Jag Defense Plays Better In Second Scrimmage Of 2010

August 21, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon, running the first series with the first-team offense, scores the first touchdown of the scrimmage.

The second scrimmage of the preseason was a bit more even than the first one last week. Less touchdowns but also less turnovers. Which pleased Coach Jones when it was all said and done.

Several players were out due to injury on the defense. None severe, just nagging injuries which the coaching staff decided to sideline for the scrimmage. Randon Carnathan, Justin Dunn, Tim Harvey, Jake Johnson, Romelle Jones and Alex Page all sat out the scrimmage.

The Jags ran about 93 plays, close to their goal of 100. Overall the offense gained 251 yards with the first team defense only allowing 48 in their seven series on the field. The only two turnovers of the day were recovered by Jarred Williams and Montavious Williams, but both were committed by Ellis Hill, but one was a bad exchange from Brennan Sim. Anthony Taylor made back-to-back sacks for the first-team defense while Kendell Bagnerise added one right after Taylor to back the offense up 18 yards in one possession.

With so many playmakers out on defense, Jonathan Cameron and Bryson James led the defense each with four tackles. Zach Rone lead the second team defense with five tackles.

Myles Gibbon led the first team offense 80 yards in seven plays on their first possession to score the first touchdown. Brandon Ross made the big gain on the series with a 39 yard run, including knocking a defensive back flat on his tail, to set up the touchdown. After two runs by Santuan McGee, Gibbon ran to the left and made the corner of the end zone for the score.

C.J. Bennett led the first team offense the second time they were on the field. He would lead the offense down the field but could not get into the end zone and they settled for a 37 yard Michel Chapuseaux field goal.

The second first-team touchdown would be from a combination of Gibbon and Bennett under center. With the offense facing fourth down from the defense’s 43 yard line, Myles would hit Bryant Lavender for a 14 yard gain on the left sideline. Then Bennett would enter the game who would fine Ralph Turner open on the right side of the field for a 29 yard touchdown. The series covered 60 yards in six plays.

The second-team offense would have it’s best drive of the day on their first possession of the game with Bennett at quarterback. He would start the series off with a 14 yard completion to Lamontis Gardner. Then after a handoff for a short gain, he complete a pass to Gardner for eight more yards and a second first down of the series. But the series would come to an end after a fumbled handoff on third down was recovered by the offense and forced them to punt.

Bennett went 5 of 8 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim completed three for 27 yards and Gibbon completed one for 14 yards. Corey Besteda, Gardner and Lavender each caught two passes while Ralph Turner led the receivers with a touchdown and 29 yards on one reception.

Coach Jones had the following to say after the scrimmage: “We changed things up, but I thought we looked a little sharper. There were a few penalties out there, which we have to get corrected in the next couple of weeks, but I thought it was a good day. It was more like a game, we called all the special teams out there so they had to be alert on the sidelines. My overall feeling is that the offense and defense got better, and special teams were pretty consistent.”

He continued, “We will evaluate this film and go into next week with an idea of who our ones and twos will be. Of course, it’s not over because these kids compete for jobs every day, but we have to find a starting point when we begin next week.”

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No Letdown In Practice After The Programs First Victory

September 10, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon scrambling for a touchdown in Saturday’s historic 30-13 win in South Alabama first-ever football game against Hargrave Military Academy. – Photo by Doug Roberts.

Coach Jones was concerned on Tuesday that the team might have a lack of focus and intensity in practice. But on Tuesday he could tell they had leftover energy from Saturday’s big win over Hargrave Academy.

Wednesday’s practice began with about 15 minutes of special teams work, then it was following special teams was about 30 minutes of position drills. Next the offense had a 10 minute session of recognizing and picking up blitz’s from the defense then a 15 minute session of skeleton passing drills.

Then the Jags went into some situational work. They spent about 15 minutes in red zone situations with drives beginning at either the 20 or 25 yard lines. The first possession was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Eli Smith on fourth-and-goal. The very next offensive possession saw Myles Gibbon find Courtney Smtih for a 25 yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone.

The defense forced a field goal attempt, which was missed. Then Gibbon found Kelly Vail on a crossing pattern which scored another touchdown when Vail found the pylon on the left side of the end zone. This touchdown was followed up by a defensive stop with another missed field goal attempt. Brennan Sim also threw for a touchdown.

