Both The Jags And Wolfpack Coming Off Defensive Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Jags!

Jags Defeat Nicholls State 9-3

September 9, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Left guard Drew Dearman (72) looks to pick up the rusher getting by Ucambre Williams (76) as CJ Bennett (15) loads up to throw downfield.

South Alabama gets it’s first win of the season in a defensive struggle against Nicholls State. Three-and-outs and forced turnovers were the story of the game. The Jaguar defense held Nicholls State to a mere 118 yards while forcing three turnovers and only allowing three points to the Colonels.

“Putting pressure on the quarterback really helped us tonight,” head coach Joey Jones said. “I thought we played with a lot more energy on defense, it looked like the defense that I’m used to seeing.”

The first quarter saw several three-and-outs in the first quarter as Nicholls only managed 23 total yards and the Jags only 19 total yards. Each team faced four third downs and only the Jags converted one in the entire first quarter. On top of that, the first two Jaguar drives started at their 2- and 1-yard lines respectively.

Finally on Scott Garbers third punt, the Jags were able to flip field position. Facing 4th and 20 from their own 22 yard line Garber punted, with the aid of the wind, a 69 yard punt to the Colonel 9 yard line. The Jags forced them to punt and had great field position at the Colonel 46 yard line with 1:51 left in the quarter. The offense drives down to the 35 yard line, but on the final play of the quarter, Ross Metheny takes a three yard sack.

After switching sides of the field, the Jags faced a 3rd and 13 going into the wind. An incomplete pass forces the Jags to punt, but Garber cannot keep it out of the end zone.

The Colonels are able to drive, on the ensuing possession, to the Jaguar 20 yard line, but are backed up by a 10 yard loss on a fumbled snap by the quarterback on first down. After back to back incomplete passes, Nicholls State finally break 0-0 tie with a 48 yard field goal, aided by the wind, to take a 3-0 lead on the Jags.

But the Jags answer right back with a drive of their own. Starting at their own 25 yard line after a touchback on the kickoff. T.J. Glover rushes for no gain on first down, then Bennett completes back to back passes to Terrance Timmons and Glover for a first down. Then they rush the ball five consecutive times, three by Baker for 6, 15 and 8 yards respectively. Then Kendall Houston rushes for 6 then loses 3 back to the Nicholls State 30 yard line. Bennett then finds Wes Saxton for 11 yards to make it 3rd and 2 at the Colonels 19 yard line. Timmons rushes for no gain, but a personal foul gives the Jags half the distance to the goal and an automatic first down.

After a penalty and facing 3rd down, Bennett hits Jereme Jones at the goal line but is marked down at the one yard line. Facing third and goal, the hand-off to Kendall Houston loses a yard. After looking like the Jags were going to go for the touchdown, Coach Jones sends on the kicking team but calls a time out when the play clock starts to wind down. Michel Chapuseaux converts the 19 yard field goal to tie the game.

In the second quarter, the Jags defense held Nicholls to -13 yards rushing.

After punts by both teams to start the second half, the Jags put together another drive starting at their own 48 yard line until they reached the Colonel 17 yard line and stalled out. Chapuseaux’s kick into the wind misses wide left.

On the second play of the Colonel’s ensuing possession, Bryson James would pick off the Landry Klann pass at their 33 yard line. On first down, Bennett would find Houston open on the screen pass and with a big block by Drew Dearman, he would scamper for 14 yards to the Colonel 19. But a roughing the passer penalty would put them at the 9 yard line with 1st and goal. A four yard run by Houston would be followed up by two incomplete passes to Lavender and Besteda before settling for a 21 yard field goal with 5:17 left in the third quarter.

The Colonels would go three and out on their next possession and their punt would be fair caught at the Jaguar 22 yard line. Later on in the drive, on third and 6 at the Jaguar 38 Ross Metheny would be flushed out of the pocket and find daylight on the left side. As he was approaching the sideline, the Nicholls State defender was playing the angle to get him but would be completely leveled by T.J. Glover. The game would have to stop and trainers went to assist the injured player.

The player would eventually put on a backboard and have his neck immobilized before put on a stretcher and carted off the field. He was moving his arms and legs and even game the crowd a thumbs-up as he was loaded onto the cart. He was taken to a local hospital for observation as a precaution.

However, on the next play after the stoppage, Terrance Timmons would fumble the ball away to Nicholls State at the 50 yard line with three seconds left in the third quarter.

The Colonels would drive down to the Jaguar 17 yard line, but on 2nd down and 12 yards, Montavious Williams would recover a fumble at the Jaguar 19 yard line ending the scoring threat again.

