Latest News About South Alabama Sports

May 18, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Lady Jaguar Softball Team, Sun Belt Champions

The South Alabama Lady Jaguar Softball team is in Tuscaloosa and will play Georgia Tech today at 3:30 pm in their first ever appearance in NCAA Regional play after defeating rival Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Conference Championship. This will be the first time both schools have faced each other on the diamond. Georgia Tech season record stands at 36-21 overall. Most recently, the Yellow Jackets beat Virginia, No. 19 Florida State and Virginia Tech to become the 2012 ACC Tournament champions to get the #2 seed in the Tuscaloosa Regional. Visit the USAJaguars.com page for links to information about the Tuscaloosa regional and for links to live radio coverage this afternoon.

 

Coach Joey Jones and the South Alabama Football team announced recently that they have promoted Brendt Bedsole from Director of Football Operations to be an on-field coach. Last month coach Kurt Crain died unexpectedly. Coach Brian Turner will return to coaching the entire defensive line, defensive coordinator Bill Clark will coach the inside linebackers and Coach Bedsole will coach the outside linebackers according to an interview on WNSP’s Morning Sports Show. Coach Bedsole has coached at three Universities before; Samford, Murray State and Auburn as well as Hoover High School before joining the Jaguar staff.

 

 

Gibbon looks out of the tunnel

Myles Gibbon takes in Carter-Finley Stadium before the team takes the field for warm-ups.

Myles Gibbon, the Jaguars first starting quarterback, graduated on Saturday and will be transferring to a school closer to his native home in Canada. He has two years of eligibility remaining and can play immediately since he has graduated with his undergrad degree. Gibbon was responsible for the throw to Courtney Smith for the first ever touchdown in Jaguar history against Hargrave Military Academy.

Gibbon started six of the programs seven games in it’s first season, missing the last game with an injury. That season he led the team in total offense with 632 yards, was 29-of-51 passing for 538 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 94 yards and two more touchdowns. He then started the first two games of the 2010 season and played in seven of the Jags 10 games that year, passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown. Last season, however, he played sparingly yet rushing for 105 yards and passing for just 82 yards and one touchdown. His career totals as a Jaguar stand at 865 yards passing with nine touchdowns and ran for 267 yards and three touchdowns, a total offense of 1,132 yards. He was responsible for 12 scores total.

Congratulations on your graduation Myles, you have been an excellent ambassador for the South Alabama program and remain a role model for student-athletes entering the program.

Blue Squad Comes Out On Top In Red & Blue Spring Game

March 25, 2012 · Filed Under Football · 3 Comments 
Coach Perry with running backs

Coach Tommy Perry coaching the running backs during halftime of the Red & Blue Spring Football Game on March 24, 2012.

South Alabama unveiled their new offense to much fanfare on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. With sunny skies and a slight breeze, the Jags took the field to wrap up their fourth spring practice and their first preparing for a full FBS schedule.

Both squads began the game by trading interceptions. But the Blue squad would earn the first points of the game after a six play, 61-yard drive was capped off by a three-yard touchdown by Demetre Baker. Baker got the drive in gear with a nine-yard run then Bennett would complete three consecutive passes to Jereme Jones, Tyrome Bivins and Baker to move the ball down to the 10 yard line. Baker would then run for seven yards followed by the three-yard touchdown run.

The Red squad would answer with a 31 yard Michel Chapuseaux field goal late in the first quarter. The drive spanned 11-plays with Trey Fetner going 4-for-4 for 44 yards and walk-on freshman Terrance Timmons added 42 all-purpose yards with an 18-yard gain to begin the drive and a 22-yard catch to keep the drive alive on third-and-13.

The Red squad would see it’s only lead of the game after Julien Valentin scored with about three minutes left in the first half. After seemingly being stopped after a short gain, Valentin popped out and the defense thought he was down, however none of the referees blew the whistle and ended up scoring on a 45 yard run. “It was a freaky play,” Valentin explained after the game. “I don’t know where it came from but I had to just keep fighting and keep going. The next thing you know I’m in the open field and the ref is running with me, so I just ran as hard as I could to the end zone.”

