South Alabama Come From Behind To Defeat Western Kentucky 31-24

September 15, 2013 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 
The Jaguars rally at mid field after they enter the field to just prior to kickoff against Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The Jaguars rally at mid field after they enter the field to just prior to kickoff against Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The University of South Alabama football team fought back from an 11-point deficit at halftime to tie the game in the fourth quarter and then get the winning touchdown in the last two minutes of the game to defeat conference foe Western Kentucky 31-24. The Jags improve to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the conference while Western Kentucky falls to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in Sun Belt play.

Senior cornerback Tyrell Pearson was key to helping the Jaguars defeat the Hilltoppers. He had not seen any playing time in the previous 11 quarters of play until the fourth quarter of the game against Western Kentucky. But he made two key plays in the final stanza to help propel the Jags to the win.

With less than three minutes left in the game, Doughty’s pass is picked off by Pearson with only green turf between him and the endzone to set up the Jaguars go-ahead touchdown. Then with Western Kentucky facing 4th and 10 at the Jaguar 13 needing a touchdown with :05 left in the game, Pearson would pick off Doughty’s pass in the endzone to seal the victory.

The Hilltoppers opened the game with a 5 play, 79 yard drive spanning 2:40 to quickly go ahead 7-0. However the Jaguars would respond with their own drive. Highlighted with passes by Ross Metheny to Jereme Jones for 18 yards, Wes Saxton for 7 yards, Danny Woodson Jr for 9 yards to get down to the Hilltopper 37 yard line. Then Metheny would run for 13 yards before hitting Shavarez Smith for 15 yards for a 1st and Goal at the WKU 9 yard line. Facing 4th and goal inside the 1 yard line and after a time out, Metheny would lean on his offensive line and get the touchdown to cap off the 10 play, 75 yard drive spanning 4:14 to tie the game at seven.

The Hilltoppers would put together another scoring drive of 15 plays, 73 yards taking 7:34 off of the clock to take a 14-7 lead over the Jaguars.

The Jags next possession would begin with :32 left in the first quarter at their own 28 yard line. A rush by Jay Jones for four yards would end the first quarter. Starting the second quarter, Metheny would find Saxton for a 37 yards pass to get down to the ‘topper 31 yard line. The Jags would only be able to get to the 25 yard line before behind held to a 42 yard Aleem Sunanon field goal to cut the Hilltopper lead to 14-10. The drive was 6 plays, 47 yards and took 1:36 off the clock.

The Jaguar defense stiffened and opened the WKU possession with a 12 yard sack of Brandon Doughty by Romelle Jones to put them 2nd and 22 at their own 27 yard line. On 4th and 16, WKU would boom a 52 yard punt and T.J. Glover would lose two yards on the return to be downed at the Jaguar 13 yard line.

After getting a first down on a Trey Fetner run around the right side of the line out to the Jaguar 27 yard line, Metheny would be sacked for a 13 yard loss back to the 14 yard line. The Jags would not be able to get a first down and Scott Garber’s punt would go 42 yards and the returner would lose a yard on the return to the WKU 42. A holding penalty would back them up to the 32 yard line with 9:10 left before halftime.

The Hilltoppers would put together a 6 play, 68 yard drive over 3:23 to score a touchdown on a 20 yard pass for Western Kentucky to take a 21-10 lead with 5:47 left in the second quarter.

The ensuing USA possession would start at their own 25 yard line but on the first play they Metheny would connect with Saxton again for 23 yards out to the 48 yard line. Facing 4th and 1 at the WKU 43, Coach Jones would call a time out after lining up for a punt. After the time out, the snap in the punt formation would go to Trey Fetner and he would roll out to the right and try to connect with Jereme Jones, but the ball would fall incomplete to turn the ball over on downs with 3:20 left before halftime.

The Jags received the ball to begin the second half. Glover would return it from the two yard line out to the 27 before being hit and fumbling the ball forward where Desmond LaVelle would recover it for the Jaguars at the 39 yard line. Brandon Bridge would enter the game at quarterback and after back-to-back incompletions, he would find Corey Waldon for a 15 yard first down into Western Kentucky territory at the 46 yard line. He would take a seven yard sack but would connect with Saxton for a 24 yard gain to the ‘topper 29 yard line. After another seven yard loss by Bridge, Dinham would gain 10 yards on a rush to set up Sunanon’s 43 yard field goal that he would put through the uprights. The USA drive went 35 yards over nine plays spanning 3:25 to cut the Hilltopper lead to 21-13 with 11:35 left in the 3rd quarter.

South Alabama’s defense would force a punt on the next WKU possession, only allowing one first down and 24 total yards.

Starting at their own 11 yard line with 8:59 left in the 3rd quarter they would begin a critical drive, both for the team and for the fans in the stands. Brandon Bridge would pull the ball down and run for 23 yards out to the Jaguar 38 on 3rd and 6 for a fresh set of downs and getting the Jaguar offense in gear. Jay Jones would rush for five yards, then Bridge would find Bryant Lavender for six yards out to the Jaguar 49 yard line. After an eight yard sack, Bridge would load up and connect with Jereme Jones for 25 yards and a first down at the WKU 34 yard line.

Facing 3rd down and 4 at the WKU 28, Coach Jones would call his second time out of the half with 5:04 left in the 3rd quarter. Bridge would connect with Jereme Jones again for seven yards and another key first down. on 3rd and 8, Bridge would scramble for 15 yards and slide down at the 4 yard line. Jay Jones would punch it in with 3:23 left in the game to cut the Jaguars deficit to two points. Coach Jones would immediately call for a two-point conversion to try to tie the game. They would use some trickeration with a snap to the running back, a lateral to Jake Howton who would throw to a wide open Ross Metheny in the end zone to tie the game at 21.

Western Kentucky would begin at their own 28 after the kickoff. A few plays later, facing 2nd and 10 at the Jaguar 15 yard line, Romelle Jones and Clifton Crews would combine for a 12 yard sack on Doughty back at the Jaguar 27 yard line to end the 3rd quarter, a quarter in which the Jags held a time of possession advantage of 9:01 to 5:59.

Doughty’s 4th down pass would fall incomplete and they would have to settle for a 44 yard Garrett Schwettman field goal to take a 24-21 lead with 14:47 left in the game.

The ensuing kickoff would go out of bounds at the Jaguar 8 yard line, the penalty would place the ball at the 35 yard line. The Jags would have to call their second time out of the half prior to the first down play after the kickoff as the play clock was running down. On the first down play, Bridge would scramble for a 26 yard gain to the Western Kentucky 39 yard line before getting out of bounds. Jay Jones would then rush for 12 yards to the WKU 27. Bridge’s pass on 3rd and 3 at the WKU 20 intended for Saxton would fall incomplete but Sunanon would drill a 37 yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24 with 12:28 left in the game.

On the ensuing WKU possession, Anthony Wales would return the kickoff 30 yards out to the WKU 45 yard line to begin the drive. A few plays later, facing 4th and 2, Bobby Petrino would decide to go for the first down, but the Jaguar defense would hold as the pass would fall incomplete giving South Alabama the ball at the Jaguar 47 yard line with 10:25 left in the game.

