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.

Both The Jags And Wolfpack Coming Off Defensive Games

September 12, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Gibbon looks out of the tunnel

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

The Jags and the Wolfpack both come off of defensive games where special teams play were key to their victories.

South Alabama’s Michel Chapuseaux accounted for a career high three field goals to score all of the Jaguars points. He is 4-of-5 on the season thus far and leads the team with 16 points. Punter Scott Garber averaged 43.6 yards per punt with two kicks downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. He also boomed a 69 yard punt in the contest to help flip field position into the Jags favor.

NC State’s Wil Baumann punted nine times against UConn with three downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. He averaged almost 39 yards per kick. Placekicker Niklas Slade gave the Wolfpack their final margin of victory by connecting on a 40 yard field goal that were the only points scored before halftime.

“I think they [N.C. State] are better defensively this year,” Jones said. “Their defensive front seems more active. They lost a couple of NFL guys at linebacker, but they replaced them with a couple of good ones. They are very well-coached and do a good job with their schemes.”

Mike Glennon, who went 17-of-20 for 274 yards and four touchdowns against the Jags last season, is 42-of-76 (55.3%) this season for 492 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target so far is Tobias Palmer who has nine receptions so far this season. QUintin Payton has a team-best 177 yards receiving. While on the ground, Mustafa Greene leads a trio of running backs with 101 yards but Tony Creecy and James Washington have split the two rushing touchdowns by the Wolfpack.

“Offensively, it starts with their quarterback,” Jones said. “He’s very efficient, and they do a good job moving the ball down the field and are patient with their play calls. Our defense is looking forward to the challenge of playing them. They do a good job with run-pass balance. They can throw the ball underneath and downfield, and they can run the football. They put some pressure on you defensively to make sure you cover all parts of the field.”

Coach Jones believes their trip to Raleigh last season will be very beneficial to the Jags in preparing for Saturday’s game and handling game day emotions.

“I think it will help, the fact that we did play there last year,” he said. “But I always say that it doesn’t matter where you play, you play between the lines. Our kids will be ready to play no matter what, and that’s one thing we pride ourselves on. One thing we can control is ourselves, how hard and how well we play. I thought we walked out last year as confident as a team could be. It wasn’t a deal where we were star struck by the lights or the fact that it was our first FBS opponent. Our kids came to play. that’s what I like about our team, and I expect them to play well this year.”

Go Jags!

Jags Workout In Shells On Tuesday

September 12, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Wide Receiver Bryant Lavender waits on the ball during Jaguars preseason camp.

South Alabama practiced in shells on Tuesday as they continued to prepare for the Jags road trip to NC State on Saturday. This will be the Jags second trip to Raleigh where they lost last season 35-13. It was the Jags first-ever game against a FBS team and will be their first FBS opponent this season.

Head coach Joey Jones was pleased with what he saw at practice and what they accomplished. “I thought it was really, really good today,” he said. “The kids are preparing the way they are supposed to. There was a little more pep in their step. We had a good physical day and the tempo was really good, I thought. The kids almost went 100 percent without knocking each other to the ground and that’s the perfect type tempo we need.”

NC State returns several starters from last season and coach Jones said that his team must stay focused and work on the details if they exepct to play well on Saturday. “N.C. State is fast and on offense and defense they can do really well and execute very well offensively,” Jones commented. “We’ve got to be sharp this week. I challenged our scout team. They’ve got to do a great job of giving us a look this week because N.C. State, they do things really well, so if the scout team gives us a good luck, we’ve got a good shot on Saturday.”

A year ago NC State quarterback Mike Glennon went 17-of-20 for 274 yards and four touchdowns against the Jaguars defense. The secondary will be tested again this season and they understand that they must be prepared for what the Wolfpack will throw their way. But the defensive front will need to put pressure on Glennon as well.

“First of all, I think we’re better in the secondary this year,” he said. “Our kids are really understanding the concepts back there now and we’ve got some better cover people there, so we feel good about that. As always, you’ve got to be able to play physical up front and that’s what we have challenged our kids to do. I think they understand that and that’s one thing we’re working on this week.”

