Thursday, December 31, 2009

Perrilloux, Heath and Chambers Garner All American Honors


Jacksonville State’s Ryan Perrilloux and T.J. Heath have been named to the Fabulous Fifty Football Championship Subdivision All-American Team, while Tylor Chambers was an honorable mention selection by the College Sporting News.

Perrilloux, the 2009 OVC Offensive Player of the Year, ranked first nationally in passing efficiency (172.58) and fourth nationally in points responsible for (18.6 points/game). The senior quarterback also set several other single-season school records, including touchdowns responsible for (31), total offense per game (279.3) and total offense per play (8.36). He finished his two-year career as Jax State's career leader in passing yards per game (222.3) and total offense per game (260.9) and had a career passing efficiency of 154.9.

The Laplace, La., native finished the season with 2,350 passing yards, which was the third best in school history, and his 42 career passing touchdowns is third, while his 61.0 completion percentage is also third in school history. He was a second-team All-OVC honoree in 2008. Perrilloux was also a Sports Network All-American.

Heath, also an All-American selection by the Associated Press and Sports Network this season, led the Ohio Valley Conference in passes defended and led the Gamecocks with six interceptions, including returning two for touchdowns against UT Martin earlier this season. The junior also led the team with 10 pass break-ups and also forced a fumble and blocked a kick. He recorded 34 total tackles on the season, including 20 solo stops.

Chambers, from Hixson, Tenn., graded better than 88 percent for the season at his offensive guard position. The sophomore finished with 103 knockdowns, 42 pancake blocks and more than 210 bonus points for the Gamecocks after playing 586 snaps this season. He helped the Gamecocks lead the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing offense (188.82), total offense (431.09), passing efficiency (161.19) and scoring offense (35.0) and was an All-OVC selection.

Unlike other All-American teams, the CSN honor's squad is designed to be like a real team, capable of taking the field and competing in a game. It includes everything from quarterbacks who can run or pass, often overlooked fullbacks, to a long snapper and other special teams performers. Including the honorable mention selections, 138 student-athletes from 71 schools are represented.

Gamecock Trio Earn All-American Recognition
12/31/2009 11:40:39 AM | Football
Jacksonville State’s Ryan Perrilloux and T.J. Heath have been named to the Fabulous Fifty Football Championship Subdivision All-American Team, while Tylor Chambers was an honorable mention selection by the College Sporting News.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gamecocks vs. Ole Miss Part One

JSU travels to Oxford tonight to take on the Rebs in mens basketball. In September, JSU football opens there season at Ole Miss. The Sporting News has the following preview of tonight's basketball game.

Jacksonville St.-Mississippi Preview
STATS Writer
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While Mississippi struggled for a second time against an elite team its last time out, it will have two games against less-than-imposing opponents to regain some confidence before beginning SEC play.

The 15th-ranked Rebels look to bounce back from their worst offensive performance of the season when they return home to take on Jacksonville State on Tuesday night.

Mississippi (10-2) has been one of the top scoring teams in the nation, but came out stagnant in a 76-66 loss at No. 6 West Virginia on Wednesday. The Rebels, who were averaging 85.4 points, shot 67.7 percent in their previous game - a 108-64 rout of Centenary on Dec. 19 - but followed with a season-low 36.4 percent against the Mountaineers and were 5 of 24 from 3-point range.

The win snapped Mississippi's six-game winning streak and was the third time in five games the team has had to try and come back from a first-half deficit.

"I don't think that we came out terribly focused," coach Andy Kennedy said. "They hit us in the mouth and we didn't respond. As a result, we're going home a loser."

Both of Mississippi's losses have come against top-tier teams. Its other defeat came Nov. 22 against then-No. 5 Villanova as the Rebels shot 38.1 percent and committed 21 turnovers in the 79-67 setback.

Although beating ranked opponents on the road has been difficult for Mississippi, winning at home against unranked ones has not. The Rebels are 6-0 there this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 23.7 points. They have won 36 of their last 37 games in Oxford against non-conference foes and will play their next three contests there.

Mississippi doesn't have much time to work out any remaining struggles. Tuesday is one of two remaining tune-ups before beginning the conference slate. After Jacksonville State, they Rebels will host Central Florida before facing SEC-opponent Mississippi State on Jan. 9.

It will be critical for Chris Warren, Mississippi's leading scorer at 17.6 points per game, to bounce back. After pouring in a season-high 32 in a win over UTEP on Dec. 16, the junior guard totaled 19 on 7 of 18 shooting against Centenary and West Virginia.

He'll be looking to put up big numbers against Jacksonville State (5-5) which is playing its first ranked opponent since losing to Mississippi State in 2004.

The Gamecocks are coming off a 60-55 loss to Nicholls State on Dec. 21, when they shot 38.3 percent and trailed the entire way. Trenton Marshall scored 18 while Jeremy Bynum added 15 as the duo shot a combined 9 of 30.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak. Only three of the team's wins are against Division I opponents.

