Paul Bennett South Alabama 2012 NFL Prospect Highlight Video

April 5, 2012 · Filed Under Football · 3 Comments 

Paul Bennett continues to work out and chase his goal of getting drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. As Jaguar fans, we should help him by spreading his video.

Paul Bennett Participating In Troy University’s Pro Day

March 7, 2012 · Filed Under Football · 3 Comments 
Paul Bennett diving for touchdown

Paul Bennett dives into the end zone for a Jaguar Touchdown in 2010.

Former Jaguar Paul Bennett will be participating in Pro Day at Troy University on Friday March 9, 2012.

According to South Alabama’s records, Bennett only missed one game during his Jaguar career, in 2010. He ended his career with 18 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns. However, his presence was felt by the opponents. His blocking was exceptional with several crushing blocks to seal off the perimeter for Jaguar running backs.

Bennett was chosen by his teammates to wear the honorary number 5 jersey in memory of Anthony Mostella who died after a motorcycle accident in June of 2010.  The jersey is given to a graduating senior to works hard both on and off the field and, as Head Coach Joey Jones stated, “earns it.”

 

Jags blue out the Reddies 28-3

October 30, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon encouraging the team as they go to the sideline to start the game.

South Alabama rebounds from turnover fueled, double-overtime loss at Georgia state to force a school record seven turnovers in a 28-3 win over Henderson State. Demetre Baker and Jordan Means combined to account for 22 of the 28 points for the Jags while donning their all blue uniforms for the first time.

Last years game was much closer with the Jags icing the game with a late field goal to win 37-31. But the rematch was never in doubt really. Both teams went three-and-out on their first possessions, but Enrique William’s interception on the Reddies second drive got the offense in gear. They started at the HSU 25 and have first and goal on the two yard line, but three consecutive rushes, two by Houston and one by Baker could not get the ball into the end zone thus they would settle for the field goal.

On the Reddie third possession, Clifton Crews would force a fumble on their first play which would be recovered by Gabe Loper setting up Demetre Baker to rush for 16 and 7 yards respectfully for a touchdown to go up 10-0 in the span of about three minutes.

Then on the fourth Reddie possession, they would line up in the punt formation but would fake it and run but would be stopped short of the one yard they needed for the first down. This gave the Jags the ball at the Reddie 29 yard line. Baker would take it into the end zone again for his second touchdown of the game. What looked like a bad snap would be handled by Taylor Noon and pitched to Jordan Means to run with, but he would be caught failing to convert. This left the Jags leading 16-0 with 1:57 left in the first quarter.

After a HSU punt on another three-and-out, the Jags would start at their own 27 yard line. Jereme Jones would almost get caught for a loss, but would break a 65 yard run down to the Reddie 8 yard line before being tackled out of bounds. Jones would be injured on the play and taken to the sideline and eventually to the locker room.

The Jags would again fail to punch it in with 1st and goal from the Reddie 4 yard line on three consecutive runs by Baker. The Jags would settle for a field goal by Means what was shorter than an extra point to go up 19-0 with 12:52 left in the 2nd quarter.

Henderson State would finally move into Jaguar territory and get as far as the 43 yard line before the drive fizzled out and forcing a punt which was downed at the Jaguar 14 yard line.

The Jags Paul Bennett would catch a good pass from CJ Bennett but would fumble it to the Reddies at the Jaguar 42 yard line. But on 3rd and 6 on the Reddies possession, the Jags would force a fumble and Romelle Jones would recover it at the Jaguar 44 yard line.

The Jags would then march 56 yards in nine plays with CJ Bennett running it in from 9 yards out to cap off the drive. Means’ PAT would be blocked leaving the Jags lead 25-0 with 4:15 left in the 2nd quarter.

Henderson State would start at their own 32 yard line after a short kickoff was fair caught at their 32 yard line. The Reddies would then begin driving into Jaguar territory getting down to the 37 yard line. But the defense would hold on 4th and 11 at the Jaguar 42 to get the ball back.

The Jags would then use their hurry-up offense to try to put points on the board before halftime. Bennett would find Lamontis Gardner for 3 yards on first down. The Jags would call a time out with 41 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for 8 yards and a first down at the HSU 47 with the Jags calling their 2nd time out of the half.

Bennett would find Corey Waldon for 13 yards down to the Reddie 34. Bennett would rush the offense up to the line and spike the ball to stop the clock. Bennett would tuck the ball and run for 6 yards before stepping out of bounds at the Reddie 28 yard line. After an incomplete pass on 3rd down, Means would line up for a 45 yard field goal into the wind with 9 seconds left until halftime. His kick would just barely make it over the crossbar giving the Jags a 28-0 halftime lead.

Henderson State would add a field goal with 33 seconds left in the 3rd quarter to break the shutout, however that would be the only score in the second half.

The first part of the second half was really sloppy for the Jags. After playing a penalty free first half, they would lose some composure in the second half.

It did give Coach Jones and the team to go deeper into their depth chart for a second time this season. At one point, there was only one starting player in the lineup on offense. JJ Keels saw plenty of time at running back and Greg Hollinger got more time than he had all season as well.