The Jags played a tough game and kept it close until mistakes allowed NC State to pull away late. “We went up there and played a really good football game,” Jones said. “I thought we went out there and went toe-to-toe with them. Our kids are very competitive and want to be in these type of situations. You want to get into an atmosphere like you see in Raleigh. I’ll never forget walking out onto the field last year and how exciting it was to be in that atmosphere. Our kids are looking forward to it.”

Through two games this season, the Jags defense stacks up pretty well in the Sun Belt. They are tied for first place in red zone defense, kickoff returns, opponents’ third-down conversion rate and fourth-down conversions. They are either solely in second place or tied for second in total defense, sacks, passing defense efficiency and interceptions. But don’t get too excited about those stats just yet. It’s only two games into the season and the offense is not ranking that well.

In the 10 team Sun Belt Conference, the Jags are 9th in scoring offense, 10th in total offense, 10th in rushing offense, 9th in passing offense. But if you contrast that with the defense in similar categories and you see the disparity between the two. The Jags scoring defense is 3rd in the league, 2nd in total defense, 3rd in rushing defense and 3rd in passing defense.

Offensive coordinator Robert Matthews mentioned before the Jaguars game against Nicholls State, that they need to improve their third down efficiency. Heading into their game against NC State the offense has converted 12-of-32 third downs. That’s a mere 38%, which includes a 7-of-19 mark against Nicholls State last Saturday.

However, the defense is holding their opponents to a 4-of-24 third down success rate, which is a mere 17%. Both opponents were 2-of-12 in their games.

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.”

Jags Look To Further Improve This Week Before Travelling To NC State

September 10, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar cheerleaders leading the team onto the field while Coach Jones greets his team on the sidelines prior to the Jags game against Nicholls State.

Coach Joey Jones and his staff reviewed the video from the Jaguars 9-3 win over Nicholls State on Sunday morning and took part in meetings throughout the day. But, because of a speaking event, Coach Jones was not able to attend the teams practice on Sunday night.

The goals for Saturday’s game was to improve with more consistency, less turnovers and a better punch in the red zone as they head into the tough two game road swing to NC State and Mississippi State.

“Bottom line was the defense played really well,” Coach Jones said to the Press-Register. “I think they came out and played as we thought they would. Offensively, we got in the red zone five times and didn’t turn it into any touchdowns and I think if we had scored a couple of touchdowns there we’re in the mid 20s and we have a good game. But we didn’t execute very well down there.”

“The defense bowed up when they had to and their backs were up against the wall a couple or three times and they really responded. Like I told them today, they made plays when they had to. Any of those passes in the end zone (in the waning moments), if we don’t knock them down they score and probably win the game on any one of those plays. They made plays when they had to. This team is doing that. I think we had a lot of that in the first game but mistakes (turnovers) in the first game hurt us.”

According to Jones, the offense experienced trouble against the Colonel defense due to the lack of video of them from this season prior to their game in Mobile. While coach Jones does not like making excuses, he did point to the postponedment of the Colonels opening game at Oregon State, while they had film of the Jags game against Texas-San Antonio to prepare. “Not having any film to watch on those games made it pretty difficult on us,” he said. “We were just having to kind of shoot in the dark with them. But the bottom line is, once we got the ball into the red zone, we just didn’t punch the ball into the end zone.”

This week the Jags will try to improve further as they face NC State for the second season in a row. If they play like they have the previous two games the Jags may find themselves in trouble against the Wolfpack, who defeated the Jags 35-13 in Raleigh last season in a game much closer than the score appears. It was also the Jags first game against an FBS opponent.

“One thing, you look at them on defense and they are much better up front,” Jones said. “They’ve got some good lineman on defense and they are very athletic. That’s the thing that jumps off the tape at you defensively. Offensively, their quarterback Glennon does a great job throwing the football. He’s 6-6 and has a great arm and will be playing in the NFL one day. He’s a very efficient passer.”

The Wolfpack also has a 1-1 record like the Jags as they lost their season opener in Atlanta to Tennessee 35-21 and won their second game at Connecticut 10-7.