The Jaguar offense, led by Ross Metheny again, would begin the drive with
three consecutive completions to Saxton for two yards, Hollinger for nine yards and T.J. Glover for 29 yards to put the Jags in Colonel territory at the 41 yard line. The Jags would eventually get down to the Colonel 17 yard line where they would have to settle for another field goal by Chapuseaux to put the Jags up 9-3 with 9:01 left in the game.

After a touchback on the kickoff, the first play by the Colonels would be intercepted by Terrel Brigham at the Colonel 38 yard line. After driving down to the Nicholls State 19 yard line, Baker and Bennett would fumble the handoff exchange and it would be recovered by the Colonels.

With a chance to run out the clock after a couple first downs, the Jags would go three and out starting at their own nine yard line. The Scott Garber punt from the Jaguar 16 would go 48 yards and only returned 6 to the Nicholls State 42 yard line with 2:38 left in the game.

Klann’s first down pass would fall incomplete, but the second would be caught for four yards before getting out of bounds. Then Klann would find tight end Nich Scelfo open for 9 yards and into Jaguar territory. Then a 16 yard pass completion and run down the right sideline would put them at the Jaguar 29 yard line. B.J. Scott would be flagged for pass interference on the subsequent play, putting the Colonels at the Jaguar 14 yard line needing a touchdown.

The first down play would go for a loss of one yard. Followed by an incompletion then a Pat Moore sack of Klann would back them up to the Jaguar 18 yard line facing 4th and 14. Nicholls would call a time out with 38 seconds remaining in the game to scheme a play. After allowing the defense to line up, they could call their final time out. Then the fourth down pass would be broken up by Darrius Morrow to save the game. After a knee, the Jags would watch the time run off the clock for the 9-3 win.

South Alabama led with 279 total yards, 169 passing and 110 rushing while Nicholls State ended the game with 118 total yards, 96 passing and a mere 22 rushing. The Jags held the time of possession lead with 34:52 to 25:08  while they also ran 75 plays to the Colonels 52 plays.

Demetre Baker lead all players with 75 yards rushing while Metheny had 14 , Bennett had 13 and Houston only 10.

T.J. Glover lead the receiver corps with 43 yards on three catches. Hollinger and Lavender both had three for 36 yards and 20 yards respectively. Jereme Jones caught two for 22 and Wes Saxton also caught two for 13. Also Corey Waldon returned from his knee surgery in preseason camp to catch his first pass of the season for seven yards.

Bennett would go 11-of-20 for 111 yards and no interceptions. Metheny would go 6-of-10 for 58 yards and would be sacked three times.

Chapuseaux would go 3-of-4, hitting field goals from 19, 21 and 34 yards but missing a 35 yarder.

“South Alabama is good up front, they rotated eight guys in there,” Nicholls Statate head coach Charlie Stubbs said. “We are kind of young up front in a couple of positions and we weren’t able to substitute as freely as they did. I feel like they kind of wore us down in that area. We weren’t able to really establish much of a running game, except what I could muster with LaQuinton Caston as a Wildcat quarterback, so that goes hand-in-hand. South Alabama made us one-dimensional, and we’re not good enough right now in the passing game to try and win just by dropping back and throwing the ball. Against a defense like that, we have to play really well, execute and stay out of long-yardage situations.”

“It was big for us to win this game. We lose that game and we’re reeling,” Coach Jones said. “I told the kids, ‘A win is a win.’ Ten years from now we’ll look back and remember we won the football game, but we also have to be honest with ourselves and what we have to work on. We were just a little out of sync on offense, and a lot of that had to do — and I’m not making excuses — with not having film on them. When you go into a game and you haven’t watched any film on them, you’re not able to watch their schemes. They changed some schemes up from two years ago. The first few times we had the ball, it was on the one or two- yard line, and we kind of got started on a bad note. I don’t think we adjusted very well, and that’s something we have to look at next week.”

The Jaguar defense played lights-out defense for the game. The Colonel defense schemed well to get enough pressure on the quarterback to cause problems and did well at times at containing the running game.

The Jaguar offense did well when they sped up the tempo can caught the defense in mismatches. But when they got something going, something would cause them to stall out. This will have to be worked on in the next week before the Jags travel to North Carolina State.

However, NC State lost to Tennessee to begin the season then squeaked out a win over FBS-transitional UConn on Saturday. We’ll have to wait and see what the Jags will do against the Wolfpack next saturday when they travel to Raleigh for their first road game of the season.

The Jags and Wolfpack will kickoff at 5pm CDT at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game will be streamed online by ESPN3.