Romelle Jones continues to play like a beast on the defensive line. The secondary is playing thin without Damond Smith and BJ Scott. Jereme Jones suffered a bit of a hyper extension to his shoulder but is okay. We probably will not know if he is able to go on Thursday until Tuesday’s radio show.

Drew Dearman has been seeing more playing time on the offensive line and the coaches seem to be quite comfortable with his play. He did a great job on Saturday.

Coach Jones had the following to say at his post game press conference. “Those takeaways were big and we had a short field on offense a good bit tonight, and that’s always a good thing. I thought we really played a good game defensively for the entire game. We didn’t give up any big plays, and if we don’t do that then we are going to be very hard to score on. They did that tonight and I was proud of them.”

“We were prepared, the coaches had them prepared and we had a good week of practice,” he continued. “We match up with teams that are in the spread formation pretty well. I think our athletes fit the spread defensively, and we had a good pass rush tonight. That’s one thing we haven’t had in a while. We put pressure on the quarterback, and we were hitting them and trying to knock the ball loose.”

The Jags defense held the Reddies to 155 yards passing and a mere 55 yards rushing for only 210 total yards. While the Jags offense racked up 252 yards rushing and another 123 yards through the air for 375 for the game. The Jags also held a 37:06 to 22:54 time of possession advantage as well.

Demetre Baker had his first 100+ yard rushing game with 113 yards on 20 carries. Jereme Jones ran once for 65 yards, Myles Gibbon ran 7 times for 27 yards. JJ Keels ran 12 times for 27 yards. While Kendall Houston only carried the ball three times on the opening drive for four yards and that was his game.

CJ Bennett went 11-of-18 for 101 yards with one interception for the game. Myles Gibbon went 4-of-8 for 22 yards and no interceptions. Corey Walden and Bryant Lavender both caught three passes each. Waldon had 35 yards and Lavender had 26 yards.

The Jags have a quick turn-around as they host Mississippi Valley State on Thursday night with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Jags will be dressed out in their white uniform, so the athletic department is asking the fans to wear white to the game.

Monday press conference for October 24, 2011

October 25, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Bennett on headset

Quarterback C.J. Bennett speaking with coaches on a headset.

Jaguar head football coach Joey Jones with players Paul Bennett and Alex Page met with the media on Monday. They looked back on the Jaguars loss to Georgia State and previewed their upcoming game against Henderson State on Saturday.

Coach Jones opened the press conference with his opening statements. The always humble Coach Jones first congratulated Georgia State on their hard fought win and also mentioned that the Jaguars have been a marked team by their opponents. The then began to reflect on the game in the Georgia Dome.

“What I’d like to do is congratulate Georgia State on a big win for their program. It seems like now, and I don’t know why, that we are the circled team on a lot people’s schedules. We’ve had a lot of success over the last two years, and every coach I’ve talked to after the game says that they have circled our name. I guess we’re the new upstart program that has done fairly well.”

“I felt like we played hard, when you look at the film we played extremely hard. I thought we were focused, but when you look at the game there were four times we got inside the 10-yard line and didn’t score and two times we gave up big plays on defense. If you take those plays out the game is different, but unfortunately  you have to count those six plays. It wasn’t a matter that our kids weren’t ready to play, there’s no doubt in my mind that they were. We just had a few critical errors that can cost you games.”

Coach Jones also commented on how the special teams play has improved over the course of the first seven games of the season. “I think our special teams have improved, they have become a real plus for our program. Early in the year I thought we were deficient there, especially the first ball game, and have gradually got better as the season has gone on. We were only a couple of things away from making every goal we have.”

“Henderson State is a team averaging 30 points a game, they are very good offensively and sound defensively. They run the spread and throw it all over the field. It seems like I’ve got up in front of the players and talked ad nauseam over the last three years about that teams that can beat you. When you look at a team like Henderson State, there is no doubt that they can, they are good enough, are well-coached and do a good job. They are really efficient offensively, so we have to be ready to play.”

“What we have done is focus on us and what we need to do regardless of the competition. One of the things we talked to the team about yesterday is that we should never focus on a team and try to play at their level. We need to play at our best level at all times, whether it’s N.C. State or anybody else. We need to play at the highest level possible, that’s the challenge for our team.”

Coach Jones then elaborated on what Henderson State does well as a team. “They really throw the ball very well. They throw a lot of quick passes where you can hardly get to the quarterback. He takes the snap and gets rid of it in about a second-and-a-half, it’s a lot of short passes and timing patterns. They are very efficient in what they do offensively.”

“Defensively what they are is a very sound football team. They don’t do a lot, whereas a lot of teams we have played this year have been multiple in their fronts and used slants, blitzes and different things. This team is more fundamental and just going to play good, well-coached football.”

“We played them last year and they have a lot of people back. I think they have 16 returning starters from last year’s team, and they gave us a game at the end last year, came back and made a run. Knowing their personnel, we feel better and more prepared playing them.”

Answering a question about the difference in offensive production from last year to this year, Coach Jones said. “I think it’s a combination that we are playing better teams this year, that’s always a factor, and the turnovers. The other night C.J. gets credited with four interceptions, but only one of them was him. Two were dropped balls that we tipped up and gave to the defense and the other one somebody hit his arm when he threw it and the ball went straight up in the air. Really we had one bad play the whole game.”

