Jones Pleased With Preparations For ULL

November 23, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Tommy Perry talks with running back Terrance Timmons during preseason camp.

Overall Coach Jones is pleased with the preparations his team and coaching staff has made this week for their trip to Lafayette. Jones noted the balance the Ragin’ Cajuns have on both sides of the ball and how this will be a tough game for his team.

“I think the coaches have done a good job of honing things down. I say simplifying or cutting out some of the excess things we had in the gameplan where the kids could go out there and execute,” Jones said. “I think that’s the best thing that’s happened. I think the kids have studied it and have executed it very well to this point.”

The Jags went through a two-hour practice, their final prior to the game, on Thursday morning at the South Alabama Practice Facility. They met again later for a Thanksgiving lunch.

This is another first in South Alabama history as they have never played this late into the season before so this was the first time the team and the coaching staff had to schedule practices and activities around Thanksgiving day.

“First of all, you wish these young men could go home and be with their families, but obviously we are their extended family and I think there’s a certain love there as family members on this football team,” Jones said. “It’s the second best thing to going home.”

“We’re going to feed them at lunch and treat them like they are at home,” Jones continued. “Some of the guys will go home today, guys who live close by, will go home to eat and be with their families. They’ll be back tonight and get ready to leave (Friday) to go to Lafayette.”

South Alabama’s woes at the running back position will continue this weekend at Louisiana-Lafayette as both Demetre Baker and Kendall Houston will not play. Head Coach Joey Jones said after practice on Thursday that both have ankle injuries.

Baker and Houston are two of the top three rushers on the team. Baker leads the running back corps with 595 yards in nine games while Houston is third on the team with 207 yards rushing in 11 games. They have combined to score five of the teams nine rushing touchdowns.

When asked if the loss of Baker and Houston would limit what the Jags will be able to do offensively against the Ragin’ Cajun’s Coach Jones said, “It really doesn’t. We’re going to run our offense. Obviously, in goal-line situations we have some other guys who are going to come in. But other than goal-line and short-yardage, we’re going to run our offense.”

“Certainly, we don’t need to get anymore of them hurt,” Jones continued. “We’re down to the few and the proud right now. But we’re not going to change our offense.”

Terrance Timmons and T.J. Glover will see the most playing time at running back for the Jags against ULL. Ellis Hill, Julian Valentin will also see some playing time as well as quarterback Trey Fetner in certain situations.

Defensive lineman Will Thompson will miss the game as well with an ankle injury.

Jereme Jones, who sufferred a concussion against Middle Tennessee game last week, has been cleared to play. He has the school record of 25 consecutive games with a reception. He is also the teams leading receiver with 444 yards on 39 catches with six touchdowns.

South Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette will kick off at 4pm in Lafayette, Louisiana. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and can be heard on 105.5 WNSP or their website http://www.wnsp.com/

Jags Travel To ULL For Final Opportunity At Another SBC Win This Season

November 21, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars go on the road on Saturday for their final Sun Belt game in their first season of competition in the conference and FBS play. The Jags also look to get their second FBS and their second Sun Belt victory when they play Louisiana-Lafayette.

Over the last seven games, the Jaguars have found out where they stand in the conference as they complete their second year of a two-year transition into FBS. With only one win to show, the Jags have had four games decided by eight points or less. A single possession.

The win-loss record is not where head coach Joey Jones would like it to be, but it has still been a productive season as the fourth year of the program comes to a close over the next two weeks.

“One thing I think is that we have become a better football team throughout the season, we’ve probably improved more throughout this time than any time we ever have as evidenced by our team playing with a team like Middle Tennessee, who is probably going to play for the [Sun Belt] championship,” Jones said. “It’s 17-12 in the fourth quarter and we had chances to make plays and win the ball game. But we are right there. I think that we have found out that we can play with Sun Belt teams now. Do we have to get better and learn how to win games? No doubt about it. But in our first year I’m real pleased with the progress, though I am certainly not happy with the results at this point. We are at a point where we want to be, though we wish we had won a few more games.”

South Alabama enters this weekends game with a 2-9 (1-6 SBC) record and one last opportunity to earn a conference victory this season. Louisiana-Lafayette enters the game with a 6-4 (4-2 SBC) record with an offense that ranks in the top half of the conference as they average 433.3 yards per game and 33.1 points per game. The Jaguars defense ranks second in the conference by allowing 366.4 yards per game.

Last Saturday, the Jaguars defense held Middle Tennessee to 20 points, ten points below their scoring average when they entered the game. On the other hand, ULL gained 582 yards of total offense against the top defense in the conference in Western Kentucky. They scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes to defeat the Hilltoppers 31-27.

“Offensively they have really become much better, they are running their quarterback a lot more,” Jones explained. “Earlier in the year they were careful to run him because they lost their other quarterback, but now they have Broadway in there and he is doing a great job running the football. He is scary when he pulls it down. And they are throwing it well all the time, they were already good at that, so it has given diversity in that they can run it or throw it. They have big offensive linemen who run the zone very well, they have a complete offense that you have to defend all over the field.”

ULL quarterback Terrance Broadway accounted for 403 yards of total offense against Western Kentucky as he rushed for 145 yards on 14 carries and completing 23-of-33 passing attempts for 258 yards. For the season he has a 65.7% completion rate while accounting for 19 touchdowns (13 passing and six rushing) while posting 2,526 total yards this season.

“We do a great job every week preparing, I really want to compliment our staff and what they do scheme-wise to get ready for games,” Jones said. “Our players are buying into it, playing hard-nosed football and getting after it. If we don’t give up the big plays in games that we continue to talk about we would be doing great defensively. But I am real pleased with how we are playing defensively overall. We are preparing for this team like anyone else, but experience against some of the teams in this league has helped us.”

The ULL defense allows 419.2 yards per game, 266.8 of them through the air. Ross Metheny has threw for over 200 yards in the Jaguars last six games. So there is a good opportunity for the Jaguars to drive and score.

The Jaguars and the Ragin’ Cajuns kickoff is set for 4pm in Lafayette, Louisiana and can be seen online on ESPN3.com (if your internet service or cable TV service is from an affiliated service provider).