Ross Metheny would return to the game and would connect with Shavarez Smith for a leaping catch for a 50 yard gain at the Western Kentucky 3 yard line. Kendall Houston appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown, but after review, they placed the ball at the one foot line for 3rd and goal. Metheny would be unable to punch it in and Coach Jones decided to kick what seemed like an easy three points. However, Sunanon’s 17 yard kick from the right hashmarks would stay right of the goalpost leaving the game tied at 24-24.

Western Kentucky would take over at their own 20 yard line and drive down to the Jaguar 46 before Doughty’s 3rd down pass was intercepted by Alex Page at the WKU 42 yard line with 4:24 left in the game.

Looking like the Jaguars were going to be able to drive down and set up a game-winning score while milking the clock, Western Kentucky would force a fumble by the sure-handed Jereme Jones to give them the ball at their own 17 yard line with 2:59 left in the game.

On 3rd and 10, Doughty would connect with Norris for 29 yards and a first down at the WKU 46 yard line. But on the very next play, Tyrell Pearson would make a break on the throw and intercept it at midfield for what looked like a pick-six touchdown. However, he would be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebration at the 1 yard line, negating the touchdown. The 15 yard penalty would back it up to the 16 yard line with 2:12 left in the game.

Jay Jones would open the possession with a two yard rush to the WKU 14 and forcing Petrino to use one of his time outs with 2:02 left. Metheny would rush for 12 yards and a first down at the two yard line before getting out of bounds and stopping the clock. Kendall Houston would only manage a one yard gain to around the 1 yard line forcing Petrino to use another time out with 1:46 left in the game. Trey Fetner would finally put the ball in the end zone to give the Jaguars a 31-24 lead with 1:38 left in the game.

The Hilltoppers would field the kickoff at their 13 and return it 21 yards to their own 34 yard line. Montell Garner would be flagged for pass interference spotting the ball at the 43 yard line with an automatic first down. Andrews would rush for 15 yards to the Jaguar 42 yard line. Another pass interference would be called, this time on Maleki Harris to place the ball at the 41 yard line. The Hilltoppers would get down the Jaguar 13 yard line with a 1st and 10 and time continuing to run. Alex Page would put pressure on Doughty to force and incomplete pass. After another incomplete pass, the Jags would call a time out on 3rd and 10 to set their defense and get a quick breather.

After the time out, Pat Moore would put the pressure on Doughty to for another incomplete pass bring up 4th and 10 at the 13 with :05 left in the game. Bobby Petrino would use his final time out to set up his last chance. This time Doughty would be pressured again and Tyrell Pearson would intercept it in the end zone to seal the Jaguar victor, 31-24.

South Alabama was outgained by Western Kentucky in total yards 427 – 414, passing yards 282 – 270 and rushing yards 145 – 144. WKU had 26 first downs to the Jaguars 18. The Hilltoppers ran 74 offensive plays, while the Jags ran 66. WKU converted 9-of-17 third downs while South Alabama converted 5-of-13.

Jay Jones led the Jags with 49 yards rushing on 11 carries. Bridge added 42 on six carries. Dinham and Metheny both added 22 yards.

Ross Metheny went 11-of15 for 193 yards and was sacked once. Bridge wen 5-of-11 for 77 yards and had two sacks. Fetner went 0-of-1.

Receiving, Wes Saxton had 91 yards on four receptions. Shavarez Smith had 72 yards on three catches. Jereme Jones added 68 yards on four receptions. Woodson, Waldon, Lavender and Dinham all also had catches in the game as well.

Qudarius Ford led the defense with 12 tackles. Enrique Williams was right behind him with 11 and combined with another Jaguar for a tackle for loss. Clifton Crews had six tackles and a half of a sack. Romelle Jones added four stops including 1.5 sacks.

“The game was as exciting as it gets. I can’t take any more of those kind of games,” Jag head coach Joey Jones joked after the game. “That’s three in a row that have come down to the last play. But I’ll take the win.”

“I’m so excited for our guys, they fought through until the end,” he continued. “Last year we weren’t making plays at the end of the game, this year we are.”

Metheny stated after the game, “I think we executed at a higher level tonight, offensively. Going in tonight I think we had a better game plan and to be able to respond to adversity the way we did. We just executed at a high level tonight. We can see what we can do offensively when we do that.”

“That’s a tough loss, we had our opportunities to win the game,” said Western Kentucky head coach Bobby Petrino. “Starting right at the end of the first half, we have control of the game and a chance on a two-minute drive to go score, and we don’t take advantage of the opportunity. They (South Alabama) made some plays in the second half. We had our chances at the end, we dropped a couple of touchdown passes and threw an interception, so we just didn’t get it done. I thought we would come down here and perform well, so I’m pretty disappointed in our performance but you have to take your hat off to South Alabama. They played well.”

“I want to commend coach Petrino and his team. Western Kentucky is a great football team. We knew that coming in,” Jones stated. “They have a first-class organization, they do things right. For us to come out on the winning side against those guys is definitely the biggest win we’ve had since I’ve been here at South Alabama. You saw how big and physical they were, and our guys stood up to the challenge.”

South Alabama will have an off week before returning to action in Knoxville, Tennessee on September 28 when they face the University of Tennessee at Neyland Stadium.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 09-10-2013

September 12, 2013 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Helmet_Camera

Head coach Joey Jones, Lee Shirvanian were joined by assistant coach Brian Turner at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.

They were quickly talking about how good the Jags win over Tulane was for the team. The Jags came out quick and finished the game. Coach Jones was very proud of the team and mentioned that most of the plays went our way and we were able to get the win.

Ross is the first Jaguar to be the Offensive Player of the Week. He was ready to play, prepared well and knew where to go with the ball.

Lee asked about the blocked punt the Jags had against Tulane. He asked if that was schemed. Coach Jones said it was. They saw on film how they protected on punts and saw a gap between their wing and their tackle. He also mentioned that their personal protector moved up to the line to change the protection but the center snapped the ball before they could change it and they were wide open to block the punt.

Injury report by Coach Jones noted that Randon Carnathan is going to miss the remainder of the season with an Achilles heel injury. Late in the season last year he tore his ACL and spent the offseason rehabbing and earning his spot back and then this happens to him in the second game of his final season.

Jerome McClain, who went out of the Tulane game with a concussion, was cleared to rejoin the team on the practice field on Wednesday. That is a bright spot for the defensive line since they lost Will Thompson in the preseason because of ankle surgery and now Carnathan.

Lee turned to Coach Turner, who coaches the defensive line, and asked how Carnathan’s injury affects them. Turner said that it’s tough losing a player, especially a senior with the experience and leadership they bring and Randon bring personally. They are deeper at that position and they rotate lots of players so they should be okay.