“I don’t know how we could have prevented them other than catching the ball, but turnovers have plagued this team for sure. Especially in some of the bigger games. Coaches can sit up here and talk about it all the time, but when you have five turnovers you’re just not going to win.”

“But in a lot of ways I think we are better. Last year we had T.J. Glover, who could make a big play for us when we needed one, and I think that area has hurt us as well.”

When asked about possible personnel changes this week coach Jones said, “We’re looking at some things and some different moves, but of course I’m going to keep that to myself at this point.”

He then answered a question about the Jags preparation for Henderson State’s offense with a new quarterback. “They are real similar. If you look at them they do the same things. I don’t think they look much different at all except that they have a new body at quarterback. He’s good, and a big kid – 6-2, 6-3 and over 200 pounds — and has a good arm. They don’t look much different when you look at them last year and this year. They might have averaged a few more points per game last year, maybe a touchdown more per game, but they are still very effective.”

When asked if the Jags will be able to dictate this weekend’s game on offense Coach Jones answered. “We’d like to hope so, that’s our goal every game. That’s who we are as an offensive team. We’re going to start with the run first, we feel like we’ll have some chances there, but we also have to be able to throw it. One thing we need to do a little bit more is throw the ball on run downs to help so that the other defense can’t load up on us. We’ve talked about that as a staff, we’ve got to mix that up a little bit to help us as well.”

Paul Bennett was next up speaking with the media. He was asked about areas of improvement. His answer was short and to the point. “We’re just going to keep practicing and doing what we’ve been doing. We just have to make it work this time.”

Another question was about the team’s state of mind after the Georgia State loss. “We hate to lose. We’ve been brought up here hating to lose. Everyone’s expectations are still high. We’re not going to conform to what everyone else wants us to, we have our own high expectations. We’re just going to keep practicing how we’ve been practicing, and just work out the kinks.”

Defensive end Alex Page was next and answered the same questions. On areas of improvement, “We have a rotation defensively, and it seems to have been effective so far. We’re just going to continue to practice and improve.”

On the team’s state of mind after the GSU loss. “It’s in the back of your mind, having suffered the loss. But as a player, you have to put it past you and keep practicing and preparing for the next game no matter how tough the loss was. That’s what we’re going to do this week.”

Some fans have been vocal online talking about personnel change, primarily at the quarterback position. Which I’m quite sure the personnel question was indirectly meant to address.

The quarterback position is the position that receives the most scruitnity when fans are a bit disgruntled. C.J. Bennett has thrown 13 interceptions to 6 touchdowns this season.

Should Myles Gibbon be given a chance? I don’t have access to all of the game film, but if what Coach Jones says is correct, then you cannot fault Bennett completely for all of those interceptions. They have played against very good opponents and the receivers have had chances to pull down some passes but couldn’t. But at what point to do try someone else to see if that sparks the team or even sparks the other player to work harder and make better decisions?

Go Jags.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-10-18

October 19, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The Jaguar Defense lines up against UT-Martin.

Along with Lee Shirvanian and Coach Joey Jones are joined by secondary coach Duwan Walker at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile Alabama.

Coach Jones, talking about Coach Walker, mentioned that Coach Walker has had to deal with quite a bit of turnover in the secondary in the two and a half years he has been at South Alabama. But has done a great job with it and is well liked and respected on the team.

Coach Walker mentioned that the defense did a good job keeping to their game plan. They kept the offense off balance early, did not allow many “home run balls” execept for one big play early. They also mentioned that Gabe Loper is coming along at an good rate in place of Damond Smith. Coach Walker said they had a really good problem in that they were trying to get him on the field, but it’s unfortunate that the Smith situation happened to get him on the field though. This is the classic case for the backup where you always have to be ready to play.

In the Fuego who’s hot segment coach Jones mentioned Gabe Loper defensively for stepped up in a situation where they weren’t sure how he would react, but thought he would play well, and he exceeded their expectation and had a great game. Offensively Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms were mentioned. Coach Jones said that their blocking has been outstanding lately. They are very physical like the rest of the team, but these two are on an extra level.

The Orthopedic Group injury update segment only had one  questionable player. Melvin Meggs has a rolled ankle and will be evaluated the rest of the week to see how he is leading up to game time.

They mentioned that Jereme Jones is a fearless punt returner and it’s not from the coaches, he has the choice to fair catch they said. Coach Jones said that the rule of thumb on a punt is to put your heels on the 10 yard line and if you have to backpedal, let it go. Also, if there is any doubt let it go.

FIU and Arkansas State play tonight on tv. May not be much interest right now, but Coach Jones said that he watches whenever he has a chance to see how the Jags match up with future opponents.

A caller asked about Ameriol Finley and how he is coming along. They said he is a true freshmen with a great attitude and that he is a great athlete. He can play multiple positions and has played cornerback in a game recently for the Jags. Right now he is getting work at multiple positions and is a bit of a utility player for them right now.

BJ Scott brings alot to the table for the Jags. Mentally, he brings a sense of urgency to the team. He teaches kids how to prepare and how to watch film. The are little things that make such a big difference at this level.

