Replay Of USA vs Mississippi State Aires Tonight On CSS

September 26, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

C.J. Bennett reads the defense while head coach Joey Jones looks on from the sidelines in Starkville Mississippi.

A replay of the Jaguars game at Mississippi State will be aired on CSS (Comcast Sports Southeast) tonight from 9-11pm. This will be a time-compressed game and may be edited to fit the time allotted. It may also be edited to show more MSU highlights than Jaguar highlights, but for those who were unable to view the game on Saturday, this may be of interest anyway.

Taylor Broke Two Bones In Right Leg Against MSU

September 24, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · 2 Comments 

South Alabama’s Anthony Taylor, a 6’3″ 225-pound senior defensive end/outside linebacker, will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken leg early in the first quarter against Mississippi State on Saturday.

Initially it was reported that he had fractured his fibula. However during surgery, doctors found that he had also fractured his tibia. Director of sports medicine Jinni Frisbey reported that Sunday’s surgery to repair the break went well.

Taylor has been a member of the Jaguars since the programs first season in 2009. He came into this season with 49 total tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks with an interception and four pass deflections. This season Taylor had recorded eight tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss.

With Romelle Jones’ injury that will keep him out for a couple weeks, Taylor’s loss will affect the depth the Jaguars had at defensive line. But worst of all is that Taylor will miss the remainder of his senior season.

Jaguar Nation will be pulling for Taylor to make a full and speedy recovery.

Know Your Stadiums: Davis Wade Stadium

September 21, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Davis Wade Stadium on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. Image from Hailstate.com.

Mississippi State plays at their on-campus stadium named Davis Wade Stadium located in Starkville Mississippi. It was originally built in 1914 as Scott Field and named after Don Magruder Scott, an Olympic sprinter and one of the schools first football stars. The playing surface is still named Scott Field. It is the second oldest FBS stadium in college football.

Capacity has expanded several times throughout the years. Originally the 1914 stadium sat 20,000 fans. It now seats 55,082 with a record attendance of 58,103 on November 14, 2009 versus the University of Alabama.

In the fall of 2008, construction completed on a $6.1 Million 112 foot wide by 48 foot tall HD LED video system that is the second largest HD video board in college football behind the one at the University of Texas’ Stadium.

It was announced earlier this year that the University will expand the stadium by 6,255 seats to make the official attendance 61,337. The expansion will begin after the 2012 season and is expected to be finished in time for the 2014 season.

The university along with Populous, a world-renowned sports architecture firm, are working on long-term expansion and renovation plans. Their current renderings suggest that the stadium could one day hold up to 75,000 spectators.

The stadium is named after Floyd Davis Wade Sr. who made the latest expansion possible through donations for the project that was completed in 2002.

One of the most unique and criticized traditions by Mississippi State fans is the cowbell. Despite SEC rules and NCAA rules barring artificial noisemakers at games, Mississippi State fans continue to bring cowbells to Bulldog games.

The origin of the cowbell remains unclear, but records show it being introduced in the late 1930s and early 1940s which coincided with the “golden age” of Mississippi State football prior to World War II.

Popular legend has it that a jersey cow wandered onto the playing field during a home game against arch-rival Ole Miss. The Bulldogs soundly defeated the Rebels in that game and MSU fans immediately adopted the cow as a good luck charm. It is also said that students continued to bring a cow to football games for a while until the practice was discontinued in favor of the cowbell. By the 1950s and 60s, the cowbells were quite common and known as a symbol of Mississippi State.

The cowbell popularity grew rapidly during the long time when MSU football was unsuccessful. In the 1960s, two MSU professors obliged some students by welding handles on the cowbells so they could be rung easier and louder. By 1963, the demand for handled cowbells could not be filled by home workshops by themselves. The Student Association bought bells in bulk and the Industrial Education Club agreed to weld on handles. Then in 1964 the MSU bookstore began selling these handled cowbells with a portion of the profits returning to student organizations.

Cowbells decorate offices and homes of MSU alumni and are even passed down through generations of fans. Many different styles of cowbells are available with full Bulldog figurine handles and bulldog images painted on the cowbell.

