The South Alabama Jaguars fell 38-24 at Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night. Jereme Jones caught two touchdowns in the game to give him a team-leading five touchdowns on the season.
Jones had a career high seven catches for 62 yards. His two touchdown catches in the game tied the school record set by Courtney Smith in 2009. Demetre Baker recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the season with 115 yards on 14 carries for the Jags.
Ross Metheny was 21-of-41 for 211 yards with a career long 21 yard run as well. Bryant Lavender caught six pass for 33 yards while Gabe Loper had three catches for 48 yards. Baker’s 100-yard effort was the first for him since Henderson State last year.
ULM quarterback Kolton Browning completed 23-of-35 attempts for 250 yards. Brent Leonard had nine catches for 126 yards and four touchdown catches.
“We played pretty good football for three quarters, and we played tough. ULM is a very good football team,” said Jaguar head coach Joey Jones. “I’m proud of the way we played for three quarters, but they took the game under control a little bit in the fourth quarter. Their quarterback and receivers made some great plays. There were some things we could have done better, but I’m proud of where we are and what we accomplished today. We have to be honest with ourselves the negative things that happened, if we fix them, we’re probably in the game even more. But the positive side of it is we’re pretty close to a team that is really good in the conference, and is probably the top team in the league.”
“Overall, I’m proud of the team,” he concluded. “We just have to work on us. We’ll start fixing some things here and there, and we’re going to be there.”
Enrique Williams led the Jaguar defense with 11 tackles which was his third double-digit tacklet game in a row. Jake Johnson added nine tackles with two for a loss. Terrell Brigham had eight solo tackles, an interceptions and another pass break-up. Clifton Crews and B.J. Scott both had six tackles with two for losses.
South Alabama scored first late in the first quarter on a four play 72 yard drive that spanned only 47 seconds. After back-to-back dropped passes had the Jags facing third and 10 at its own 28 yard line when Demetre Baker broke free for a 61 yard run up the middle, the Jags longest play from scrimmage this season. Then Metheny found Jones in the end zone on the next play to take the 7-0 lead.
After ULM tied the game at 7, the Jags took the next possession and covered 86 yards in 10 plays to retake the lead. Facing third and 10 at the ULM 37, Jones would draw a pass interference penalty that would move the ball 15 yards with an automatic first down. Then, facing another third and 10, Metheny would find Loper in the end zone for the touchdown for the 14-7 lead.
ULM would tie the game again with under 2 minutes left until halftime. The Jags next possession would be a three-and-out. The Scott Garber punt would be blocked and ULM would have the ball at the Jaguar 37 yard line with 28 seconds left until halftime. After a 15 yard completion and a six yard run, the Jags would take a time out with 10 seconds left to prepare their defense. But Browning would still find Leonard in the end zone for a touchdown with six seconds left to take a 21-14 lead into halftime.
The Jags would put together a big 13 play, 93 yard drive to tie the game at 21 with 4:24 left in the quarter. Baker would keep the drive alive with a two yard run on fourth and one on the drive. Trey Fetner would cap it off with a two yard run.
ULM would pull away by scoring the next 17 points. The Jags would add a field goal in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 38-24.
The Jags return home to face Florida International with a 2:30pm kickoff scheduled at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. This weekend will be Hall of Fame weekend with former Jags Juan Pierre, P.J. Walters, Frantisek Babej and Cindy Summers all being inducted into the Jaguar Hall of Fame. They will be honored on the field during halftime.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks football team plays at Malone Stadium on their campus.
The stadium was named for James L. Malone who won the most games in school history.
The stadium opened on September 16, 1978 with a capacity of 20,000. At the time they were known as Northeast Louisiana Indians and they defeated Arkansas State 21-13. It is located across the street from the main campus.
In 1983 seating on both sides were extended into each end zone and increased the capacity to 23,277. In 1991 the press box was enlarged and decreased the capacity to 22,077.