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.

NC State Preview

September 15, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Jereme Jones Touchdown

Jereme Jones scores a touchdown against Lamar.

As South Alabama prepares for their first FBS team, it’s time to break down NC state some.

Through two games, NC State is averaging 235.5 yards per game passing and a little over 130 yards per game rushing for an average of 371 yards per game. Defensively the wolfpack has held their opponents to a mere 106 yards rushing per game. Physically, the wolfpack has a height and weight advantage over the Jags at most positions.

Coach Jones talked about some of the key NC State players earlier this week. “Offensively, they have a great quarterback who is 6-foot-6 and can throw it. He has an extremely good arm,” Coach Jones explained. “They have playmakers on the outside to get it to, a good running back and big offensive linemen. They have some real weapons on offense. Defensively, they are a very well-coached football team with good players running around who know how to play. They really get after it.”

South Alabama’s C.J. Bennett went 9-of-14 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns last week against Lamar. With Demetre Baker adding 13 touches for 82 yards and a touchdown along with Kendall Houston’s 13 touches for 43 yards and another touchdown. This lead South Alabama to 349 yards of total offense without a turnover.

The Jaguar Defense held strong only allowing 238 total yards, 123 of them through the air. The starters departed the game in the third quarter allowing the 2nd and 3rd string defensive players to see some much needed play time.

NC State will be coming off of their first loss of the season. They fell to fellow ACC member Wake Forest 34-27 on the road. Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns while completing 24-of-41 attempts as he led them back from a 27-6 deficit in the third quarter. Curtis Underwood ran for 56 yards and James Washington ran for 49 yards as they finished with 424 total yards.

The NC State defense allowed Wake Forest to rack up 438 total yards with 337 yards passing.

In Monday’s press conference, Jake Johnson spoke about the differences between playing a FBS team versus who the Jags have already played. “The biggest thing when you play a team like that is how they execute during a game,” said Johnson. “We’ve played some good teams since I’ve been here at South Alabama, but when you play a team like North Carolina State, their execution is going to be perfect. I like that better because I can read their linemen better. That’s the biggest thing for me; everything is smoother because they’re so well coached.”

NC State will be the first of three consecutive games on the road and four of the next five games will be on the road. Kickoff in Raleigh is scheduled for 5pm Central time (6pm Eastern) and the game will be available on as well as WNSP through their webcast on and through the air on 105.5FM. Some local sports bars and restaurants will probably be showing the game as well. Baumhower’s and Buffalo Wild Wings would be two local eateries that may be showing the game. Call beforehand to make sure.

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-13

September 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian were joined by director of football operations Brendt Bedsole at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard.

First thing was a quick look back at the Lamar game. Coach Jones said that the Jags played pretty well. Both the offense and defense were solid but special teams needs more work. One of the major miscues in special teams play was a kickoff that went out of bounds.  The talk quickly turned to Saturday’s game against NC State. Coach Jones said that they are well coached, they have a good quarterback and good receivers. Their defensive front is sound as well. He also mentioned receiver “number 6″ T.J. Graham, a 6′ 180-pound senior wide receiver for the Wolfpack, as someone who scares him.

As for preparations, Coach Jones said that they will prepare for this game just like any other game. However a deviation from their normal preparations thus far will be the addition of stadium noise to their practices. NC State will have 60,000+ fans there, they will be loud and will be a factor. So they will use speakers to play music, fight songs and general crowd noise.

The first email question asked about getting second and third string players into games. Coach Jones said this is key to helping build depth by exposing them to game situations. It also helps to let those guys get repetitions that can’t get so many at practice.

The next question was about offensive linemen.

Another email question was about the Sun Belt wins against BCS teams. FIU defeated Louisville, Troy has traditionally been a strong team, Louisiana-Lafayette has been coming along. North Texas has hired a good coach that should turn them around and a new stadium. Florida Atlantic should be turning it around as well with a new stadium. But wins speak well for the conference tring to find it’s way.