Chapuseaux would tie the game for the Blue Squad after connecting on a 28 yard attempt with 41 seconds left in the half. Bennett would go 5-of-6 on the drive to move the team 64 yards in eight plays. He would connect with J.J. Keels twice with the second completion going for 35 yards before the drive stalled out at the 11 yard line.

After a short break and an opportunity for coaches to talk with players on the sidelines, the game continued.

The only score of the second half was by the Blue Squad’s Tyrannace Brazil to cap off a 12-play 80 yard drive spanning 4:58 on the clock. The Blue squad would take over the ball with 45 seconds left in the third quarter with Brandon Bridge at quarterback. Bridge would connect with Jereme Jones on the first play for a 16 yard gain. Later a 20-yard pass to Brazil would move the ball across mid-field for another first down. Bridge would find Wes Saxton for a 10-yard completion on fourth-and-1 at the 35 yard line. Bryant Lavender would make a nine-yard catch at the 14-yard line, but would be injured on the play as the back of his head would be struck by a players knee as he went down. The referees would flag it as a late hit personal foul to move the ball to the 7-yard line. Two plays later, Brazil would score to give the Blue squad a 17-10 lead.

The Red squad had the tying score in it’s sights on the next possession. Myles Gibbon would find Anthony Ingram open for a 67-yard gain after a blown coverage by McGaskin, but Ingram’s failure to secure the ball all the way into the endzone would let McGaskin make up for it by punching it out at the one yard line and having it go out of the back of the end zone for a touchback and possession going to the Blue squad.

The Blue squad would go three-and-out on their possession. After moving the ball for a simulated punt, Trey Fetner would be sacked by Byron Sneed for a loss of six yards. Then Charles Watson would stop Austin Powell short of the first down on a fourth-and-12 at the Red Squad’s 43 yard line to seal the game.

Keels, Bivins and Lavender all ended the game with three catches each to lead the team. Keels would rack up the most yards of the three with 52. Jones and Baker would each add two catches for the game as well. Bennett would go 11-of-14 for 128 yards and Brandon Bridge went 4-of-7 for 55 yards. The Blue squad would gain 192 of it’s 217 total yards through the air.

Valentin rushed 10 times for 88 yards and added two catches for 10 more yards. Anthony Ingram had four catches for 98 yards. Valentin and Ingram shared the game-high honors for all-purpose yards. Terrance Timmons added 50 yards and 24 yards more on two catches.

Fetner went 7-of-14 for 69 yards and Myles Gibbon went 3-of-5 for a team best 84 yards. The Red Squad gained 163 yards passing and 131 on the ground for 294 yards of total offense.

Qudarius Ford, Darrius Morrow and Andrew Philon all shared team-high honors for the Red squad with five tackles each. Justin Walker added four tackles and Cordivido Grive, Desmond LaVelle and Pat Moore all adding three tackles each. Moore would have a game-high of 1.5 tackles for loss.

Jake Johnson lead the team with six tackles and added an interception on the Red Squad’s first snap of the game. Dylan Hutto added five tackles with Davin Hawkins and Dionte McDuffy both added four tackles each. Logan Bennett, Jonathan Cameron, Robert Terrell, Charles Watson and McGaskin all added three tackles each. Logan Bennett would spend lots of time on the sidelines before leaving before the end of the game due to a possible concussion.

“We talked and bickered back and forth all week,” said C.J. Bennett. “It’s kind of fun going against each other and putting the pads on for real. In practice, they [the coaches] always want to stop you. It was a friendly game, I thought everyone played well, and the Blue team came out on top. I think the offense is coming along great, as you saw here we are capable of some long drives and getting that ball moving. If we take care of the ball, I think we have big things ahead of us.”

“I thought we did well, we’ve come a long way since the first practice of the spring,” said Jake Johnson after the game. “But we still have leaps and bounds to get better. I was impressed with a lot of the guys, we were mixed and matched but we all showed great ability out there.”

