West Alabama game notes

September 4, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Wishbone

Demetre Baker, Paul Bennett and Kendall Houston line up in the wishbone at the goal line.

The Jaguars get the job done, but it wasn’t pretty. The Jags had to shake off four turnovers in the first half to get the 20-10 victory and extend their all-time record to 18-0.

The Jaguars racked up 205 yards on the ground and another 151 yards in the air in the game. The rushing attack was lead by Kendall Houston who ran for 78 yards on 11 touches for two touchdowns after being suspended for the first half with three other players. Ellis Hill added 40 yards on seven carries in the start. Demetre Baker, another player suspended for the first half, added 39 yards on six carries. C.J. Bennett ran for 31 yards on eight runs with a touchdown. Santuan McGee chipped in 17 yards on four carries.

C.J. Bennett was 12-of-21 for 151 yards and three touchdowns with one sack. Bryant Lavender lead the receivers with three catches for 55 yards. Corey Waldon also had three catches for 21 yards. Jereme Jones added 27 yards with his two catches. Four other receivers had receptions in the game, highlighted by Lamontis Gardner with a 28 yard reception.

South Alabama gained one more first down than West Alabama with 18 to their 17. Both teams gained 10 first downs on the ground. The Jaguars rushed for 205 yards on 36 carries to UWA’s 167 yards on 47 carries. USA averaged 5.7 yards per rush to UWA’s 3.6 yards per rush. Also the Jags only lost 10 yards while running the ball compared to UWA’s 49 yards lost rushing.

USA was 12-for-21 passing with three interceptions for 151 yards while averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and 12.6 yards per completion. UWA went 10-for-22 passing with two interceptions. They averaged 4.6 yards per play and 10.1 yards per completion.

South Alabama gained 356 yards on 57 offensive plays with an average of 6.2 yards per play. USA fumbled three times and lost one, both of the recovered fumbles were by Baker. West Alabama ran 69 plays while gaining 268 yards while averaging 3.9 yards per play. They fumbled twice and recovered both of them.

UWA won the time of possession battle 32:39 to 27:21 and also possessing the ball for 10:18 in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Gary Johnston was the Tigers leading rusher with 72 yards on 22 runs and a touchdown. He also threw for 101 yards while going 10-for-22. His favorite receiver was Gerald Worsham with five receptions for 44 yards. Ken may added 48 yards on three catches. Two other players had receptions as well.

UWA’s Gabe Poe lead all players with 12 total stops. Enrique Williams lead the Jags with 11 total stops, five solo. B.J. Scott  added 10 more stops, 8 of them solo. Ken Barefield was credited with a sack for 12 yards and Clifton Crews with Enrique Willams both credited with half a sack.

After the game Coach Jones commented on the game. “Not having Kendall and Demetre the first half didn’t help, but they are great running backs,” he said. “Those two guys are probably the core of our offense running the football. We’re a very good football team with those two guys running it.”

“Obviously it wasn’t a great ball game; we didn’t play extremely well though I thought West Alabama played really hard,” Coach Jones continued.  “When you have four turnovers in the first half, it’s not a good thing — we have to learn to protect the football. We had some penalties and untimely things happen, so we have to go back to work and see how we can get better.”

“But I think that was a great second half. We pounded the ball at them and ran it really well, we got Kendall and Demetre in there and controlled the ball,” he continued. “I thought we played better in the second half, but we have to play four quarters to beat good teams and we just didn’t do that tonight; we didn’t play extremely well the whole game.”

West Alabama coach Will Hall commented after the game as well. “I thought they wore us down a little bit. It’s a credit to them and their defense as well. We came out offensively in the second half and went three-and-out, and USA got it and went down and scored. There were some good adjustments by USA at halftime.”

“We spilled our guts out on the field. I expected our kids to do that, but I’m so proud of how they did. Credit to coach Jones and coach [Bill] Clarlk. They do a great job and have a great thing going here at South Alabama. I think these are the two most up-and-coming programs in the state of Alabama. I can’t say enough though about what they do at South Alabama and I can’t say enough about our kids’ effort tonight. I really think we have a chance to have a good D-II football team.”

Tremain Smith went off in the first half with the trainers looking at his hand, plus Melvin Meggs had to come off the field but redshirt Drew Dearmon came in and performed well on the line. Meggs should be back next week and hopefully Smith’s re-aggravated injury isn’t serious.