In 1974 the SEC adopted a rule against artificial noisemakers that make it illegal to bring them to games. MSU fans were very creative in finding ways to circumvent the rule and continued to bring them to games. The ban stayed in effect until 2010.

That spring, the 12 schools of the SEC agreed to a compromise on artificial noisemakers and acknowledged the role cowbells play in the history of MSU. An amended rule was created that allowed cowbells into the stadium for the first time in 36 years. Due to fans’ adherence to the rules outlined by the conference, the “cowbell rule” will continue to allowed with specific restrictions.

However the NCAA rules still forbid artificial noisemakers.

Below is a rendering of what Davis Wade Stadium may look like after the upcoming expansion is completed.

Image from clarionledger.com.

Jags Will Face South Alabama’s First Offensive Coordinator Les Koenning In Starkville

September 21, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

When Coach Joey Jones was hired to start the football program at the University of South Alabama, his first hires was his offensive and defensive coordinators. He hired former Prattville High head coach Bill Clark as his defensive coordinator. But Jones also hired Les Koenning as his offensive coordinator.

I remember seeing Coach Jones and Coach Koenning around campus before their first signing class and before they even had the football fieldhouse. Koenning was hired exactly two weeks after Coach Jones was hired.

But Koenning wouldn’t be at South long. Sylvester Croom had resigned after five seasons at the head coach of Mississippi State. They then hired Dan Mullen, who was serving as the offensive coordinator at Florida under Urban Meyer at the time.

In December of 2008, Mullen hired Koenning away from South to be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Mississippi State. Koenning previously coached at Mississippi State during the late 80s as a receivers coach. He was replaced by eventual MSU head coach Jackie Sherrill after the 1990 season.

Coach Jones then hired Coach Greg Gregory prior to the Jaguars first spring practice in 2009.

Though Coach Jones is familiar with Koenning and his style of play-calling, but he does not think it will be an advantage for his team in Saturday’s game in Starkville. “I don’t think it will help because a lot of what he is doing now with coach Mullen they have tweaked some things more toward the Florida philosophy. I wouldn’t think there would be anything we could take from that,” Jones said. “They are doing things differently than when he was here.”

Saturday’s game in Starkville will be the first of a three game series between the Jags and the Bulldogs. The Jags will host the Bulldogs in Mobile for a game on September 13, 2014 as the Jags first SEC opponent in Mobile. Then the Jags will travel to Starkville a second time for a September 10, 2016 game.

Jags have four other SEC teams on their future schedules. Next season the Jags travel to Knoxville to play Tennessee, then in 2014 they play at Georgia, at LSU in 2016 and at Ole Miss in 2017.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2012-09-18

September 19, 2012 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Head Coach Joey Jones looking on as the Jaguars warm up for their game at North Carolina State.

Lee Shirvanian and Jaguar head football coach Joey Jones is joined by defensive line coach Brian Turner at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.

Lee opened the show by saying that the number 1 question people asked him was who is going to be the quarterback. Lee then talked about how quarterback is the one position in all sports that brings the most scruitiny and speculation.

Back when he was at Alabama, coach Jones said that they ran the wishbone a lot and so they rotated between two or three quarterbacks because they were kind of like running backs themselves. Now, you pretty much go with one quarterback the whole game. What the Jags are trying to do is to get one of the quarterbacks to seperate themselves from the rest so they can have a definite starting quarterback as they head into Conference play. He mentioned that the Jags plan to rotate again this week but that they have to make a decision after that for Troy. As for who played the best between the two this week, Coach Jones said they both played pretty well and that he could not make a call about who was better.

Jones continued by saying that both quarterbacks completed around 66% of their passes, which is very good, but third down was their issue overall as an offense. Coach Jones said that NC State’s defense had something to do with that, they did a great job rushing the quarterback. He continued saying that their defensive front was much better than last year. Coach Jones ended by saying that the Jags did well except for third down.

Lee pointed out an interesting stat that the Jags are last place in the Sun Belt offensively on third down, but the defense is in first place in the conference on third down. Coach Jones said that is something they have to correct.