Jags Ready To Embark On Toughest Season Yet

August 31, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

On the eve of South Alabama’s season opener against Texas-San Antonio it’s a good time to look at what this season means to the program. After three seasons, the first two undefeated, and a 23-4 record the Jaguars are about to embark on their most challenging quest yet.

Last season they stepped up and faced two FBS teams, the first in the programs history. This season, they will face their first full Division I schedule. The only non FBS school on the schedule is FCS Nicholls State. Additionally, with the Hawaii rule, the Jags will play 13 games in 14 weeks this season including a full eight game Sun Belt schedule.

This is what the Jaguars have been working towards for the last several years. When they take the field, they will be a transitional FBS member.

Coach Jones can finally guage where his team stands in the FBS pecking order. “I think the biggest challenge for us, especially early, will be the depth on our team,” he Jones. “We’ve been recruiting to Division I really just this year. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have any Division I football players, we do. But do we have the depth that everybody else has because they’ve been recruiting for a while and have 85 scholarships and D-1 players? I would think that will probably be the biggest issue, depth, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.”

What about this season’s schedule? “The most difficult thing is playing 13 games in 14 weeks for us and playing pretty much all Division I opponents,” Jones said. “Whereas in past years we’ve played seven, 10 and 10 (games per season), we had some off weeks and some time to get ready for games. You’re going to get your three or four days of practice and that’s going to be it, then you’re going to have to move on to your next game.”

Gone is offensive coordinator Greg Gregory and in is Robert Matthews brining the spread to South Alabama. Matthews, who learned the spread at Oklahoma State and Southern Miss, will bring a completely different attitude to the offensive side of the ball. The offense will run as quickly as possible with a no-huddle tempo that is designed to keep the defense off guard and guessing what is coming next. Plus it is designed to take advantage of the depth South Alabama has at the skill positions.

The offensive line is where the biggest unknown is located coming into this season. Gone are three starters from the previous two seasons. However back is senior Trey Clark and sophomore Melvin Meggs. In steps Drew Dearman, Chris May and Shaun Artz. Also a second string, Ucambre Williams and possibly Kentucky transfer James Elliott if he receives a hardship waiver from the NCAA. But this is the biggest offensive line the Jaguars have had in it’s short history.

Behind the line, there is plenty of talent on the roster. C.J. Bennett returns as the starter with Virginia transfer Ross Metheny as his backup and redshirt freshman Trey Fetner as the third quarterback. The South Alabama backfield is also stocked with talent. Back are Demetre Baker, Kendall Houston and Ellis Hill from last season along with Brandon Ross returning from a knee injury and redshirt freshman Terrance Timmons among others ready to contribute. At wide receiver back are Jereme Jones, Bryant Lavender, T.J. Glover, Corey Besteda and Tyrome Bivins with true freshman Cameron Broadnax who showed plenty of skill in preseason camp. With two tight ends graduating, Greg Hollinger moved over from wide receiver joining JuCo transfer Wes Saxton to fill their positions.

The defense is arguably the strength of the team. Led by Jake Johnson, the linebackers are the heart of the defense, with Clifton Crews, Enrique Williams, Maleki Harris, Bryson James, Ben Giles and Cordivido Grice to help him out.

The defensive front will need to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks than in past seasons. Returning ends Anthony Taylor, Romelle Jones, Alex Page and Will Thompson will be joined by JuCo transfer Pat Moore to help towards that goal. At nose and tackle positions they return Randon Carnathan and Andy Dalgleish, who lead the group last season, with help from Montavious Williams, Rodney Thomas and Shane Doty (who moved from offensive line).

In the secondary, Alabama transfer B.J. Scott has stepped up as a leader. The staff focused their recruiting efforts to find more help there too. Darrius Morrow and Tyrell Pearson both come in and are expected to start. Alonzo Long will suit up next to Scott at free safety. Gabe Loper should get playing time as he is the returning secondary player with the most interceptions last season.

Michel Chapuseaux takes over the placekicking duties with Scott Garber also returning to handle punts.

“We want to be competitive. We want to win every game that we play,” head coach Joey Jones said. “That’s our goal. Now, is that going to be tough to do? Sure. I understand that it will be. The bottom line is I don’t want to cut our kids short in what we’re doing. We’re going to prepare and we’re going to go out there and prepare to win. But we also know there’s a difficult schedule ahead of us and we’ve got to step up each week. I think that our kids probably will play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder this year. Bottom line, every week that we play we’ve got to prove something. Anybody that we beat will be a big deal. We’re representing a lot of people, not just our football program but the university.”