Coach Jones spoke after the game. “We kept both teams handcuffed, the defense could run a couple of fronts, the offense could only run so many plays,” Jones said. “We achieved what we wanted to, I don’t think anyone was hurt badly. Our evaluations through the first 14 practices were really what it was all about, we know where we are.”

When asked about the possible tying touchdown for the Red Squad late in the game, coach Jones answered, “It looked like he got stripped. That’s a lesson on both sides of the ball. On offense, securing the ball all the way across the goal line is paramount, and defensively to never give up. That was a great play to never give up.”

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark was pleased with the defense in the game. “We didn’t blitz and we were in man coverage all day. We didn’t want to show anything.” With just over five months until the first game, they didn’t want to give anything away to upcoming opponents.

With spring practice over, we now have to wait for fall camp to begin and football season to arrive. South Alabama will open the 2012 season, their first playing a full FBS schedule and playing a full Sun Belt schedule, when they host Texas-San Antonio on Thursday night on August 30th.

MVSU Gameday is here

November 3, 2011 · Filed Under Football · 3 Comments 

The Jaguar offense led by Myles Gibbon, goes four wide on 3rd down late against Henderson State.

South Alabama will host Mississippi Valley State University today with kickoff scheduled at 6:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in a White-Out game (Wearing all white uniforms). The Delta Devils are 1-8 on the season after finally coming out on top last weekend against Texas Southern by a score of 12-9.

The Delta Devils previous eight games were against Alabama State (41-9), Murray State (39-0), Alcorn State (39-14), Prairie View A&M (43-34), Southern University (28-21), Alabama A&M (37-14), Jackson State (17-16) and Grambling State (30-24 OT). All were losses for MVSU.

The Jags will be without Jereme Jones after his shoulder injury in last weeks win over Henderson State and B.J. Scott (knee). I wouldn’t expect to see Kendall Houston or Demetre Baker too much if the Jags jump out to a good lead. Both are nursing some knee injuries which are slowing them down. Coach Jones and Coach Perry will want them to get plenty of rest between now and the Cal Poly game on November 19th.

Earlier this week, Clay Machen announced his verbal commitment to the Jags. Machen is a three star (scout.com) recruit out of Auburn High School. He is a 6’4″, 295 pound center but according to his high school coach Tim Carter, he can play any position on the offensive line but he also said he thought center would be his best position long term. Carter also said that he played basketball which indicates he has good feet.

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.

“Still Undefeated” is a state of mind

September 19, 2011 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · Comment 
Gibbon looks out of the tunnel

Myles Gibbon takes in Carter-Finley Stadium before the team takes the field for warm-ups.

With South Alabama’s first loss in the record books, is it time to bury the “Still Undefeated” tee-shirts?

I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why. “Still Undefeated” goes beyond the win-loss record. It began as a bit of a joke before the first Letter-Of-Intent was signed and before the first scholarship was given. It was finally printed on some shirts by the school and given away at some special events and eventually sold by the bookstore.

Then the Jags opened with their huge win over Hargrave and they didn’t stop throughout the first season. The bookstore then printed some nicer shirts and sold them throughout the off season between the first and second season.

More and more fans wore them to games during the second season. Again, the Jags continued winning, week in and week out, at home at Ladd-Peebles stadium or on the road in Dothan, Texas and California.

Again the bookstore printed more “Still Undefeated” tee-shirts with the games and scores from the first two season and a big 17-0 as well.

But now, after the first loss, what happens to South Alabama’s catch phrase for the first two seasons?

I would say that “Still Undefeated” has gone beyond a statement about wins and loses and has become a mentality. Against the odds, the Jags traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina in some less than stellar conditions and gave the Wolfpack much more than they bargained for. NC State came into the game looked for a cupcake so the coaching staff could play their reserves. However Glennon was still in the game with about four minutes left in the game.

The Jags weren’t defeated as much as they killed their own chances to win. Interceptions, penalties and a couple big plays on blown coverages or mismatches cost the game. Several chances to stop the Wolfpack on third and long or fourth down plays also hurt.