South Alabama will host Lamar on September 10th with kickoff slated for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

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Fan Day scrimmage 2011

August 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Jersey and Pads

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

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

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

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

The offense and defense then took the field against each other. The first 12 plays from scrimmage were snapped from the offense’s 20-yard line. Demetre Baker took the first ball for no gain. Then Myles Gibbon recovered a fumbled from a low snap which resulted in a loss of yards for the offense. Kendall Houston then rushed for 15 yards on the third play which was followed by a six-yard run by Devin Robinson. Baker kept the momentum with a 10-yard rush on fifth play.
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Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2010-10-26

October 26, 2010 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 1 Comment 

I picked up a little late into the show and Coach Jones was already talking about how Kendall Houston is a big bruiser in the middle, but Santuan McGee is a little faster and can attack the perimeter. They felt that the game was going towards being a perimeter running game because they were stacking the box more so they decided to play McGee more.

Lee then asked Coach Jones about the fumble that occurred with 2:15 left in the game at the South Alabama 36 yard line when they had about a yard to go for the first down. Coach Jones said that Trey Clark and CJ Bennett had a miscommunication on the snap which lead to the fumble. They were trying to get them to jump offsides and if that did not work, they were going to run a quarterback sneak.

Lee brought up an instance that happened in the Kentucky Wesleyan game about headsets. Coach Jones explained that the opponents headsets went out. Well, in most conferences, they have rules or contracts that if one sides headsets go out, then the other side has to take theirs off. In this case, this was not written into the contract for them to play, so USA did not have to do that but they went ahead and took their headsets off. But it was noticed that they were using cell phones to communicate, so Coach Jones called a time out and talked to the head referee and stated if they are going to use a cell phone that USA could use their headsets. Which was allowed.

Lee brought up the old football adage that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none,” and asked coach Jones if he had ever heard of that. Then he followed up by asking about how that works with three, clearly meaning Gibbon, Sim and Bennett. Coach Jones jokingly said that then you have three quarterbacks. But more seriously, Lee asked how they determine who is going to play a series. Coach Jones answered by saying that it’s mostly by feel. Certain quarterbacks bring certain qualities to the table so determine what they want to do in the game and work on that throughout the week and see how the players react and how they look throughout the week.

Offensive line coach John Turner joined Lee and Joey on the radio show and immediately started talking about the offensive line. Lee remarked that people have told him that putting together an offensive line is the “toughest, most difficult thing to do in football.” Coach Turner agreed that it has been tough, but he never completely agreed that it fits his description. He mentioned that if you go back to look at the game film from their first scrimmage it was, as he said, a “borderline fiasco.” He then went on to praise them for working really hard to become some great offensive linemen. However, he cautioned that they are not there yet, but they are working every day to get better.

Lee followed up by asking what Coach Turner meant by “borderline fiasco.” To which Coach Turner answered by saying that they weren’t quick and coach Gregory had just gotten there and was just installed his new offense. So they had to change all of their calls and all of their communication on the fly. Then Coach Clark’s defense was coming out with multiple blitz’s and everything which put a lot of pressure on the offensive line.

Coach Jones was quick to praise the offensive line because, without them, the offense would not be able to do anything. He then spoke highly of his offensive line unit and how hard they have worked to improve and help this team win each week.

Lee then mentioned Cam Newton and the Auburn offensive line and how it has improved. Coach Turner agreed that it was quite evident that the Auburn offensive line has worked hard to get better and it is evident. But Lee followed up talking about how, in most cases, the player like Cam Newton who is making the plays get so much praise while the offensive line is basically a  second thought. Coach Turner said that it goes with the territory, when a player decides to play that position, they understand it. They don’t worry about seeing their names in the paper, they are proud of the plays they make and the success the team has when they do a good job.

Lee paraphrased an email question about, when the Jags get to the FBS level, how many of the current players will still be with them. Coach Jones said that the team will lose seven seniors this season and many six to nine next season. So most of the players will be here in 2012. They will have 85 scholarships and probably will not lose but about 18 players up to then.

Going back to the offensive line, Lee asked how the Jaguar offensive line will stack up against opponents next year like Kent State and NC State. Coach Turner said that if you look at them on paper, you would say no. But he said that you cannot measure what is inside these players. Coach Turner then emphasized that he knows these guys are going to be ready, they are going to get after it and will play hard when the time comes.

A caller asked about Georgia state, which lost their previous game against Old Dominion 34-20. Coach Jones said that they were close at halftime but the score got stretched out in the second half. Ole Dominion went and got more junior college players so they are fairly mature. They went 9-2 last season in their first season of football.

Another email question came in asking if the players, after two road wins including the one in California, are up for this game. Coach Jones said that there is no doubt that they are ready. This team is closer to us and feels more like a rival type game. Probably the closest thing they have to one right now. The players are looking forward to playing at home again as well.