Bo Bishop of Baumhower’s Restaurant, where the Joey Jones Show takes place, asked what he was going to do about the cowbells while in Starkville. Coach Jones said that they are practicing with speakers blaring the sound of cowbells so they will be used to it when they play Mississippi State on Saturday. Coach Jones said that they just have to be able to communicate.

Coach Jones then introduced Coach Turner, he is the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Turner was part of the original staff and came to South Alabama from Troy.

Lee’s first question to coach Turner was to ask if he thought the Jaguar defensive line did well against a skilled, veteran NC State line. Coach Turner said that he thought they did play well overall. There were times that they didn’t play well and that caused problems and allowed a few touchdowns. But overall they played well.

Lee then asked coach Jones how he felt about the game and how it went. Coach Jones answered by saying that the offense was terrible and that third just killed them. But, if you look at the offense on first down, they played really well and more like what they wanted to do. They wanted to get five or six yards on first down but then their defensive front got to the Jaguar quarterback at times and caused problems. Additionally they were not able to run the ball effectively either.

Jones then spoke about the defense by saying they started off pretty well but gave up some big plays like the post route and wheel routes that went for touchdowns. But from that point forward, the defense did well and in the second half the defense played extremely well. Also, the offense started moving the ball in the second half and scored some points. He further mentioned they could have kicked some field goals but went for it on fourth down and that they missed a field goal before halftime and they had a bad snap on another attempt, so they could have had 13 points on the board like last year. But he said that they were not trying to just put points on the board but they were trying to come back and win the game.

Lee asked about what do they do after coming out from halftime down 28-0 against a team that, on paper, is a better team. Lee further asked if you stay with the game plan or do you throw everything you have at them. Coach Jones said that he thinks the best thing for you to do is to become fundamentally sound at everything you do and to go out and execute each play. They have to go out there and do what they have planned to do and not anything extra; just go execute your game plan.

But coach Jones was most pleased that his team never gave up and continued to fight the entire game. He said that they could have easily gave up after that rough first half, but they didn’t and that will pay off in the future. They just have to keep fighting.

Lee turned the conversation toward recruiting. Lee stated that they cannot mention any names of recruits, but asked if he can confirm anything about verbal committment numbers. Coach Turner said that they do have 15 verbal committments right now and are working hard to keep those recruits on-board with the program.

When asked about positions that they need for next season, coach Turner mentioned defensive linemen are a major issue and defensive backs. Additionally they need some wide receivers and running backs.

Lee asked a question that he has asked a few times before, would they like to see an early signing period like basketball has and suggested possibly August. Coach Turner would like to have it before August, because the “big schools” like Alabama and Auburn will be evaluating kids during camp and he would like for schools like South Alabama to have a shot to get those kids in camp.

Coach Jones reiterated his point that he thought it would be great for everybody. He said it would make it clearer for schools who are trying to fill needs on their team. Plus those schools don’t have to worry about getting a verbal committment then keeping that player committed for six months. Coach Jones also understands the negative of it where a kid could visit an Alabama and fall in love with it and sign early then the other schools do not have a shot at him. But he still thinks it would be more positive overall.

They then had the injury report sponsored by The Orthopaedic Group. Overall they did well. Romelle Jones had a knee injury but will be back this season, just not sure when right now. Also Corey Besteda who rolled his ankle and will be fine and should be ready by Wednesday.

Lee asked Coach Turner about Romelle and what he means to the team. His answer was that Romelle is a tremendous player and brings so much to the table. He does not know if he would be back for this weekend’s game, but hopes he could be back by the Troy game.

This led to Lee asking about the defensive line rotation. Coach Turner said that they average about four or five plays before they rotate some fresh players into the game. He tries to keep the linemen fresh, especially against the larger offensive linemen.

Lee asked for an explaination about “playing a perfect game” that many coaches refer to as a way to beat a team that they are an underdog to. Coach Jones said you cannot play a perfect game, but you need to play a mistake free game where you don’t make any turnovers and don’t give up any big plays. That’s about as close to perfect as you can get.