Coach Jones said he has noticed that Scott has become a vocal leader on the team recently which has made a difference. Lee asked if they have considered using him on offense like he was used at Vigor. Coach Jones said he has thought about it often but jokingly he said the defensive coaches frown when he brings that up.

Turning towards Georgia State, they said that they are averaging around 16,000 for their home games, but the Georgia Dome seats somewhere over 70,000. The team isn’t doing so well are are currently 1-5 so far. Lee asked what Coach Jones sees in game film that is going on with their team. Coach Jones said that looking at the tape you can’t really tell what’s going on, they have some really good players and some really good coaches. Sometimes there are internal problems that can cause strife, but Coach Jones does not know if this is what is going on or not. He said that they are like a wounded dog, you never know when they are going to jump up and bite you, so you have to be prepared and not dismiss them because of their 1-5 record.

Lee asked if we recruit against Georgia State. Coach Jones said that we do, we recruit against them and we recruit pretty much the entire state of Georgia. Lots of recruits or potential recruits will be at the game to see who wins. It will be a measuring stick game for sure since both programs are pretty close in age. The state of Georgia has plenty of good players.

After a story by Coach Jones about the worst weather game he has ever played or coached in, Lee asked about conserving timeouts and his strategy with them. Coach Jones said that ideally you want to save them towards the end of a half, but he said that you just don’t want to “lose anything on a drive” which I believe he was indicating momentum. If it’s 3rd and 1 and you have an issue, you don’t want to make it 3rd and 6 if you have too many people or something, so in that case you may want to use a time out to keep the drive going and get that first down.

Asking about communication problems that the Jags had against UT-San Antonio in a dome, Lee asked how they can overcome that. Coach Jones answered that you overcome it by staying calm and poised. You can’t hear the snap count, so you have to go on ball movement and that the calm and composure is especially needed on the offense and offensive line to look at the ball and not to move until the ball is snapped.

Other than that, potential problems for players playing in a dome is the ceiling and lights. If you are not used to it, you can lose sight of the ball. What they did for the walk through before the UTSA game was to take some time and kick some punts so the returners can see what it’s like and get comfortable with it. They also had the quarterbacks throw some high, deep passes so the receivers and defensive backs could get comfortable looking for the ball as well. Coach Jones said that J.J. Keels had an instance where he lost the ball on a wheel route against UTSA.

Lee mentioned that they have three quarterbacks that they play. Coach Walker said that one of their quarterbacks, Little, gave us problems last year because he’s throws the ball very well but has a sternum problem. They have another one that runs the ball very well and can pose problems running. The third quarterback is a bit of a mixture of the other two so he can throw pretty well and also tuck it and run.

The final question was from a caller about the number of players that they will have next year. Coach Jones said they will have 85 scholarship players and will have a total of 130 players on the team.

USA Sports Marketing’s Lloyd came on to talk about the next home game on October 29th, which is just before halloween. This will be the third year of “trunk or treat” for the kids. He urged the fan to decorate for this and bring candy for the kids. They are doing a first, second and third again this year for the best decorated tailgating spot. But the biggest announcement is that the Jags are going to wear their all blue uniforms for the first time versus Henderson State for a “blue out.”

Coach Jones commended the fans for the environment for the homecoming game. They had the second largest crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for a game in the programs history. Coach Jones also mentioned that the Jaguar Prowl was great.

West Alabama preview

August 31, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Line of Scrimmage

With less than 36 hours until kickoff of the Jaguars third season of football, the excitement is in the air. Coach Jones is excited, the players are excited and the students and fans are excited.

South Alabama is encouraging everyone in attendance to wear their home Red colors. The USA Athletic Marketing Department will be handing out free red shakers at all gates beginning at 4:30pm. The parking lot will open at noon for tailgaters to start their festivities.

Shuttle service will begin at 2:30pm and will be running continuous from the Bel Air Mall parking lot south of Target and J.C. Penny until 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game. The price of a round-trip ticket is a mere $2.50, so if you don’t have a parking pass and still want to come out to the game this is an excellent deal. The Jaguar Prowl is scheduled for 4:10pm with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm. After the game there will be a fireworks show.

The Game will be televised locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com.

South Alabama will try to extend their winning streak to 18 games when they host fellow in-state foe West Alabama. Last seasons stats for both teams looks like we could see a shoot-out.

West Alabama averaged just over 449 yards per game while the Jags averaged over 439 yards per game. Though USA’s average points per game was 41.3 to UWA’s 29.7.

C.J. Bennett returns as one of nine returning starters, to guide the offense after starting the final three games of the season totaling 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season. UWA’s will be without Deon Williams who went 223-for-356 for 3,392 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

Kendall Houston returns to lead the Jaguar rushing attack with transfer Demetre Baker. Houston rushed for 891 yards with five 100+ yard games and 10 touchdowns. He averaged over six yards per carry. UWA returns T-Ray Mitchell who ran for 843 yards and six touchdowns. Gerald Worsham caught 80 passes for 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns as their go-to receiver.