Coach Jones said he cannot wait to see the crowd and neither can the players. They know its going to be a bigger crowd, that they are coming home and that it’s going to be a big game against a good team.

Lee asked Coach Turner how they prepare for Georgia State. Coach Turner said that they line up in multiple fronts and bring multiple blitz’s against opposing teams. So he anticipates a big time challenge for the guys on the offensive line. They will have to be able to recognize all the different looks and be able to make adjustments within their schemes.

When asking about recruiting linemen, it was obvious that they want to recruit size, strength, smarts and good foot speed, just like anyone else. But Coach Turner said that their offense likes to move, that they like to pull linemen and move them around on each play, so they like athletic offensive linemen. But Coach Jones has said from day one that they want “tough, tough football players.” Coach Jones also said that when other teams look at their game film, they are impressed by how tough and how hard these guys play. It’s a real testament to the South Alabama players.

Georgia State likes to pass the ball, similar to UC-Davis. However they like to run the ball a bit more than UC-Davis does. UC-Davis seems to throw the ball, then run to try to do something a little different. While Georgia State is a bit more balanced between the two.

Lee then pointed out that Coach Turner was a coach at UT-Chatanooga which is a Division I-AA team. He asked if the Jags would match up well against them. Which Coach Turner replied that the thought that they would when he was trying to answer someone just the other day. He went through a mental list of the players they had up there and said that he believed USA would be a strong contender against them and in that division of football.

Coach Jones cautioned that while many football fans expect us to play teams like Alabama, but he said his guys are not experienced enough to play against Alabama. He praised how well his staff has done and that they will let teams like Georgia State go play Alabama while they work on getting better and building a program step-by-step.

Travis Toth came on to preview the upcoming game against Georgia State. He said from a marketing standpoint it’s their biggest game since the inaugural game. Plus other factors like Alabama and LSU having their bye weeks, former Alabama coach Bill Curry coaching the other team and the Jags returning after a very successful two game road stretch. Also another measuring stick because they go to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on November 18. This is the weekend for those people to come to the stadium and check it out.

Travis also stressed that it is a “white-out” as the team will be wearing their white uniform from head to toe. This should be the largest crowd to date, Coach Jones said that Kendall broke the record rushing, Courtney broke the record receiving and that it’s time to break and attendance record.

South Alabama kicks off against Georgia State on Saturday at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. GO JAGS! Beat those panthers.!

South Alabama shows guts and wins nail-biter at UC-Davis

October 24, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama Head Coach Joey Jones talks with Courtney Smith during a stoppage in play against Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

South Alabama’s game against UC-Davis really lived up to its billing. It had excitement, adversity, tough play, heart and a little luck. This recipe came out in favor of the Jaguars, 24-21. But most of all it answered some lingering questions that Coach Jones wanted answers to. The Jags were behind against Nicholls State early in the game, but pulled away in the second half. However, the Jags needed some fourth quarter heroics and a little luck to pull out the win in California.

The Jags had to overcome four turnovers, two interceptions thrown by Brennan Sim and two fumbles, one from Sim and another by Bennett late in the game and frankly nearly disastrous, for the win. However, the defense continued to step up and make plays when necessary. Anthony Taylor made two crucial sacks on the final Aggie drive to set up the attempted field goal to send the game into overtime.

Coach Jones wanted to see what his team could do if they were down in the fourth quarter. He wanted to see how his kids would respond having to play a full four quarters of football. Well, he got his answer alright.

“We came through at the end, the defense did a great job,” said head Coach Joey Jones. “We fumbled the ball on the 30, but we sacked them and made them kick a field goal that was fortunately wide right.”

“I have to tell you, UC-Davis is a great, first-class football team,” Jones continued. “We came out to California and beat an extremely good football team tonight. They have great players and are very well-coached team. We had so many setbacks during the game, whether it was penalties or turnovers, but never had the feeling we were out of the game. Our kids kept playing hard. It’s just a great statement for our program. People have been asking me all year long, and I know where we are now; we beat a great I-AA program that won its conference last year, is probably going to win it this year, and beat San Jose State this season. We’re up there. Are we Division I-A yet? No, but we’re probably close.”

The Jags will return to Ladd-Peebles stadium to round out their season with three consecutive home games. The first of which will have Georgia State, in their first season of football, coming to Mobile coached by former University of Alabama head coach Bill Curry on Saturday, October 30th. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm.

Continue for a more detailed breakdown of the game.
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USA Makes Statement Against Lamar

October 19, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguar offensive line lines up against the Lamar defense. They helped Kendall Houston rush for 166 yards, the new single game record for Jaguar running backs, and did not allow a sack in the game.