Coach Jones then lays out how he thinks teams like Louisiana-Monroe defeats an Arkansas. He said you have to keep the game close somehow until the third quarter and then you apply pressure onto that team. ULM kept it close, then Arkansas lost their quarterback and got some momentum going their way and suddenly they are tied. Last season the Jags did that before a late touchdown by State put them up 35-13. This season they couldn’t score early to keep it close. Plus they scored their first three touchdowns in quick succession.

Lee then asked Coach Turner if he was on the Troy staff when they started and what he saw then versus what he sees now. Turner said the first big game they played was Nebraska and were a 50+ point underdogs going into Lincoln. Then at halftime the score was 21-14 in Nebraska’s favor. But he said that once those players realized that they could play with Nebraska, it “snowballed.” They ended up defeating Mississippi State, Oklahoma State and Missouri in the next few years. The players believed that they could play with any of those teams. But they also played games where they were blown out, like a 50-0 defeat at Nebraska.

Coach Turner said that about 75% of it was recruiting. They had more players who wanted to play there after they began playing those type of teams. He said that the other 25% was mental.

Travis Toth, the associate athletic director of marketing, came on talking about the Mississippi State game for fans who are traveling. He said that MSU is proclaiming it as a “White-Out” but the team will be wearing their traditional home Maroon uniforms. So the school is encouraging Jags fans to wear BLUE to the game to stand out. Then the following week the Jags will be wearing Red for Troy. Lots of big things will be going on for the Troy game, including recognizing the 2012 Sun Belt Champion Lady Jaguar Softball team.

Lee mentioned that ESPN writer Ivan Maisel wrote about the Sun Belt this week in his article. Maisel wrote that Sun Belt teams are 2-1 in overtime games this season against SEC opponents and 2-5 overall. Previously, the Sun Belt was 0-35 total against the SEC with an average score of 40-11. ULM and Western Kentucky both have wins while Troy was very close against Mississippi State last week.

Coach Jones mentioned that ULM only won 3 or 4 games last season he thought. He said tht he thought these teams are putting a lot of money into recruiting and facilities and that that committment is paying dividends.

Lee then asked about Coach Turner about some things that the defensive line will have to do specifically in order to stop Russell, Perkins and the rest of the Bulldog offense. Turner said that their offense begins with their offensive line. Their line is big, athletic and do a good job at pass protection and also in run blocking. He continued by saying that their running back is very good and their quarterback has a good arm as well.

Turner also said that the Bulldog quarterback is more athletic than NC State’s Mike Glennon, but he does not have as strong of an arm as Glennon. He poses a different problem than Glennon.

Coach Jones said that the Jags HAVE to play better offensively. He said that they will be going up against a huge defenive line at Mississippi State.

Coach Jones spoke about how they have been working for the last few years to build a team and that now they are almost having to do it again as they are transitioning into FBS play. They need to recruit more good players to help build out depth.

Coach Jones went on to say that from here on out the Jags will be playing the best of the best at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They have NC State and Mississippi State coming in here in the next few years along with the Sun Belt schools like Troy, ULM and FIU that will be here. They need the fans in the area to continue to support the school.

Jags To Face First Top-25 Team In Mississippi State On Saturday

September 18, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

It’s official. South Alabama will face it’s first top-25 ranked opponent on Saturday when they travel to Starkville, MS. to face Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium. It will also mark the Jaguars first SEC opponent.

The Bulldogs are 3-0 on the season with wins over Jackson State (56-9), Auburn (28-10) and Troy (30-24) and have cracked the AP top-25 poll at #23. The Jags, a 34.5-point underdog to the Bulldogs, have a lot to overcome following their 31-7 loss at North Carolina State.

“We realize we’re going up against a top-25 football team in Mississippi State,” Jags head coach Joey Jones said. “They have done a great job getting that program back on the map, so to speak. They have a great coaching staff and great players. We’re looking forward to playing a team like them.”

MSU may be the biggest team the Jags have ever faced. “They are very big,” Jones said. “You look across their front line on offense and the front line on defense and they have guys who are 6-foot-6 and 340, 330, 325 and 6-7 and those kind of things. They’ve done a great job recruiting some very big linemen, which is the first thing you see. The second thing you see is that they are playing with a lot of confidence right now. They beat Auburn 28-10 a couple of weeks ago and they are playing at a high level and deservedly so. They are doing a good job early in the year.”

