Jaguars Defense Held Strong In Second Scrimmage Of The Spring

March 7, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Jones and his staff oversee the second scrimmage of the spring at the Jaguar Practice Facility on the South Alabama Campus on Saturday.

The Jaguar defense had another impressive outing in Saturday’s scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility on campus. The first and second teams both combined to only allow a single touchdown prior to red zone drills.

Ken Barefield lead the defense with 12 tackles and an interception with Justin Dunn and Tim Harvey adding six more tackles each. Romelle Jones added five tackles and a group of six others added four tackles each.

The defensive unit had 18 tackles for loss, six of those being sacks and three of them being credited to Tony Threatt.

Brennan Sim lead the first team offense and went 7-for-17 for 80 yards and lead them to their first points on the third drive my their team. Four of the first five plays were rushes by Eli Smith, who gained 31 yards. A Sim pass to Kelly Vail put them on the 16 yard line before Vail was caught for a loss of 12 yards on a reverse. Michel Chapuseaux capped off the drive with a 42 yard field goal.

The first team offense finally found the end-zone on its last drive after Sim completed three straight passes. The final of the three consecutive passes came on fourth-and-two when he found Kevin Helms for a 28 yard touchdown.

The third team offense was the only other team to put the ball into the end zone for the day. It was the third teams’ first drive and Gabe Graham was facing a third-and-six from their own 39 yard line. Graham would find Bryant Lavender near the left hashmark and he would break a tackle for the 61 yard touchdown.

During the red zone drill, the offense would score on all three possessions. Smith would score on a rush up the middle for five yards. Myles Gibbon would connect with Andrew Martin for an eight yard touchdown. Then Ellis Hill would pound it into the end zone on a fourth-and-one play.

Bryant Lavendar would lead the Jags with 74 yards receiving on two receptions. Jereme Jones had a team high of four catches for 39 yards. While Courtney Smith would add three catches for 20 yards and Ralph Turner would catch two for 37 yards.

Eli Smith would lead the ground game with 13 rushes for 39 yards, while Ryan Scott would add 36 and Santuan McGee would add 31.

As mentioned before, Brennan Sim would complete 7-of-17 passes for 80 yards while Myles Gibbon would go 6-of-9 for 89 yards and the only interception of the day. Gabe Graham completed 4-of-5 passes for 97 yards.

The totals was 266 yards passing, 169 yards rushing for a total oof 435 total yards.

Coach Jones commented on the performance by the defense after the scrimmage. “That’s pretty much what we’ve seen all spring,” he said. “The defense did a good job of stopping the run, they really played well early in the scrimmage. I’m proud of those guys.”

Coach Jones then continued to speak about the offenses performance. “Offensively I thought we got a little better as the scrimmage went on. I told the team afterwards that we’ve just gotten better. When you watch film, I’m not so much worried about the results or how many touchdowns there were. We’re looking at individual plays and the fundamentals, we’ll worry about the scoreboard in the fall. The bottom line is that I’m real proud of the team, we’ve had a great spring thus far. We have achieved our goals.”

The Jags will practice on Monday and Tuesday morning at the Jaguar Practice Facilities on campus. Then Spring Practice will conclude with an intrasquad game on Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 6pm. Which Coach Jones had this to say about it. “The players are really excited [about Wednesday’s game]. They have already went through a player draft and formed two teams. I look at it that those guys will go out and have fun, because the bottom line is that evaluations are pretty much done. The teams will be split, which usually leads to things being a little out of synch. I’m not going to worry about that.”.

This will definitely make for an interesting end to the spring session.

The Jaguars Are Ready For Army Prep

September 25, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Brandon Ross diving for one of his two touchdowns in the Jaguars historic win over Hargrave Academy on September 5th, 2009. Photo courtesy of Doug Roberts.

The Jags are primed and ready for the second game in school history. After a three week layoff that seemed almost like an eternity, practices are over with and all that is left is execution on game day.

Obviously Coach Jones was worried about the long layoff between the emotional first game and the second game. But Coach Jones says the practices have been good. “The tone has been good out here,” he observed. “We have had some good practices the last two weeks. The guys have come out to work, practices have been real businesslike. The emotional level has picked up this week, which is what you want. You want to peak on Saturday – our kids understand that, they will be ready. I have not been part of anything like this, it has been tough. A lot of things in life can be negative but we were able to turn it into a positive, we’ve had a long time to get ready. We feel like we have worked against them every day for two-and-a-half weeks, that has got to help us.”