Bryant Lavender, Jereme Jones and Corey Waldon will step up to try to fill in for departed wide receiver Courtney Smith. Lavender caught 16 passes last season for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Jones added 15 catches and two touchdowns and Waldon caught 14 passes for 291 yards. Tight Ends Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms both caught nine passes as well.

The Jags return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball. They held opposing teams to an average of just over 81 yards per game and just over 254 yards per game and a mere 13 points per game. They also average 2.5 turnovers per game and only allowing the opposing team to convert third downs 26% of the time.

Enrique Williams lead the team with 48 tackles while also breaking up three passes. Ken Barefield who also had three pass break-ups with 37 tackles and Jake Johnson who had 31 tackles and four sacks both ranked in the top five on the defense in tackles. Romelle Jones lead the group with six tackles for loss.

UWA returns linebacker Gabe Poe, their top tackler, who recorded 97 tackles, eight for a loss. Poe’s number was 33 more than the next closest defensive player. Deon Lacey added 49 tackles and Bryant McGowan added 46 tackles at linebacker. Defensive back D’Eric Jackson lead the team with three interceptions while returning two for touchdowns.

Their defense allowed 375.7 yards and 22.3 points per game.

Both teams return their punter with USA’s Scott Garber averaging 40.4 yards per kick including 16 punts downed inside the 20. UWA’s Brock Sharp averaged 37.9 yards per kick and should also handle placekicking after going 12-of-19 last year.

As for South Alabama’s placekicking duties, it is expected that Jordan Means will handle the duties after showing improvements. Although South Alabama has two other kickers who have experience  and have competed for that role throughout preseason camp. Means was 4-for-4 last season. It is unknown if Means or Chapuseaux will be handling kickoff duties for the Jags.

Jereme Jones averaged 19.4 yards per punt return last season and will share time with transfer B.J. Scott as the Jags will be without the T.J. Glover as he was deemed ineligible this season. UWA’s Wes Mounger averaged 21.9 yards per kick return and 11.9 yards per punt return is expected handle the same duties again this season.

Jaguars wrap up first week of preseasom camp

August 7, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Bennett leading offensive drills

CJ Bennett leading the offense in preseason drills

On Saturday, the Jaguars held fourth consecutive day of practice of preseason camp. Again they hit the practice field in shells for a two hour long practice before an off day on Sunday. They will then return to the field in full pads on Monday.

Practice began with special teams work on the punt game with punt returns and punt blocks. The offensive linemen worked on double teams during this period. After this first period, the team went into position drills with offensive linemen working on pass blocking fundamentals as well as screen drills. Receivers began with blocking drills then teamed with the quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends to work on passing routes.

The next period had the team working on both inside and outside running game with the play-action pass. They then broke and the skill players went into skeleton passing drills while the offensive and defensive lines worked against each other on pass protection.

After a break from the heat, the Jags offense worked on the team offense against the first team defense and the scout team defense. This was followed up with third-down conversion scenerios for the offense. Closing practice was specials teams work on kickoff coverage and the field goal team. Currently it appears that Jordan Means enters camp and the first team kicker followed by Chapuseaux and McGlon.

Coach Jones commented after practice saying, “I thought today was the best practice we have had, because we practiced hard and we stayed off the ground for the most part. If we can go full speed and just lock up on the ball carrier and not fall to the ground, then we have a chance to get better but also not get anyone hurt. I liked the fact that we practiced well today. And our kids are full of passion every day. It has been gratifying to watch, because they understand what it takes to win and they are starting to do that. And they are starting to understand that everything matters. We’re not perfect yet, but we’re getting close to having a complete practice every day.”

“We have some young guys who have come along, and part of that is having older guys who can actually direct those guys,” he continued. “They know what they’re doing now, and they can help those young guys along. I’m real pleased with the way it’s going so far.”

In his post-practice talk with the players on the practice field, Coach Jones talked with the team about former South Alabama player Anthony Mostella. “When you think of a South Alabama football player, Anthony Mostella is the kind of person that our players need to model themselves after as a person and a player, Coach Jones said. “And I want to honor his family by giving the jersey each year to a player deserving of that. We think Paul Bennett has those character traits. He is the kind of person who leads his football team; he is a hard worker and you can count on him. He has all those intangibles you need to be a winning football player here at South Alabama.”

In a tradition that started last season after Mostella’s untimely death, Jaguar players choose a senior to wear the No. 5 jersey to honor his memory. Senior tight end Paul Bennett was chosen by his teammates to wear the former running back’s jersey this season, he will be the first offensive player to wear the No. 5 since Mostella. Last season Senior linebacker Justin Dunn was chosen by his teammates to wear the number.

“It’s an honor to wear number five,” said Paul Bennett. “Mo was one of my closest friends. We came to South Alabama at the same time. He always came to practice with a smile on his face. He loved to work hard; he had a great work ethic. The best thing about him was that he was a humble guy. He just came to work every day and did his job. Honestly, it’s just a huge honor to represent him and his family and everything he has done for this program. I’m very blessed to be wearing number five this year.”

The Jaguars will resume preseason practice on Monday in full pads at 6:15am at the South Alabama Practice Facility on campus.