Romelle Jones was named the defensive lineman of the week by the coaches for his performance against Tulane with seven tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack with four quarterback pressures.
Read more

South Alabama Defeats Tulane 41-39 In The Superdome

September 9, 2013 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
South Alabama celebrates their 41-39 win over Tulane on Saturday, September 7, 2013 in the Superdome.

South Alabama celebrates their 41-39 win over Tulane on Saturday, September 7, 2013 in the Superdome.

Hard work pays off.

After the season opening loss to Southern Utah, the Jags refocused and went through a week of hard nosed workouts to prepare for their trip to New Orleans. They were determined to prove they are a better team than what the fans saw on Thursday night against the Thunderbirds.

They did just that.

“That was a great win for a lot of reasons,” head coach Joey Jones said after the game. “We struggled last week at the end of the game. We played well for three-and-a-half quarters but then lost it. In this game we played well, but then they came back and we bowed up and won it. That’s a sweet way to win a ballgame. Tulane is a much improved team.”

“But my hat’s off to my staff,” Jones continued. “We worked 16 hours a day since last Thursday night because we care about these players. And these players care about this team. They came and worked, we had a great practice week. They did everything we asked them, never dropped their heads and they came out and won the ballgame today. That’s what it’s all about. That is a good life lesson for them there.”

The Jaguars got started early when Jay Jones picked up 29 yards on the first play from scrimmage. After an incomplete pass, Metheny would gain 11 yards on a quarterback draw. Metheny would cut up the middle again and race in for a 35 yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in only 47 seconds of play.

Tulane responded with passes from Nick Montana to Rob Kelley for 15 yards, Ryan Grant for eight but Terrell Brigham would force a fumble that would be recovered by Montell Garner at the Tulane 46 yard line. The second possession would not yield points for the Jaguar though, as Cris Dinham could only manage eight yards on 3rd and 11 and would lose two yards on fourth down to turn the ball over on downs.

After a three and out by the Jaguar defense, Ross Metheny and the Jaguar offense would begin at their own 40 after a 16 yard punt by Tulane. Metheny started the drive with a five yard run, but a personal foul on Sam Scofield would add 15 yards to put the Jags in Tulane territory at the 40 yard line. Metheny would then connect with Wes Saxton for 26 yards before connecting with Shavarez Smith for the 14 yard touchdown to take a 14-0 lead with 10:18 left in the opening quarter. The drive spanned three plays covering 60 yards in 56 seconds.

The Green Wave would respond on their next possession. Montana would hit Grant for a 41 yard gain with Orleans Darkwa capping it off with a run over right tackle for two yards for the touchdown to cut the Jaguar lead in half at 14-7 with 5:56 left in the first quarter.

South Alabama would get it back on their next possession. Dinham opened the series with a four yard rush to the Jaguar 29 before Metheny went back to his tight end Wes Saxton for 24 yards down the sideline to the Tulane 47 yard line. After a short gain by Dinham again, Metheny would run on back to back plays for seven and five yards. A couple plays later, facing 3rd and 3 at the Tulane 30 yard line, Metheny would connect with Davin Hawkins for his first career touchdown reception as the Jags lead extends to 21-7.

The Jaguar defense would force a punt on Tulane’s next possession. Metheny would open the Jaguars drive on the USA 20 yard line and would quickly throw a strike to Danny Woodson for 41 yards to the Tulane 39 yard line. Metheny’s pass intended for Bryant Lavender would fall incomplete, however a pass interference call would would move the ball down to the Tulane 24 yard line. Kendall Houston would end the quarter with a four yard rush up the middle to the Tulane 20. Metheny would find Saxton open on 3rd and 6 to get the first down at the Tulane 12 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Metheny would run for 12 yards on a quarterback draw for the touchdown and a three score lead at 28-7 with 13:52 left in the second quarter.

The Green Wave would piece together an 11 play, 80 yard drive for a touchdown to cut the Jaguar lead to 28-14 with 10:23 left in the game.

On the kickoff, T.J. Glover took the ball out of the end zone and only got out to the 12 yard line, but an illegal block would move it back to the Jaguar 6 yard line. USA managed one first down before being forced to punt from their 17 yard line. However, a bad snap would get past Scott Garber, but a heads-up play by him prevented a touchdown and only gave Tulane two points on a safety to make the score 28-16.

The Jags defense would force a three-and-out on the next Tulane possession, but on the second down play, Randon Carnathan would be injured and did not return to the game. More on his injury below.

T.J. Glover would return the punt 27 yards from the Jaguar 14 to the 41 to start their possession. On the first play, with Brandon Bridge in at quarterback, the Jags would be flagged for a false start to back them up to five yards. Jay Jones would get it back and then some with a 13 yard rush up the middle just short of midfield. Two plays later on 2nd and 9, the offense would be flagged for another false start to make it 2nd and 14 and coach Jones would call a time out to settle his offense down. The Jags would be forced to punt two plays later. Garber’s 46 yard punt would go into the endzone for a touchback with 3:06 left until halftime.

Tulane would open their possession with another deep pass from Montana to Grant for 45 yards to get to the Jaguar 35 yard line. The Jaguar defense would hold the Green Wave to a 47 yard field goal as Tulane cut Jaguar lead to 28-19 with 1:31 left until halftime.

Starting from their own 25 after the touchback on the kickoff, Jay Jones would rush for five yards on back-to-back plays as it looked like Coach Jones and Coach Matthews were content to run out the clock on the half. But then Metheny would find Jereme Jones for an 18 yard gain to the Tulane 47 yard line. The offense would run to the line to spike the ball as the Jags only had one time out with 14 seconds left till halftime. Metheny would then go back to Saxton again for 10 more yards to the Tulane 37 with :07 seconds left and they would call their final time out. Metheny would connect with Saxton one more time for eight yards and he would get out of bounds at the Tulane 29 yard line. Aleem Sunanon would make the 46 yard field goal attempt to lead the Jaguars into the lockerroom with a 31-19 lead at halftime.

Tulane would begin the second half with Dante Butler returning the kickoff from the endzone to the 19 yard line before Rush Hendrix would take him down. A false start would back them up to their own 14 yard line. On 3rd and 14, Romelle Jones would sack Montana for a six yard loss at the Tulane 9 yard line.

The Jags would have Glover’s 12 yard punt return brought back as E.J. May was flagged for an illegal block to start a bad possession for the Jaguars. Two plays later on 3rd and 5 at the Tulane 48 yard line, Metheny’s pass would bounce off of Bryant Lavender’s chest and would be intercepted by Nico Marley and returned 30 yards to the Jaguar 30 yard line, but a personal foul would move the ball to the 15 yard line. Tulane would score a touchdown three plays later when Darkwa would take it in from one yard out to cut the Jaguar lead to 31-26 with 11:42 left in the 3rd quarter.

On the ensuing possession for the Jaguars, facing 3rd and 8 from the Jaguar 27, Metheny would find Jereme Jones across the middle for 11 yards and a first down. But two plays later Metheny, running the read option, would fumble the exchange with Dinham that would be recovered by Marley at the Jaguar 39 yard line. The Jags would force an incompletion by Montana on 4th and 2 at the Jaguar 31 to give the offense the ball back on downs with 8:47 left in the 3rd quarter.

