find Courtney Smith for a 19 yard touchdown on fourth and one. The Jags then lead 28-0 with 9:36 left in the second quarter.

KWC would go three and out on their next possession and a terrible punt would put the Jaguar offense at their own 49 yard line. Brennan Sim would return to the game for the Jags and would complete his first pass attempt to Bryant Lavender for 49 yards down to the Panther two yard line. Santuan McGee would cap off the two play drive with a two yard touchdown putting the Jags up 35-0 with 7:54 left in the second quarter.

On the Pathers first play, they were flagged for a holding penalty putting them back at their own 10 yard line. The next play was a personal foul penalty on South Alabama to give the Panthers a first down at the 25 yard line. Then KWC would complete a 37 yard pass to get down to the South Alabama 38 yard line. An incomplete pass and a six yard rush later and the Panthers are facing a third down and four at the Jaguar 32 yard line. Then defensive back Michael Wilson would pick off a Panther pass and return it 75 yards for another Jaguar touchdown. The Jags lead was then 42-0 with 5:11 left in the first half.

The kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, but a five yard penalty was added on at the end because South Alabama was offsides on the kickoff. But no matter as the Jags force and recover a fumble by the Panthers. But the Jags were set back by 15 yards on a personal foul penalty.

C.J. Bennett would return to the game but would fumbled himself on the first play, putting the Jags in a second down and 18 yard situation which was complicated by a false start penalty. Then on second down and 22, Bennett would complete a four yard pass to Ralph Turner, but a flag on South Alabama for an illegal formation would be declined. On third down Bennett’s pass was incomplete forcing a Jaguar punt.

Kentucky Wesleyan would have their best drive and only points of the game on their last possession of the first half. Two big pass plays, one for 49 and the other for 23 would put them at the South Alabama 11 yard line. Three consecutive incomplete passes would lead to a Panther field goal. The score was 42-3 at halftime.

The second half started with a three and out by the Panthers. C.J. Bennett would lead the Jags on a six play 64 yard drive for a touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 31 yard pass completion to Courtney Smith and topped off with a pass to Lemontis Gardner for a 25 yard touchdown. The Jags then lead 49-3 with 9:47 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers next possession spanned 6:16 in six plays but only went 11 yards before they punted. The possession had penalties on KWC for holding and the Jaguars for holding twice and an illegal block.

The Jags next series was six plays for 19 yards before the Jags punted. The Panthers returner fumbled the punt and was recovered by the Jags at the Panther 14 yard line. The Jags would then drive down to the one yard line, but on fourth down, Coach Jones send in Jordan Means for the easy field goal to wrap up scoring at 52-3.

For the game, South Alabama had seven running backs touch the ball. Brandon Ross had three carries for 78 yards, Houston had five carries for 17 yards and two touchdowns, and Ellis Hill had six carries for 15 yards.

Nine receivers caught passes in the game. Courtney Smith lead them with three receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Lemontis Gardner had two receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown, Ralph Turner had two for 17 and Corey Besteda had two for nine yards. Other receivers with only one reception each were Bryant Lavender for 49 yards, Corey Waldon for 46 yards, Paul Bennett for 19 and a touchdown, Kevin Helms for six yards and Jeremy Roberts for four yards.

The Quarterbacks went for a collective 14-of-24 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Myles Gibbon was 4-of-7 for 139 yards and a touchdown, C.J. Bennett was 8-of-13 for 105 yards and two touchdowns while Brennan Sim went 2-of-4 for 55 yards.

USA had 14 first downs compared to 11 for Kentucky Wesleyan. Jags had 299 yards passing, 114 yards rushing for 413 yards of total offense. While the Panthers had only 19 yards rushing and 209 yards passing for 228 yards total.

Coach Jones commented after the game, “I thought we came out offensively and played well. They stacked the box on us and made us throw the ball; we have to get in the mode of throwing the ball down field when the opponent does that, which I think we were able to today.”

Coach Jones continued, “We can’t get complacent where we are. It’s up to our players, staff and everybody involved not to get complacent at any time. We know the task at hand. We have to get better next week.

The most obvious improvement has been special teams. Jags kickers did not boot a single kickoff out of bounds in this game. Kick coverage was much improved but still needs work with big games against Lamar, UC-Davis and Georgia State looming on the horizon.

South Alabama hosts Missouri S&T on Saturday, October 9 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm. The Jags will then depart the friendly confines of Ladd-Peebles Stadium for two road games against formidable opponents. The first is Lamar in Texas and UC-Davis in California.