South Alabama went on the road to Beaumont, Texas to begin their season-defining three game stretch and came home with a big win and a huge statement, 26-0. The Lamar Cardinals had averaged just over 341 yards per game but were held to a season low of 161 yards of total offense as the Jaguar defense came out ready for a big fight.

The Jags were quite conservative with their play calling in the game. After losing your first string running back to a season ending ACL tear, it was good play calling on Coach Gregory and Coach Jones’ part. While the scoreboard did not show what the Jaguar faithful were used to, it was definitely a resounding win.

The defense would score the only touchdown in the first half and the offense would only score one touchdown in the game. The rest of the scoring rested on the foot of Lawson McGlon who was officially 4-for-5 in the game but did make a kick that was nullified by a penalty. So a position that, at the beginning of the season, looked like it could lose a close game turned out to be the one that put the game out of reach.

“We sputtered somewhat on offense when we got the ball into the red zone, but we moved the ball well between the 30s,” said Coach Joey Jones after the game. “We had to settle for four field goals, but when you’re on the road sometimes that happens. I’m really proud of Kendall and the way he came in for Brandon after we lost him last week. He really stepped up and ran like a Division I running back tonight.”

“We know that UC Davis is a very good team. They’ve beaten San Jose State and won their conference last year,” Coach Jones stated on their upcoming opponent. “They’re a very sound team, we are going to have to go out to California and see what we’ve got. But, our kids are real excited about that. We’re trying to take this thing with baby steps, and we’ve taken some big steps already. It’s a great win, but where we stand I don’t know. At the end of the year I think we’ll be able to look back and see where we are as a team. All I know is that we came on the road, and were on the bus for six hours. The kids did a great job being focused, and we played a great ballgame. It’s a big win for our program.”

“You have to play great defense on the road, and we did that tonight,” Coach Jones commented. “I’m real proud of the staff and players. They played lights out tonight. They knew this was their first big challenge, and answered that call.”

The Jaguars did not come out of the game unscathed. Unfortunately Chris Brunson suffered a broken ankle in the first half of the game against Lamar and will be out for the remainder of the season. Brunson was also a backup to Trey Clark, the center, who suffered a sprained ankle but should be okay. Coach Jones will probably try Brian Krauskopf in practice until Clark’s ankle is better and to give him experience in case he is needed in a game situation.

The Jags travel to Davis, California to face the Aggies of UC-Davis in a 4pm (Central, 2pm Pacific) game against their second of three consecutive FCS teams and their second in a row on the road. For a more detailed breakdown of the game, continue below.

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Another Big Jaguar Win 45-6 Over Missouri S&T

October 10, 2010 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 

Brandon Ross scores a touchdown early in the Jags game against Missouri S&T.

The Jags stay undefeated when another big win at home against Missouri S&T, 45-6. They improve to 5-0 on the season and 12-0 overall in the programs history.

Jordan Means opened up the scoring with a career-long 36 yard field goal on the Jags opening drive, just two and a half minutes into the game. The drive covered 41 yards in six plays but stalled and had to settle for the field goal.

Brennan Sim, the starting quarterback, took the first four snaps, including completing a pass to Courtney Smith for 29 yards. However, on a scramble the lowered his head for a few extra yards but was hit hard and had to leave the game. Myles Gibbon came in on third down but his pass to Courtney Smith was incomplete forcing the field goal attempt.

The Jags held the Miners and forced a punt. On the subsequent South Alabama possession, Sim returned to the field. Sim then completed his first pass attempt to T.J. Glover for 14 yards. Then two snaps later Sim was sacked and fumbled the ball which Missouri S&T recovered at the USA 26 yard line.

On the first play, Missouri S&T ran for one yard but offsetting penalties, holding on MS&T and a horse-collar tackle on USA, nullified the play. Missouri rushed twice for two yards on the first and no gain on the second. Then facing third and eight at the USA 24 a pass reception by Chad Shockley from Steve Watson for 13 yards got the Miners down to the Jaguar 11 yard line. The following play was an 11 yard touchdown reception again by Chad Shockley. However the extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the Miners with a 6-3 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter.

C.J. Bennett was under center for the next South Alabama possession. The opening play was a run by Ralph Turner for eight yards to the USA 41 yard line, but a holding penalty put the Jags back at the 31 yard line. On first and 12, Bennett’s pass attempt to Lemontis Gardner was incomplete, but the very next play Bennett hit Corey Waldon for a 42 yard gain to the Miners 27 yard line. Brandon Ross followed it up with two rushes, one for 13 and another for 14 to score the answering touchdown. With the Jordan Means extra point the Jags regained the lead 10-6 with 3:10 left in the first quarter.