Even though the final score was 35-13, South Alabama never let up and never gave up. They were never defeated. They played as though, given enough time, they would find a way to win the game.

That attitude comes from the coaches, it comes from the players and it comes from the fans. The coaches recruited good players with the right attitude that have worked hard to bring this program from being non-existent to being a legitimate FBS caliber time in only it’s third season. The fans have supported the team in every step of the process.

Until I see a team that thoroughly defeats the Jags, I will continue to wear my shirt. NC State did not do that; though they played well. I hope those players wearing the South Alabama red, white and blue take this to heart. You lost a game, but you weren’t defeated. If you play at your best you will never be defeated. You may be behind the other team when the final horn sounds but given enough time you would win the game because that is who you are. You are Jaguars. You bleed it red every game. Every opponent has walked away with some South in their mouth.

Now get in there and look over that game film, make adjustments and go up to Kent State and show another team who South Alabama is and what kind of game they bring to the field.

Go Jags!

South Alabama defeats Lamar 30-8

September 12, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Corey Waldon Touchdown

Corey Waldon makes a leaping touchdown grab.

The Jaguars greatly improved from week one to week two when they hosted Lamar University at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday. This was the first time the Jaguars faced an opponent for the second time in the programs history. But the outcome was similar as they won 30-8 and improved their all-time record to 19-0.

In the Jaguars first game, they had to overcome four turnovers to defeat West Alabama 20-10. After an extra two days between games, the Jaguars returned to the field and played brilliantly against the Cardinals.

The Jags outgained the Cards 349-238 in total yards while rushing for over 200 yards for the second straight game this season. Demetre Baker was the leading rusher with 13 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, half of his yards came on the opening drive. Kendall Houston added 13 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. Myles Gibbon added 45 yards in the second half.

Bennett went 9-for-14 for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Bryant Lavender caught three passes for 41 yards. Corey Waldon caught 2 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Helms caught 2 for 36 yards, Lamontis Gardner had one for 10 and Jereme Jones caught one for 10 yards and a touchdown.

Coach Jones summarized the improvement this week by saying, “I thought it was a much better game this week. We played much more soundly and stayed away from the turnover game,” said Coach Jones. “Offensively, we were much more efficient with the football and defensively we played well again. I felt like it was a good game. Lamar is really talented, they are going to win a lot of ballgames. We just played hard tonight and some good things happened by the way we approached the game. Our week of practice was much better, and our backs were against the wall a little. We knew this team could come in here and beat us, and we came out and played really well.”

The Jags will turn their focus towards North Carolina State and their first ever game against a FBS school. Kickoff is scheduled for 5pm Central (6pm Eastern) in Raleigh, North Carolina. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN3.com.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23

August 24, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 1 Comment 
Baker and Jones

Coach Jones looks on as Demetre Baker looks to the sideline before blocking for a field goal attempt.

The Joey Jones Radio Show started season three with host Lee Shirvanian and guest Joel Erdmann today.

They started the show off by talking about the depth chart now that they are finished with preseason camp and are into game prep mode. The first thing that Lee asked coach Jones about were there any surprises that emerged that he wasn’t thinking about. Coach Jones said that they don’t have many changes.

He mentioned on the offensive line that Levi Slaydon did not return so they had to fill that position. Jermaine Smith and Brian Krauskopf have stepped up and are neck-and-neck for that starting job. Other than that change, the offensive line is the same as last season. At tight end it is pretty much the same with Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett there. A little bit of a change will be the backfield with the addition of Georgia transfer Demetre Baker with Kendall Houston. He indicated that they would be co-starters in the backfield.

When coach Jones moved onto receivers, he mentioned that they have more names out there than they did last year. Last year Courtney Smith was the big name and the other receivers were ‘the others’.

Lee then started talking about the defense and mentioned that there were many familiar names on that side of the ball. He first mentioned Cori Barnett at the Sam position with Ken Barefield as his backup. Barefield played defensive back last season for the Jags.