Another Big Win For The Jags, 52-3 Over Kentucky Wesleyan

October 5, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama’s Paul Bennett dives for the end zone in the Jaguars win against Kentucky Wesleyan.

South Alabama scores a 52-3 win over Kentucky Wesleyan at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Jags defense forced five turnovers which tied a school record in the game.

The Jags got started quick in the game. After taking the opening kick off out to their own 36 yard line, Brandon Ross took the first hand off from starting quarterback Brennan Sim, 62 yards down to the Panthers two yard line. After a one yard gain up the middle by Ross, Kendall Houston plunged in for the touchdown after only one minute of play.

The first possession by the Panthers started at their own six yard line after a fumbling the kickoff. Two offensive plays netted seven yards for the Pathers before an illegal procedure penalty took them from third and short to third and long inside their own 10 yard line. A screen pass lost five yards and forced the Panthers to punt out of their own end zone.

The punt went out of bounds at the KWC 38 yard line, but a holding penalty on the Jags put them at the 48. The first two pass attempts by Sim went incomplete before he found Kevin Helms for six yards forcing the Jags to punt. A 41 yard punt by Scott Garber was downed at the Panther five yard line.

Kentucky Wesleyan got their first, first down of the game after a six yard rush and a five yard pass completion, however two plays later Jake Johnson would pick off a pass and set the Jags up at the Panther 14 yard line.

Kendall Houston, after being stopped for no gain on his first rush of the possession, he would break loose and score from 14 yards out to put the Jags up 14-0 with 8:19 left in the first quarter.

KWC, starting at their own 20 yard line, got their second first down of the game after a one yard rush, and eight yard completion and another one yard rush. But then they went into backwards gear. Two incomplete passes on first and second down forced KWC to call a timeout, but immediately following the time out they get flagged for a false start and moved back to the 25 yard line. Then Logan Bennett sacked the quarterback to put them back where they started at the 20 yard line.

The Panther punt went out of bounds at the Jaguar 31 yard line, but a group of penalties occurred. Offsetting personal fouls for both schools but also a 12 yard penalty on the Jags for holding put the ball at their own 19 yard line.

Myles Gibbon saw his first in-game action since his knee injury. His first play back was a 41 yard completion to Courtney Smith. This was followed up with a 15 yard rush by Brandon Ross to quickly move the ball to the Panther 25 yard line. Gibbon’s next pass was complete again to Courtney Smith for 11 more yards, however this play would be wiped away because of an illegal chop block. The penalty moved the ball back to the 40 yard line. An incomplete pass to Brandon Ross forced a fourth down punt by Garber that went into the endzone for a touchback.

Two short Panther completions began their next possession before their largest gain thus far in the game. An 18 yard pass completion and run got the Panthers out to the 43 yard line. Then a 15 yard facemask penalty on the Jags would put the Panther into Jaguar territory for the first time in the game. After a couple more plays, the Jags force the Panthers to punt.

The Jaguar returner let the ball go and had it downed at the four yard line. Gibbon, playing his second series of the game, would find Lamontis Gardner for 33 yards out to the Jagaur 37 yard line. An incomplete pass and a short run by Houston would bring up their and long at their own 39 yard line. But South Alabama would convert when Gibbon found Corey Waldon for 46 yards down to the Panther 15 yard line. T.J. Glover would lose four yards on a rush but Gibbon would find Paul Bennett for a 19 yard touchdown pass to put the Jags up 21-0 with 10:54 left in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Sammy Bland would return the kickoff 18 yards but would fumble the ball back to South Alabama. C.J. Bennett would come in for the Jaguars on this possession. he started out with three pass attempts. The first was complete for five yards to Corey Besteda, the second was incomplete then the third was complete to Besteda again for another four yards. After a Jaguar time out, C.J. Bennett would find Courtney Smith for a 19 yard touchdown on fourth and one. The Jags then lead 28-0 with 9:36 left in the second quarter.

KWC would go three and out on their next possession and a terrible punt would put the Jaguar offense at their own 49 yard line. Brennan Sim would return to the game for the Jags and would complete his first pass attempt to Bryant Lavender for 49 yards down to the Panther two yard line. Santuan McGee would cap off the two play drive with a two yard touchdown putting the Jags up 35-0 with 7:54 left in the second quarter.

On the Pathers first play, they were flagged for a holding penalty putting them back at their own 10 yard line. The next play was a personal foul penalty on South Alabama to give the Panthers a first down at the 25 yard line. Then KWC would complete a 37 yard pass to get down to the South Alabama 38 yard line. An incomplete pass and a six yard rush later and the Panthers are facing a third down and four at the Jaguar 32 yard line. Then defensive back Michael Wilson would pick off a Panther pass and return it 75 yards for another Jaguar touchdown. The Jags lead was then 42-0 with 5:11 left in the first half.

The kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, but a five yard penalty was added on at the end because South Alabama was offsides on the kickoff. But no matter as the Jags force and recover a fumble by the Panthers. But the Jags were set back by 15 yards on a personal foul penalty.

C.J. Bennett would return to the game but would fumbled himself on the first play, putting the Jags in a second down and 18 yard situation which was complicated by a false start penalty. Then on second down and 22, Bennett would complete a four yard pass to Ralph Turner, but a flag on South Alabama for an illegal formation would be declined. On third down Bennett’s pass was incomplete forcing a Jaguar punt.