On the subsequent MS&T possession, after an incomplete pass and a two yard rush, Enrique Williams sacked the quarterback Watson for 14 yards causing a fumble. Randon Carnathan picked up the fumble and returned it eight yards for the touchdown. Means point after was good extending the Jags lead to 17-6 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

Missouri S&T’s next possession went 25 yards in nine plays covering 6:10 before being forced to punt, which was downed at the Jaguar five yard line.

C.J. Bennett handed off to T.J. Glover for three yards. Then Kendall Houston ran for another ten yards to give the Jags some breathing room. Bennett tried to connect with Ryne Baxter but the ball fell incomplete. Then the following play he hooked up with Corey Waldon for 16 yards. Another incomplete pass before another Kendall Houston rush for 25 yards put the Jags at the Miners 41 yard line.

Following a time out by South Alabama, a rush by Bryant Lavender for 38 yards to the three yard line. Houston then plunged in for the touchdown. The Means PAT made the score 24-6 with 7:28 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguars defense held the Miners to -4 yards in a three and out on their next possession. The punt went 39 yards but Jereme Jones got most of it back on a 20 yard return to the Missouri 39 yard line.

It only took the Jags three plays to score. A six yard run by C.J. Bennett to the 33 yard line. Brandon Ross then rushed for 22 yards to the 11 yard line. However, Ross would need to be helped off the field with an apparent knee injury. Kendall Houston would cap off the drive with an 11 yard rush for the touchdown. With the Means PAT, the Jaguar lead extended to 31-6 with 4:10 left in the second quarter.

Again the Jaguar defense shut down the Miner offense with another three and out punt. The Jaguars started at their own 40 yard line. Bennett’s two passing attempts went incomplete. Then on third and ten Bennett was sacked and fumbled which was recovered by Missouri S&T at the Jaguar 31 yard line.

The first Missouri play was a 15 yard completion to the Jaguar 16 yard line. Following an incomplete pass, Watson completed a pass for a loss of one yard. Then on third and 11, an incomplete pass brought up fourth down. Missouri S&T then faked a field goal but only managed to gain three yards before Justin Dunn made the tackle.

The Jags ran out the final 54 seconds of the first half with two rushes by Ellis Hill for seven and eight yards respectively.

Missouri received the kickoff to begin the second half and started at their own 12 yard line. The Jags defense started the half with big to force a three and out. The Miners punt went 43 yards but Jereme Jones returned it 24 yards to the Miners 34 yard line, but a face mask penalty on Missori put the ball at the Miner 19 yard line.

Gibbon connected with Courtney Smith for 14 yards to the five yard line. Santuan McGee came up a yard short, only gaining four of the needed five yards. But Gibbon would plunge in for the score on the next play. The extra point put the Jaguar lead at 38-6 with 12:28 left in the third quarter.

On a drive that ended the third quarter and began the fourth quarter, the Jags had another scoring opportunity. The Jags drove 54 yards in eight play and getting down to the Miner four yard line before facing a fourth and three at the six yard line. Lawson McGlon attempted a 23 yard field goal but his plant foot slipped causing him to fall but the kick went wide left.

Later in the fourth quarter, Missouri started at their own 12 yard line. After a time out before the Miners third and two, they come up short on a rush and only gained one yard. Then, after a bad snap, the punter picked up the ball and tried to run for the first down but ended up losing five yards.

Santuan McGee would run four consecutive times for three, three, three and seven yards respectively before scoring the final touchdown of the game.

South Alabama gained 202 yards on 33 rushes and 167 yards passing for a total 369 yards. The Jaguar defense only allowed 71 yards on 41 rushes and 83 yards passing for at total of 154 yards.

South Alabama had several players run the ball. Brandon Ross rushed 6 times for 55 yards before leaving with a knee injury. Kendall Houston ran 4 times for 49 yards, Bryant Lavender ran once for 38 yards, Ellis Hill seven times for 29 yards and Santuan McGee six times for 21 yards. While several others also ran the ball for single digit yards.

Six Jags caught passes. Courtney Smith caught three for 73 yards, Corey Waldon caught two for 58 yards, T.J. Glover caught one for 14 yards and Richard Ross caught one for 11. Two others had one reception each.

C.J. Bennett went 5-for-10 for 107 yards. Gibbon was 2-for-4 for 17 yards and Brennan Sim was 2-for-2 for 43 yards.

Enrique Williams finished with a career high eight tackles and a forced fumble. Ben Giles added seven tackled while Justin Dunn added six himself with each of them with two tackles for loss. Tim Harvey and Jake Johnson had five tackles each and Ken Barefield and Alex Page each had four tackles. The defense held the Miners to an average of less than two yards per rush.