The schedule will be tough. After UTSA and Nicholls State, the Jags travel to N.C. State again and Mississippi State before returning home for their first-ever Sun Belt Conference game against Troy. Troy, whom most expect will quickly develop into one of the leagues best rivalries, will mark the first part of the season. After their one and only off week, the Jags then visit the SBC defending champion Arkansas State. Then the downhill stretch of FAU (home), ULM (away), FIU (home), North Texas (away), MTSU (home), ULL (away) and their “bowl game” of the season at Hawaii.

If you only count wins and losses as the measuring stick for a season, it could be a difficult season. But if you expand your criteria for this team that will be completing it’s two year FBS transition at the conclusion of this season, you may be surprised.

Jags hold on to 33-30 homecoming victory over UT-Martin

October 17, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kendall Houston run

One of several punishing runs by Kendall Houston vs Tennessee-Martin.

South Alabama held on after a late charge by the UT-Martin Skyhawks to win 33-30. Although, their rally was aided by some questionable calls down the stretch by the officials.

South Alabama again did not play a complete game. They came out with an opening drive score but would continue to play well in the first three quarters. However the fourth quarter would see the Skyhawks put up 17 unanswered points.

The first half was all Jaguars statistically. They rolled up 239 yards to only 64 for the Skyhawks and possession the ball for over 21 minutes.

“Our guys were really physically and mentally ready to play, and I thought we had a great game plan. The coaching staff did a great job offensively, defensively and special teams,” said coach Jones. “We played really good football for three quarters. Had we not done that, we would have lost the ball game. There were a lot of positives in this game, so I was real proud of the way we came out ready to play. When we are ready to play, we’re a good football team.”

Coach Jones continued by talking about the Skyhawks. “That is a really good football team. After the first three quarters, people watching might not have thought so because we were playing so well. But you saw what they could do in the fourth quarter. They are very well-coached and they never quit.”

Stats wise, South Alabama and UT-Martin both had 325 yards of total offense. The Jags picked up 197 yards on the ground while adding 179 yards passing. The Skyhawks rushed for 131 yards and threw for 211 for their total.

The Jags dominated the time of possession statistic with 38:02 of possession time to UT-Martin’s 21:58. The Jags held the ball for 11:48 seconds in the second quarter alone.

Kendall Houston lead all rusher with 85 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Demetre Baker added 51 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. While C.J. Bennett went 12-of-19 for 179 yards and a touchdown and zero interceptions.

Corey Besteda had three catches for 64 yards and the one touchdown through the air. Lamontis Gardner added 40 yards on three catches and Kevin Helms added 44 yards on two receptions.

Scott Garber punted seven times for an average of 43.4 yards per punt with one spectacular 64 yard punt. Jordan Means added two field goals of 21 and 32 yards but did have a PAT blocked.

Gabe Loper picked off a pass by Derek Carr from a deflection and returned it 27 yards for the Jags.

South Alabama had two good drives that consumed a fair amount of time off of the clock in the second quarter for points. The first was a nine play, 80 yard drive for a touchdown consuming 5:05 off of the clock. Their next possession was a 12 play 62 yard drive down to the UT-Martin 4 yard line but the Jags would have to settle for a field goal as time expired. It spanned 4:31.

In the third quarter, the Jags would capitalize on a turnover for a touchdown. After Gabe Loper intercepted the ball and returned it 27 yards, Kendall Houston would take the next play 16 yards and into the end zone.

UT-Martin would respond with an 80 yard drive in nine plays for a touchdown to cut the Jaguar lead to 10 points at 23-13 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.

The Jags would respond with a two play 42 yard touchdown drive. The drive would begin with a 40 yard completion from Bennett to Besteda to get to the UT-Martin two yard line. Then two plays later Kendall Houston would pick up the one yard needed for the touchdown to make it 30-13 with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

On UT-Martin’s ensuing possession, Alex Paige would force a fumble by Tevi Barksdale which he would recover at the Skyhawk 22 yard line. However the Jags were not able to put the ball in the end zone, but settled for a 32 yard field goal to extend their lead to 33-13 with 1:22 left in the third quarter.

UT-Martin would go three and out on their next possession as would the Jaguars in their possession after that.

UT-Martin would then begin their rally with a five play 40 yard drive to the South Alabama 21 yard line but would have to settle for a field goal.

The Jags would get the ball with 12:22 left in the game and would only manage one first down and use up 3:49 off of the clock before having to punt.

The Skyhawks would put together a 13 play, 87 yard drive in 4:39 to further cut into the Jaguar lead, 33-23 with 3:54 left in the game.

South Alabama would recover an onsides kick but keeping the ball on the ground with Kendall Houston would only get them six yards in three tries before having to punt. This gave the Skyhawks the ball with 2:07 left in the game.