He also said that he is not concerned that the players were focused on only playing well in the program’s debut game. “The bottom line is that every game is a big game, and our kids understand that,” he said. “They want to have a great season, not just a great first game. We’ve been working a lot of hours so that any time that we go on the field we will be ready.”

The long layoff has given the team a chance to spend extra time practicing against scout teams that are running plays and formations that their next opponent, the Army Prep Black Knights, is expected to use against the Jags. But it has also given the staff a chance to thoroughly go over game film from the first game to identify things that need to be addressed.

Coach Jones said, “There are a lot of little things that we have been able to improve on the last few weeks. Our offense is always working on scoring in the red zone, it seems like we talk about that a lot because it’s hard to score down there. The Jaguars scored on three of five chances in the red zone against the Tigers. Defensively we did a lot of great things, although we gave up some short passes so we’ve been addressing that. This is a running team we’re playing against, though, so our challenge on defense this week is stopping the triple option.”

The Jags did a great job of stopping the run against Hargrave by only allowing 106 yards on 27 rushes out of the 344 yards they allowed for the game against the Tigers.

The Jags will have a walk through at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Friday and will finalize preparations for the game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4pm. Also an online audio feed will be available for free at www.usajaguars.com with pregaming starting at 3pm as well as postgame wrap up afterwards.

Also read the great article posted today about Tony Threatt entitled “The Heart Of The Matter.” It is a very good peace about the freshman defensive back for the Jaguars]

Depth Chart Changes And Secondary Commentary

September 3, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

There have been some shifts in the starting lineup that has been noted this week. Montavious Williams moved from defensive end to inside at defensive tackle and from second team to the first team. Alex Page has also moved from the second team to first team at defensive end replacing Anthony Taylor.

Benefiting from Friday’s situational scrimmage, Lawson McGlon has kicked his way to first-team place-kicker. Wilson was also named as one of the two kick returners with Santuan McGee.

While Santuan McGee was listed number one on the depth chart early in the week, offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said on the Joey Jones Radio Show on Tuesday that Brandon Ross was the starter at running back. As for tight ends, Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett have switched places on the depth chart but are listed as co-starters.

Some other notable changes have taken place as well. Due to some injuries in the secondary, the Jags had to make some changes just to get through fall camp. Ken Barefield started fall practice as a wide receiver but was moved to safety but was convinced to move by defensive backs coach Duwan Walker. Then just a few weeks after making the move, he was marked as a starter.

Zach Brownell, a freshman safety himself, missed most of fall camp recovering from an injury, but had this to say about Barefield, “He works hard watching film, and he’s been paying a lot of attention. I give him some tips here and there, and those might have helped him out, but he’s done a great job of learning the position on his own.” Brownell returned to practice this week and has quickly made his way back to playing on first-team defense.

Coach Walker looks on the positive side of Brownell’s time off due to injury, “It probably worked out well because he got his legs up under him, and now he’s good and healthy and ready to go,” Walker said. “We were in a position where we had to practice some other kids, so to get these other guys back on the field has definitely built in some depth for us. We feel pretty good about going into the season as far as depth is concerned.”

Tony Threatt, another freshman safety, also spent time away due to injury. He has since returned to practice and is expected to help contribute depth at safety along with Matt Saucier and Alex Phifer.

If you are a new reader to this site and happen to recognize Saucier’s name, it was because he was the first team quarterback in spring practice. He has since made the move to safety in fall camp. Coach Walker likes the idea of Saucier playing defense. “We like guys that handle the ball every down, and as a quarterback you’ve got the ball in your hand every down,” Walker said. “After being a quarterback, you have some kind of idea of what the offense is trying to do. He’s a smart kid, and it was easy for him to pick up.”

I’m sure you noticed that that all of the five safeties that will be seeing significant playing time are all freshmen. They will have help in the secondary from four cornerbacks who do have experience playing beyond high school. Junior Michael Wilson and Sophomore Anton Graphenreed are expected to start on Saturday and they will be joined by Sophomores Jerron Mitchell and Steven Pease. However, Coach Walker doesn’t look at Graphenreed and Wilson as starters with Mitchell and Pease playing backup, he sees them collectively as players. “We don’t look at ourselves as having starters at cornerback, we just think of it as having kids that we can roll in,” Walker said. “Steven Pease is going to be a great player for us, and along with Jerron Mitchell, we expect those guys to be able to roll in at the corner position.”

With the schools first-ever game fast approaching, there is little worry about the inexperience at safety. They may be freshmen in status, but many have offensive instincts which can translate to on-field experience.

As of Thursday morning, 15,818 tickets remain for Saturday’s game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium according to the usagameday.com website.