But Mississippi State has some chinks in the armor. Coming into last Saturday’s game the Bulldog defense ranked 11th in the country in total defense yet Troy rolled up over 570 yards of offense against their defense.

Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen likened the Jaguars to Troy. “They’re a tough team being a newer program,” said Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen. “They have a lot of similarities with the team that we played last week, a very similar offensive system. They’re going to try to spread you out and run the football. Defensively, they’re pretty stout. They’ve given up 300 yards a game, a very sound defensive team and they play hard. That’s what you see when you watch them on film.”

But in order to be successful, the Jags will have to improve their execution and limit their own mistakes. “There were a lot of things on film that were so correctable, which is still on us,” Jones said. “Some of it had to do with how good (N.C. State was), there is no doubt about that, but there were a lot of things we didn’t do ourselves that we can correct. That was probably the biggest thing. The second thing was that our kids didn’t quit. I don’t say that trying to make anything sound better, we went out in the second half and could have easily folded since it was 28-0, but the defense came out and played really tough.”

“The offense kept working and drove down and scored,” he continued. “We had a couple chances to kick field goals but went for it. We probably should have kicked looking back on it. The bottom line is we played much better in the second half. To me, that shows the character of a team. When you’re down, how are you going to react? I think the kids really fought hard and kept fighting, that’s one thing I like about this team.”

If you look purely at the numbers, it doesn’t look good for the Jags right now. The Bulldogs average 413 yards per game and 38 points per game while their defense allows an average of 351 yards per game and just over 14 points per game. On the other hand, the Jaguars offense only averages 300 yards per game and just under 16 points per game while their defense yields an average of 300 yards per game and 22.3 points per game.

But the numbers only indicate what they did in the past, not what will happen in the future. “You always prepare to win,” Jones said. “If you’re an oddsmaker you might not pick us to win, but there is somebody who gets beat every week who isn’t supposed to. That’s the way I look at it. We will go out and prepare. We were watching film of last week’s game and had we done some of the things we were supposed to do, the game would have been much closer. It all comes down to us, not how good our opponent is. If we do the right things and put ourselves in a position to win, we will have a chance, and if we don’t we won’t. We are going to get knocked around some. They have some big linemen. But we’ll keep fighting back and trying to make plays and do what we are supposed to do. That is what we have to focus on.”

Jaguar’s Defense Improves In Second Game Of Season

September 11, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Bill Clark works with the linebacker corps during pregame warmups prior to the Jags 9-3 win over Nicholls State.

The Jaguar defense played a very stingy game against Nicholls State on Saturday. They produced six sacks and 14 tackles for loss against the Colonels for a total loss of 60 yards. That was more like what head coach Joey Jones and defensive coordinator Bill Clark wanted to see out of the Jaguar defense.

The Jags had problems getting pressure on the quarterback and catching ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage. They only had 15 sacks and 59 tackles for loss all last season. That is only an average of 1.5 sacks per game and 5.9 tackles for loss per game.

They got a slow start against UTSA when they failed to record a sack and only managed five tackles for loss.

While the Jags didn’t have any film to review for the Colonels, they did have a plan that consisted of getting in the backfield, causing problems and making plays. And that’s what they did.

In addition to the stats mentioned above, they forced two interceptions and a fumble recovery while only allowing 118 yards of total offense. Coach Clark summed it up well after the game. “We got after the quarterback. We said that was our goal coming in. We schemed the whole week trying to get four guys coming at all times and the d-line really gave us a great push. It starts with pressure. That sure helps you out a lot.”

“We got some turnovers today, some takeaways, and we had a lot of three-and-outs,” Clark continued. “We had a tough penalty near the end and we can’t have any penalties, especially gifts like that. But sometimes when you’re playing hard and you’re running your tail off, you get some of those. We’ve just got to be smart, and for the most part I think we have. But our emotion, our energy, the way we tackled, being physical, that’s everything we preached this week. It kind of got back to being who we are. Sometimes, you have to step up. The offense is going to step up one week and we’ll step up another, but this week it was our turn and that’s what a team game is all about. It was our turn to do it and it will make us better for it.”