When asked about how Cori emerged as being a starter, Coach Jones said that he had a great spring and awarded him with a scholarship for how well he did in the off-season. He mentioned that he is a bit undersized but still plays very well, he’s smart and knows all the answers to questions over on defense. Ken will still play alot.

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Tuesday and Wedensday practice coverage

August 10, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Jersey and Pads

South Alabama had their first two-a-day practice on Tuesday. In their morning practice, they had a very physical and vigorous workout that might have been a preview for the Fan Day scrimmage coming up on Saturday, August 13.

Practice began with special teams work with roughly the first 10 minutes were devoted to work with the punt team. After that, the offense worked on individual and group work which featured screen drills along with routes for tight ends, receivers and running backs.

The next session had the offense and defense working on the running game, both inside and outside, along with play-action passing. The offense then went to skeleton passing drills against the their defensive counterparts. While the skeleton drills were going on, the offensive line worked on pass protection against the defensive line.

The team then took a 10 minute break from the heat before resuming practice. After a stretching session, the offense took the field against the scout team working primarily on reverses.

The offense and defense then took the field against each other. The first 12 plays from scrimmage were snapped from the offense’s 20-yard line. Demetre Baker took the first ball for no gain. Then Myles Gibbon recovered a fumbled from a low snap which resulted in a loss of yards for the offense. Kendall Houston then rushed for 15 yards on the third play which was followed by a six-yard run by Devin Robinson. Baker kept the momentum with a 10-yard rush on fifth play.
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Preseason Camp 2011 is here

August 3, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 


Monday morning the new Jaguar players reported to camp then on Tuesday morning returning veterans reported to camp. Wednesday morning the players hit the practice field to begin their preparations for the 2011 season.

On their first day the Jaguars faced a heat advisory with the heat index reaching triple digits in the morning time. But that did not discourage the team from taking part in opening drills. But it did force them to take a 10-minute break midway through the morning drills.

Coach Jones made sure that the team knew after practice that the heat related issues cannot slow them down in their preparation for the fast approaching season. “It was very hot, but I told the team that we have to find a way to work through it. We have to come out with the attitude that we are going to get work done. And we have to be smart as coaches and back off of it at times and be smart about how we structure our practice. But it was a good day, and we had good effort,” Coach Jones said.

Practice opened with the players in shorts, shirts and helmets. They kicked practice off with special teams with punt team work and with the offensive and defensive lines going through drills in the end zones. For almost an hour, they worked in individual drills and group work. Quarterbacks first threw with tight ends then will wide receivers and finished up with running backs. It also saw the running backs working behind the offensive line.

The next session lasted about 20 minutes and consisted of 7-on-7 skeleton drills. Then the players assembled for a 30 minute team period. The offensive line worked on picking up the blitz. Then a second special teams period that saw both kick and punt coverage drills.

Coach Jones was pleased with the opening day of practice and that the coaches will gain much more knowledge about what the players are capable of when they don their pads soon, which is Monday after the program’s first off day of camp on Sunday. “We’ll find out more about their explosion once we get the pads on,” he said. “But as far as quickness their feet look better and we just look better physically. I told them a couple of weeks ago that all the weight room stuff and offseason conditioning has to transfer to the field. Just because you look better doesn’t mean you are a better football player. If you’re stronger you have to play stronger; if you’re faster you have to play faster.”

He also noticed that the offseason conditioning has shown results. “We look better out there,” Coach Jones remarked. “We look bigger and faster. Coach Schwind did a heck of a job with the offseason program. There is no doubt that we are bigger. I think some of the linemen are starting to look better, as well as the linebackers. That is good, but so is the mental side. You can just see they are comfortable by what they’re doing; the freshmen and new guys’ eyes were like saucers, but the older guys know what is going on. That maturity and experience is something that we have on this team now, and these older guys can start coaching these younger guys.”

C.J. Bennett goes into the preseason camp as the number one quarterback for the Jaguars after taking the reigns in the final three games of the season and guiding the season home with another undefeated record. But both Bennett and Myles Gibbon both felt that their workouts over the summer have hepled them with today’s conditions.