The Gamecocks are 1-33 against the SEC, with their lone victory coming against Alabama during the 1952-53 season. Mississippi is 3-0 all-time in the series, including 64-56 in 2003.

Already a tough venue for opponents to play in, Tad Smith Coliseum could become even more hostile as school officials have offered free admission. Fewer than 6,000 people were on hand to see the team beat Centenary in an arena that seats more than 9,000.

Monday, December 28, 2009

JSU to the Sun Belt?

Tobi Writes from has this article on possible changes to the Sun Belt Conference in the next couple of years:

The Sun Belt Conference has 13 members currently, but is riding a bullet train to 11 members. Could that be the best thing that ever happened to the conference?

The Sun Belt Conference adopted rules in 2007 that seem likely to force Denver and New Orleans out by the 2012-2013 school year.

Denver, which already has the largest athletic budget in the conference and the highest academic standards would have to add five sports to stay in beyond 2013. It seems abundantly clear they have no intention of adding sports to remain an outlier in a weak conference.

Denver hopes to be offered an invitation to the WCC. The WAC, MWC, and Big Sky Conference are other conferences that Denver hopes to join and may have some hope of joining due to their strong academics. The Summitt is another conference which may have an interest in the Pioneers.

New Orleans has been absolutely devastated by the Katrina and the current recession. It appears that they no longer have the finances to compete at the DI level, let alone add sports to hit the new Sun Belt minimum of 15 sports.

That leaves the Sun Belt with a very awkward 10 all sports members and one non-football member in UALR.

UALR may be forced out (perhaps to join the Summit or MVC?) or retained. Ultimately, it doesn't change the equation much.

The number of teams in football is the real issue.

Ten football playing members is a scheduling nightmare. Nine is usually ideal, but for a conference that has trouble generating revenue and has large travel expenses like the Sun Belt, getting to 12 all sports members could make a world of sense.

It seems likely the Sun Belt may be waiting to see what happens between 2010 and 2012.

The NCAA has a moratorium on athletic program classification upgrades while they revise their rules. For a conference like the Sun Belt that would need to reload with programs upgrading from the FCS, they really have to wait at least until next season to find out the new upgrade rules.

And then there is the question of conference movement.

The Big Ten has made noise about expansion. That could cause all kinds of ripples in conferences at lower levels.

The Big Ten has been myopic in considering only Notre Dame as an expansion candidate. The rumors seem to be implying that courtship may be coming to an end. Notre Dame may need to join or see the Big Ten (a big player in the BCS) not only take another school—removing a slot for Notre Dame—but also make the BCS loopholes for Notre Dame much much tougher.

Missouri would take an offer from the Big Ten in a heartbeat.

Rutgers would as well, and they offer the Big Ten media relevance in the NYC media market, the nation's largest. That alone would probably push the Big Ten TV money to most in the nation, past the SEC's TV revenue.

Regardless of what path the Big Ten takes, ripples will be felt.

The Pac 10 has long said they would likely move to 12 members after the Big 10 does.

If they raid the MWC and/or the Big 12 (say Utah and BYU or Colorado), there will be ripples that affect the Sun Belt.

Ideally, the sunbelt may hope to only lose one or two schools. Perhaps Troy and/or UNT to the CUSA. The Sun Belt may hope to add a single school in the center of their footprint—perhaps Jacksonville State?—and end up with nine for football and 10 for basketball—ideal for scheduling.

Even if a third team is raided—say FIU or FAU—the Sun Belt may hope to add Jacksonville State and Georgia Southern and still be at that 9/10 scheduling sweet spot.

But is that really a good place to be?

That is still a very large footprint to play every member of the conference.

The conference would still have to deal with the spectre of being a conference that expanded with FCS schools because they had to, not because they chose to.

Additionally there are some scenarios that could kill the Sun Belt. If realignment hits trickle down to the WAC and CUSA splits, the Sun Belt could have heavy defections. The WAC might need to look at a 12 member conference to keep travel costs under control and not lose a school like La Tech.

WAC Raid

UNT turned down the WAC before, but those were different times. If the WAC, minus Boise, came calling again and offered UNT a reasonable escape clause to escape to CUSA if an offer is forthcoming, they might be able to land UNT.

Finances and hope for a CUSA offer played a big role in UNT turning down the WAC last time. UNT only had about a $14-15 million athletic budget with no source of additional funding to offset the increased travel costs.

Playing in the WAC on a tight budget as a distant outlier seemed like a sure way to bleed the competitiveness out of the program. Look at what happened to Marshall after joining CUSA.

The new stadium vote will have UNT's athletic budget growing quickly. By 2025, UNT may have a $30 million athletic budget. A large travel bill is no longer as daunting as it once was.