Jake Johnson got started early by sacking the Colonel quarterback on their third play from scrimmage. He would end the game with eight tackles , 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry. Also Pat Moore added five tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and a pass break-up in his first start for South Alabama. Two of his sacks came in the second half in the red zone. Anthony Taylor had two tackles for loss and a sack. Terrel Brigham and Bryson James came away with interceptions in the game.

Looking ahead to the next couple games which include away games to NC State and Mississippi State before returning to host their first-ever Sun Belt game against in-state foe Troy University then following a week off they travel to defending Sun Belt champs Arkansas State, Coach Clark had the following to say. “I think this stretch is huge. We’ve got to go in with some confidence. You’re playing people who have got some great skilled athletes and they’re well coached. That’s the elite of the elite, so we have to play. The one we’re going to this week, at the end of the year (last season) they were scoring 50 points a game. I don’t know what they’re doing right now, but we’ve got our work cut out for us. This week we’ll just focus on N.C. State and then we’ll go from there.”

Mississippi State Planning White Out Against Jags

September 7, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Away Game tickets to Mississippi State and North Carolina State Universities for 2012. Notice how much nicer the MSU tickets are than NCSU tickets. I guess things are bigger and better in the SEC.

I picked up my away game tickets ahead of trips to North Carolina State and Mississippi State and noticed something on the MSU tickets immediately. Well, not immediately, because comparing the NC State tickets to MSU tickets I was awed by how much nicer they are than the Wolfpack’s tickets. But once I got over that, I noticed that printed on the ticket was “White Out” as you can see in the photo.

Previous attempts at “Black out’s” and “White Out’s” have not gone well for teams. Look back at the famous “Black Out” by Georgia versus Alabama a few years ago. Hopefully the Jags can come into Davis Wade Stadium and add another nightmare to that “color Out” trend.

But the next question will be, do the Jags wear their Red uniforms, their Blue Uniforms or a mix and match? We’ll find out and let you know.

Top 5 Stories Of 2009

January 4, 2010 · Filed Under Basketball, Football, Men's · Comment 

[EDIT] I had left out my original #2 that I had planned back at the beginning of December when I was mentally planning this article.

Its time for a quick look back as we let go of 2009 and start 2010. Also, since the Mobile Press-Register did not see fit to include South Alabama in their Top 10 stories in the area, here are my top 5 stories from the past year.

Leave comments if you think another story should have been included. Or if it were a top 10 list, what other stories would you include.

Top 5 of 2009

1)  Kickoff of Jaguars football

South Alabama completed its first season in college football with an undefeated inaugural season. With games in coming season against Kent State, NC State, Mississippi State, Navy and Tennessee, it shows that the school is committed to this program.

A four game home-and-home series with Navy. Two-for-One series with NC State, Kent and Mississippi State where the Jags will visit the teams twice in return for a home game against each. Which mean some big time home games against NC State and Mississippi State in Mobile.

The Staff that Coach Joey Jones assembled and the players they have recruiting has this team much farther ahead than coaches, players and observers thought. With that, they had to retool the schedule for 2010 to include more competition as they march their way to Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A).

[EDIT] 2a) Announcement Of Joe Gottfried’s Retirement And Hiring Of Joel Erdmann As Athletic Director

On June 2, Joe Gottfried announced in the Mitchell Center that he was retiring effective August 1. Gottfried, who was the Athletic Director for South Alabama for 25 years said the time was right. He was instrumental in getting first class sports buildings on campus such as the $30 Million Mitchell Center, a $3.5 Million renovation to Stanky Field, a 4,000 clubhouse, intramural fields and the football field house among many others.

Then in July, South Alabama announced the hiring of Joel Erdmann as the new Athletic Director for the University of South Alabama. Erdmann held several positions at South Alabama previously and served as AD at the University of North Alabama and at his hiring he was AD at Southeastern Louisiana University.