UT-Martin would put together an 8 play 74 yard drive for a touchdown in 1:45. Another onsides kick would be recovered by the Jaguars effectively sealing the game with 22 seconds left. One kneel from the victory position would put the game to rest with the final score of 33-30.

South Alabama’s next game is their final road game of the 2011 season. The Jags will kick off against Georgia State in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia at 2pm central time with pregame coverage beginning on WNSP 105.5 FM at 1:30pm CT.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-20

September 21, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 
Coach Jones Observing warm-ups.

Head Coach Joey Jones oversees the Jaguars pre-game warm-ups at N.C. State.

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian were joined by defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Coach Brian Turner at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.

They immediately started reflecting on the NC State game with an overview of how the team played. Coach Jones said that he thought the team played an very, very good game. He pointed to some basic tenets that coaches look to in order to get their team into a position to win the game. Things such as stopping the run, be able to run the ball yourself and possess the ball more than your opponent, all of which the Jags did in the game. However another area that you need to do well in is turnovers. While the Jags did recover a few turnovers, they also turned the ball over a few times themselves.

But he pointed out Kendall Houston’s performance on the ground as he rushed 18 times for 117 yards against the NC State defense. His was a large majority of the teams 139 yards rushing (minus sack yardage). Defensively the Jags were worried about stopping the NC State run because they were so big, however they were able to stop their running game. They knew their quarterback was good and he had a great night going 17-of-20 for 297 yards, but the two deep post routes were what really hurt the team.

Overall, Coach Jones said that the Jags were very physically tough and played extremely well. They got after them on every play and were not intimidated nor did they back down. He said that lots of great things happened, but that it was one of those games that you have three or four plays in the game you have to make but the Jags didn’t make them. Coach Jones said he has been on both sides of the field in these types of games and they just didn’t get those plays to go their way.

Lee said he had picked out three plays that were key. First was the on-sides kick fumble. Second was the open receiver around the 30 yard line but the ball wasn’t thrown well to him which would have easily been a touchdown. The third play was when Jake Johnson forced the fumbled at the 5 yard line when the Wolfpack was driving which Graphenreed recovered but fumbled back to them. Lee said you could also point to the play deep in the Wolfpack territory when Bennett lobbed a pass to an open Kevin Helms but was picked off at the 5 yard line.

Coach Jones pointed out another one where the Jags scored but the play was called back on a procedure penalty which he also pointed out was not there on film. Coach Jones was quick to follow that up by saying things like that happen and that the bottom line is you have to make plays. He ended that by saying that the core of the game, he thought the team played very well and put themselves in a position to win the game.

They had themselves in a position to win the game if they made some or all of those key plays against a team that beat Florida State the previous year. And this was only the 20th game in the schools history. Coach Jones said he does not like losing but he still considers the game a success for the program. None of them enjoy losing so he talked to the team that they can continue to look back at this game and play the what-if game or they can turn around and concentrate on making themselves better this week. They can correct those things that they did wrong and get ready to play the next game and then they can say that they beat someone.

He’s proud of where the team is but they have to do better.

The first caller said that South Alabama’s “ones” seemed to matched up well with the NC State “ones”, but he asked Coach Jones how different the Jags “two’s” were from the NC State “two’s”. Coach Jones said that there were probably some difference there, but he said he didn’t notice it much. He continued by saying that the Jags are fairly deep at some positions like defensive line, linebackers, receivers and running backs. But they lost Ken Barefield which hurt their secondary depth some. But Coach Jones did not think that personnel was as much of a factor in the game as missed opportunities were in the game.

Lee then turned to Coach Brian Turner and asked him how he felt the Jaguar defensive line did against NC State. He started off saying that it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems either. He thought that they played well up front and did not get pushed off of the ball as much as they feared they would earlier in the week due to their size. The defensive line did a great job holding their gaps and doing their job.

Lee asked if the Jags had a good pass rush on Glennon even though he completed 17-of-20 passes. Coach Turner said that their gameplan was to blitz them alot but play coverage, however when you do that you tend to only rush three or four guys and when the opponent has five or six guys protecting the quarterback, your rushers are getting double-teamed often. They didn’t get alot of pressure on Glennon, but they did get to him. Romelle Jones came away with two of the Jags four sacks on Glennon. He also said that they should have gotten to him more often.

Lee then introduced the Fuego “Who’s hot” segment. Offensively, Coach Jones said that Kendall Houston was the hot guy for them this week but he also pointed out the offensive line for their work blocking against NC State. Defensively he pointed out Romelle Jones for having probably his best game of his career, he is quick and is also learning the game very well. Also Coach Jones pointed out B.J. Scott and Charles Harris for playing a very good game defensively at the safety positions.

