The Jaguars Defense Set The Tone Against Georgia Military

October 11, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars defense smothered Georgia Military at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday. One name, Zach Brownell, became pretty familiar to the 15,178 fans in the stands as he had three interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown.

The Jaguar defense held the bulldogs in check for the most part. They only gave up 10 first downs and 234 yards of total offense. Including a mere 88 yards rushing and holding them to only 1 of 15 in third down conversions. However the Jags bid for a second straight shutout was thwarted in the final minute of the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Evan Kay.

South Alabama’s offense started off slow against Georgia Military. The first three possessions ended with a punt, a fumble and a punt. But the Jaguars would put the first points on the board with a seven yard touchdown run by Brandon Ross early in the second quarter to cap off a ten play 67-yard drive.

The Jags next possession would end with an interception on an ill advised pass by Myles Gibbon. However the Jaguar defense would give the ball right back to the offense with an interception three plays later. The offense moved 37 yards in six plays but were forced to punt themselves which they downed on the nine yard line.

With the Bulldogs deep in their own territory, the defense turned up the pressure again forcing another interception. Brownell would return it for a touchdown with 1:35 left before halftime to put the Jags up 14-0.

The second half continued the with the Jaguar defense playing strong. They forced the Bulldogs to go three and out and punt on their first possession of the second half. They Jags offense would go three and out as well but would pin them inside their own 15 yard line on the punt. The South Alabama defense would come up big once more when they forced a fumble at the Bulldog 10 yard line which Clifton Crews would pick up and return for another defensive score for the Jags. This put them up 21-0 with 9:05 left in the third quarter.

After the kickoff the Bulldogs started to move the ball, going 29 yards in eight plays before the third and final Brownell interception with 5:12 left in the third quarter at the South Alabama 20 yard line. The Jags would be forced to punt again a few plays later.

The Bulldogs would mount their only other scoring threat of the game at their own 38 yard line. The Bulldogs connected on a long pass to move them into Jaguar territory. But the defense held strong and forced the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal with 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter for a score of 21-3.

Both teams would go three and out on the two ensuing possessions. Then the Jaguar offense found another spark and covered 54 yards in four plays for another Brandon Ross touchdown. On the extra point, the bulldogs would be flagged for a personal foul and would leave the first team kicker, Michel Chapuseaux injured and have to be helped off the field. The trainers took him to the sidelines and was examining his right knee. Shortly they took off his pads, gave him crutches and sent him to the locker room to get out of his uniform. He rejoined the team on his crutches as they gathered for the alma mater after the game.

Both teams would, again, see three and out possessions. The next Bulldog possession would cover 25 yards in six plays but went for it on fourth down and came up short. The Jags would take the ball from their own 40 yard line and drive 38 yards in eight plays eating 3:45 off the clock before Lawson McGlon nailed a 39 yard field goal to cap the game off at 31-3.

Brandon Ross lead the way for the running backs with 15 attempts for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Santuan McGee had 8 carries for 60 yards, Anthony Mostella had 9 for 34 yards, Myles Gibbon had 6 carries for 20 yards and Eli Smith carried the ball twice for 8 yards.

Gibbon went 6 for 13 for 44 yards and an interception for the game. His longest pass went for 32 yards. Nick Owens completed his only pass attempt for eight yards.

Courtney Smith was the only receiver with more than one reception at two for five yards. Kevin Helms, Paul Bennett, Corey Besteda, Erling Riis and Brandon Ross each had one reception each.

Scott Garber punted 7 times in the game and averaged 45.3 yards per punt and downed two inside the Bulldog 20 yard line.

Justin Dunn lead all Jaguars in tackles with 11 followed by Zach Brownell with six. Also Brownell had the three interceptions.

The Jags had 13 first downs with 199 yard rushing and 52 yards passing for a total of 251 yards (their lowest numbers of the season). The game was marred with lots of penalties. The Jags had 10 for 158 yards while Georgia Military had 14 for 136 yards.

After the game Coach Jones spoke about the defense. “Those guys want to get a shutout if they can, but they love scoring touchdowns as well – it’s always fun for them to do that. Those are game changers,” he said. “Obviously, we were great defensively and played a solid game against a very good football program. Zach has a nose for the football, he’s just a very smart football player. The one he ran back for a touchdown right before the half was certainly a big play in the game.”

Coach Jones also spoke about the Bulldog defense. “We knew that their defense was very good. They fly to the football and hit you,” he said. “They gave us some problems and we knew that would happen.”

Myles Gibbon also spoke about Georgia Military after the game. “We knew coming into this game that they were one of the best teams we’ll play all year,” he said. “You have to give credit to them, they’re a good team and a good defense. They were coming with pressure, but we studied their different blitzes and how to block them all week – our offensive line did a fantastic job today.”

Georgia Military head coach Bert Williams spoke about the game against South Alabama. “You have to take your hats off to South Alabama. They played well, played consistently and played hard,” he said. “We got what we expected out there. We just didn’t expect to be as generous with the ball as we were – we gave them touchdowns two and three on turnovers. Those two plays put us in a bad way.”