2b)  USA defeats two SEC Schools in basketball

Back in late November the Jags had two loses to good opponents in Rice and Tulsa and traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the Jags former coach John Pelphrey and the SEC. Many people just wrote it off as a typical loss to a big program, but Coach Arrow and the Jags took a page from Lee Corso’s book and said “Not so fast!” They stunned the Razorbacks on their own court with an impressive victory by a large margin, 74-61.

Then after losses to Southern Miss and UAB, the Jags made a trip to yet another SEC school. But this time it was a Top 25 ranked team. The Jags were facing #18 Florida in Gainesville, Florida where the Gator had not lost a home game since December 2004.

Again the Jags were written off from the beginning but stunned the Gators and made a huge splash on ESPN, ESPN News and ESPN.com. Although it was won on a last second put back, it was a huge win. It is only the second time in school history USA has defeated two SEC teams in the same season and the first since 1983-84. Plus it was the first time to knock off a ranked opponent since 2005 when they defeated #25 Houston.

3)   Loss of Dameyune Craig to FSU

Many people thought it was just a matter of time for this coach who has quite a rising status in college football. But nontheless, it was the second assistant in less than a year that was hired away from Coach Jones’ staff to a major Division-I program. This time it was Florida State.

Jimbo Fisher was beginning to prepare taking over the reigns to the Seminole program from Bobby Bowden and one of his first hires was Dameyune Craig. A very good recruiter in the Mobile area that the Jags will definitely be recruiting against to keep local talent.

4)  All Jaguar Football Players Who Are Eligible Receive A Redshirt

Just before the final football game against Huntingdon College, Coach Jones announced that all of the eligible players on the team would get an extra year of eligibility.

Those players who had not already taken a redshirt year, will take the 2009 season as their redshirt year. Unfortunately some players had already used their redshirt year and will not be able to have an extra season with the Jaguars.

5)   Hiring of Gregory (also leaving of Koenning)

In December 2008, before the Jags even took the field for their first game, Coach Joey Jones loss his first assistant to an SEC school. Dan Mullen, who was just hired to replace Sylvester Croom, tapped him to be his offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs program.

Coach Joey Jones then began a search for a replacement that fit Koennings’ profile and the players that they were recruiting. In came Greg Gregory from South Florida, another new program in recent years. South Florida rose through the ranks and has the NCAA record to achieve its first Top 25 ranking faster than other Division I-A school in the modern era and eventually rising to #2 in the polls in 2007.

Mississippi State May Have Florida OC As New Head Coach

December 10, 2008 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

With Sylvester Croom’s resignation after the Egg Bowl (MS State vs Ole Miss), little has been said about their coaching search. Some of that may have been the resignation (read firing) of Coach Tubberville up in Auburn. But Mississippi State is set to have a news conference on Thursday morning to introduce its choice for their head coaching job.

Coach Croom was a defensive minded coach which was quite obvious by the Bulldog’s hard nosed defense but it sorely lacked on the offensive side of the ball. So the Bulldogs wanted to find a coach that was high-energy, a strong recruiter and has an offensive background. If Dan Mullen has agreed to become their new coach, they have found their man.

Coach Mullen’s scoring offense at Florida has moved up from 49th in Division I to 3rd in Division I. Before going to Florida as the Offensive Coordinator, he was with Coach Meyer at Utah as quarterbacks coach and worked with Alex Smith, who was a number 1 NFL draft pick. He has also worked with Chris Leak during the Gators 2006 National Championship season and has worked with Tim Tebow for his 2007 Heisman Trophy year and likely a finalist for the Heisman again this season.

It is unclear if he will stay with the Gators through the BCS Championship game against Oklahoma.

In other coaching news, students and alumni marched in support of Tuberville yesterday. About 70 turned out protest what they believe was his forced exit from Auburn after a 5-7 season and a season ending 36-0 loss to Alabama. Tuberville had won 85 games over his 10 seasons at Auburn.

Some of the people interviewed for the position are Derek Dooley, Turner Gill, Brady Hoke, Rodney Garner, Patrick Nix and Todd Graham. Other names that have been floated as possible replacements are Paul Johnson, Jimbo Fisher, Gary Patterson and Will Mushchamp.