Additionally, UNT only lost out to UTEP in being TCU's replacement in CUSA over the condition of Fouts Field and their facilities. The New Mean Green Stadium is due to be completed in time for the 2011 season and all of UNT's other facilities have been replaced.

UNT believes they will be invited into CUSA if the conference develops an opening after 2011.

That said, if the WAC makes an offer to UNT that makes better financial sense in the meantime UNT might join the WAC.

If the WAC loses Boise, they lose a lot of prestige. Will La Tech want to stay in that eight team WAC? What happens if they threaten to leave? Who could the WAC land as a replacement? The WAC would have to look at an FCS upgrade, which they don't want to do as it is a major esteem hit.

LA Tech might have the leverage to force the WAC to create a western six team Division. UNT, Arky State, ULL, and maybe Larry Coker's (pictured above) UTSA team could join NMSU and La Tech to cut travel.

For the Mean Green that would be an esteem bump moving into a conference that might legitimately generate a BCS bid. Attendance would be much higher with closer opponents and travel budget would be cut dramatically. In addition, ULL, UNT, and Arky State have history.

UNT very well might bite on that as an interim solution until their perceived date with CUSA west.

Raids from CUSA

CUSA is currently squeezing outliers Marshall and ECU. If no relief comes in the form of a Big East raid, there is the possibility of a CUSA split.

There is some resentment against the Western CUSA schools. A peaceful divorce could be negotiated if ECU and Marshall tire of the status quo. I would think Tulane would want to stay with the western schools and that if no Big east offer was forthcoming, Memphis and S. Miss might favor staying with Tulane and CUSA west for recruiting and TV purposes.

That potentially would have the Western CUSA schools taking the CUSA autobid and leving the eastern CUSA schools no way to rebuild their conference. I don't think if it reached a schism point that the CUSA west schools would want to hurt the western schools that way.

The Western CUSA schools could offer Tulane and S. Miss non-basketball memberships as part of the split as the western eight became a new SWC. (Eventually they would be full members.)

That would allow CUSA East to still have six members for basketball, enough to pull an autobid to the NCAA basketball tourney. From there the Eastern CUSA schools could take say, Temple, and three schools from the Sun Belt to get back up to eight full members.

Those scenarios in conjunction don't leave much left.

That would probably be it for the Sun Belt, especially if the NCAA institutes harsh new upgrade rules.

Pre-emptive Expansion

The Sun Belt could just go for it, now. It could be their best option.

They could offer membership to FCS schools in the region who are seeking an FBS home now.

Also, they could put pressure on the NCAA to come up with upgrade rules that are not overly oppressive by having pending membership offers on the books prior to the release of the rule revisions.

Adding two all sports schools would give the Sun Belt enough schools to have a revenue generating conference championship game. Offering memberships to Texas State and UTSA would give the Sun Belt more relevance in big markets (San Antonio and Austin).

That would likely please UNT's fans if not their administration by giving the Mean Green some FBS schools from Texas to play. It could also reduce the threat of the creation of an eastern WAC division by cutting travel costs for the western Sun Belt schools and giving them all greater exposure in Texas, one of the richer talent bases in the nation.

Starting the process now could really protect Sun Belt schools from the coming reshuffling of the FBS.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The 2009 Top Ten Notable Happenings in JSU Sports

Here's our unofficial list of the top ten happenings in JSU sports this year. It's been a very good year, and I believe next year can be even better.

1- Softball team gets an At-Large bid and sweeps Tennessee and plays Alabama in the Super Regionals. I didn't get to go to Knoxville, but it was great seeing the team on ESPN.

2- Volleyball team goes to NCAA tournament after going 17-1 in the OVC regular season and winning the OVC tournament. They go on to win their first match against Florida A&M. Went to the OVC tournament and the atmosphere in the Pete was electric. This was a very exciting team.

3- JSU Football Wins The OVC TItle "On the Field."

4- Men’s tennis team captures the OVC title and goes on to play FSU in the Nationals.

5 JSU Rifle wins 5th straight OVC championship and won their 2nd small bore title in the past 3 years.

6- Jim Skidmore inducted into the Alabama Athletic Trainer’s Association Hall of Fame.

7- Josh Cain (academic) and TJ Heath earn All-American honors. Both well-deserved and a great representation of JSU's student-athletes.

8- NCAA lifts playoff ban after marked improvement in the APR.

9(tie)- Baseball team beats #1 ranked UGA -- twice

9(tie)- JSU football plays Florida State, and gets national coverage as we come within one minute of winning the game.

10- Launch of - this one's a stretch as far as notability, but we have had fun doing it.

Aggies coordinator has been around, including stop at UGA ||

Here is a nice article about Jacksonville State Graduate, Joe Kines.

Aggies coordinator has been around, including stop at UGA ||

Friday, December 18, 2009

Al Muskewitz Team of the Decade

A great blog posting by the Anniston Star's Al Muskewitz on JSU's Team of the Decade. Go to to check it out.