Practice ended with 20 minute scrimmage with the Jags utilizing the second and third string players to develop experience and depth for the squad. Zach Rone sacked Brennan Sim twice to force a three-and-out on the first drive. Sim would lead the offense into the red zone on the next possession. Eli Smith started the drive with a nine-yard run to get a first down. Then Sim would complete passes of 21 and seven yards to Donte Rome to get two more first downs on the drive. A two yard run by Jeremy Pacillo would put the offense at the 18 yard line, but an Eddy Cabrera interception after an incomplete pass would end the drive at the five yard line.

The defense would force another three-and-out after a tackle for loss, a sack and a broken-up pass on third-and-16.

Gabe Graham would hit Josh Dees for a 12 yard first down pass to get to the Offense’s 49 yard line. A three yard pass to Rome would move the offense across midfield, but he was sacked on fourth down to end the day.

Coach Jones spoke after practice about the teams intensity, “Practice has been really good, we’ve come out here twice and got after it. We’ve tried to keep the intensity level up, and they have done well responding to that. I’ve been real surprised, to be honest, because when you’re three weeks away from a game right after a big win you expect a letdown – they haven’t done that. In the back of their minds, I think they would like to have a game this Saturday, but they’re not letting that show in practice.”

Even though the season has officially started, Coach Jones and his staff are going through a practice schedule that is similar to what they did during preseason camp. “We feel that the format is a good for learning in practice,” Coach Jones said. “We change things up with the situations that we cover, but we feel that it is a format we want to use most of the time.”

“We’re trying to get our young kids to watch film, to teach them and let them learn,” Jones said about second and third stringers scrimmage at the end of practice. “We’re going to let them go again tomorrow. We feel that we have a good hour and 45 minutes to practice with the older guys, and since the younger guys are working hard as well this gives them 20 minutes to get out there for live action.”

The Jaguars will practice again Thursday afternoon with a tentative scrimmage set for Friday, but will have the weekend off. The next game will be Saturday, September 26 against Army Prep with kickoff at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Defense Stiffens Up In Second Preseason Scrimmage

August 23, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Saturday morning was beautiful day for South Alabama to have their scrimmage. It was completely opposite of how the weather had been all week when it force practices to be cut short or canceled. It was also very different for the defense from last weeks performance when they gave up six touchdowns and nearly four hundred yards.

The defense came out with something to prove on Saturday and did they prove it to the offense. They only gave up one touchdown and two field goals outside of the red zone and goal line situational drills. Justin Dunn lead the defense with five tackles and one assist behind the line of scrimmage. Five players, Chris Cooke, Clifton Crews, Bryson James, Matt Saucier and Enrique Williams all had four tackles with Cooke and Williams both having two tackles for loss. Charlie Higgenbotham added three tackles while Josh Chestang had two tackles, both being sacks on quarterback Myles Gibbon. Zach Rone recovered a fumble and Brett Hancock came away with an interception to accound for the two first-half turnovers.

The scrimmage began with the Jaguar offense starting deep in their own territory at the two yard-line. In four plays the offense picked up two first downs. Brandon Ross gained six yards on a run for one of the first downs and Gibbon hitting Kevin Helms on the left sideline for 21 yards for the other first down. On the offenses second series, Enrique Williams tackled Eli Smith for a safety on the second-team’s first snap. However they regrouped and picked up a pair of first downs. Brennan Sim found Corey Besteda for 11 yards for one. Then three plays later Sim found Bryant Lavender for 17 yards for the other first down.

On Saturday, Kim Shugart posted an article on al.com for the Mobile Press-Register about the place-kickers. It covered their troubles in last weeks scrimmage and continued struggles to become consistent. You can read the article here. But it was Michel Chapuseaux who scored the first points for the offense on Saturday with a 38 yard field goal. A key play setting up the field goal attempt was a 35 yard completion from Gibbon to Ralph Turner. On the very next series, Chapuseaux had a 48 yard attempt hit the left upright and bounce off. That attempt was set up by a 19 yard completion to Lemontis Gardner by Gibbon on a third and nine from their own 41 yard line. While Lawson McGlon hit both PAT attempts and Jordan Means hit a PAT as well.