Justin Dunn had this to say about the game. “We were ready for everything they threw at us. That just goes back to coaching and team play,” he said. “We played our butts off today. What we did was nice, but we’re never satisfied as a defense. We have another opponent next week that we need to prepare for.”

The Jags will host Louisburg Junior College next Saturday with kickoff set for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. This will mark the first time this season that the Jags will play games in back-to-back weekends.

Go Jags!

Jags End Week With A Limited Contact Situational Scrimmage

August 29, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars lining up for a field goal attempt in Friday’s practice.

South Alabama’s final preseason scrimmage saw limited contact and the final hour focused primarily on situational drills. After a very physical four weeks, the Jaguar staff decided to cut the workout short, only going four an hour and a half, and not as physical because oh how physical they have been all summer.

Another reason is that the Jags have a number of players that are questionable going into Monday. “We’ve got a lot of kids banged up,” said Jones “We’ve got some hamstrings we don’t know about and will find out Monday. Nobody is just out as far as the starters or second-teamers, but we’ve got guys that will be questionable this week and we’ll find out about them Monday.”

The Jaguars scrimmage covered almost every special teams situation from kickoff coverage, kick returns, onside kicks, punt coverage, punt returns and punting out of their own end zone. The offense then practiced on driving for game-winning scores with the time running out.

They started the timing drill in their own half of the field. The drill started on the 50 yard-line with the first team offense led by Myles Gibbon with 18 seconds to get into field goal range. After two quick crossing pattern competions to Courtney Smith to get into field goal range. They then sent in, in order, Michel Chapuseaux, Jordan Means and Lawson McGlon to attempt field goals from about 45 yards out. Both Chapuseaux and Means missed their attempts wide while McGlon made his.

The next drill started on the 40 yard-line with 3rd and long with 18 seconds to go. Brennan Sim completed a 16 yard pass to get into field goal range. Lawson McGlon came in for the field goal attempt from 41 yards, which he made.

The offense then moved to red zone drills. Facing 3rd and goal from the 10 yard-line, Gibbon threw an incomplete pass that was almost intercepted at the goal line. But on 4th down he found Corey Waldon over the middle for a touch down. McGlon added the PAT.

Next was a goal line situation on 4th down on the 2 yard-line. Gibbon handed it to Brandon Ross on a draw play, which he scored on. Nick Owens then led a situational drive starting on the 10 yard-line. After two plays, they got down to around the 2 yard-line before Ryan Scott was stopped in the backfield to end that scenerio.

Then to end the scrimmage the defense saw one play of prevent defense so the DB’s could knock down the ball. They had the offense practice one play of being backed up at their own goal line, using the quarterback to follow the linemen to give gain a couple yards. Then for the final practice play they practiced one snap of probably the coaches and fans favorite plays, the victory kneel. After the victory kneel, the players rushed the field and huddled around Coach Jones for his ending remarks.

While most of the practice was focused on game situation drills, which have not been covered frequently since camp began, they also used the practice to begin preparation for their opponent in the programs first-ever game against Hargrave Military Academy. “It was a pure situational scrimmage, but it was one that I think you need to cover mentally before the week of a game,” head coach Joey Jones said. “Things like punting out of the end zone, taking a knee at the end of a game, prevent defense – all those odd situations you don’t work on as much, we saw those this week and will work on them again next week so that if they come up in a game we’re ready for those situations. We did a little bit of work against the scout team today. We tried to sneak a little of that in here the last couple of days, but Monday will be devoted to that.”

“We tried to put them to as close to a game situation as we could on the sideline and with how we warmed up,” Coach Jones continued. “I kind of had to get on them early, but we really focused after that. Once that happened, they really paid attention – I kept checking the sideline to make sure their eyes were on the field. We want to look good warming up, and we want to be organized on the sideline. We’ll continue working on that next week so we’ll be as prepared as we can be when we get out there for a real game.”

Coach Jones said he was very pleased with how his players have performed during preseason camp. “It’s been a great preseason camp,” he commented, “but we’re just ready to go out to Ladd Stadium and have a great time. I think that we are a good bit ahead of where I thought we would be originally. The staff has done such a good job installing the offense, defense and special teams in a way that the players could learn.”

“I’m real pleased with how the coaches have put a good amount of the game plan in, but not too much,” Jones continued. “I’m also happy with how the kids have responded to that – they’ve learned, and they’ve paid attention. They really have been a focused group. Plus, looking back a year and a half ago, the athletes on the field are much better than what I thought they would be at this point.”

This weekend will mark the first time the Jaguars have not been on the field for two consecutive days since before preseason practice started on August 4th. But the Jaguars will be back on the field on Monday for game week preparation for Hargrave. “I’m ready for game week to get here, and I think the kids are too,” Jones commented. “As coaches we like practices, but we’re a little different from the players. We are ready to prepare for an opponent, obviously beginning Monday we will be getting ready every day and every minute for Hargrave Academy.”

T-Minus 7 days until kickoff of the University of South Alabama’s inaugural season of football. GO JAGS!!