Metheny would start the possession with a 12 yard run before connecting with Saxton on back-to-back passes for 12 and 4 yards. But on 3rd and 5 at the Tulane 40, Metheny would be flushed from the pocket and try to float a pass to Saxton on the right sideline, but a leaping defender would pick it off and return it 25 yards to the Jaguar 40 before offensive lineman Drew Dearman forced him out of bounds saving a touchdown.

Montana would connect with Grant again for a 40 yard touchdown pass on their first play. Grant would be flagged for excessive celebration and the Jags would be flagged for roughing the passer. The defensive penalty was enforced on the kickoff while the celebration penalty was enforced on the PAT. Tulane would get their first and only lead of the game at 33-31 with 6:35 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Jags would drive 17 yards before being forced to punt which was fair caught at the Tulane 20 yard line. On 3rd and 8 from their own 22, Montana was sacked for a 10 yard loss by Alex Page. The special teams unit stepped up to help the offense as Qudarius Ford blocked the Tulane punt and Terrance Timmons would recover it in the endzone for a Jaguar touchdown to give the Jags the lead once again at 38-33 with 1:13 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Tulane and the Jaguars next possession would be three-and-out’s. Tulane’s next possession would be a disaster. A nine yard rush by Kelley would come back on a holding call to make it 1st and 20 at the Tulane 45. A bad snap would cause them to lose six more yards for a 2nd and 26 at their own 39 yard line. Montana’s screen pass to Butler would be sniffed out by Romelle Jones for a four yard loss to make it 3rd and 30 at their own 35. Clifton Crews would then sack Montana for another six yard loss to make it 4th and 36 from the Tulane 29.

The Tulane punt would be fielded at the Jaguar 25 by Glover and returned one yard, but Montell Garner would be flagged for a personal foul to move it back to the Jaguar 13 yard line with 10:43 left in the game.

The Jags would go three and out again and Scott Garber’s 45 yard punt would be returned only three yards to put the ball at the Green Wave 45 yard line. Montana would try another deep pass but Roman Buchanan would pick him off at the Jaguar 16 yard line and  it would be upheld after a review.

The Jags would take over at their own 16 yard line with 9:46 left in the game and a 38-33 lead. Metheny would open up with a 15 yard completion from Metheny to Davin Hawkins but he would fumble it out of bounds at the Jaguar 31 yard line. Then Metheny would load up again and connect with Shavarez Smith for a big 43 yard gain to the Tulane 26 yard line. After a rush by Dinham for no gain and an incomplete pass, the Jags faced 3rd and 10. Metheny would hand it off to Dinham who took it over left end and would go out of bounds after a 14 yard gain to the Tulane 12 yard line and another South Alabama first down. Jay Jones would run off left end for eight more yards to the Tulane 4 yard line. Houston would lose two on a rush, then on 3rd down Metheny’s pass to Jereme Jones would fall incomplete. Coach Jones would opt to take points and kick a 23 yard field goal to put the Jags up 41-33 with 6:07 left in the game.

Brandon McKee’s kickoff would be fielded at the one yard line and David Hawkins would bring down the Green Wave returner at the 18 yard line. Montana would find Matt Marfisi for 18 yards to the Tulane 36. After a deep pass intended for Grant fell incomplete, he came right back to Grant for nine yards on the sideline. Darkwa would get the first down on 3rd and 1 by getting two yards. Montana, after an incomplete pass, would find Xavier Rush for 10 yards and another first down. A run by Montana would go for 11 yards to get into Jaguar territory at the 43 yard line. A screen pass to Kelley would gain six yards, then a slant pass to Sydie London would gain three more yards to the Jaguar 23. Two plays later Montana would complete a pass to Rush for 10 more yards to the Jaguar 12 yard line. After a draw play only gained two yards to the Jaguar 10 yard line, Tulane would take a time out with 1:31 left in the game. After lining up, the Jags would take a time out to adjust their defense. On 2nd and 8 at the Jaguar 10 yard line, Montana’s pass appeared to be intercepted by Roman Buchanan, but after a review it was called an incomplete pass. On the next play Montana would hit Grant for a 10 yard touchdown to draw them within a two point conversion with 1:19 left in the game.

On the two point play, Montana was pressured out of the pocket to the right sideline when the Jaguars brought a blitz, he would put up a throw but it would be intercepted by Maleki Harris leaving the Jaguars up 41-39. The Jags would use their final time out to set up for the onsides kick. The kick would go nine yards and would be recovered by Bryant Lavender at the Tulane 44 yard line. The Jags could finally end the game with the victory formation.

South Alabama put up great offensive numbers. They gained 328 yard in the first half, which almost equaled the the 335 yards they gained in the whole game against Southern Utah in the previous game.

The Jags ended the game with 465 total yards of offense, 297 yards through the air and 168 on the ground. USA gained 25 first downs to Tulane’s 20. Tulane ended with a slight edge time of possession with 30:03 to USA’s 29:57.

Ross Metheny ended the game as the leading rusher with 75 yards on 11 attempts and two touchdowns. Jay Jones gained 64 yards on 11 carries, Dinham added 28 yards on 10 carries and Houston had 17 yards on 7 carries.

Tulane’s Orleans Darkwa rushed 10 times for 32 yards and two touchdowns.

Ross Metheny went 19-of-30 for 290 yards and two touchdowns while taking two sacks and two interceptions. Bridge was 1-of-2 for seven yards.

Nick Montana went 29-of-47 for 327 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

Wes Saxton led the Jaguars with 92 yards on 7 catches. Jereme Jones added four catches for 50 yards, Danny Woodson also had 50 yards on three catches. Shavarez Smith gained 57 yards on two catches with a touchdown. Davin Hawkins caught two passes for 45 yards and his first career touchdown as a Jaguar. Two other Jags had catches as well.

Tulane’s highly touted receiver lived up to his billing with 187 yards on 14 catches and two touchdowns. Xavier Rush was the next closest with 34 yards on three catches.

Defensively, Qudarius Ford led the Jags with 8 total tackles, two pass breakups and a punt block. Romelle Jones and Terrell Brigham both added seven stops with Jones collecting two tackles for loss and one sack. Clifton Crews and Alex Page both had a sack as well. Roman Buchanan had the only interception for the Jaguar defense.

Tulane’s Sam Scofield led all tacklers with 15 total, 13 solo and two for loss. Robertson added 11 tackles, two for loss and a sack for the Green Wave.

South Alabama scored touchdowns on four of their first five drives.

Tulane rebounded early in the second half by turning three Jaguar turnovers into 14 points to take the lead on the Jags.

Qudarius Ford said after the game, “We practiced that punt block all week. We knew they weren’t going to be ready for it. When the coaches called it, I knew it was going to work. We just executed. We saw how the wings always flared out, and it left the underneath gap wide open. I knew when I got through that it was money.”

It was the first time since Tennessee-Martin on October 15, 2011 that the Jaguar offense has put together multiple scoring drives that were under a minute.