Lee then introduced the Orthopedic Group’s Injury Update. Coach Jones said that the Jags came out of this with some bruises. Ken Barefield got hurt and missed the end of the game but will be able to play against Kent State this weekend. Rush Kendricks has an injured ankle and will not be able to play this weekend. He said that it looks like everyone else will be back, he mentioned Jake Johnson has a small injury with his quad but will be okay.

Lee asked how Johnson played in the game. Coach Jones said he played very well, like the whole defense did. He said for the “who’s Hot” segment it’s hard not to just list out all of the defensive players because of how well they played.

Lee asked Coach Turner about one of the concerns going into the game about intimidation as they went in to play against an ACC team. He asked if he caught any of the intimidation factor early on from the team. Coach Turner said that he did not see any intimidation in their eyes before the game, they were focused and ready to play the game.

They next caller to the show expressed how proud of the program the fans are for how hard they played and how composed they were. Lee asked a few email questions to both coaches. The first asked if NC State showed anything that was unexpected and if they thought the Jag players were in better shape than them. Coach Jones said that they did not show anything that was unexpected and he also said that he thought both teams were conditioned pretty well. Coach Jones didn’t notice anyone out of shape on either team. Coach Turner agreed to both statements by Coach Jones. Nothing surprising and he didn’t notice anyone out of shape either.

Lee then asked about Coach Crain and how he is doing. Coach Jones said that he is doing better, he’s been in the hospital since Friday. They finally found out that he had a staph infection and have him on antibiotics to help that. He has actually been dealing with that for the last month or so Coach Jones said.

The next email quested asked how coach Jones thought about how well Jag Nation traveled to NC State for the game. He said it was incredible. He said that after the Jags would get a big play he would sneak a look up at the Jaguar section going crazy. He said it was probably between 700 and 800 people strong in that section. After the game, the players went over to the Jag section and held up their helmets and thanked the fans for coming to the game to support them.

The next email question asked Coach Jones what the thought about the officiating and if there were any bad calls in the game by the ACC officials. Coach Jones said that there are rules where Coaches will get fined for speaking badly of officiating. Lee then chimed in saying that sometimes a no answer speaks more loudly than an actual answer which Coach Jones agreed with. He also told Lee that things happen and you have to deal with it and move on.

Lee followed up by asking if Coach Jones called the officials over anytime during the game. Coach Jones laughed and said “calling them over” is a good way to put it. Coach Jones then said that he will send in game film and call someone at the conference office to help educate the referees because, as Coach Jones said, everyone makes mistakes (except coaches with a laugh). So they send that film in so help the refs educate themselves and continue to get better.

The next email question asked if there were mismatches or communication problems in the secondary allowing for some big pass plays by NC State. On one big pass play for a touchdown, corner back Damond Smith fell down and the other one was some miscommunication in the secondary. He praised how well the secondary played the whole game, especially against #6 T.J. Graham who was really quick.

Lee followed that up by asking if there was an effort to keep the punts and kickoffs away from Graham. To which Coach Jones said yes, because NC State actually leads the nation in kickoff returns. So they tried to kick some sky kicks. The first kickoff return they got out to around the 42 yard line which was their only long kickoff return of the game.

Lee then asked who was covering T. J. Graham. Coach Turner answered that it depended on where he lined up as to who was covering him. They didn’t assign a specific person to cover him.

Another email question asked about conference realignment and if South Alabama could benefit from it. Coach Jones said that as a fan he doesn’t like it so much but for the school it could be good. While they like the Sun Belt, it could be an opportunity for something good to happen. He said it’s going to happen sometime in the future, you can see it and there will be some big shake-ups on the horizon in the next couple years.

Loyd Meyers joined the show to talk about the homecoming game against Tennessee-Martin on October 15th. On Thursday night October 13th there will be a pep rally at the Bell Tower followed by a volleyball game vs Troy. Friday night there will be a homecoming parade and luck worked out for a moonlight madness where the Jags basketball team can begin practicing for their upcoming season. The soccer team will be playing at The Cage as well.

Lee brought up that they have not talked about C.J. Bennett’s play against NC State yet during the show. Coach Jones said that if you look at the whole game, he played a very good game and made some unbelievable throws. It was great to see that out of a redshirt freshman to go into that type of environment and play that well. He is doing a great job understanding secondary coverages and going to the right place with the ball. He also mentioned that he got the team out of third down many times. Coach Jones did mention that he did have a high throw across the middle that was intercepted. He also mentioned about the throw the Kevin Helms where he floated it behind the safety but he didn’t see the backside corner. Coach Jones also mentioned that they did not show him that coverage in practice so there were some things they could have done to prepare him for that situation a little better.

