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.

Three days until kickoff

August 29, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags have three days until kickoff against West Alabama at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They will have two more practices in preparation for the game then a walk-through at the Stadium on Wednesday before going into full gameday preparations before the 6:30pm kickoff.

On Tuesday, the first Jag-Gals social of the football season will be held at Tacky Jacks on the Causeway from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Head Coach Joey Jones, Associate Athletic Director Travis Toth and Equipment Operations Manager Jeff Bailey will be there previewing the upcoming season. Also they will be talking about the Jaguars gameday operations.

Jag Gals Tickets are available for $15 in advance or $25 on the day of the event.

 

When West Alabama visits Mobile, they will be lead by a new head coach. Division II legend Bobby Wallace announced his retirement last season and former Offensive Coordinator Will Hall was chosen to take over the head job. Will Hall, at age 30, has established himself as a rising talent in the college football ranks.

In 2009 Hall’s offense ranked 3rd in the Gulf South Conference and 21st in the nation. In the 2010 season the offense ranked 17th in the nation with the passing offense finishing 10th in the nation averaging over 300 yards per game.

The Tigers will test South Alabama’s newly revamped secondary

Go Jags!

Jags look good in situational scrimmage

August 26, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kickoff

Michel Chapuseaux kicks off at the Fan Day scrimmage.

On Thursday the Jaguars held a situational scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility. With the September 1st season opener less than a week away, the coaches wanted to cover as many game-like situations that the player could face this season as possible.

The first team and second team offenses and defenses faced the scout teams for about 80 plays as well as all special teams. The scrimmage began with a kickoff by Jordan Means with the first-team defense starting the day against the scout team offense at the offense’s 20-yard line.

The defense forced a three-and-out then the first team offense started at mid-field. The offense ran six plays with Kendall Houston rushing three times and C.J. Bennett finding Corey Waldon open for a seven yard gain. The offense got to the 35-yard line, but a field goal attempt was missed wide left.

The first team defense forced a second three-and-out. However they were quickly back on the field following a simulated turnover where the offense took over at the defense’s 45-yard line. The defense answered with a Charles Harris interception in the back of the end zone to end the drive.

First half highlights include a Lawson McGlon 37-yard field goal as well as a two-yard Demetre Baker touchdown run followed by a Jordan Means extra point.

The second half highlights saw a 41-yard touchdown run by Ellis Hill, a Gabe Loper interception in the back of the end zone during two-minute drills and extra points by McGlon and Means.

“It was a pretty crisp practice. We didn’t have a lot of mental errors out there,” Said head coach Joey Jones after the scrimmage. “The kids came focused and ready to go. I think they are ready for the game next week – there’s no doubt about it. We keep talking about working hard, and they have done that. They have paid their dues. We have been here three weeks and a lot of good work has been done, so they are ready to play.”

Coach Jones continued, “They know it is game week and that from this point forward we have three or four days of practice before the first game. They have worked all year, from January until now, just to have a chance to play in the game. That’s one thing about football; you work a long time just to have a few chances to get out in the spotlight, so our kids are looking forward to it.”

Coaches and Players return to the practice field at 7:15am on Friday morning to continue preparation for West Alabama.

Jags on TV and quotes from Coach Gregory

August 11, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Gregory

Coach Greg Gregory from joeyjonesfootballcamps.com

Speaking about quarterback C.J. Bennett: I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama.

Announced TV dates and Kickoff times

South Alabama announced Wednesday evening that the Jaguars first televised game will not be the North Carolina State game as first thought. Actually it will be much sooner than the September 17th game.

Dr. Joel Erdmann, USA’s Athletic Director, announced that South Alabama’s season opening matchup against West Alabama will be aired live locally on UTV 44 as well as being aired nationally on ESPN3. While he was at it, he announced the kickoff times for the first four games of the season.

South Alabama and West Alabama will kickoff at 6:30pm on Thursday, September 1 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Jim Cox will handle the play-by-play, Dan Brennan will handle the color analysis and Pat Greenwood will handle sideline reporting for the broadcast. Actually Pat Greenwood will being handling sideline reporting for both WNSP’s radio broadcast and the television broadcast.

South Alabama’s first ever game against a FBS team will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina against NC State which can also be viewed on ESPN3. Kickoff is scheduled for 5pm Central time and will be the Jags first road game of the season.

Other kickoff times that were announced were games against Lamar on September 10 with kickoff at 4pm and the second FBS opponent for the Jags on the road at Kent State will kickoff at 2:30pm Central time. Other times will be officially announced in the future. However according to the season tickets, home games against Tennessee-Martin, Henderson State and Cal Poly will all kickoff at 4pm. The Thursday night game against Mississippi Valley State will kickoff at 6:30pm.

ESPN3.com is currently available to over 70 million homes across the country to fans who receive high-speed internet from providers who are affiliated with ESPN.

Dan’s inteview with Coach Greogory

Dan of Dan and Shelby, the morning show for local radio station 95WKSJ, has a football blog on the 95KSJ website. On Wednesday he was able to speak to Coach Greg Gregory about the upcoming season.

I will hit some of the notable pieces from the article. When asked to compare South Alabama to his former school, the University of South Florida who is arguably the measuring stick for modern start-up program. Coach Gregory said that “There is no doubt South Alabama will get to the same level as USF prior to them getting in the Big East.” He continued, “I think this program can go as far as the administration wants it to go.”

Another big question that everyone has for the 2011 Jaguars is how will the offensive line do when facing such an upgraded schedule. “We block better than a lot of football teams that you see on tape. I think we have enough talent to compete with anybody we play. I don’t really worry about our line. They are tough and they are going to compete. I don’t think it will be a major issue for us.”

Probably the answer that will get the most scrutiny by people around the state is when he is asked to evaluate quarterback C.J. Bennett. “Even when he came in last year as a 17 year old, all along I knew he’d be our guy,” said Coach Gregory. “I think he’s the best (college) quarterback in the state of Alabama. He’s a player. He can really throw it. Smart, sees things. When he tells you something happened on the field, that’s what happened. He is very polished. And he’s very excited to be here. He’s as accurate as you want, has as quick a release and the biggest thing is his willingness to pull the trigger. He’s got the best release I’ve ever been around.”

With Brandon Ross set to miss probably the first half of the season at least, Coach Gregory had some good thoughts on the Jaguar backfield. Kendall Houston picked up the role of being the big, hard running back where Ross left off after the injury. But this season he will have some help with the addition of Demetre Baker from the University of Georgia. Coach Gregory said that, “Baker has more flat out speed. Both of them are violent runner. They run the ball hard. Kendall’s probably a little more reliable right now at holding the onto the ball but Demetre’s a really good player.”

Go on over and read the whole write-up. He talks about replacing Courtney Smith, Jereme Jones place at receiver and transfer B.J. Scott possibly playing a part on offense in the future.