Jaguars Defense Held Strong In Second Scrimmage Of The Spring

March 7, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Jones and his staff oversee the second scrimmage of the spring at the Jaguar Practice Facility on the South Alabama Campus on Saturday.

The Jaguar defense had another impressive outing in Saturday’s scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility on campus. The first and second teams both combined to only allow a single touchdown prior to red zone drills.

Ken Barefield lead the defense with 12 tackles and an interception with Justin Dunn and Tim Harvey adding six more tackles each. Romelle Jones added five tackles and a group of six others added four tackles each.

The defensive unit had 18 tackles for loss, six of those being sacks and three of them being credited to Tony Threatt.

Brennan Sim lead the first team offense and went 7-for-17 for 80 yards and lead them to their first points on the third drive my their team. Four of the first five plays were rushes by Eli Smith, who gained 31 yards. A Sim pass to Kelly Vail put them on the 16 yard line before Vail was caught for a loss of 12 yards on a reverse. Michel Chapuseaux capped off the drive with a 42 yard field goal.

The first team offense finally found the end-zone on its last drive after Sim completed three straight passes. The final of the three consecutive passes came on fourth-and-two when he found Kevin Helms for a 28 yard touchdown.

The third team offense was the only other team to put the ball into the end zone for the day. It was the third teams’ first drive and Gabe Graham was facing a third-and-six from their own 39 yard line. Graham would find Bryant Lavender near the left hashmark and he would break a tackle for the 61 yard touchdown.

During the red zone drill, the offense would score on all three possessions. Smith would score on a rush up the middle for five yards. Myles Gibbon would connect with Andrew Martin for an eight yard touchdown. Then Ellis Hill would pound it into the end zone on a fourth-and-one play.

Bryant Lavendar would lead the Jags with 74 yards receiving on two receptions. Jereme Jones had a team high of four catches for 39 yards. While Courtney Smith would add three catches for 20 yards and Ralph Turner would catch two for 37 yards.

Eli Smith would lead the ground game with 13 rushes for 39 yards, while Ryan Scott would add 36 and Santuan McGee would add 31.

As mentioned before, Brennan Sim would complete 7-of-17 passes for 80 yards while Myles Gibbon would go 6-of-9 for 89 yards and the only interception of the day. Gabe Graham completed 4-of-5 passes for 97 yards.

The totals was 266 yards passing, 169 yards rushing for a total oof 435 total yards.

Coach Jones commented on the performance by the defense after the scrimmage. “That’s pretty much what we’ve seen all spring,” he said. “The defense did a good job of stopping the run, they really played well early in the scrimmage. I’m proud of those guys.”

Coach Jones then continued to speak about the offenses performance. “Offensively I thought we got a little better as the scrimmage went on. I told the team afterwards that we’ve just gotten better. When you watch film, I’m not so much worried about the results or how many touchdowns there were. We’re looking at individual plays and the fundamentals, we’ll worry about the scoreboard in the fall. The bottom line is that I’m real proud of the team, we’ve had a great spring thus far. We have achieved our goals.”

The Jags will practice on Monday and Tuesday morning at the Jaguar Practice Facilities on campus. Then Spring Practice will conclude with an intrasquad game on Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 6pm. Which Coach Jones had this to say about it. “The players are really excited [about Wednesday’s game]. They have already went through a player draft and formed two teams. I look at it that those guys will go out and have fun, because the bottom line is that evaluations are pretty much done. The teams will be split, which usually leads to things being a little out of synch. I’m not going to worry about that.”.

This will definitely make for an interesting end to the spring session.

Jags Roll Up Another Impressive Victory To Stay Undefeated

October 18, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags posted another big win on Saturday with their 41-7 victory over Louisburg JC. Brandon Ross scored a season best three touchdowns in the win with 138 yards on 13 carries.

The Jags started out slow on this windy, chilly day. The Jags and the Hurricanes traded possessions and both sides were less than stellar punting the ball. But finally the Jags got their offense in gear after holding Louisburg to a three-and-out situation. Brandon Ross found a hole and broke free for a 60-yard run before the Hurricanes stopped him five yards short of the goal line. Anthony Mostella scored up the middle on the very next play to give the Jags a 7-0 lead.

Ross’ big run would be the only premiere play of the first quarter as both teams would combine for less than 100 yards of offense and seven punts.

The second quarter was a much different story. The Jags would rack 173 yards to 46 yards for the Hurricanes in the second quarter alone. With 7:50 left until halftime, the Jags would march 50 yard in five plays which was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run by Brandon Ross for a 14-0 advantage.