Coach Jones commented on the Jaguars performance after the game. “I thought the defense played very well. Obviously, early they made a drive, but as always our coaches on the sideline made adjustments and our kids adjusted to what they were doing. From that point on, they did a really good job. I was real proud of them today.”

Coach Jones commented on Brennan Sim returning to the sidelines after halftime without his shoulderpads. “Brennan got dinged a little bit, and we had to get him out. C.J. came in and played well. It seems like each game that there is a quarterback who steps into the mix and plays well. It’s more of a feel thing that we go with each game. I thought C.J. had a great game today.”

The Jags will go on the road for their next two games. The first is in Beaumont, Texas against Lamar for a 6pm kickoff. However reports are that Brandon Ross will have an MRI on his knee on Monday so the Jags appear to be without their number one running back going into their two game road swing.

Coach Jones commented about the players and the upcoming road games. “They know these upcoming weeks are going to be tough; we have to travel to Texas and California, and come back here and play Georgia State after that. As competitors we’re looking forward to that. They’re excited about getting on the road, going on a six-hour bus trip and playing a very good Lamar football team.”

October is shaping up to be a huge month for South Alabama football with games against Lamar, UC-Davis and Georgia State. The first two being road games. We will soon see much this team has grown and how far they are on their roadmap to Division I-A play.

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2010-10-05

October 6, 2010 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

South Alabama sporting their all red uniforms at Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Kentucky Wesleyan.

Coach Perry was the guest along with Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian on the radio show on Monday. The show started off talking about Baumhower’s is in the process of changing its name to reflect more of its dishes rather than just focus on their wings. So go out and support the show by visiting Baumhowers and ordering the Joey Jones Special, the black and white chicken with steamed broccoli.

This weeks game will see another new uniform combination with the Jags wearing their white jersey’s with their red pants. So the fans and students are being encouraged to wear their red apparel but get ready for Georgia State when they are having a complete white out.

The coaches spoke about how Kentucky Wesleyan stacked the box and the offense took advantage by throwing the ball and getting some big plays out of the receivers.

Lee mentioned the end of the LSU and Tennessee game and asked coach Jones if he has someone that is responsible to make sure that only 11 players are on the field at any given time. Coach Jones said that first off, the coordinator call the personnel grouping so then the position coaches make sure that the correct players get on the field. So when the players go on or off the field they tell them the package and the players are responsible to get on or off the field.

Coach Perry said he is responsible for making sure all of the offensive players are on the field. He also mentioned that it has been easier this year than it was last year, which means they are improving. But as long as the guys go onto and off of the field at the same time, it makes it much easier to keep up with numbers. If two guys go on, then two guys must come off.

Lee then asked that since USA has so many running backs, how do they determine who gets the most carries or more playing time. Coach Jones they are trying to find the winners on the team. If a player shows that they can win the game, then they will be on the field. The Coach Jones starts talking about the running back and how they have two big backs and two scat backs.

Obviously Brandon Ross (234 lbs) is one of their big backs along with Kendall Houston, while Ellis Hill is a bit between the big backs and the scat backs. TJ Glover and Santuan McGee make up the scat backs. Coach Jones talked about how he has never had such a group of backs before and how they can put Houston or Ross in there and they can pound for about 8 yards for play after play. Then they can put in McGee or Glover and they can get outside and got for 20 or 25 yards really quick. To round out the question, Coach Jones said they are trying to rotate all of the backs to keep them fresh and healthy as they go through the season.

Lee then posed a question to Coach Jones saying “If South Alabama gets into a tight game this year.” But before Lee could finish the question, Coach Jones said “we will, we will.” Lee then finished the question that when they get into that situation, will they continue to do like Alabama has done with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson and continue to rotate. Coach Perry pretty much said that it just depends on who has the hot hand. Some days its Brandon then there are days when Kendall has the hot hand. Brandon has more experience and also that he has to be among the best in the nation in pass protection may sometimes be a better choice.

Lee said that if Brandon had more carries he would break 100 yards every game and Coach Jones was quick to agree in saying he definitely would. But he also added that there will be games in the not too distant future where he will be needed to carry the ball much more than he has been up to now. But the way that the games have been going, they have wanted to get as many players in the game as they can without overusing their starters.

Coach Jones mentioned that there are several players who are day to day or who will be 50/50 as they get closer to game day this Saturday. He mentioned Levi Slaydan has come back. Chris Brunson with a wrist injury. Brian Krauskoff had a weight room accident and has a big club on his hand. Shaun Artz has a cast on his wrist. Corey Pittman has returned to the team with fresh legs and is doing pretty good. They just have several guys who are a little beat up but if everything keeps progressing the way it has, they should be back to full strength in the next couple weeks.