Kentucky Wesleyan would have their best drive and only points of the game on their last possession of the first half. Two big pass plays, one for 49 and the other for 23 would put them at the South Alabama 11 yard line. Three consecutive incomplete passes would lead to a Panther field goal. The score was 42-3 at halftime.

The second half started with a three and out by the Panthers. C.J. Bennett would lead the Jags on a six play 64 yard drive for a touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 31 yard pass completion to Courtney Smith and topped off with a pass to Lemontis Gardner for a 25 yard touchdown. The Jags then lead 49-3 with 9:47 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers next possession spanned 6:16 in six plays but only went 11 yards before they punted. The possession had penalties on KWC for holding and the Jaguars for holding twice and an illegal block.

The Jags next series was six plays for 19 yards before the Jags punted. The Panthers returner fumbled the punt and was recovered by the Jags at the Panther 14 yard line. The Jags would then drive down to the one yard line, but on fourth down, Coach Jones send in Jordan Means for the easy field goal to wrap up scoring at 52-3.

For the game, South Alabama had seven running backs touch the ball. Brandon Ross had three carries for 78 yards, Houston had five carries for 17 yards and two touchdowns, and Ellis Hill had six carries for 15 yards.

Nine receivers caught passes in the game. Courtney Smith lead them with three receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Lemontis Gardner had two receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown, Ralph Turner had two for 17 and Corey Besteda had two for nine yards. Other receivers with only one reception each were Bryant Lavender for 49 yards, Corey Waldon for 46 yards, Paul Bennett for 19 and a touchdown, Kevin Helms for six yards and Jeremy Roberts for four yards.

The Quarterbacks went for a collective 14-of-24 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Myles Gibbon was 4-of-7 for 139 yards and a touchdown, C.J. Bennett was 8-of-13 for 105 yards and two touchdowns while Brennan Sim went 2-of-4 for 55 yards.

USA had 14 first downs compared to 11 for Kentucky Wesleyan. Jags had 299 yards passing, 114 yards rushing for 413 yards of total offense. While the Panthers had only 19 yards rushing and 209 yards passing for 228 yards total.

Coach Jones commented after the game, “I thought we came out offensively and played well. They stacked the box on us and made us throw the ball; we have to get in the mode of throwing the ball down field when the opponent does that, which I think we were able to today.”

Coach Jones continued, “We can’t get complacent where we are. It’s up to our players, staff and everybody involved not to get complacent at any time. We know the task at hand. We have to get better next week.

The most obvious improvement has been special teams. Jags kickers did not boot a single kickoff out of bounds in this game. Kick coverage was much improved but still needs work with big games against Lamar, UC-Davis and Georgia State looming on the horizon.

South Alabama hosts Missouri S&T on Saturday, October 9 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm. The Jags will then depart the friendly confines of Ladd-Peebles Stadium for two road games against formidable opponents. The first is Lamar in Texas and UC-Davis in California.

Jaguars Process Continues: Red White Game 2010

March 11, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head Coach Joey Jones watches as Myles Gibbon leads the White team offense as they try to score in the second Red-White Game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The University of South Alabama Spring Football Game showcased alot of talent on both sides of the ball, but it also showed that there is improvement still yet to be had. The defense on both sides really stepped up when needed and the offenses showed flashes of brilliance, however neither side showed any all-around dominance.

On the first drive of the game, the white offense lead by Myles Gibbon, drove 70 yards in 13 plays to put the first points on the board. With the drive facing a fourth-and-one near midfield, it was actually gut-check time. Do they play it safe and punt or do they roll the dice?

Well, the white team rolled the dice and and it payed off. Gibbon completed a pass to Paul Bennett for 13 yards for the first down and to cross the midfield stripe. This play got the offense in gear. Myles carred the ball for six yards, then Santuan McGee rushed twice for 13 more yards. Then Brandon Ross followed with a 17 yard gain to the one yard line on a sweep to the left. Gibbon would cap off the drive with a one yard dive into the end zone to give the White team an early 7-0 lead.

On the second drive of the game, the Red team would drive 55 yards down to the White team’s 25 yard line before getting stopped on a fourth-and-five play.

The White team would take the ball and drive 69 yards in just six plays. The majority of the yards were picked up on a 52 yard strike from Myles Gibbon to Courtney Smith on a post route. However an incomplete pass into the end zone on fourth down from the one yard line would end their drive.

Brennan Sim would lead the Red teams drive from the one yard line and go 99 yards to even the game with less than three minutes until halftime. After trying to run for a few yards of breathing room in the shadow of their endzone, Sim would find Donte Rome for a 14 yard completion on third down to keep the drive alive. Sim would go back to Rome for a 16 yard completion.

On the next play, Brandon Norton would record a sack on Sim costing the Red team eight yards. But he came back with a fake option run which the defensive back bit on and found Kelly Vail on a post pattern which he turned into a 73 yard touchdown.

The second half was a defensive showing with only one score in the second half to show for it.