Lee then turned to ask Coach Turner about their defensive line rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they rotate defensive linemen every three plays no matter what. They want two fresh guys every play pretty much, so they are rotating their interior linemen, their inside linebackers and outside linebackers.

Lee asked about the play of Romelle Jones and if he has been playing better lately. Coach Turner said that the last two games he has been really playing well. He has been the defensive lineman of the week the last two weeks for his play against Lamar and against NC State. Lee asked to clarify if it is the same rotation all the time. Coach Turner answered that it is the same rotation all the time, they are not rotating based on match-ups but every three plays they are getting fresh guys on the field.

Lee then asked about recruiting and stated that he knows that they cannot comment about specific recruits, but asked if they are getting top notch athletes now. Coach Turner said they are definitely getting very good talent. He also said that they currently have 11 verbal commitments on their recruiting board right now. He also said that they are recruiting against schools from the Big East, Conference USA and the Sun Belt. They may be losing some, but they are also winning some battles against those schools. He praised the coaches for their hard work recruiting and staying on the best players for the South Alabama program.

Lee asked that, aside from the verbals, what positions are being recruited this year. Coach Jones said that he says this every year, but it’s true, they are recruiting offensive linemen. They are probably going to lose four seniors on the offensive line so they have quite a bit to fill. Two tight ends with Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms being seniors will need replacing. Offensively they are pretty good, they will always look out to pick up a player here or there for a backup role if they are a really good player.

Coach Jones said defensively they need a defensive end, that they kind of refer to as their outside linebacker who is very athletic to rush the quarterback. Also they need to continue to shore up the secondary. They have some good players back there, but they don’t have depth.

Lee asked about C.J. Bennett being a redshirt freshman and if that would be detrimental to trying to bring in other quarterbacks to the program the next four years. Coach Jones said that they do not want a player who does not think they cannot come in and beat out C.J.

Lee then asked about popular spots for South Alabama to recruit. Coach Turner said that when the program started, they were not recruiting the entire state of Georgia. They are now. He indicated that obviously Alabama is their home state, but they are also recruiting Florida all the way down to Miami, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Coach Turner also mentioned that Myles Gibbon is from Canada so they are willing to go anywhere to get good players to find players that fit into the program and fills their needs.

Lee then transitioned to previewing the Kent State game. Lee said that this is a little different than the schools other 2-for-1 series. We travel to Kent State, then they travel here before we visit them again. Coach Jones said that they are a very good defensive team but they have struggled on offense but they have played Alabama so it’s hard to tell how good they really are because how strong the Alabama defense is this season.

Lee flashed back to the NC State game again by asking about Scott Garber and the special teams play. Coach Jones said that the special teams play was very good. He thought the kicking game was much improved against NC State. He said Jordan went 2-of-3 hitting a 46 yard attempt and missing a 44 yarder. He also thought that Scott’s punted was very good too. They changed and went to a rugby punt style.

Following up on that, Lee asked who and why they decided to go with the rugby style punt. Coach Jones said it’s hard to return a rugby style punt because it’s a low punt but it takes time for the punter to move out and kick it that it gives the coverage team time to get down and cover the returner. So you can get 40 and 50 yard punts pretty easy without a return because of that.

Lee asked about Garber being run into during one of his punts, he said that he thought that it was an automatic 15 yard penalty and a first down. Coach Jones said that it’s a judgement call, that they have bumping the kicker and hitting the kicker with two different penalties and that it’s a judgement call. He indicated that Coach Perry read the rules once they returned back to Mobile and that is how it is written, it’s a judgement call.

Lee said that they talked last week about trick plays. Wake Forest burned NC State with a couple of them and he asked if the Jags ran any. Coach Jones said that they tried a reverse but the defense caught it for a loss. The play-action pass on 3rd and one to Kevin Helms he thought was a good call at the time. Then there was a play at the five yard line where the tight end was wide open at the corner of the end zone but Bennett didn’t see him and went down for a sack. They weren’t trick plays he said, but they were different plays to call at those times and they didn’t execute them very well.

Coach Turner previewed what the defense sees in Kent State coming up this weekend. He said that they started the season throwing the ball much more, but now they have settled in running with a 260 lb running back. He said that it was going to be a good match-up between the two teams.They have a very good defensive lineman who game Alabama some problems blocking and Alabama has some very good offensive linemen. They round out the program saying that the team definitely has a different attitude going up to Kent State and that it should be a very good and competitive game.