I have to go back and look at the stats, but I hate to see Chapman,Reggie Wade and James Wilkerson not make the All-Decade Team.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We Knew TJ Before He Blew Up

In honor of TJ Heath making All-American, we thought it might be neat to run an interview we did with TJ this past Spring. Here it is:

After the J-Day game, had the opportunity to spend some time with cornerback T.J. Heath, an Alexandria product who earned first team All-State honors in 2005. Coach Crowe described Heath as “a premier athlete” when he signed and he has not disappointed. Heath burst onto the scene with the Gamecocks in 2007 with an interception for a touchdown in his first series in a college game. He followed that up last year with 42 tackles and an interception returned for 41 yards. TJ concluded an excellent spring with several big plays in the J Day game including an interception for a touchdown.

Heath is clearly a big time player, but more importantly he is the type of player that will make the Gamecock Nation proud both on and off the field. He is a very good student and a respectful young man that gives a great interview. One of the things that impressed me most about TJ was when I asked him about his most exciting moment as a Gamecock, it was a team accomplishment- the defensive stand against Tennessee State that ended the 2008 season. T.J was also quick to give praise to his teammates and recognizes that he can always improve his game-- two characteristics of the type of player that will win championships for JSU.

Here is a summary (some of T.J’s comments have been edited for space) of what TJ had to say about a variety of topics as we approach the 2009 season.

Heath On Playing for JSU:

Q: Why did you choose JSU?

A: A lot of it had to do with Coach Crowe’s style of coaching. It’s very intense. I came from Coach Larry Ginn. It was much the same type of coaching style so I thought it was a good place for me to be.

Q: Tell us about Coach Stewart?

A: Ever since I [arrived at JSU] he’s been a motivator for the defense as a whole. He works us hard every day. He doesn’t ever allow us to slack up and that’s one thing I love about him, he always keeps us intense and ready to play. He’s a great coach. I wouldn’t play for [anyone] else.

Q: What are your strengths on the field?

A: My main strength is probably coverage and I’m getting back to the more physical part {of the game after recovering from shoulder surgery]

Q: Is there any NFL player you try to emulate?

A. I like to look at Champ Bailey a lot. He is very aggressive the way he plays. .

Q: Who are you battling with for playing time?

A: Juwaan Booker and A.J. Davis.

Heath on the Opposition:

Q: How do you feel about opening with Tech again?

A: I’m very excited about the Tech game. [We had some early success against them last year]. This year with some things we have changed up it might be a pretty good game.

Q: What about FSU?

A: I’m definitely excited about that game. [I told Coach Crowe I am looking forward to the challenge of matching up with their great receivers]. I like challenges. The Florida State game will be a great challenge for us . . . I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest rival in the OVC?

A: UT Martin is one of our biggest rivals. It’s always a great game.

Q: How was the matchup against UT Martin wide reciever, Micheal Hicks (an Ole Miss transfer)?

A: He had a pretty good game. I give him his props, but I’m looking forward to having him back here [in Paul Snow next year]. I know its going to be a different game.

Heath on his teammates:

Q: Who are some newcomers Gamecock fans should be on the lookout for ?

A: One is Juwaan Booker. He’s a red shirt freshman. I think he’s going to have a breakout year this year and people will start to know him a lot better . Another is A.J. Davis. A.J. is a tremendous player. He’s going to have a big year for us. Another player is Rodney “Texas” Garrott. He can play some ball. I was amazed [when I was him in practice]. He is an up and coming player. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action when we get face to face with Georgia Tech.

Q: Who is the fastest player on the team?

A: The fastest player on the team I have to say is Carnell Clark, #26. He’s a hard hitter who has no problem being physical and he plays smart. He has a great chance to play in the NFL.

Q: Tell us about Alexander Henderson?

A: He is an unbelievable talent. He had five consecutive tackles in a recent scrimmage. [The coaches] took him out and said ‘that’s enough, you’re done.’ He’s a great player for us and a big help on stopping the running game. I’m looking forward to seeing him out on the field.

Q: Who are the big hitters?

A: Number one is Carnell Clark; he is a big hitter. Every time he gets a chance he’s trying to hit somebody. Another is Morrell [Jones] he plays linebacker. He is a big hitter as well. Those two are probably the biggest hitters on the team. I’m coming along! Every time I talk to Carnell, he makes fun of me and tells me I’m a little soft, but I tell him all that’s about to change. I’m getting there.

Q: Who are some tough matchups among the Gamecock receivers?

A: Jeff Cameron. He’s really improved getting off the line. James Wilkerson is running some very good routes as well. .

Q: What about Tech transfer Greg Smith?

A: I had a chance to talk to him. I’m looking forward to seeing him make some plays out here with us.

Heath Off The Field:

Q: What do you like to do off the field?

