Preview of the rematch with Lamar

September 8, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags take the field in Beaumont lead by the cheerleaders and Courtney Smith.

The trip to Beaumont, Texas last year was the first true road game by the Jaguars and they passed that test with flying colors. Yes, they had a road game in Dothan but it was nowhere near a real opponent. No disrespect meant towards Edward Waters, but they were outmatched on the field and the facilities were glorified high school facilities.

While the Jags won the game with a shutout 26-0, it was a hard fought game. The Jags first score was a fumble returned for a touchdown about four minutes into the game. After that, the Jags musted a field goal late in the first quarter by Lawson McGlon and missed one as time expired in the second quarter.

McGlon kicked a field goal with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Then Ellis Hill scored a one yard touchdown on a pass from Brennan Sim. McGlon added two more field goals in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring.

Kendall Houston led the way on the ground with 166 yards on 21 carries for the Jags and averaging 7.9 yards per rush in his first start for the Jags. Houston was promoted to the starting position after Brandon Ross went down with a season ending knee injury. Courtney Smith lead the receivers with 59 yards on 7 receptions.

But Coach Jones expects Lamar will be much improved from year one to year two like the Jags were from year one to year two.

Last year the Jags outgained the Cardinals 376-160 in an extraordinary defensive showing by the South Alabama. However the Jags only converted one of 14 third down attempts. C.J. Bennett went 13-of-16 for 109 yards. They also won the time-of-possession 34:21 to 25:39 and the turn-overs 4-to-1.

“They played us really well last year,” Coach Jones said. “I thought we had a good day offensively, but we didn’t score much. We need to be able to punch the ball in the end zone more and our kids are fully aware of that.”

Defensively, South Alabama recovered four out of five fumbles, held Andre Bevil to 105 yards passing on 15-of-30 passing and a mere 56 yards rushing on 27 carries. They also held the Lamar offenseto 2-of-13 on third down conversions.

But Lamar had lost one of their defensive players to an injury. They have added some big transfers to the offensive line, a new quarterback as well as some guys on the inside of their defense. This will not be the same team that the Jaguars faced last season.

“They are a much-improved ball team,” Coach Jones continued. “They brought in some really good players on their offensive line and shored up some things. They’re trying to run the football more, you can tell they have really spent some time on their running game. They will be a much more balanced team offensively. And defensively they are more athletic, especially inside. They have some defensive tackles who are very good football players”

In their 58-0 win over Texas College, Lamar racked up over 200 yards rushing on 53 attempts. They totalled 320 total yards in the game. When they play in Ladd-Peebles, they will rely on their big offensive linement to open holes in the Jaguar defense for their running game. The Jaguar’s linebackers and safeties will need to play a good game to contain their offensive ground attack.

The Jags cannot afford another turnover laden game like they had against West Alabama.

The kickoff for the rematch against the Cardinals is set for 4pm on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

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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Jags prepare for Lamar University

October 14, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Brennan Sim leads the Jaguar offense in the second half against Nicholls State.

South Alabama will meet it’s second big test of the 2010 season, and their biggest test to date, when they travel to Beaumont, Texas to play Lamar University on Saturday, October 16th. Lamar, like South Alabama, is a new program. They are re-starting their football program which ended competition in 1989.

Head Coach Joey Jones commented on Lamar by saying, “When you turn the tape on and watch Lamar, what you see is a bunch of really good athletes. They have done a good job recruiting from the junior college ranks in Texas and all over. Their staff has done a good job of pulling in some immediate talent.”

Their first game of the season was a loss at McNeese State who was then ranked number 11 in the NCAA FCS. They came from behind to defeat Southeastern Louisiana, who in turn upset nationally ranked Texas State just a week ago. Their other losses were to Stephen F. Austin (ranked 5th) and Sam Houston State, both of which are among the three teams still undefeated in the Southland Conference.

Coach Jones also said, “When you look at what they do offensively, they are a quick-strike, big-play team. They have a really good quarterback who is very accurate, he can scramble around and make plays. And they have some great receivers who are tall and can run. Lamar really knows what it is doing scheme-wise, offensively. It looks like last week, they really tried to run the ball more, and did a very good job of that. I think it’s helped their football team from a balance standpoint.”

One of their standout players is Receiver J.J. Hayes who has 31 catches for 372 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Next in line is Marcus Jackson who has 27 catches for 557 yards and five touchdowns. These two receivers account for over 50% of the passing yards for the team.  However Hayes was injured in one of their games recently when his face mask was pushed into his neck causing a neck and throat injury. He returned to practice today but his availability for Saturday’s game in unknown currently.

Last week, the Cardinals rushed for 147 yards in their win, which is just nearly 100 yards more than their season average of 53.5 yards per game. However, their defense has been giving up an average of 410 yards per game while the Jags have averaged 447.4 yards per game.

Coach Jones continued about their game with Lamar by saying, “We’re excited about the game and going on the road. It looks like a great environment to be in after watching it on film, our kids are looking forward to that.”

The Jags have been a little beat up lately with some nagging injuries on the offensive line, but some of them should be in better shape this week. However the most overshadowing injury to date was the loss of running back Brandon Ross to a season ending ACL tear.

The Jags kickoff against Lamar on Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas at 6pm.

See below for Lamar by the numbers.
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Jags Announce The Scheduling Of Three Other Start-Up Programs

August 25, 2009 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

This was actually released about a week ago, but has been put on the back burner due to preseason practice coverage. However, USA will be facing three fellow start-up programs in the near future. This will make for a great measuring stick as to how the program is doing in relation to other start-up programs.

The Jags will have home-and-home series against Georgia State, Lamar University and Texas-San Antonio over the next three seasons, with two starting next season.

Lamar dropped football in 1989 and is set to return to play next year and will be the first of the three play the Jaguars. South Alabama will visit Lamar on October 16, 2010 then the Cardinals will travel to Mobile the next season on September 10th. This will be the first home game for the Jaguars as they begin the two years transition to FBS play in 2011.

The Jaguars will host Bill Curry and the Georgia State Panthers on October 30, 2010 and will then travel to Atlanta for the October 22, 2011 matchup. Georgia State University announced the start of their program in April of 2008 but decided to begin play in the fall of 2010 with their home games being played in the Georgia Dome. Bill Curry who has served as head coaches at Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia Tech was hired to start their program.

The University of Texas-San Antonio announced in December 2008 that it will begin playing football in the fall of 2011 and will be on the Jaguars schedule for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Jags will play the roadrunners on October 11, 2011 then they will be the season opener on September 1, 2012. Larry Coker, the former head coach at Miami, was hired to lead the program in March.

Coach Jones spoke about this scheduling, “We felt like playing schools the first couple of years in the same boat we are starting a brand new football program would be a great thing. With Bill Curry coaching at Georgia State and Larry Coker at UT-San Antonio, I believe they will bring us some credibility with the type of programs they are going to run. We’re very excited about playing against those teams. As we move on with scheduling hopefully we will continue to play schools like these that will grow with us, maybe they can develop into rivalries.”

So far the Jaguars have two scheduled games for 2010, five scheduled games in 2011 and three for 2012. South Alabama has previously announced contracts with Navy for a four game home-and-home series, Mississippi state (a two-for-one series, two in Starkville and one in Mobile), North Carolina State (two-for-one series), Kent state (another two-for-one series) and a trip to Tennessee for 2013.

The Jaguars will be eligible to compete for the SBC Conference championship and to play in a bowl game in 2013.

There is only 11 days until the first-ever game by the Jaguars. GO JAGS!