Jags Improve In Second Scrimmage

August 20, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of preseason camp.

C.J. Bennett and Brandon Ross lead the Jaguar offense in Saturday morning’s scrimmage for the South Alabama. Ross scored three touchdowns on four carries while Bennett threw for 117 yards and two touchdowns while going 9-of-10 in the scrimmage at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Ross’ first rush of the scrimmage was a four yard gain before crossing the goal line from one yard out on his second carry in a red zone possession for the offense. On the second snap after the mid-scrimmage break, Ross took the ball down the sideline for a 55 yard touchdown. Later in the scrimmage he got one more carry for a two yard touchdown. He racked up 62 of the 141 yards of rushing offense on the day to lead all Jaguars.

Ross is returning from a near one-and-a-half year absence following a knee injury in the 2010 season. Ross was the Jaguars’ leading rusher in 2009 and 2010 at the time of his injury.

Bennett led the first team offense on a 97 yard, 11 play drive for its first possession of the scrimmage. He completed six passes for 80 yards of the drive. He opened with a seven yard pass to T.J. Glover, he later found Bryant Lavender for 13-yards on two occasions and also found Tyrome Bivins for 12 yards to get to midfield. Demetre Baker added a two yard run before Bennett hit Jake Howton for 23 yards. Bennett rounded out the drive with a 25 yard strike to Cameron Broadnax for a touchdown.

Bennett only led the offense one other time. That drive spanned 65 yards in seven plays and it was capped off by a 31 yard touchdown pass to Baker.

The first team defense only surrendered two field goals on the day. The final field goal allowed came on a red zone possession at the 15 yard line.

Ben Giles and Anthony Taylor both lead the team with seven tackles each. Taylor added two pass-breakups to his total as well. Jesse Kelley added six tackles. Giles and Kelley both were credited with 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Randon Carnathan and Enrique Williams recorded three tackles each while Davin Hawkins led the reserves with five tackles.

Offensively, Terrance Timmons rushed five times for 29 yards, Ellis Hill had four rushes for 18 yards and Baker added 17 yards on the ground. Broadnax, Glover and Lavender along with Nathan Sassaman all had two catches each as they combined with four different quarterbacks to tally 181 yards through the air.

Michel Chapuseaux made field goals from 37, 42 and 39 yards. Aleem Sunanon convered the final score of the scrimmage with a 32 yard field goal.

“Offensively and defensively, it was good,” Head coach Joey Jones said about the scrimmage. “Overall I’m sure we’re going to see some things on film that we need to correct. But we’re not quite where we need to be on special teams, and our sideline organization needs to get better. It wasn’t terrible, but there are some things that we have got to shore up. That’s why we do this. I think we will come out next week and do it again, and hopefully we will be perfect at it when we come out on Thursday.”

“We are evaluating our players and will see where we are on the depth chart, and make those decisions this weekend,” Jones continued. “Monday we’ll starting putting the game plan in for Texas-San Antonio, we’ll have a few extra days to getting ready for them.”

“I was monitoring a couple of spots, but we still had to do things against our offense,” said defensive coordinator Bill Clark. “We got our first guys a lot of good work, I thought we tackled well and got to the ball. Our goal was to go 100 percent on our assignments today, we’ll have to see the film, but I think we looked pretty sound. It’s basically what we wanted to see. We’ve still got work to do, but it was a good finish to camp.”

“I thought the defense came out and stopped the run pretty well and I thought they got after it,” coach Jones said about the defense.

Senior Safety B.J. Scott felt that Saturday’s scrimmage was better than the first one of the preseason. “We just had that in the back of our heads and we came out here and just got after it,” he said. “I think we all as a whole feel a little bit more comfortable and focused. It’s all mental at this point. We’re pretty much done beating up on each other.”

“Fundamentally we have improved a lot since camp started,” offensive coordinator Robert Matthews said. “We were able to execute a lot of base plays early today, in the second part of the scrimmage we tried to do some different things that we have been working on. Our guys know what to do, now it is just doing it at the speed and the tempo we expect. I think we are getting closer but are not there yet.”

The Jags returned to the practice field on Sunday so the student-athletes can take Monday off for the first day of fall semester classes.


South Alabama Completes First Two-A-Day Practice

August 10, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of preseason camp.

Thursday morning, the Jags completed an hour-and-a-half practice session. It was the first half of the Jags first two-a-day scheduled for preseason camp.

They opened practice with special teams work before they broke off and went into individual group position drills. Later in the practice the offense and defense worked against each other. Kendall Houston notched a touchdown running the ball and C.J. Bennett found Jereme Jones for a touchdown pass as well.

The morning session had lots of emphasis on routes. Receivers were tasked with getting seperation from defenders in certain instances, improvising routes on the fly. Nathan Sassaman bumped a defender on a fly route and caught a pass for a touchdown.

During the full team drills, the defense caused problems. C.J. Bennett had problems finding players and had at least three interceptions. A string of three pass defenses in a row was followed by an interception by a defensive lineman. Enrique Williams had an impressive stop on Demetre Baker up the middle. Eddy Cabrera notched a couple of pass breakups.

Ross Metheny had similar problems as Bennett did, but did showcase some impressive scrambling ability. Corey Besteda continued to impress observers with a behind the back, one-handed catch.

The staff closed the practice with more special teams work followed by conditioning drills.

“I thought we came out with a great attitude this morning,” said head coach Joey Jones. “We looked real sharp. I was pleased with it overall. They worked and had a good session with the offense going against the defense. I thought we achieved what we needed to achieve today. We have to come back out this afternoon and be ready to go. There’s nothing easy about it, we just have to suck it up and go.”

He continued by saying, “We have to fight through the tough things. Toughness is one of the three things we talk about. We have to practice toughness to be tough, so that’s why we do it.”

The Jags returned to the Jaguar Practice Facility for a 4:30pm practice session. The second half of the Jaguars two-a-day practice saw some emphasis on running backs working on holding blocks on passing plays.

After a session of 11-on-11 work, the team moved to red zone passing plays. Bryant Lavender and Greg Hollinger made some great catches against the Jaguar defenders.

The team also practice a two-minute drill for the first time this preseason. The first string, led by Bennett, failed to convert on 4th down at the 34 yard line. The second string, led by Metheny, drove down to the 26 yard line with ten seconds left before having to settle for a field goal.

Kicker Michel Chapuseaux kicked for the first time this preseason. Both he and Aleem Sunanon were kicking well from 40+ yards out. Chapuseax nailed a 47 yard field goal in a hurry-up situation with 3 seconds remaining.

The Jags will return to the practice field for a lighter practice session as they prepare for their first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday. The Saturday scrimmage will be closed to the public.