A: Write music, play video games and just relax. I like to write some R&B music and a lot of gospel music as well. My favorite musician is Curt Franklin.

Q: What is your major?

A: Exercise science with a minor in business.

Q: How are you doing academically?

A: I’m doing great. I’m looking forward to graduating on time. That’s a big goal.

Q: What do you want to do after graduation?

A: I want to do something with my degree. I recently hurt my back and have been going to the chiropractor [it is really interesting to me]. If I don’t get to the next level, I’m probably going to go to chiropractic school.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

FCS Championship Game

An interesting take on the game this weekend from the Chattanooga Times Free Press regarding the economic impact the Montana win/App. St. loss will have on the championship game.

Forecast is low
Montana's win could cost city $1 million

By: David Paschall

Montana's 24-17 win Saturday over visiting Appalachian State in a second-half snowstorm provided a riveting finish, but it cost the city of Chattanooga more than $1 million.

The Football Championship Subdivision finalists are set for Friday night with Montana and Villanova, a combination that will travel the fewest fans since the title game came to Finley Stadium in 1997. The two participants will bring an estimated 3,500 fans according to Greater Chattanooga Sports & Events Committee president Scott Smith, which is significantly less than the 5,242 who traveled to the Delaware-Colgate finale in 2003.

Had App State and William & Mary won this weekend's semifinal matchups, at least 11,000 visitors would be expected.

"We've said for years that we can never control the teams," Smith said Saturday night, "which is why we need to get to a certain level locally."

Smith expects this year's FCS championship to have an economic impact from $650,000 to $1 million, with the high end occurring if Montana fans stay three nights instead of two. The previous low according to Smith was $1.148 million in '03.

An App State victory would have guaranteed a minimum of 7,500 Mountaineers fans and an economic impact of at least $2 million. When the Mountaineers defeated Delaware for the '07 title, it occurred in front of a Finley-record 23,010 fans and resulted in a record $2.65 million.

Roughly 10,700 tickets overall have been sold for Friday's game. The record low of 12,360 was set in '02 when Western Kentucky defeated McNeese State.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jamie Strange Doing Great Things At JSU

There are many great things occurring right now that are related to the Jacksonville State Football Program. We finished the season with a Top 15 program, a Payton Award top 6 finalist, dominated the OVC awards and have a new stadium that will compare favorably to any FCS team in the Country. However, one of the best stories related to JSU football is one that has nothing to do with new buildings, talented players or wins and losses. Instead, JSU is leading the nation with a new "Habitudes" player development program that helps our players learn the skills to be successful off the field, long after their playing careers are over.

The man behind this program is JSU's Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative and Director of Player Development, Jamie Strange. Strange came to Northeast Alabama in 2005 from Raleigh, North Carolina and was primarily working with high schools in the area. Over the years, Jamie and Coach Crowe developed a friendship and Coach Crowe opened the doors for Strange to expand JSU's FCA program.

In 2006, Coach Crowe came to the realization that he wanted more. He wanted to take a formalized approach to helping to instill values in players that would give them the skills to succeed in life, separate and apart from the football field. Thus, Coach Crowe approached Jamie and asked him to help implement a player development program separate and apart from his FCA work. The Habitudes program was written by Dr. Tim Elmore of the Growing Leaders organization.

The idea was easy. However, implementing the program was another matter. First, they would have to find funding. Second,, applying the program to a football team was a novel concept. The only other school in the country that had implemented the Habitudes program was the University of Texas.

The Gamecock Nation, as it always does, responded to the financial challenge. John Thomas, a prolific offensive lineman during the late 80s’, who is now a successful health care executive donated $50,000 to fund the program. This solved the financial hurdle.

The second challenge -- implementing the program was met by every single member of the Gamecock coaching staff. Along with Strange, the coaches actually lead the program. Thus, in addition to spending 70-80 hours each week recruiting, leading practice and breaking down film, the coaches have to learn the program and lead the breakout sessions that occur each week. Strange says "every coach is committed to this. . . and every coach has to be actively involved in preparing for the lesson and getting feedback from the players."

The Habitudes program involves a mandatory weekly character/leadership class for all of the players. The players meet every week both in season and out of season. Habitudes is a four year curriculum. According to Strange, the first year was about "developing the leader within yourself" and was focused on personal leadership and character development. The second year (which is where JSU is now) is about connecting with others - in other words as Strange describes it helping those around you develop and succeed." Strange says "our focus this year is developing one another and building that team aspect of things and looking at other people and make them more valuable." Implementation of these concepts will surely help JSU as a team, but will also help the players in their personal relationships, family and careers.

Another part of the program is service to the community. Strange says that serving others is rewarding in its own right and gives the players perspective on the blessings that they have. As a result, JSU players have taken an active role in several community projects such as Habitat for Humanity, a Fishing Rodeo and working with special needs kids. Strange says that community service will always be part of the program as the years go forward.