“Everyone was excited to get out here,” said Bennett. “We had one of our best summers as a team. I thought the tempo was pretty good for the first day of practice, especially with this heat. We looked pretty good. You always have the first-day kinks, but we’ll just keep working.”

Gibbon commented, “We came out, and it felt like we had been out here for a few days already. We were smooth, people knew where to go and the guys who have been here showed the freshmen coming in exactly what to do right away so we didn’t have to waste time telling them. I can tell right away how much smoother it is with guys I threw with in the summer. Guys like Bryant [Lavender], Greg [Hollinger] and freshman like Anthony [Ingram] — we’re comfortable with them already, so it feels good being out here knowing we did that work before.”

The Jags will continue their early morning practice routine by hitting the practice field at 6:15am on Thursday morning. The heat advisory was extended into tomorrow with the forecasted temperature when practice begins being near 80 degrees and nearing 90 by 9am.

Jags wrap up second week of spring practice

March 5, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head coach Joey Jones observing his team as they warm up in Dothan for the Wiregrass Classic last season.

South Alabama completed it’s second week of spring practice and will now have four days off while students are on spring break.

On Monday, the first day of the second week of practice, started at 7:00AM and went for about two hours. The practice was split into two overall periods which focused on individual and team practice. Coach Jones said he is more interested in the individual portion in the spring, rather than the team portion. “I like to see how much better each guy is getting, and to evaluate talent. I think we have some individuals who are, and we’re challenging the ones who aren’t so that by the end of the spring every player will get better, that’s the whole goal.”

The Jags focused on first downs and third down plays in the red-zone on the first day of the week. Jereme Jones made a nice diving catch in the back corner of the end zone to score a touchdown. Also, Kendall Houston caught a screen pass for a score from CJ Bennett. Coach Jones remarked that he thought the final segment was pretty even, but that he would have to watch the game film to determine for certain.

On Tuesday, the Jags hit the field at 7:45AM for another two-hour workout. Coach Gregory, the offensive coordinator, echoed Coach Jones’ words about spring practice being about individual from Monday when he stated, “We’re not anywhere close to where we want to be as an offensive football team, but that’s really not our goal in the spring.  Our goal has been to focus on individuals.”

Coach Gregory then continued along this line of talk when he used a couple Jaguar players as an example, such as returning receiver Corey Besteda and the new player Greg Hollinger. “For instance, are Corey Besteda and Greg Hollinger going to become big-time receivers, or are they just going to look like big-time receivers? Is Tremain Smith going to become a big-time offensive tackle or look like one? I’m using those guys as examples, but how good is each individual player going to be? That’s what it is really all about.”

Another interesting insight from Coach Gregory on Tuesday was when he spoke about scheming in the spring. “As far as scheming, we try to do enough to have a chance to move the ball but we don’t game plan. We’ll come back and do that in the fall. I never want to look at a situation in the spring thinking we have to win this drill, because I don’t want to do something now that we will not do next season.”

Another group of positions that is receiving lots of focus this spring is the offensive line. The offensive staff is working hard on individual fundamentals. Coach Gregory mentioned that he is looking at their ability to block, their footwork and their hand placement.

Offensive line coach John Turner said that they are working to improve everything they do. “We start with our split and stance, then we look at our first step, hat placement and our hands. We go back and try to break down every play to see if we are accomplishing those things. And we try to harp on effort. One thing that we know is that we are going to play hard — I don’t care if they are 190 pounds, we are going to play hard by God. So we go back and grade that every day to make sure that we are challenging ourselves to give a great effort.”

What helps the Jaguars on the line is that they will be returning all five players who started the 2010 season finale against Arkansas-Monticello. Center Trey Clark, guards Jon Griffin and Melvin Meggs and tackles Brian Krauskopf and Levi Slaydon. Additionally, Chris Brunson who started four games for the Jaguars last season before a season ending injury will also return. However, four of the five will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the 2011 season. Meggs is the only underclassman.