The drive began when Zach Brownell intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards to the 38 yard line. Gibbon then found Courtney Smith for a first down play to get the ball to midfield. McGee, two plays later, would find a seam and go for 12 yards and another White first down at the Red teams 34 yard line.

Then on third-and-ten, Paul Bennett caught another Gibbon pass in the right flat for 22 yards just as time expired in the third quarter. But the Red team defense would not give up. They would cause three consecutive plays for a loss, including back to back sacks by Clifton Crews and Josh Chestang. This placed the ball on the 36 yard line. With fourth-and-24, the coaches options were limited.

Gambling for a win and some game pressure experience, the White team ran on Jordan Means to attempt a 53 yard field goal. The snap and hold were good and when Means put foot to ball and sent it sailing, everyone watched holding their breath. As the ball barely cleared the cross bar, everyone was wondering if it made it. Then when the referees hands went up in the air, the onlookers gave their loudest cheer of the night as the White team celebrated as well.

The drive and kick covered 13:52 and left about 11:30 for the Red team to try to match them and the White defense did not let the Red team get a drive going of any substance and held on for the victory.

Myles Gibbon went 8-for-9 passing for 131 yards with four of them to Courtney Smith for 83 yards. Paul Bennett had two receptions for 35 yards while Lamontis Gardner also added two receptions. Santuan McGee lead the team rushing with 10 carries for 43 yards and Brandon Ross carried the ball five times for 33 more yards.

The White defense was lead by Romelle Jones with five tackles, 1.5 of them for a loss. Richard Courtney and Logan Bennett each added four tackles while Bryson James had three. In total, the White defense only allowed 207 yards.

Brennan Sim went 13-for-22 with 184 yards. Kelly Vail caught four passes for a game high of 94 yards. Ralph Turner also had four receptions for 39 yards. The Red team offense could only muster 13 yards on 14 attempts, but Eli Smith lead the way with six rushes for 18 yards.

Ken Barefield lead all players with nine tackles, two of them for a loss. Michael Wilson added seven. Clifton Crews and Enrique Williams added four each as well. The Red defense only allowed 12 more yards than the White defense for 219 yards.

Head Coach Joey Jones was on the field observing the play the entire evening. Coach Jones had this to say about the game, “I think the kids had some fun out there. It was a good-spirited night, they’ve been at each other the last couple of days and had a good time. It was a good way to end a long spring training.”

“That was great,” added Coach Jones when asked about the Jordan Means’ field goal attempt. “I was over there and they were ready to run a fourth-down play to try and at least gain some yardage. I reminded them the wind was behind them, though I wasn’t trying to be a head coach. Jordan has a good leg, I knew if he got it going straight he had it. It was a great kick.”

All in all, the players had a great time. There were good spirited ribbing and text messages going back and forth all week according to Romelle Jones. Myles Gibbon added that it was like playing with a completely new team since both teams only had one practice in order to prepare for the game.

At halftime, Mobile businessman David Gwin who is a strong supporter of South Alabama Athletics along with his wife Lynn were recognized for their $100,000 donation for a football sculpture. The sculpture, as stated by President Gordon Moulton, will stand about 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide in the front circle of the entranceway to the Jaguar Football Field House and will be made entirely out of stainless steel.

Coach Jones and his staff honored several players for their efforts in spring practice. Each position received a Most Improved award with the winners being: Quarterback Brennan Sim, Running Back Eli Smith, Wide Receivers Bryant Lavender, Tight End Robby Stoner, Offensive Lineman Levi Slaydon, Defensive Lineman Kendell Bagnerise, Inside Linebacker Brett Hancock, Outside Linebacker Josh Chestang and Defensive Back Michael Wilson.  Other special honors went to Corey Walden on Offense and Ken Barefield on Defense. Charlie Higgenbotham received the “I Like To Practice” award and Brennan Sim earned the High Academic Honors award.

The process to join Division-I football continues on Saturday, September 4 when Pikeville (Kentucky) travels to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to open the 2010 Football season.

Jag Football, 8-0…Sort Of…

December 12, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags football team won their eighth competition of the year. But this time it wasn’t on the football field. No, this time it was on the asphalt.

Some of the Jags football team participated in the annual Ronald McDonald House Fire Truck Pull held in Pensacola, Florida. They were representing Mobile McDonald’s Owner Operators in the competition.

Thirty-five teams competed in seven divisions in the event. The Jags competed in the retail division which included five other teams. Each team included 20 individuals pulling a 61,000-pound fire truck a distance of 50 feet. The Jags completed it in a time of 10.302 seconds to narrowly edge out teams like the Escambia County Professional Firefighters and Fire & Emergency Services Gulf Coast. They posted times of 10.376 and 10.463 seconds each, respectively.

Jags that competed were Ken Barefield, Paul Bennett, Eddy Cabrera, Jamie Driskell, Justin Dunn, Lionel Fuentes, Scott Garber, Myles Gibbon, Gabe Graham, Dalvin harris, Danzel Harris, Brian Kauskopf, Andrew Martin, Lawson McGlon, Alex Phifer, Philip Press, Donte Rome, Donald Scott, Courtney Smith, Anthony Taylor Josh Terry, Michael Wilson, and Justin Walker.

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