Then in 1993 they added 8,350 seats which increased capacity to 30,427 which is the current capacity. The record capacity is 31,175 which was set on September 21, 2012 when they hosted the Baylor Bears in the 2012 home opener.
The stadium uses a ProPlay monofiliment fiber “grass” with a shock and drain pad and envirofill clear coated sand infill. Installed in 2007, it looks more like natural grass but has measures in place to help prevent injuries. It can drain water at a rate of 10 inches per hour as well.
Supposedly the clear-coated sand that is used has benefits over it’s predecessory technology, which used ground-up black rubber, by not absorbing as much heat, it does not compact over time and it does not migrate during use or fly up during use to become an eye irritant during play.
They were ranked 37th, up 12 spots from last season, as the Jags earned a 3.32 GPA. Since the program began in 2007, South Alabama’s program has either been ranked in the top-50 or had a handful of individuals named to the All-Academic Scholar Athletes by the NFCA.
“I am extremely proud of our student-athletes and their effort in the classroom,” said Jags head coach Becky Clark. “I think it says a lot about the kind of young ladies we have in our program for them to have had the success they did on the field, but to also have had that same success in the classroom. They are truly student-athletes and they do a tremendous job representing our program and South Alabama.”
“We got better each day,” said head coach Joey Jones. “I thought the first day on Tuesday was pretty day, yesterday was much better and I thought today was even better. We finally got our legs back under and we’re not feeling as bumped and bruised as we were.”
Later in the day they had more position meetings ahead of their scheduled departure Friday morning for the trip to Monroe, Louisiana.
Coach Jones has mentioned a few times this week that this game will truly be measuring stick. It will be an opportunity for the team to compare where they are in year one of Sun Belt play against the top team in the Sun Belt.
“We’re going to find out Saturday where we are,” Jones said. “We’re playing a great team. We’ll find out where we are as far as the top of the conference because there’s no doubt that they’re the top team in the league. Our kids are kind of eager to go see how we match up.”
ULM is 5-2 overall, 3-0 in the Sun Belt, with their only two losses against Auburn and Baylor by total of 8 points.
South Alabama’s Trey Fetner is enjoying his new role in the South Alabama offense. He entered fall camp looking to compete with Ross Metheny and C.J. Bennett for the starting spot but after suffering a concussion and missing practice time, he was the odd man out.
Metheny and Bennett split time at the position for the Jags first five games until the coaching staff named Metheny the starter. Bennett has not played in the last two games but Fetner has seen some limited action on short yardage situations from the Wildcat.
That play was first seen against Troy when he scored a touchdown on his first college play. As they enter the ULM game Fetner has nine carries, all in the last three games, for 24 yards and a touchdown.
He has an understanding and appreciation for his role in South Alabama’s offense. “I was real excited about this fall camp,” Fetner, a 6′ 220-pound quarterback, said. “I had a minor setback when I got injured, but I think it’s best for the team that C.J. and Ross competed for the starting job because we have a really good quarterback right now in Ross and C.J. is a great backup.”
“My role is to come in as a short-yardage guy,” Fetner continued. “My coaches trust me enough to put me in there on third-and-1 or third-and-2 and sometimes on fourth-and-1, and that gives me a great feeling. I’m really blessed and I’m thankful for the opportunity they have given me.”
South Alabama’s head coach Joey Jones believes Fetner is a perfect fit for the role, but also has a great attitude for it. “Trey, number 1, is a great leader and probably has the best attitude of anyone on the football team,” he said. “He’s come in and really helped us on third-down situations. The good thing about him is he’s able to run and throw. It’s critical that you make first downs when it’s third-and-2 and third-and-1 and he’s brought a lot of that to the table.”
“I think Trey has such a good attitude about life that he’s tickled to death doing what he’s doing,” Jones continued. “I’m sure he wants to be the starter, but bottom line is he wants to do what he can do to help the football team.”
Fetner was a five-year letterwinner at Woodland High and was rated a two-star prospect from Rivals.com. In his senior season he lead his team to a 9-3 record and into the Class 2A state playoffs. He had 2,800 yards of total offense with 35 touchdowns in that senior season. He also earned six letters in baseball and four in basketball helping both reach state playoffs.