Strange would not give any names but believes that Habitudes has had a positive impact on many players, many of whom have reported that they have never had anyone work with them on these types of issues. The great news is its not too late to develop the "habitudes" for success. Strange has a core belief that every player, though , regardless of their background has the ability to succeed and be a high character leader wherever life leads them.

Strange believes there is a high degree of "buy in" among the players and that the philosophy is that this area is just as important as offensive and defensive meetings. He emphasizes to the players that character is analagous to the image of an iceberg and that "the ten percent above the surface is your talent and skill - what people see, but the 90% below the surface is your character." Strange notes that NFL Players and other that have run into problems have often focused on the 10% above the surface to the detriment of the 90% below. The emphasis to the players is that talent will take you places but it won't keep you there.

It is too early to tell how successful the program is going to ultimately be at JSU, but the fact cannot be ignored that the football team's ARP is at an all time high and off the field incidents seem to be at an all time low. As one player parent said: "the character building is most definitely working and the results are tangible."

Separate and apart from the Habitudes initiative is Strange's leadership of JSU's FCA program. FCA activities include spiritual direction, guidance and game day chapel services. It is common for up to 80% of the players to attend game day chapel services. Strange says the game day chapel services are a time where the players pray together as a team and have a focus on honoring God with their talents on the field. Strange also leads the post-game prayers for the teams in games played at JSU.

The FCA also has weekly meetings that are open to everyone on campus which are led by the students.. Strange says it is common for 30-50 people that attend the weekly meetings. The FCA also coordinates speaking engagements for JSU athletes. There are several JSU players , including Brandon George, Reggie Wade, Josh Cain and Brandt Thomas, that have gone out in the community and spoken to local high schools about FCA. At one event, where Josh Cain represented JSU, 4,000 people attended and approximately 700 responded to the invitation. Strange noted that Cain was a spiritual leader of the team.

The FCA program is, of course, funded by private donations and unlike the Habitudes program is entirely voluntary for the players. One of the big sources of funding is a golf tournament hosted annually by Coach Crowe and the J-Club.

In closing, a message to our readers. The great thing about this story is that we can all be a part of it. Jamie’s FCA work is entirely donor funded . Jamie needs our support to continue, expand and grow the FCA program at JSU. Please take the time to support this worthy cause. You can send a donation made payable to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes addressed as follows:

P.O. Box 8215
Anniston, AL 36202

Keep up the good work Jamie!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chase Williams Commits to JSU


Williams chooses Jax State

By Shannon J. Allen
The Reporter

Published December 10, 2009

Boaz senior Chase Williams received scholarship offers from SMU, Tennessee-Martin and Chattanooga.

UAB recruited Williams heavily and several other schools were interested in the star linebacker, but when the time arrived for him to make a decision about his future, he followed his heart and committed to Jacksonville State.

“I talked to Coach (Greg) Stewart, he’s their defensive coordinator, and then (head) Coach (Jack) Crowe came down here and talked to me and Drew (Phillips) personally one day, and that’s when he offered me,” Williams said.

“The week before I was at the Tennessee-Martin game at JSU and he (Crowe) pulled me onto the field when they were warming up and offered me, but then he came down here and offered me again to make sure everything was clear.

“There were a lot of other schools looking at me, but JSU is a lot closer, and that was a big thing. When JSU offered, my parents (Tim and Amy Williams) were like, ‘You need to go ahead and just sign with JSU.’”

Williams can’t sign his scholarship until national signing day in February.

The seeds of Williams’ commitment to Jacksonville were planted during a visit to Paul Snow Stadium a few seasons ago.

“Randy Jones is a big thing down there with JSU’s football team,” Williams recalled.

“And we went up there and I was sitting in the president’s box. I was young, it was probably ninth grade, and I was looking at the field and I was like, ‘Man, I wish I could do this when I get older.’

“I was just dreaming then I wish I could play on the college level, and it’s just kind of like a dream come true that I’ll be playing at JSU.”

Jones is a local Nationwide insurance executive. Amy Williams works for Jones’ agency in Albertville.

Williams said he will fit into the Gamecocks’ defensive scheme “really easy,” because they play a “30” scheme similar to Boaz.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Williams was recruited as an outside linebacker, but he might get a look at strong safety.

“They want me to be at 205 or 210 when I get to Jacksonville. Once I get to JSU, I’ll get on their program, and there’s no telling how big I’ll get then,” he said.

Williams is thankful he didn’t follow through with his decision to give up football before his sophomore season.

“I was going to quit my sophomore year,” he said. “I wasn’t going to play. I had already handed in my stuff, but I hadn’t told Coach (Drew) Noles because I was scared to. I did not want to tell him.

“My mom told me, ‘No, you’re going to tell Coach Noles,’ because she knew I was scared to tell him.