The 21-7 first quarter marked the most point production by the Jaguars in the first quarter of a game since they scored 20 against Lamar on September 10, 2011. They gained 245 yards and 11 first downs in the opening quarter.

The 465 yards of total offense is the most against an FBS school in the University’s short history. Metheny’s four scores is another school-record.

“We were just taking what they gave us and kept rolling,” Ross Metheny stated after the game. “We made the plays tonight, and that’s what our offense is set up to do. We put ourselves in position to make the plays, we just have to make them. We struggled with that a little last year and last week as well. But we finally made the plays and did what we were supposed to do tonight.”

“We got up big early,” Metheny continued. “The offense played great the first half, probably the best offensive half we have had. Then we came out and had three turnovers fairly quickly in the second half, but the defense was playing really good in the second half. We had to have a big play, and we blocked the punt. The punt return staff did a great job of coming up with that punt block. It was something we saw on film, and it worked just right. You have to make those plays in order to win big games and we did it.”

“It’s the biggest win we’ve ever had,” Jones stated. “We have a lot of games coming that we can win. Winning is a habit. We want our guys to win, and they have done that. I’m so proud of the way they fought back, and fought against the fact we lost last week late in the game and came out here and won a tough game on the road.”

“Tulane is a much-improved team, and they have a good football program,” he continued. “They’re going to do well in Conference USA. For us to come on the road and win one like that is big for the South Alabama football program. Curtis Johnson (Tulane head coach), his staff and the players acted first class the entire game. My hat’s off to them. They are the kind of team you want to play against, because they play the game the right way.”

Coach Jones spoke about true freshman Roman Buchanan by saying, “Coming in and playing like that in Division I football as a true freshman is big. We know he’s a great player, and he’s going to be a great one in the future for sure.”

Coach Jones also spoke about stopping the two-point conversion at the end of the game. He said, “That was big. Most teams want to sprint out to the right, and I went up to coach Sherrer and asked him if we were going to bring edge pressure and he said, ‘We’re going to bring everybody.’ We brought an all-out blitz and pressured the quarterback, and he couldn’t really get his feet set to throw the ball. It was a great call by coach Sherrer.”

When asked if he would like to see a series between the two schools, Jones replied, “I would love for it to be. Two hours away; we’d love to have a rivalry with them in the future.”

However the two teams are not scheduled to play again until October 10, 2020 when Tulane travels to Mobile.

Randon Carnathan’s injury turned out to be some sort of Achilles heel injury and was in a protective boot on the sidelines when he returned to the sideline. The extent of his injury is unknown

JuCo tranfer Jerome McClain came out of the game with a concussion. He will have to clear medical tests before he will be allowed to return to practice or games.

Losing two defensive linemen will hurt their depth at that position.

Jereme Jones consecutive games with a catch streak is up to 29 now.

South Alabama will open Sun Belt play on Saturday when they play Western Kentucky for the first time. The game will feature Bobby Petrino’s up-tempo offense that they used to defeat Kentucky on the road to open the season. South Alabama and Western Kentucky is set to kick off at 6:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Come out and support your Jaguars in this key Sun Belt game. Go Jags!

Monday Press Conference

November 27, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Romelle Jones and Alex Page give chase to the FAU quarterback during the Jaguars win in 2012.

The University of South Alabama held their weekly press conference on Monday. As the Jags are very busy preparing for their trip to Hawaii, the offensive and defensive coordinators filled in for head coach Joey Jones. The coordinators were joined by quarterback Ross Metheny and defensive lineman Romelle Jones. Below are highlights from the press conference.

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark began with an opening statement. “We’re going to lose a day in travel, so we have had to kind of tighten our belts coming straight off the last game and get the game plan in even earlier than we normally would. It’s a different feeling this week, you’re at the end of a long season; as a player, you just have to fight through that. From a preparation standpoint, it’s a time crunch trying to get ready, I think we have done a good job the last couple of days.”

Clark then spoke about going up against a program that is run by Norm Chow, a well known coach. “It’s like the trip, it’s a great experience. Of course, these are the things that keep coaches up at night, going against a guy who has been at Southern Cal and with the Titans. And that’s who they are; it’s a pro-style offense. That has been a point of interest for our players given his history and how well he has done as a coordinator.”

“They came into their own last week and scored a lot of points,” he continued. “They have played against a lot of great opponents their first year he has been running the program, so I hope they are not hitting their stride right now.”

Clark then spoke about what he has seen from his players the last few weeks. “The thing that we have talked about is fighting, and before last week I felt really good. You can sit here and talk about us being banged up, injuries and playing 13 games, but we can’t do that. I will promise you one thing, I know our guys are going to fight. We’re going over there to get a ‘W.’ We really want to see these guys finish strong, and finish on a good note for the seniors and next year’s team.”

“Our guys came out last night to practice just like it was week six or seven, and they did the same thing today. I think as a fan you have to like what you see on both sides of the ball and the kicking game, the effort that they have put in this year. Hopefully that can translate to a win.”

Finally Clark spoke about how important it is to finish the season strong in Hawaii. “We’re going to see their maturity level. Can you go do these things, have some down time and still be about your business? We have a lot of guys who have been through the wars, but they haven’t been through this though. It will be interesting to see how handle the long travel, the different time zone and one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

First year offensive coordinator Robert Matthews began with his opening statement before the press. “I think one of the things we have to make sure we are good at this week is monitoring the maturity level of the team with the travel, the long trip, the changing of the schedule and being in a place like Waikiki Beach. Certainly it’s a place where most of the guys on our team have not been before so they are going to see some sights and it will be a life-changing experience for them. While they are excited about being able to go and see a place like Hawai’i, they need to understand that we are going to play a football game. That’s our ultimate job, to go there, play the game and get a victory. Making sure our team is mature and that they handle it the right way, which I’m sure they will, is real important for us.”

Matthews then spoke about what Hawaii does defensively to create problems for opponents offenses. “They are a pressure defense, they try to create pressure situations on the quarterback and try to pressure your run game. It’s based out of a 3-5 [formation], and they are using multiple fronts and multiple coverages. They really just try to create confusion up front, give your quarterback different looks and wreck your run game with movement and blitzes.”

He then spoke about what he wants to see from the offense in the last game of the season. “I want them to finish strong. We have done some good things at times, and certainly there are things we would like to take back and work to correct. I want them to play with great energy, and I want them to enjoy playing the game of football. These guys don’t realize how lucky they are to be playing Division I football and to have the experiences they are having. I want them to embrace this opportunity, this is our final game of the 2012 season, and play with the passion that got them started in the game.”

“Obviously we want to execute, score points and move the football, but if they play with a high energy level and with that true passion that got them playing the game in the first place, then I think we will be successful.”

Quarterback Ross Metheny spoke about what he hopes to accomplish in the final game of the season for the Jags. “It’s a big trip, and we’re excited about it. We’re excited about playing a new opponent, but we have to keep in mind that it is a business trip and we are going there to win a football game and take care of business. We’re going to have fun with it, but again it is a business trip and we’re looking to play our best football.”