Fetner had understands his role and will continue to work hard for the team. As he said, “My role is still in short yardage, but I’m preparing like I was the starter.”
Head coach Joey Jones said that his team was tired and beat up after Tuesday’s practice. South Alabama is coming off of it first FBS and SBC win against Florida Atlantic where they had to go to double-overtime and block three field goal attempts in the game to win.
However coach Jones said that the team got their work done in practice as they prepare to go on the road to Monroe to face ULM, the lone undefeated team in Conference play.
“We were a little tired today, a little beat up,” Jones said. “This is that point in the season where they’re waking up in the morning a good bit and they’re tired. They had a real physical game the other day (in the 37-34 double overtime win over Florida Atlantic).”
“I didn’t think emotionally we brought much today,” Jones continued. “We were out here and we kind of did what we were supposed to do, but one thing we’ve got to learn is we’ve got to fight through that. Football is a tough game and it teaches you a lot of lessons and you’ve got to fight through that and come to work. They came to work, but they’re just kind of tired and beat down right now.”
ULM is coming off of a 43-42 overtime win against Western Kentucky to improve to 5-2 (3-0 SBC) on the season. They opened the season with a 34-31 overtime win over then eighth-ranked Arkansas and also have a 53 point win over Tulane in New Orleans. Their two losses have come to Auburn in overtime and to Baylor by five points.
ULM comes into the game ranked first in the Sun Belt in scoring and total offense by averaging 39.4 points per game and 471.3 yards per game.
“They’re great offensively, they present so many problems,” coach Jones observed. “What they do is so different. They run a lot of empty, five wide receiver stuff and the quarterback is just uncanny in his ability to make plays. He just has an unbelievable knack for making plays, and he’s a big reason for why they are so successful offensively.”
Kolton Browning, ULM’s quarterback, was named the SBC Offensive player of the week. He leads the conference with an average of 273.4 yards per game. He has completed 61.1% of his passes by going 168-of-275 for 1,914 yards and 18 touchdowns.
ULM’s Brent Leonard and Taverese Maye are two of the top receivers in the conference. Leonard has 42 catches for 423 yards and three touchdowns while Maye has 33 catches for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Je’Ronn Hamm and Colby Harper have 29 receptions each while Hamm leads the team with 493 yards receiving.
Jyruss Edwards has 413 yards rushing with six touchdowns but also has 12 catches for 157 yards receiving.
The Jags really stepped up in the fourth quarter against FAU. They had back-to-back drives of 80 and 85 yards to tie the game. The controlled the ball for a total of 10:30 in the fourth quarter.
“When we were down 14 [points], I didn’t see quit in anybody on the sideline,” explained Jones in his Monday press conference. “Once we got the ball and drove down and scored to get within seven, I knew we had a shot. The defense came out and forced a three-and-out, and then we got the ball back and drove 85 yards for a touchdown. What makes me feel good is that these guys have been working their tails off all this time, and to have some rewards on the field for their hard work meant a lot to me for them, and they deserved it.”
The Jags and the Warhawks will kick off at Malone Stadium at 6pm in Monroe, Louisiana.
The University of South Alabama held their Monday press conference. Head coach Joey Jones was joined by defensive lineman and Sun Belt Special teams player of the week Pat Moore and wide receiver Gabe Loper to recap Saturday’s game against Florida Atlantic and to look ahead to this weekend’s match-up with Louisiana-Monroe.
Below are highlights from the press conference.
Coach Jones began with his opening statement. “We’re very excited about our win [over FAU] this past weekend. I can’t tell you enough about our young men and staff for what they’ve done to put this thing together. We not only played well this past weekend, but I also thought we played well the weekend before at Arkansas State. We’re getting better, and we came through in the fourth quarter [last weekend] like we needed to. It was a great win for us and something we’ve been striving for, so my hat’s off to our team.”