Lee mentioned that Trey Clark, the center, has been the constant on the offensive line. Coach Jones said he makes all the calls on the line concerning pass protection and identifying the Mike linebacker. He may be considered undersized but teams will win with players like Trey.

After another break, they came back to the show to talk about a very sobering subject that they wanted to announce. Something that is more important than winning or losing on the field. They announced that Coach Perry’s wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. At a young age, only 29 years old, it was shocking for them to hear the diagnosis and find it boggling that someone as active, healthy and athletic as Ms. Perry, who runs every day and is a triathlon athlete, to be diagnosed with cancer. Coach Perry encouraged everyone to go downtown to Bienville Square for the American Cancer Society’s ‘Making Strides Against Cancer’ on October 30th. It starts at 8am and there is no fee. Donations are accepted.

Coach Perry stressed that if you do not know of anyone who has faced cancer, it’s only a matter of time with the current rate of diagnosis. So both he, Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian wanted to make sure to encourage everyone to think about going downtown for ‘Making Strides Against Cancer’ on Saturday, October 30th at 8am starting at Bienville Square in downtown Mobile, Alabama.

The first write in question was about time of possession and asking if Coach Jones agreed that time of possession is a distorted statistic. Coach Jones agreed someone, he did say that about 90% of the time it is a good statistic, but there are games like the Jags have had this season, where time of possession favored the losing team and thus was a bit of a distorted stat. Generally, having the ball longer than your opponent means that you are probably sustaining drives better than your opponent and giving yourself more scoring opportunities.

Lee mentioned he wondered how may yards per rush the team was averaging. Coach Jones mentioned that Tommy Hicks ran some stats and compared them against Division I-AA schools and had them number one in a few categories on offense and defense. However, he was quick to mention that the numbers were distorted because they are not playing all Division I-AA schools so they can’t vouch for the validity.

Lee then asked about Missouri S&T, South Alabama opponent this weekend. Coach Jones said that they are giving them the most fits so far, coaching wise. They have odd looks defensively and offensively. Defensively you they typically see 3-4 and 4-3 defenses as well as the 8 man fronts. But Missouri runs a flex defense which few teams actually run and are making them really do their homework this week.

Lee mentioned the Troy and Middle Tennessee State game that was going to take place that night. Lee asked if he would like to play a Tuesday night game. Coach Jones chuckled and said definitely and that the Jags would play on Monday morning if they could be on television. However, their time on TV is rapidly approaching as the mid-majors are playing Tuesday and Thursday night, midweek games for ESPN and ESPN2.

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.

Jags Win Big At The 2nd Annual Wiregrass Classic

September 26, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama Football coach Joey Jones oversees his team warming up at Rip Hewes Stadium for the Wiregrass Classic.

It was evident, even before kickoff at the Wiregrass Classic in Dothan, that South Alabama outmatched Edward Waters. Not to belittle the Tigers, but these two teams could not have been any more different. Edward Waters is a private, traditionally black NAIA college with an enrollment of 839 students. While South Alabama is a public school with an enrollment of over 15,000 students.

But Edward Waters has a rich and interesting history. It was founded and initially named “Brown Theological Institute” in 1866 specifically to educate newly freed black slaves. Then the school experienced financial difficulties and was forced to close for nearly a decade. In 1883 it reopened as “East Florida Conference High School” then later it was renamed “East Florida Scientific and Divinity School”.

Within ten years, the educational program was extended and it’s name was changed to Edward Waters College. In 1901 it was destroyed by a fire. Then in 1904 they acquired the site that it currently resides and began to rebuild.

It was first accredited as a junior college in 1955 and by 1960 the college had restored its four-year cirriculum. Then in 1979, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredited the school as a four-year institution.

Of the 839 enrolled, over 90% of them rely on financial aid and the school has been growing. It was highlighted in among “The Best of Florida Schools in 2004” for the “Biggest Growth for Private Colleges.”

In 2001, the school returned to football after a 34 year absence. In 2004 they joined the newly formed South East Atlantic Conference (SEAC) with two other schools, Webber International University and Concordia College. After Concordia was unable to gain membership into the NAIA, the conference dissolved at the conclusion of the 2008 season. EWC won the conference title in 2004, then shared by EWC and Concordia in 2007 and finally a three way share between all of the schools in 2008.

Edward Waters is currently in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference with Dillard University, Fisk University, Southern University at New Orleans, Tougaloo College and Xavier University of Louisiana.

So the differences between South Alabama and EWC are striking.