However that has allowed several of the Jaguars underclassmen from the second recruiting class to work in and become integral contributors to the unit. Coach Turner named Ucambre Williams, Drew Dearman, Shane Doty and Chris May as some of the integral members of the group.

Coach Turner’s commented on these younger players by saying, “I tell you what, we’re finding some players. We are looking at some younger guys who are getting better. Obviously, they still have a long way to go, we’re not there yet. But I am proud of them, they have improved every day. You can see them compete, you can see them fight. They are not backing down. They are working very hard to try and get their assignments and learn where they are supposed to be.”

Injuries have affected the offense this spring. Brunson and Shaun Artz have been unable to participate in drills. While Brandon Ross is continuing to recover from knee surgery. TJ Glover is being moved from running back to wide receiver.

Coach Gregory mentioned the injuries when he spoke. “T.J.’s absence has hurt us the most. We know Brandon can play, but we’re moving T.J. and there were some things we wanted to do with him at receiver that we wanted to look at in the spring but have junked. I think the big loss is Chris and Shaun. They are two big bodies, and we need to get bigger up front. Shaun is 290 and Chris is almost 300 pounds, we need them in there as starters or top back-ups who are going to play a lot.”

Thursday, the Jags hit the practice field behind the fieldhouse for the eighth time, marking the halfway point of spring practice. In addition to their individual drills, the team period focused on third and goal situations in the red zone. Then both first and second team offensive units had one chance to score during a two-minute drill.

CJ Bennett guiding the first team from their own 40 yard line into the red zone with three consecutive completions to Bryant Lavender, Kevin Helms and Jereme Jones. But the group had to settle for a 28 yard Jordan Means field goal.

The second team offense lead by Myles Gibbon crossed midfield on their second play when Gibbon found Taylor Noon for a gain of 24 yards. Three consecutive incomplete passes forced a 4th and 10. Gibbon found Greg Hollinger in the back corner of the end zone for a 36 yard touchdown on the last play of the team session.

Just like the offense, the defense has been working on the basics at each position. They begin each practice with tackling. As Coach Bill Clark, the defensive coordinator, says they are trying to be expert tacklers because that is what defense is all about. It’s about proper technique and angles.

Another facet that the Jaguars are working on is take-aways. In the course of winning all 17 of the schools games thus far, they have totaled 48 turnovers. They had 23 in the first season and 25 in the second season. Coach Clark wants to increase that number again in order to help give the team an even better chance to win.

Coach Clark comments, “We always say that a turnover is a gift that the offense gives us. We’re not looking for gifts, but we’ll take them. “We know that we have to physically take the ball away, and there’s a science to that — punching it out, stripping it, scooping and scoring.  There are a ton of techniques to it, and we want to create that mentality that we will get the ball back to our offense.”

Another technical aspect that is being worked on this spring is how the defenders pursue the opposition. Coach Clark explains by saying, “Our goal, when you look at our defense, is to have people say they’ve never seen anyone run that fast to the ball. But there’s a way to do that. There’s leverage, which shoulder to keep the ball on. That’s how you keep from having big plays against you. So that’s where we start, putting those three things — pursuit, tackling and takeaways — together. Then you go to individual fundamentals. And so far we’ve been pleased, it’s been a real good spring up to this point.”

Coach Clark looked to shore up the secondary in the offseason. With transfers from four-year schools and junior colleges added to the roster, everything was looking pretty good. However only two players, Spanish Fort’s Ameriol Finley and Damond Smith have been able to participate in drills these first two weeks.

Coach Clark talked about the secondary. “The future is bright, but we’re a little frustrated. There are different reasons why guys aren’t here, and though we see them coming they’re not here yet. A lot of the guys who are out there now people have seen before, and they have improved. They have another year of experience and are another year older, so we’re excited about them. A lot of these guys have been with us and are going into their third season. That in and of itself is exciting. When we add these guys on the way, we feel like it’s going to be a good situation.”

While the Jags continue to run a 3-4 defense, Coach Clark and Coach Jones have created a hybrid position which combines the responsibilities of defensive end and outside linebacker. So far, the individuals who have made the move into this hybrid position have been Anthony Taylor, Logan Bennett, Clifton Crews and Alex Page.