“We sat down for two hours and my mom and Coach Noles talked me into playing my sophomore year, and I got a bunch of playing time and ended up like fourth in tackles. So that got me enough experience to where when I came back my junior year, I was able to start.”

Williams overcame a knee injury during his junior season to win the first of his two defensive most valuable player awards on the All-Marshall County team. He was also honorable mention all-state in 2008.

“Chase is a great player on the field and really is probably a better person and leader in our school,” Noles said.

“We’ll miss him. You can’t replace a guy like him on the field. Pretty much if an offensive guy didn’t get out of bounds, Chase was going to make the tackle.

“He had a tremendous knack for finding the football, he read his keys so quickly and he was so easy to coach.

“A lot of times when you get a great player they’re not real interested in getting better, and he was always improving his game.

“We’ve had some really good linebackers here, but as far as making tackles and making plays, he’s probably the best one we’ve had.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jerry Cole Dies at Age 74

The Anniston Star reports that long time JSU Athletics Director Jerry Cole passed away at age 74. Mr. Cole is rightfully referred to as a legend at JSU. As the Star reported, he presided over a golden era of JSU athletics where facilities were built, championships were won and lifetime memories were made.

Mr. Cole personified the qualities about JSU that made me realize attending JSU was one of the best decisions of my life and why I love the school 25 years later. He was part of the "friendly" of the friendliest campus in the South. He treated everyone like they were important. It did not matter if you were a big money donor or just a fan that cared about JSU, a star quarterback or a freshman on the tennis team. If you had an idea, his office was open and he was happy to share a Coke with you and talk about it.

The Anniston Star noted that success followed Jerry Cole, the Birmingham News referred to him as a true "gentleman." I'll add Great Gamecock to the list. He will be missed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Volleyball team wins in NCAA Tournament

Awesome. The volleyball team gets the school's first ever NCAA tournament win with an exciting 5 game set against Florida A&M. A great job by Coach Nold and the players. If you didn't get to see them play this year, you really missed out. Here is the article from

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Faced with a 2-1 deficit, the Jacksonville State volleyball team rallied to win the final two sets and claim the Gamecocks’ first-ever NCAA Tournament win in the form of a 3-2 defeat of Florida A&M in Saturday’s first round.

The Gamecocks (27-7) won their 12th-straight fifth-set match but had to rally to force the deciding game. After claiming a 25-22 win in the opening set, the Lady Rattlers (17-10) rolled to wins in the second and third sets and put JSU’s backs against the wall. A late fourth-set rally forced the match into the deciding one, a place the Gamecocks are a perfect 10-0 in 2009.

Senior Brittney Whitten, the only player on the Gamecocks’ roster that played in their last NCAA appearance in 2006, put her team on her shoulders. The Boonville, Ind., native recorded her 26th career double-double with 19 kills and 14 digs. Her match-high kills total came on a .283 attack percentage that saw just six errors in 46 attacks.

Juniors Kara Slater and Caitlin Vorbeck provided the Gamecocks’ production up front. Slater, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, knocked down nine kills on a .389 attack percentage, while blocking four shots at the net. Vorbeck, a Raytown, Mo., native, assisted on six of the Gamecocks’ 11.5 team blocks while pitching in with 12 kills on offense.

Sophomore Lauren Harkins, the school’s single-season record holder for digs, added a team-best 15 to her total on Saturday. The native of Louisville, Ky., now has 648 on the year, 122 more than the previous record set by Kisha West in 2005. Senior Paige Beasley did what she could on the back row to continue her career, picking up 10 digs to round out a trio of JSU players in double figures.

Junior Brooke Schumacher dished 43 assists and grabbed nine digs in the win. She now has 1242 on the season, the seventh-highest total in school history. The native of Lake in the Hills, Ill., also assisted on four blocks. The Gamecocks’ two freshmen, Jen Meyer and Alyx Schulte, each added eight kills in the match.

The Lady Rattlers were led by Maria Gomez’s double-double of 19 kills and 11 digs. Gomez hit .375 in the win, while Jovana Blazeski added 16 kills on 58 swings and 14 digs on the back row.

In the opening set, neither team led by more than three points until a late 9-1 JSU run turned an 18-15 deficit into a 24-19 Gamecock lead. The Rattlers rattled off the next three points before a Whitten kill gave Jax State a 25-22 win. The victory was the Gamecocks’ first ever set win in their NCAA Tournament history.

FAMU stormed out of the gates in the second set to build an early 11-5 lead. JSU never pulled any closer than three points before the Rattlers tied the match with a 25-18 win. JSU hit for a slightly better percentage in the second set than the first but saw the Rattlers commit just two errors and hit .429 en route to tying the match.