Additionally it was announced during the WNSP morning show and reiterated again during the radio show that South Alabama picked up another verbal commitment from Georgia. Lamar Counties Fredrick Walker is a six foot two inch, 320 pound nose tackle. He wasn’t interested in any big programs so he turned down Central Florida and South Florida. He chose South Alabama over Georgia Southern to make the 12th verbal for the Jags 2012 recruiting class.

South Alabama and Kent State kick off on Saturday October 24th at 2:30pm. The game will not be televised, however Kent State will be broadcasting the game online at KentStateSports.com for free for the first time.

West Alabama preview

August 31, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Line of Scrimmage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their defense allowed 375.7 yards and 22.3 points per game.

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

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

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

South wins shootout against Henderson State 37-31

November 8, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

CJ Bennett looks on as Kendall Houston runs the ball in the second half of the Jaguars win over Henderson State.

South Alabama came away with the homecoming victory in a shootout on Saturday against Henderson State, 37-31. It wasn’t unexpected by anyone who looked at the numbers really. Both teams averaged over 425 yards per game. It was just that the Reddies are a Division-II team from Arkansas, not a team that most people in the Southeast would normally hear about unless you lived in Arkansas.

CJ Bennett went 20-of-26 passing for 280 yards for the Jags with Kendall Houston adding 140 yards in a record offensive game for South Alabama. The Jags totaled 542 yards for the game.

Henderson State, whose offensive strong point happened to match up with the Jaguars defensive weakness, went after the Jaguar secondary. Two season ending injuries in the secondary has left the Jags without any sense of comfortable depth, which the Reddies exploited to the tune of 359 yards on their quarterback’s 23-of-43 performance.

Bennett spread the ball around well by connecting with nine difference receivers with six of them having multiple receptions in the game. TJ Glover lead the receiving corps with five catches for 78 yards and a new career high of 189 all-purpose yards. However, Bennett also took three sacks in the game.

Houston carried the ball 27 times for the 140 yards which marks his fourth 100 yard game of the season. The three other running backs 99 yards on 9 carries.

Special teams had some high points and some low points. The kickoff squad gave up two returns to the end zone, however one was called back on a block in the back, saving a touchdown. Darius Davis ending the game with 5 returns for 186 yards, his touchdown went for 93 yards.

On the other side, Scott Garber averaged 59 yards per punt with both being touchbacks. Lawson McGlon made three of four attempts, including a career long 40 yard field goal as time running down in the 3rd quarter. McGlon attempted a 43 yard kick at the end of the first half, however it was rushed and came up short, so it’s hard to count that against him.

The 43 yard attempt came after the Jags were in a great position at the Henderson State 12 yard line with 3rd and six after calling a time out. However Bennett took a 14 yard sack and with the Jags without any remaining time outs, had to rush the field goal unit onto the field to hastily attempt the kick. Coach Jones was visibly annoyed by the turn of events on those two plays.

Coach Jones said after the game, “I want to congratulate Henderson State for playing a very good football game. We knew watching on film that they were a very good team. But I probably didn’t do a great job of getting the team ready in my opinion. That’s probably the first time since I’ve been here that I didn’t think we were 100 percent sharp like we normally are. And I’ll take the blame for that. We can make all the excuses we want, but the bottom line is there are no excuses. That’s not to take anything away from Henderson State, they have a great football team. I kept trying to tell our team, and I guess they didn’t hear that.”

He continued, “We knew they were good on film. They’ve been throwing for 400 yards all year long, so it didn’t surprise us. Their quarterback is a really good player and puts the ball on the money; that worried us going into this game. We knew that they had some really good receivers and some good athletes on that team.”

However a day later after reviewing the game field, Coach Jones had more to say about the game and how his players played in the game. “It’s always, when you feel terrible in a game and after a game, when you go back and look at the tape, it’s a lot better than you thought it was. And when you think it was great, you go back and look at the tape and realize it was a lot worse than you thought it was. It was that way. We played really hard and did a lot of great things. We had some bad plays and did some bad things, but if you take those five or six plays out of the game we played a really, really good game. So, I was really pleased after I watched the film, much more so than I was Saturday night.”

The Jags have played eight consecutive games since their open date after the season opening game against Pikeville College. With injuries and fatigue, the Jags are definitely looking forward to the end of their second season on Thursday night. With a short preparation and hopefully a refocusing on the job at hand, I think the Jags second undefeated season is within grasp. But as the old adage goes, “never count your eggs before they hatch.”

The Jags will host Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday evening with kickoff scheduled for 6:00pm at Ladd-Peebles stadium.

Go Jags! Beat those Boll Weevils!!

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.
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Next Page »