Coach Clark elaborates on this new position. “For us, the position has fit real well. We think it fits our personnel probably a little bit better. “You can see from watching us that it is a little bit different, and I think it’s going to help us for what we’re seeing being done offensively.

He continues, “Defensively, it’s all about stopping what offenses are doing. You look at your schedule and identify who our opponents are, because we have to look ahead to those teams and what they do. We always say that we are reactors on defense, we counter the trends in offensive football. You can see from the national championship game the spread formations used and the speed of the game, and that’s what we have to get ready for.”

Then to wrap up the week, the Jaguars moved their Saturday scrimmage to Friday morning at 7:30AM due to weather concerns. The team took part in a full scrimmage when it ran through about 100 snaps.

The Jaguar defense held the offense to less than 300 total yards while giving up two touchdowns and three field goals. The scrimmage lasted almost two hours.

The offense started quick with Myles Gibbon moving the team 70 yards in 14 plays which was capped off by Ellis Hill scoring the touchdown on a 2-yard run. The third and four play back on the offense’s 37 yard line was one of the highlights on the drive. Gibbon connected with Greg Hollinger for 34 yards to move the chains. On another third down play later in the drive. When the offense needed 14 yards, Gibbon found Richard Ross for 15 for another first down.

Gibbon would finish the scrimmage 5-of-6 for 57 yards to lead the stable of quarterbacks.

CJ Bennett lead the offense on it’s ensuing drive. Bennett found Lamontis Gardner for 12 yards then Jereme Jones for nine more yards to move the offense across midfield. Kendall Houston reeled off a 16 yard run on third and one to move the chains and get into field goal range. However, an attempt at a 50 yard field goal would fly wide right. Bennett would complete five passes for 50 yards in the scrimmage.

The defense would strengthen and limited the offense to only two field goals on the next nine possessions. Both field goals came on drives led by Ray Cotton. But the defense also forced two turnovers during that stretch.

Bryson James both forced and recovered a fumble on the defense’s 27 yard line. Jonathan Cameron intercepted a pass at the goal line on the first play of a drive that started on the 30 yard line.

Another drive that started at the defense’s 30 yard line resulted in a touchdown. Demetre Baker ran on the first four plays of the possession for a total of 20 yards. Then Bennett found Ross for an eight yard completion. Then Baker ran again for a one yard gain. Then Kendall Houston capped it off with a one yard run.

James and Justin Harris both recorded four stops tieing for team best. Jake Johnson led a group of four players who made three tackles.

Richard Ross and Greg Hollinger were the lone players to record multiple receptions with Hollinger leading all with four catches for 55 yards. Julien Valentin led the ground game with eight carries for 41 yards. Baker and Santuan McGee each added 24 yards.

Coach Jones spoke after the scrimmage saying, “I think we have some guys who have gotten fundamentally better, especially the freshmen who joined us at the beginning of last season. They have really jumped. Each coach was taking their guys trying to get everyone involved in the scrimmage. I told them not to even worry about trying to group guys together. We ran about 100 plays including the kicking game, which was what we wanted to do. And I don’t think anybody got hurt, which is always a positive.”

Coach Jones continues with comments about both sides of the ball starting with defense. “Defensively we had a good day, they got after it; they played with a lot of effort and intensity.”

Then he commented about the offense by saying, “All three quarterbacks came out and played well today. They were calm in the huddle and did a good job running the team. We also got a little better blocking on the offensive line today. I know I keep saying this, but it’s not about who won the scrimmage. I don’t even care. It’s about who is getting better fundamentally. That’s what we keep looking at and the way we set practices up.”

In addition to the offensive versus defensive plays, the Jaguars also worked on special teams play throughout the scrimmage. One period was devoted to kickoff returns while another was devoted to kickoff coverage. All three kickers on the roster attempted a minimum of three field goals during and after the scrimmage.

The Jags will have four days off with the next practice scheduled for Wednesday at 7:45AM.

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