Jones then answered a question concerning what he learned about his team after Saturday’s come-from-behind win over FAU. “I told them [the team] after the game that when we were down 14 [points], I didn’t see quit in anybody on the sideline. Once we got the ball and drove down and scored to get within seven, I knew we had a shot. The defense came out and forced a three-and-out, and then we got the ball back and drove 85 yards for a touchdown. What makes me feel good is that these guys have been working their tails off all this time, and to have some rewards on the field for their hard work meant a lot to me for them, and they deserved it. I told them that I don’t know if anybody deserves anything, but I felt like they deserved that win.”
He then addressed a question concerning switching Gabe Loper from defensive back to offense. “Gabe [Loper] was a receiver pretty much most of the years he has played football. He played safety a couple of seasons in junior college, but is probably naturally a receiver. We have a lot of people playing press coverage against us, and we felt like we needed to get another guy over there [on offense] that could make plays against press coverage and he did that [last weekend]. You have to have some big plays when they [opposing defense] are doing that, and he really pulled through for us.”
Jones then previewed Louisiana-Monroe. “If I had to rate a team number one in the league, and I know they are just based on the [conference] standings, they are the best team I have seen in the league overall. They’re great offensively, they present so many problems. What they do is so different. They run a lot of empty, five wide receiver stuff and the quarterback [Kolton Browning] is just uncanny in his ability to make plays. He just has an unbelievable knack for making plays, and he’s a big reason for why they are so successful offensively. And they do a great job scheme-wise too.”
“Defensively, they take a lot of chances and play zero coverage and man coverage. You have to be ready for blitzes. They [ULM] are hard to prepare for both offensively and defensively, because you don’t see that type of scheme pretty much anywhere else in the league. That’s what is so difficult, and you put on top of that that they are playing so confident right now. You can tell they are playing with a lot of confidence.”
He then talked about ULM quarterback Kolton Browning. “He’s what I call football-savvy. He understands the game and has an innate ability to make plays on the field. His pocket-presence is unbelievable. It seems like if someone is coming behind him, he knows they’re coming without seeing them and he will step up and make a play or run the ball. There’s so many times where defensive linemen get there, and they can’t tackle him. He must be really strong to break tackles. And with all that, he’s aware of the pocket and what’s going on downfield. That’s a very rare thing to have. When he scrambles he has his eyes downfield, and he can make plays on the move. He’s the toughest one [quarterback] that I think we’re going to go against, from the standpoint of what all he can do because he can do so many things. He just makes plays all over the field, and makes great decisions.”
He then spoke about the ULM defense itself. “Our offensive line and [running] backs are going to have to do a great job of picking up the blitz. We have to be able to throw and catch it. We’re pretty balanced. We like to run the football and we’re going to have to run it some against them but we’re also going to have to complete passes to have a chance to move the ball.”
Coach Jones then answered a question about moving forward after the program’s first FBS and SBC win. “It’s a great opportunity for us to play against the best in the league, and that excites our players. We’re going to go out there ready to go. They [ULM] have a great football team, and they’ll let us know where we are as far as competing against the top in the league.”
Defensive lineman Pat Moore first spoke about the importance of getting the win over FAU on Saturday. “It was a big win for us. We’ve been looking forward to getting a win and turning it around. Hopefully we can win again and make it contagious and keep it going. We’re trying to keep pushing and get more wins for our team.”
He then spoke about his two blocked field goals against FAU. “It wasn’t something that was designed, I was just feeling the moment. I had to do something. I had to make a play. I just happened to be in the right position. I got my hands up and I made sure I could block it.”
Moore then spoke about the mood on the sideline during the FAU game. “We’re not going to quit in any game we play. We’ll always finish all the way through. We were down but we were trying to get our team up. We said ‘We’re going to finish this. We want to make history for our team.’ We had to rally up and turn it around.”