As for the game, there was no question who was going to win from the outset of the game at Rip Hewes Stadium. Within the first two minutes the Jags had forced a three and out, returned the punt to the EWC 35 yard line and ran two plays to score a touchdown. A 16 yard rush followed by a 19 yard touchdown pass from Brennan Sim to Courtney Smith. The point after attempt was mishandled by Taylor Noon who picked it up and scrambed to the corner of the end zone for two points to put the Jags up 8-0 with 13:03 left in the first quarter.

The Jags second offensive series was stopped and was forced to punt. But on Edward Waters’ first offensive play, the pass was intercepted by the defense setting up another short field. Brandon Ross would go in from four yards for the second touchdown, capping off a four play 41 yard drive in 1:12. The PAT by Jordan Means put the Jags up 15-0 with 7:53 left in the first quarter.

The next EWC possession ended in a three and out. The punt was returned to the EWC 35 yard line to set up the Jags with a short field once again. This time it took the Jags six plays to cover 35 yards. The drive was capped off by a three yard touchdown pass from Brennan Sim to Lemontis Gardner and the PAT by Jordan Means. This put the Jags up 22-0 with 3:03 left in the first quarter.

On the Tigers ensuing possession, the second play from scrimmage was picked off by senior Justin Dunn and returned 41 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was successful by Jordan Means to put the Jags up 29-0 with 2:09 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers were picked off again on their ensuing possession. The Jags would cover 62 yards in six plays and using 1:52 off of the clock to score another touchdown. The drive was capped off by Brennan Sim’s third touchdown pass of the game, this one covering 10 yards to Bryant Lavender. Jordan Means added the point after to put the Jags up 36-0 with 14:11 to play in the second quarter.

A three and out by the Tigers was followed by a three and out by the Jags as well. Then after EWC moved the ball some, their drive ended with their fourth interception. With Ray Cotton taking over the quarterbacking duties, the Jags went 58 yards in six plays using 3:31 off of the clock to score for the last time in the first half. The drive was capped off by a 20 yard touchdown run by Cotton with the point after by Lawson McGlon to put South Alabama up 43-0 at halftime.

Coach Jones and his coaches took the pedal off somewhat, in the second half. The Jags did score three more touchdown, a 15 yard run by Ryan Scott, and a pair by Michael Nevels of 12 and 11 yards respectively. All three point after attempts were successfully made by Lawson McGlon.

The Jags ended the game with 30 first downs, 391 yards rushing and 112 yard passing for a total of 503 yards total offense. The Tigers had 5 first downs, 97 yards rushing, 47 yards passing for a total of 144 yards of offense.

South Alabama rushed eight different running backs. Kendall Houston had four carries with 48 yards, Santuan McGee had three touches for 46 yards, Ellis Hill eight carries for 46 yards, T.J. Glover had four carries for 41 yards, Ryan Scott had seven carries for 44 yards, Michael Nevels had six carries for 35 yards, Johnny Lockett had six carries for 33 yards and Brandon Ross had only three carries for 16 yards. The leading rusher for the team was Ray Cotton with seven carries and gaining 78 yards.

Three quarterbacks made it into the game. Brennan Sim started in place of Myles Gibbon and went 6 of 11 for 85 yards and three touchdowns. Ray Cotton went 1 for 3 for 16 yards while Gabe Graham went 1 of 2 for 11 yards.

Eight different Jaguar receivers caught passes but none of them caught more than one. Jereme Jones lead the receivers with 21 yards.

The Edward Waters quarterbacks combined to go 2 of 15 with four interceptions against the South Alabama defense.

The kickoff woes continued against the Tigers. Jordan Means kicked four times with two of them going out of bounds. Michel Chapuseaux also kicked four but only one of his went out of bounds. Lawson McGlon kicked twice with none of them going out of bounds.

Umcambre Williams lead the defense with five tackles. Jake Johnson recorded the lone solo sack.

The defensive player of the game came from Edward Waters while the offensive player of the game was Brennan Sim.

Coach Jones spoke after the game saying, “I think they performed very well. The bottom line is we had better players than they did. They really had a class bunch. I thought it was a well-played game.”

He continued, “We got a lot of guys in the game. Our coaches had a plan of who they were going to play if we got up so we could get some good out of this game, and I think we did. Our ones went out there and played well. The two lines stayed in there a good amount of time. They haven’t had a lot of reps, so it was good to get them in the game. We have to have some depth for the end of the year, and we keep trying to develop that. That was the great thing about today, we were able to reward those guys who have been working their tails off all summer long. They deserve it. There’s not many chances when you can do that, and we were glad to be able to get them in.”

The Jags return home to face Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday, October 2 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

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