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.

Preview of the UT-Martin Skyhawks

October 13, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Jersey and Pads

The Skyhawks have a fairly prolific offense. They have a 3-2 record this season so far with wins over Union College (63-0), #24 Murray State (48-26) and Austin Peay (61-23). They dropped their opening game of the season to #9 Jacksonville State 24-23 and Tennessee Tech 34-31. They average 45.2 points per game while giving up an average of 21.4 points per game to their opponents.

UT-Martin has racked up 2,558 total yards of offense in quite a balanced attack. They have 1,144 yards rushing and 1,414 yards passing. Rushing, they have 230 attempts for an average of 5 yards per rush with 14 touchdowns and an average of 228.8 yards per game.

Passing, the Skyhawks quarterbacks have gone 100-for-168 with 6 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. They average 14.1 yards per catch and 8.4 yards per passing attempt for 282.8 yards per game.

Offensively, the skyhawks average 6.4 yards per play and averages 511.6 yards per game.

Defensively, UT-Martin allows an average of 316.6 yards per game for a total of 1,589 yards. Which averages out to 4.8 yards per play. Their rush defense has been pretty solid. They only allow an average of 130.4 yards per game which is 3.7 yards per rush and only 3 rushing touchdowns all season. Through the air, they have allowed 931 yards total which is an average of 186.2 yards per game, 11.2 yards per catch and 6.2 yards per attempt. They have allowed 8 passing touchdowns so far this season and have intercepted opposing quarterbacks five times.

However, they are heavily penalized with an average of 92.8 yards per game of penalty yardage while their opponents average 50.2 yards of penalties against them. The Skyhawks protect the ball very well with only three fumbles all season while only losing one of them. They have forced five fumbles of opposing teams and recovered four of them. So they are +1 in the turnover margin.

Again, the skyhawks are solid offensively by converting 49% of their 3rd down attempts and 50% of their 4th down attempts. Defensively their opponents only convert 22% of their 3rd down attempts and 40% of their 4th down attempts.

UT Martin scores well in the first three quarters but have been lacking in fourth quarter scoring. Defensivley, they are stingy in the first quarter but give up more points in the remaining three quarters, but still not a whole lot.

The Skyhawks have a good rushing tandem in McNair and Barksdale. Between the two, they have over 800 of the teams rushing yardage. Their quarterback Derek Carr isn’t much of a rusher but completes almost 60% of his passes.

Again receiving, they have two receivers who have seperated themselves from the rest of the receiving corps. Stephen Shiver and Quentin Sims have combined for 38 recptions and 591 yards and 6 touchdowns.

They have returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns while only allowing one kickoff return for a touchdown.

Behind Derek Carr passing, the next player with the most offensive yardage is McNair with 465 yards or 93 yards per game. But down rule out Barksdale with his 64.6 yards per game average too.

In order for the Jags to win the game, they will have to be able to stop this high-powered offense. They have to get pressure on Carr and keep McNair, Barksdale, Shiver and Sims all in check.

Offensively, C.J. Bennett will have to be efficient. The Jags cannot afford turnovers stalling drives. I would expect Coach Gregory to work high percentage passes to open up the run behind the experienced offensive line.