Wide receiver Gabe Loper also spoke about the importance of getting the win over FAU. “It was a huge win for our team. To take on a team like Florida Atlantic, a very aggressive team in our conference, and win in double overtime was a morale builder. We have to take that confidence with us when we play Louisiana-Monroe. They’re a powerhouse in the Sun Belt, they’re right up there with Arkansas State, who won the conference last year. To get the FAU win before we go on the road this week is going to be huge for us. This could be a pivotal point in our season.”
He then spoke about making the switch from defense to offense. “This was something that I pushed for. I’ve been longing for it for a long time and I never thought it would really happen. It was something that I wanted and something that I had the ability to do, I played receiver in high school. I’ve always wanted to work myself back toward that position. I would joke with the coaches, saying, ‘Throw me over there, I can make plays for you.’ But for them to have faith in me to learn the system and to throw me in a game as big as FAU, it was a big role for me and I had big shoes to fill.”
He filled those shoes well and gave extra spark to the Jaguar offense.
For the second week in a row a Jaguar has been named the special teams player of the week in the Sun Belt Conference.
Pat Moore, a 6’3″ 235-pound junior defensive end who transfered into the program from Northeast Mississippi Community College, was credited with two blocked field goals in the Jaguars first-ever FBS victory and their first Sun Belt victory as well. He blocked a 32 yard attempt with 12 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime where he would also block a 44 yard attempt in FAU’s possession of the second overtime period.
He also made three tackles in the game, all three were tackles for loss with one being a sack.
Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning was named the Sun Belt offensive player of the week for his performance against Western Kentucky where they erased a 28-7 deficit to win in overtime. Browning went 22-for-41 for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
North Texas linebacker Zach Orr was named Sun Belt defensive player of the week for his effort against Louisiana-Lafayette where he had nine tackles and an interception. He ranks second in the conference in tackles and is tied for sixth in interceptions.
The South Alabama Volleyball team posted their 13th win of the season on Sunday when they defeated Louisiana-Lafayette at Jag Gym. En route to the win, Savannah Stewart, Melissa Waelter and Torlandria Jones all recorded double-digit kills in the 3-1 win.
Stewart led the team with 17 kills while adding seven digs and an ace. Waelter had 16 kills and 18 digs for her fourth consecutive double-double and her seventh of the season. Jones had 10 kills and led the team with four total blocks, one solo and three assists.
Senior setter Katariina Kananen also had a double-double in the match, her ninth of the season and 24th of her career, with 36 assists and 18 digs.
The Jags (13-11, 6-4 SBC) are just one win away from matching the most wins since the 1995 season. Also the six conference wins are tied for the program record, matching the total amount of conference wins during the 2010 season. They are a perfect 6-0 at home.
UL-Lafayette falls to 14-12 overall and 5-5 in the Sun Belt and breaking their four-match winning streak.
Why did the Jaguars win? The defense kept it close and the offense was able to produce.
Trailing by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, the Jags kept grinding, fighting and attacking. The ground out a pair of touchdowns and blocked two field goals to give Michel Chapuseaux a chance to kick the game-winner in the second overtime period.
South Alabama dominated the time of possession in the fourth quarter by controlling the ball for 10:30 in the final quarter of regulation. The key drive that controlled most of the time went 80 yards in 13 plays and capped off by Demetre Baker’s run.
Then to tie the game, quarterback Ross Metheny found Gabe Loper in only his second game at wide receiver for a one-handed touchdown reception.
Pat Moore kept the game alive with a blocked field goal at the end of regulation play to send the game into overtime. He also blocked the attempt in the first overtime to set up the game-winning attempt in the second overtime period.
After the game, head coach Joey Jones said at the end of his post-game press conference, that the fans who left early missed a great finish. “Those people who left, they missed a heck of a football game,” Jones said. “It was a heck of a football game and it got exciting. I appreciate the fans that stayed with us in the fourth quarter.”
South Alabama will refocus and prepare for their trip to Monroe, Louisiana to face the Warhawks. ULM defeated Arkansas earlier in the season in overtime and lost to Auburn in overtime.
Kickoff is set for 6pm on the ULM website.