“It would be big for us to get a win going in to the offseason, just to have some momentum,” he continued. “The coaches and players always preach finishing strong, and I think a win at Hawaii would definitely be a good finish especially for our seniors who have put in so much hard work in building this program and getting this thing going. Finishing [the season] with a win would be great for them.”

Metheny then spoke about the importance of getting a win moving forward. “It just leaves a positive taste in your mouth going into all of the offseason work. This season has been up and down with a lot of close losses, and to be able to look back and say we finished strong with a win would be positive for our guys and a good motivator going forward.”

He also spoke about the Jaguars close losses this season. “Eventually, being so close isn’t enough. That’s kind of what has happened all season. We have been close in so many games, and haven’t been able to put a whole game together. Enough of that. We want to put one together, finish strong and take that into the offseason knowing that is what South Alabama football is going to be.”

Metheny then addressed where he thinks the program fits into the Sun Belt Conference. “If you look at the games we have played this year, we have been close in so many. It has kind of been a learning experience with everyone involved with this program. But one thing to take away from it is our competitiveness and our competitive spirit of this team and coaching staff. We have never quit in any game, and my hat’s off to my teammates and our coaching staff. You don’t want to take moral victories, but I think we have established ourselves and we can say that we can be competitive in this league especially going forward. There is a lot of respect for the teams in the Sun Belt, but we’re excited about the future going forward.”

Finally he spoke about going to Hawaii. “A lot of guys wouldn’t have this opportunity if they didn’t play Division-I football. It’s a neat experience. For me personally, I get to see my sister who lives out there. I’m excited about that. It’s going to be fun. It will be a new environment, but we will absorb it all then get down to business and go win a football game. We’re excited about it as a team. This is what Division-I football is – making big trips, travelling and going and playing football.”

Defensive lineman Romelle Jones began by talking about what he hopes to accomplish in the Jaguars final game of the 2012 season. “Our number-one goal is to definitely get a win. That is always the most important thing. It is a business trip. It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A lot of guys probably would have never had this opportunity without being a part of this great thing we have going at South Alabama.”

He continued by talking about the importance of getting a win for the program moving forward. “College football is built on momentum, and that would be great momentum going into the offseason. It would give guys something to look forward to. To have a win to finish the season and leave us with a great taste in our mouths going into the offseason would be great.”

Jones also spoke about the Jaguars close losses this season. “It’s not enough coming close every game. I feel like we shouldn’t look back at the past as much, but just look forward and use it as a building block as something great that we can build on this offseason. We can definitely have something to look forward to and build off of.”

He then spoke about where he feels the South Alabama program fits in the Sun Belt conference. “This season was a great building block. It wasn’t a great season, but I know it was a confidence-builder for a lot of guys. That let us know that we can compete with guys on any level and can pretty much go toe-to-toe with anybody in the Sun Belt.”

Finally, Jones also spoke about going to Hawaii. “It’s something that growing up I never thought I would be able to experience at such a young age. It just really warms my heart. It’s a great thing, but at the end of the day we still have to focus and realize that it is a business trip and we need to take care of our business and finish this season off in the proper way.”

South Alabama and Hawaii will kickoff at 10pm Central time.

Jags Finish Final Practice Of The Week On Wednesday

October 4, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Offensive lineman running position drills in preseason camp.

The Jaguars practiced again on Wednesday, their last practice of the week before returning for regular game-week preparation.

The two hour practice was very similar to day before with work on fundamentals, game-planning for Arkansas State and getting younger players in for some reps. An off-week is a great time to get younger players reps on the practice field, especially when the team is as banged up as they are right now.

Four defensive linemen are out after the game against Troy. Romelle Jones is healing from an injury suffered early against NC State. Montavious Williams suffered an ankle injury against Troy. Anthony Taylor suffered a season ending broken leg against Mississippi State.

“We just tried to install parts of the gameplan and had some good fundamental work today,” head coach Joey Jones told the Press-Register. “We had a little scrimmage with the young guys again today so I think that this break is coming at a real good time. I think if we had to play this weekend we’d be in bad shape. We’ve got about four defensive linemen out. They’ll be back, but they would be in some pretty significant pain if they had to play this weekend so it came at a pretty good time.”

The Jags will have Thursday, Friday and Saturday off before returning for meetings and gameplan study. Then they will return to the practice fields on Monday afternoon to continue implementing their game plan for their trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas to face Arkansas State.

Jags Looking To Build Consistency In Off-Week

October 2, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

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

There has been a lot of debate by fans over the Jaguars two-quarterback system that they have used so far this season. The coaches are also debating that question.

Coach Jones was quoted saying, “We’re going to make that decision – actually we’re formulating that decision as we speak – and I think by Wednesday we’ll definitely have an answer. I think by the Wednesday practice we’ll make an announcement as to how we’re going to do it.”

C.J. Bennett is 59-of-95 for 543 yards, four interceptions and three touchdowns on the season. Virginia transfer Ross Metheny is 34-of-59 for 354 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown on the season himself.

But Bennett is ranked second among rushers with 28 carries for 134 yards with no touchdowns yet. Metheny has ran 25 times for 7 yards and no touchdowns either.

While Trey Fetner came in for two plays against Troy, he will not be thrown in the mix for the starting position. However, he could be used in certain situations. Trey ran in from three yards out for the Jags only touchdown against Troy on Saturday. His other play in the game, he ran on 4th and 1 to pick up the first down. “We’ll use him in the wildcat (offensive set),” Jones explained. “He’s a good runner. He offers that and it would be good to expand on that package too.”

The week off comes at a great time for the Jaguar defense. Safety B.J. Scott missed the second half of the game against Troy due to a “mild concussion”. He is expected to be available to play when the Jags travel to Arkansas State on October 13. Scott make six tackles in the game, five in the first quarter as well as an interception on the first play from scrimmage by Troy. He also had a pass breakup, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries.

Defensive lineman Romelle Jones returned to the lineup against Troy after missing Mississippi State and most of the NC State game due to injury. Montavious Williams is dealing with an ankle injury but should be fine by Arkansas State. “Romelle Jones played (against Troy) but not at 100 percent,” Jones explained. “Hopefully this will give him time to get his knee back 100 percent because he missed the Mississippi State game. Montavious Williams turned his ankle. He played about 10 plays and that was it. Hopefully another two weeks and he’ll be ready to go and hopefully we’ll be back to 100 percent on defense.”

But while they are trying to decide between quarterbacks and healing their bumps and bruises, they are also working hard to gain some consistency.

The offense is looking to find a way to put more points on the scoreboard and to consistently move the ball. While the defense is trying to prevent more big plays. The coaching staff is staying late at night to watch game film to devise game plans and schemes to help achieve these goals.

In the Monday press conference coach Jones said, “I didn’t sleep Saturday night. I’m hard on myself and I expect to win. You hurt for about a day or two, but then you get back to work and realize you have a chance to get better. You can take adversity any way you want, you can pout about it or you can learn from it and get better. If we take the approach of learning from it, then we have a chance to get better. We’re going to keep fighting.”