Ross would get his second touchdown run of the game with 4:26 left in the half with a two yard run to top off a four play 60 yard drive in 1:21 to put the Jags up 21-0.

The Jags would drive once more before halftime to add to their lead. Lead by Myles Gibbon, the Jags went 77 yards in seven plays taking 1:49 off the clock. Gibbon would find Kevin Helms wide open in the left corner of the endzone for a 6-yard touchdown reception. Michel Chapuseaux would miss the PAT leaving the Jags up 27-0 with 53 seconds until halftime.

A good kickoff return to start the second half would set up the Jags at the Louisburg 34 yard line and it would only take the Jags 43 seconds to find the endzone. Brandon Ross would get his third touchdown of the day to top off the three play 34 yard scoring drive with a 20 yard romp for the score. Chapuseaux would make the PAT to put the Jags up 34-0.

The Jags would kickoff after the touchdown and the Louisburg return man would bobble the ball and retreat back trying to find a hole to advance but would be tackled at the one yard line. This would lead to the Hurricane’s longest sustained drive of the game. Going 11 plays for 33 yards in 6:52 before punting away to the Jaguars.

The Jags would start at their own 20 yard line and drive 80 yards in nine plays. Santuan McGee would finish up the scoring for the Jags with a one yard run for the touchdown, putting the Jags up 41-0 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

The Hurricanes would avoid the shutout though. Driving 60 yards in seven plays in 3:03. The big spark was a 30 yard pass play to the Jaguar one yard line to set up the touchdown. It was the one and only time the Hurricanes made it into the red zone all day. The touchdown capped the scoring for the game with the final score being 41-7.

The next two Jaguar drives would end with fumbles before the final possession ran out the clock to end the game.

The Jags had 474 total yards for the game, 310 rushing and 164 passing with 22 first downs. Louisburg had 222 total yards, 52 rushing and 170 passing with 12 first downs.

A total of 10 Jaguars carried the ball for the 310 yards. Brandon Ross led the way with 13 carries and 138 yards, Ralph Turner had 2 carries for 49 yards, Santuan McGee 6 carries for 41 yards were the highlights.

Myles Gibbon was 6-of-9 for 89 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim was 6-for-7 for 70 yards and Nick Owens completed his only attempt for five yards.

Nine Jaguars combined for the 13 receptions. Courtney Smith had 2 for 25 yards, Drew Ezell had 2 for 23 yards, Kevin Helms had 2 for 15 yards and the only touchdown reception of the game, and Corey Besteda also had 2 for 13 yards to round out the multiple catch receivers.

Josh Chestang, Anton Graphenreed and Justin Dunn all had five tackles for the Jags.

Brandon Ross spoke after the game about his performance. “I always practice keeping my feet moving. I’m still trying to get better at it,” he said. “I do not want to get tackled by one person. If I’m going to get tackled, I’d rather get tackled by a group of defenders.”

Coach Jones mentioned Ross’ running in the post game press conference. “We challenged him to run like that every play. He’s starting to understand that he’s got a 230-pound body that’s hard to tackle,” coach Jones said. “When you lower your shoulders and a free safety is coming up to tackle a guy like that, that’s a tough thing to tackle. When he learns to run like that all the time, he’s got a chance to be a great one. He’s got a chance to be a very special running back and probably play beyond college.”

Gibbon also commented on Ross’ running ability as well as the entire running back stable. “Brandon is a great running back; everyone has seen that,” Gibbon said. “Even when he gets tired and we take him out, we have another three running backs that can get in the game and get the ball rolling. Having good running backs makes our lives a lot easier.”

Coach Jones further commented about the Jags play. “I thought we came out and played fairly well. The biggest thing we’re challenging our kids with is no matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to play with character,” Jones said. “We’ve got to practice with character, we’ve got to work hard to study our opponents film, and we’ve got to not change anything about the way we prepare for a game. That was our challenge this week. I thought the kids did that, they were prepared.”

Louisburg head coach John Sala gave a glowing commentary about the Jags in the post game press conference. “We came into this game with the mind-set to win it. We had a great chance and thought we could do a really good job,” he said. “Give a lot of credit to South Alabama. When they are that sound fundamentally and you have those types of players, that is a hard combination to beat. We go against better players all the time, but none that are that well-coached. That combination is just hard to beat at any level.”

The Jags will have next Saturday off before hosting Fork Union Military Academy on Saturday October 31 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4pm.

Next Page »