The next series the first-team drove inside the 15 yard line but the second sack of the day by Chestang, eventually led to a fourth and four situation from the 11 yard line. Gibbon then ran a quarterback draw but was stopped one yard shy by Anthony Taylor.

On the second-teams second drive, they drove to the defense’s 38 yard line but Nick Owens was sacked by Alex Tamariz for an eight yard loss on third down to end the series. However, Owens would lead the offense to the events first touchdown the next time on the field, capping off a five play 50 yard drive with an Eli Smith rush off right tackle for 27 yards.

The second possession by the third-team offense crossed midfield as well, but was ended by a fumble recovered by Rone.

After a short break, the defense came back and prevented the offense from scoring on both series following the break. On the first of two red zone possession drills starting at the defense’s 20 yard line, Chapuseaux hit a 39 yard field goal. The scrimmage ended with two touchdowns on goal line drives starting at the 5 yard line. Ross found the end zone on the first team’s first play. Then on third and goal from the six, Owens rolled left and hit Nick Brunson in the corver of the end zone for the other touchdown.

Myles Gibbon went 8-for-13 for 105 yard in the air and 21 yards rushing on six carries. Nick Owens went 6-for8 for 45 yards and a touchdown. Brennan Sim went 2-for-7 for 28 yards and an interception. Gabe Graham went 3-for-4 adding 28 yards also. Each quarterback was sacked once. Combined all four South Alabama quarterbacks went 19-of-32 for 206 yards. Ross had 10 rushes for 47 yards, Eli Smith had four for 30 yards and Anthony Mostella had 3 rushes for 20 yards. Combined the offense rushed 43 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. The offense combined for 310 yards for the scrimmage. The complete stats can be found here.

After the scrimmage, Coach Jones commented on the defense by saying, “Defensively, they did a great job of bracing themselves in the red zone. They bent between the 20-yard lines, but toughened up. Offensively, we need to learn how to punch the ball in the end zone. That’s where most offenses have problems early in the year, and some of that is not allowing cut blocks because we don’t want to do that to our own guys. When you’re in the red zone, it’s hard to overcome a loss on first or second down, because the defense really has you where they want you.”

“One thing that the defense needs to work on is coming off the goal line,” Coach Jones observed. “One of my pet peeves is when we can’t keep teams pinned deep in their own territory. If we have them on the 2-yard line, let’s keep them down there, make them punt and get the ball around the 50. Then you have a greater percentage chance of scoring a touchdown.”

Jones continued speaking about the offense, “Nick had one of his better practices, he really did well this morning. I thought Myles had a good day too, he didn’t make any glaring mistakes that I saw. He was real poised out there, and he’s not getting flustered running our offense, which I like to see from a young quarterback. Brandon was tough running the ball. He’s not in shape yet because he’s been out a good deal with an injury, so he is not totatlly ready for a ball game. But, he is very tough on the inside.”

Gibbon spoke after the scrimmage saying, “We need to become more effective inside the red zone, because the most important part of an offense is being able to score when you get there. We had some big plays, but when we get down the field we need to execute better. Hopefully we can run the ball better in the red zone because when you’re passing there is so little space to throw to.”

Overall Coach Jones was happy with how the team responded and performed in their second preseason scrimmage. “Overall, I’m very pleased with both sides of the ball,” he said. “I thought we were a little more organized today, especially on the sidelines. One of the things we were trying to do was get them in the types of situations they’ll see in games as best we could, I think they learned a lot from that today. This was a real successful scrimmage.”

However, this team is quite different from the team that showed up for the spring scrimmage at Ladd-Peebles Stadium back in April. Coach Jones knew they would react differently because of that and he was right too. “It’s not that they were tight, but you could sense a little difference,” he said. “That’s why we brought them out here. We’ll do it again one more time before the first game to get them used to these surroundings.”

Myles Gibbon spoke about his visit to the stadium after the scrimmage by saying, “It felt good to finally come to where our home will be this fall and be in this atmosphere. When we walked out on the field, I just tried to imagine what it is going to be like having loads of people in here cheering and the stands filled from top to bottom. We’ll see what happens, but it’s exciting thinking about it.”

The Jags will have Sunday off and will return to the practice field for their 3:30pm practice time on Monday.