“We need it,” Jones said about their off date this weekend. “our guys are beat up. We’ve been through four-and-a-half weeks of camp and five weeks of games, you’re talking about nine weeks without a break. It’s coming at a good time.”

The team will practice through Wednesday then the players and coaches will have three days off before getting back to work on game-week preparations for Arkansas State.

Jags Lose Tough Conference Opener To Troy

September 30, 2012 · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference · 2 Comments 

Game Captains for South Alabama Romelle Jones, B.J. Scott, Greg Hollinger and Alex Page meet the Troy captains at mid-field for the coin toss in the two teams first meeting and the Jaguars first Sun Belt Conference game.

The South Alabama Jaguars lost their Sun Belt conference opener to Troy 31-10 in a penalty-filled, wet mess. Coming into this game, the Jags knew where they had been and knew where they wanted to be, but after this game they know where they are, at least for the time being.

The Jaguars had four turnovers in the game and could only muster 59 yards passing in the game. Troy’s Corey Robinson threw for 223 yards and ran for a touchdown in the win. But the game had 25 penalties, 15 on the Jaguars for 142 yards.

South Alabama forced five Troy turnovers, a number of them in very key situations where Troy was driving for scores. But the Jaguar offense only managed 51 yards of total offense and two first downs in the second half after they were able to gain 201 yards in the first half.

“Troy played a great game. They were probably a little better than us, and we made a few mistakes. You’re not going to play it close when you do that,” Jaguar head coach Joey Jones explained. “We had some first-half chances and I really thought after halftime that if we came out and scored it would be a different ballgame, but we didn’t do that. We’re a young program. We’re trying to get this thing going and sometimes this is part of it. We kind of know where we are now. Troy is a dominant team in the league, they’ve been there, done that.”

“Their defense made adjustments in the second half, and really shut us down,” Jones said. “I thought we moved the ball pretty good in the first half, but we didn’t in the second half and that was due to them making adjustments and playing well.”

“Offensively, they’re real explosive. They can move the ball at the drop of a hat,” Jones said. “I thought we played pretty good defensively at times, but they are very good offensively.”

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said after the game, “We made the same basic game-plan calls in the second half that we made in the first. We probably ran them a little bit better. After you play a team for a half, you sort of scout them as you go as coach Dye used to say. You get better playing the things that they are doing. I think that was part of it. I thought we had a good plan against (South Alabama). They did some things a little different in some of the things they had done, but nothing majorly different. We sort of got in tune with them in the second half and played pretty hard and played better. Made some tackles and got a couple of tackles for loss, interceptions and turnovers.”

The game started well with B.J. Scott intercepting Corey Robinson on the Trojan’s first play from scrimmage, but the Jags were unable to convert the early turnover into points as they went three-and-out and forced to punt at the Troy 47 yard line.

After a rush for 11 yards and a first down, the Troy offense would be forced to punt, but T.J. Glover would fumble the punt at his own 29 yard line and it would be recovered by the Trojans.

The first and ten play would go for 24 yards to the Jaguar five yard line, but the Jaguar defense punt the clamps on again and forced Troy to settle for a 21 yard field goal.

Again the Jags would go three and out and the Scott Garber punt would be downed at the Troy 43 yard line. Corey Robinson would complete back-to-back passes for 16 and 38 yards to set up at the Jaguar one yard line. They would punch it in on the next play to take a 10-0 lead on the Jags with 8:05 left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, T.J. Glover would return the kickoff from the one yard line 21 yards but a holding penalty would put the Jags at their own 12 yard line. Demetre Baker would rush for 7 and 9 yards and a Jaguar first down. But Ross Metheny would run on the quarterback keeper and fumble the ball away to Troy at the Jaguar 30 yard line.

Troy would get flagged for a hold on their first down play and get backed up to the 38 yard line with a first and 18. A screen pass to Shawn Southward would be go for a loss of five as Jake Johnson and Romelle Jones combined for the stop. On second and 23, Southward would take the handoff 31 yards before Darrius Morrow would force a fumble that Terrel Brigham would recover at the Jaguar 6 yard line.

The Jags would finally get a good drive put together starting at the Jaguar 6 yard line. Baker would rush for 2 yards then lose a yard on the second run. Then C.J. Bennett, who rotated in for Ross Metheny, would scramble for 10 yards and a first down at the 17 yard line. Baker would rush again for 3 more yards then the Jags would take a time out with 3:29 left in the first quarter.

On 2nd and 7, Glover would come in as a running back and rush for nine yards and a first down. Bennett’s pass attempt to Wes Saxton would fall incomplete, then Glover would rush for 6 more yards to set up a 3rd and 4 at the Jaguar 35 yard line. Demetre Baker would come in for Glover and run for 10 yards and another Jaguar first down. After an incomplete pass to Cameron Broadnax, Bennett would opt to keep the ball and find a seam for a 50 yard run down to the Troy five yard line. Another run around the right side for Bennett would net two yards.

Trey Fetner would come into the game and run left for the three yard touchdown to get the Jags on the board 10-7 with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.

Troy would answer the Jags touchdown with one of their own. An 8 play, 70 yard drive spanning 4 minutes on the clock would put the Trojans up 17-7 with 11:46 left in the second quarter.

On the kickoff, Glover would get a 22 yard return out to the Jaguar 24 yard line, but a personal fould on Terrel Brigham would place the ball at their own 12 yard line. The Jags would go three and out and after a four yard return, would be set up near midfield at the Troy 48 yard line.

After a holding penalty on Troy, they faced a 2nd and 13 at the Jaguar 39 and Gabe Loper would intercept the Robinson pass at the 28 yard line and return it 19 yards out to the Jaguar 47 yare line. with 8:17 left in the half.

Baker would open the series with a 15 yard rush down to the Troy 48 yard line. Bennett would then run the ball for another 9 yards. On back to back rushes by Baker, he would rush for 4 and 1 yards, but on the second rush Troy’s Zach Miller would be flagged for a personal foul to place the ball at the Troy 12 yard line with a first down. After a Kendall Houston rush for three yards, Bennett would throw an incomplete pass intended for Lavender. Then on third and 7 at the Troy 9 yard line, Bennett’s pass intended for Jereme Jones in the end zone would be picked off and returned 10 yards.

The Jags defense would force a three and out and get the ball at their own 49 yard line with 4:18 left in the game. Metheny would return to the game and hand off to Demetre Baker on the first two plays for 6 and 3 yards. Then the Metheny pass intended for Greg Hollinger would fall incompleted forcing Garber to punt again.

Starting on their own 20 yard line, Robinson’s pass to Chip Reeves would go for 19 yards then the Jaguar sidelines would be penalized 5 yards for a delay of game as well as Tyrell Pearson being flagged for a personal foul for another 15 yards, putting the ball at the Jaguar 41 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Robinson would find Reeves again for another 39 yards to the Jaguar 2 yard line. Robinson would run the ball in on the next play to put the Trojans up 24-7 with 2:13 left in the half.