Asked about scheduling Southern Miss as a regional rival and what took them so long to do that. Coach Jones said that they make a great rival because these two schools are so close together. But they had their schedules set so far out that it was difficult to schedule with them. The date that they had open sooner was already scheduled with another team for the Jags.

Back to NC State, they said that the players will not have the opportunity for a walkthrough of the stadium until around 6pm on Friday evening. Even then the weather may be suspect. The players should not be overwhelmed in their stadium. Carter-Finley stadium seats 57,583 people but Ladd is not a dinky stadium seating nearly 40,000 itself.

Coach Jones mentioned again that NC State has a good, big quarterback who stands at 6’6” with a good arm. He does a good job of making the most of what’s around him. After a loss last weekend to Wake Forest, they will bounce back and be ready for the Jags.

Logistically speaking, South Alabama will send 68 players and 65 staff and support personnel. President Moulton, the vice president and others will all be on the flight as this is a historic event for the school.

They did take some time to joke about last years flight to UC-Davis and how old the plane was. One of the jokes was that the kids knew it was old because it still had ashtrays.

Lee asked if they have challenges now that they also have replay. Coach Jones said that they do, if the challenge does not go the Jags way then they lose a time out. They have two challenges per game. This is a bit of a test this year before getting into Sun Belt games next season.

Caller said that the Jags have gotten off to a great start with the program and asked if that was a help or a hinderance in scheduling games. Coach Jones said that, when you are talking about FCS teams it may be a hinderance. Teams that are kind of like South Alabama would probably see a hinderance, but SEC teams like LSU and such aren’t worried about them. They will pay lots of money (Coach Jones said $1 Million) to play them.

Someone emailed a question about Anton Graphenreed and that it seemed that he was getting beat by the receivers. He asked how that can be corrected for a team like NC State. Coach Jones said that some of those were because of communication problems between the safety and the corner. The corner thought he had help over the top by the safety when the safety did not properly communicate that he was not helping over the top. Things like that.

Another question was asked about rotating Kendall Houton and Demetre Baker at running back and if that might hurt them by trying to establish a flow in the game. Coach Jones said no, he thinks it’s great to give those guys a rest. It will help them over the course of a season to not take as many hits, keep fresher legs and wear down defenses. It may cause problems with a quarterback, but running back he doesn’t think so.

An email question came in asking about trick plays. Coach Jones said that everyone works on some trick plays but you don’t use them often. Coach Jones isn’t a big believer in trick plays, but you always have them ready just in case you need to swing the momentum in your favor in a close game. If you are ahead, you don’t want to waste that play. You only use it when you need it.

Lee turned to Bedsole and asked him to talk about facing a team like NC State. He said that even at FCS schools, the starting 11 could probably play at some FBS schools. But South Alabama, in his estimation, has probably 35-40 guys that could play at a school like NC State at this point in their program.

Lee asks about the mental part of the game. Could NC State look past South Alabama to their next game. Could they lose focus. Coach Jones said that it can happen. As a coach, he has seen times when it was hard to get the team up for a not so good opponent. But with NC State coming off of a loss, he does not think that will happen. South Alabama’s challenge is to not over hype the game and to make sure they peak towards the end of the week just in time for the game.

Talking about travel, the Jags will travel two weeks in a row. But they did that last year with Lamar and UC-Davis. However it would be nice to have a week between NC State and Kent State.

Jags on TV and quotes from Coach Gregory

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

Coach Greg Gregory from

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

Announced TV dates and Kickoff times

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

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

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

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

Other kickoff times that were announced were games against Lamar on September 10 with kickoff at 4pm and the second FBS opponent for the Jags on the road at Kent State will kickoff at 2:30pm Central time. Other times will be officially announced in the future. However according to the season tickets, home games against Tennessee-Martin, Henderson State and Cal Poly will all kickoff at 4pm. The Thursday night game against Mississippi Valley State will kickoff at 6:30pm. is currently available to over 70 million homes across the country to fans who receive high-speed internet from providers who are affiliated with ESPN.

Dan’s inteview with Coach Greogory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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