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.

Jags on TV and quotes from Coach Gregory

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

Coach Greg Gregory from joeyjonesfootballcamps.com

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

Announced TV dates and Kickoff times

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan’s inteview with Coach Greogory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 10, 2010 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Jags!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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