The Jags would put together another good drive on the ensuing possession. A short kickoff would be fielded by Randon Carnathan and returned 12 yards to the 35 yard line. Baker would rush for one yard on the first down play. Then Metheny would find Corey Besteda for a 19 yard gain to the Troy 45 yard line. Then Metheny would run for five yard and get out of bounds to stop the clock. Baker would run for another three yards followed by Metheny gaining a yard then the Jags would call a time out with 38 seconds left in the half to set up their 4th and 1 play.

After coming out with Fetner at quarterback and Metheny at receiver, Troy would burn a timeout to adjust. Then the Jags would come out with Metheny back at quarterback to which Larry Blakeney would be forced to burn another time out to adjust to. Then, with Troy out of time outs Fetner would return to the game and run for the needed yard and a first down at the Troy 35.

Metheny would throw a pass to Baker in the flat, but he would cut it back inside for no gain and forced the coaching staff to call a time out to stop the clock with 20 seconds left. Metheny would hit Jereme Jones for 11 yards and a first down at the Troy 24 yard line. The field goal unit would run on the first and the 41 yard attempt would be blocked but recovered by Demetre Baker at the Troy 31 yard line with 4 seconds left in the half. The Jags would be penalized for delay of game. With one second left in the half, the Jags would get one last shot and Chapuseaux would connect on the 53 yard field goal for a halftime score of 24-10 in favor of Troy.

The Jags would go three and out on their first series of the second half. Troy would drive down to the Jaguar 7 yard line befroe facing a 3rd and 6 at the 7 yard line, Alex Page would sack Robinson for a 13 yard loss and forcing Troy to attempt a field goal. The attempt would be blocked and recovered by Gabe Loper.

The next Jaguar possession, they would go three and out. Garber’s punt would be fair caught at the 26, but an illegal block would back them up to the 16 yard line. Troy would drive down to the Jaguar 7 yard line facing first and goal, Justin Albert would get caught for a loss then Jesse Kelley would force a fumble that would be recovered by Enrique Williams at the Jaguar 16 yard line and avoiding a Trojan score.

Yet again, the Jaguar offense would go three and out and forced to punt. Back to back competions for Troy would go for 17 and 19 yards down to the Jaguar 27 yard line to end the third quarter. Two plays later, Robinson would be picked off in the end zone by Charles Watson for a touchback.

Baker would rush for a yard, Bennett’s first pass would fall incomplete intended for Hollinger, then on third and 9, Bennett would hit Jereme Jones for 19 yards to the Jaguar 40 yard line. Bennett would keep the ball for an 8 yard gain then Baker is caught for a two yard loss to set up third down and 4. Tremain Smith would be flagged for a false start then the 3rd and 9 pass would fall incomplete forcing the Jags to punt again.

On the punt, Troy would be flagged for holding to put the ball back at the Troy 14 yard line. Deon Anthony’s pass would be thrown up in the sky and completed to Chris Williams for a 44 yard gain. Again the Jaguar bench would be flagged for a 5 yard delay of game penalty as well. Troy would get a touchdown a few plays later for the final score of the game to make it 31-10.

The Jags would get the ball two more times. Metheny would be intercepted on his first pass attempt on a deep throw at the Troy 17. On their second, The Jags managed one first down before being forced to punt with 34 seconds left in the game.

“It’s our first Sun Belt Conference game, and I have to keep things in perspective as do our kids,” Coach Jones observed. “We’re all competitors and want to win. For us to play and beat a team like Troy in our first conference game would be a miracle. But as a coach, I look at it and think there were things we could have done to have been in the ballgame. We’re going to get there, we’re not quite there yet, but we’re going to get there. We’re just going through a growing time right now.”

Sometimes those growing pains hurt the worst when you had a chance in the game. But some penalties were so bizarre, that it was unbelievable.

For instance in the waning moments of the first half the Jags elect to kick a field goal with 14 seconds remaining on first down. The Chapuseaux kick was blocked and recovered by the Jags so the Troy field goal unit went to the sidelines to celebrate what they thought was a block and turnover. The South Alabama coaches found the nearest officials and told them that the ball should still be possessed by the Jags since an attempt was made and the ball was blocked and therefore never went past the line of scrimmage.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar kicking unit stayed on the field and the Troy coaches, special teams unit and offense were all grouped together near the sidelines conferring with the officials. Once the referee made the call, the Jaguar special teams unit was standing at the line of scrimmage waiting to snap the ball as the official stood over the ball. Once the whistle was blown, the Jags snapped the ball but it was immediately whistled dead. The penalty? Delay of game on the offense.

After marking off a five yard penalty, Michel Chapuseaux drilled a 53 yard field goal, the longest in his career and set a new Jaguar record for longest field goal.

That was such as the game went. Numerous obvious fouls occurred in front of officials that were perputrated by Troy that were never called. Junior defensive back Zach Miller, after a long incompletion by the Jags, was walking back to the line of scrimmage and as Corey Besteda jogged past him, shoved him in the back. It wasn’t a “genty nudge” or anything like that. It was a full on shove that was meant to try to make him lose balance. But it was not called, nor did the referee in the area caution him about the incident.

I think that sequence to end the first half really let the air out of the team in many ways. But they did not give up. They fought very hard in the second half and turned away a couple of scores, the offense could not get going with the hole they faced.

Taylor Broke Two Bones In Right Leg Against MSU

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Alabama Completes Final Practice Prior To MSU

September 21, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Romelle Jones along with Melvin Meggs, Trey Clark, Jake Johnson and Tyrell Pearson were selected as team captains for the Jaguars road game against Mississippi State.

South Alabama held its final practice before the Jags travel to Starkville, Mississippi to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The coaching staff continued to stress improvements to its third-down conversions.

During the practice that spanned around two hours, the Jags continued to prepare on both sides of the ball for the Bulldog players. They also continued to work on the teams mindset prior to this weekends game.

“We had good preparation I thought,” head coach Joey Jones said. “The coaches came out and did a good job. The players came out and had a good day and they were concentrating on what they were doing. We’ve got a great task at hand and they understand that. So I think they’re focused on what they were doing.”

“We’re a young football program, so the biggest thing we’ve got to do is stay the course,” he continued. “We can’t get frustrated when things go wrong and we have to become a better team each week. We know where we are, we’re young and we’re trying to prove ourselves, and the biggest thing I want to do is gain respect from our opponents in how we play. That’s one of my main goals each week when we go out is to gain respect and that’s not different when we’re playing a team like Mississippi State.”

According to the Press-Register, defensive lineman Romelle Jones will not play in Saturday’s game. Jones, a 6’2″ 275-pound junior from New Orleans had an MRI on his shoulder Tuesday which indicated he had a partial dislocation. He is expected to miss two to three weeks. However it was mentioned that Jones had a non-season ending knee injury earlier this week.

Jesse Kelley is expected to start in his place against Mississippi State. Jones had played in all three previous games this season and had earned his first start of the season against NC State.

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.

Next Page »