In the third set, the Gamecocks built an early 8-5 lead, but FAMU put together a 9-1 run that put the Rattlers in control of the set with a 14-9 lead. JSU slowly cut into the lead before pulling to within one at 16-15 and tying it at 17-17. The two exchanged points twice before a FAMU error gave JSU a 20-19 lead. With the Gamecocks trailing 23-22, an Alyx Schulte attack was ruled in by the line judge but overturned by the lead official setting up a 25-23 FAMU win that put the Gamecocks’ backs against the wall.

The fourth set started off with 13 lead changes before a small run by the Gamecocks gave them an 18-15 lead. The three-point advantage was the largest by either team to that point in the set. JSU never looked back, rolling to a 25-20 win that sent the match into the deciding fifth set.

A 5-3 JSU run to start the fifth set was answered by a 4-0 FAMU run that put the Rattlers in front. The two exchanged blows until a Jen Meyer kill gave the Gamecocks a 13-12 lead. They never looked back, sealing the match on a Blazeski attack that missed wide and gave the Gamecocks a 15-13 win.

JSU will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a place only the Gamecocks’ softball team has seen before. Jax State will take on the No. 3 National Seed and host Florida State at 2 p.m. CT.

A Look At the OVC - Mens Basketball

While some teams have already started conference play, here is a summary of how things stack up after the non-conference slate has been essentially completed:


Perennial power, Murray State, appears to be at it again. They are 6-1, with the lone loss coming to Cal. Murray has quality non-conference wins over James Madison, FIU and won its first conference game over EKU.

They can play more than football in Richmond. They lost very close games to Pitt and Murray and have wins over Farleigh Dickinson, UT- San Antonio and FIU.

The Panthers have a win over Toledo, but were drilled by Belmont.


JACKSONVILLE STATE- (2-4)Not a bad start for the Gamecocks. Good wins over West Alabama and Georgia Southern. A near upset on the road against Georgia as well as competitive games with UAB and UTC. Notably, the Gamecocks have battled injuries all pre-season.


Peay was drilled by Tennessee and NC State, but had a good win against Akron.

Wins over Lipscomb and Central Arkansas, but were soundly defeated by Minnesota, Memphis and Kansas. Give them credit for playing that schedule!

They have not played many games yet, one of their two wins is against Brecia. I thought Brecia was a Caribbean Island or something you put on a cracker.


SEMO (2-6)
SEMO's only wins are against Norfolk State and Northern Illinois.

The post-Lester Hudson era is off to a rough start. Their only wins are against Rhodes and Harris-Stowe. Word is that Coach Simpson is desperately seeking to get Harris-Stowe on the Pacers football schedule.


Their best player from last season transferred to Georgia. It was a rough early season for the Tigers, but they did take EIU to 3 overtimes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Haley Arrington is Miss Birmingham

We don't normally cover beauty pageants, but it is a competition and having wonderful women like this at JSU can only help recruiting. Article is from the JSU PR Department

JSU's Haley Arrington is New Miss Birmingham
Congratulations to Haley Arrington, a senior music education/voice major at Jacksonville State University, who was crowned Miss Birmingham on November 8. The title is Ms. Arrington's fifth Miss Alabama/Miss America open preliminary title, which seals her qualification to compete for the state crown next summer.

Ms. Arrington has competed in the Miss Alabama pageant four times and is eligible for one more shot at the title. Last year, she came very close to winning, clinching fourth runner up and the overall talent competition. Other Miss Alabama preliminary titles Miss Arrington has held include Miss Marshall County, Miss West Central Alabama, Miss East Central Alabama and Miss Point Mallard. She also competed in the Miss JSU pageant, where she won the talent competition.

Haley Arrington (official Miss Alabama pageant photo)

A Glencoe resident, Ms. Arrington is completing her student internship in choral conducting at Emma Sansom Middle School and Gadsden City High School. She will receive her bachelor's degree from JSU on Dec. 18 and plans to pursue her master's degree.

When she isn't competing, Ms. Arrington is performing. She has has been a regular with the Jacksonville Opera Theatre since 2007, and was recently cast in the JSU Drama Department's Spring 2010 production of Beauty and the Beast. She also performs regularly with Opera Birmingham and sings with a USO Group a few times a year.

Teresa Stricklin, a former Miss America first runner-up and JSU alumna who is now on the vocal faculty, has coached Ms. Arrington for several years. She states emphatically that Ms. Arrington is not your typical beauty queen.

"Haley is flesh and blood, a real person, who sings like a diva. She would make a fabulous Miss Alabama."

According to Ms. Arrington, competing in pageants has been about much more than the title. She says she is "very grateful" that scholarship money she has received along with her crowns has funded her entire college education. She also appreciates the fact that each pageant has brought more opportunities to focus on her volunteer work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She has worked with the agency over several counties and continues to raise awareness for the need for new mentors through her participation in pageants. She is also involved with the Children's Miracle Network, the official philanthropy of the Miss America pageant.

The Miss Alabama scholarship pageant will take place during the second week in June, 2010.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crestview Bulletin Write-Up on James Wilkerson

A nice writeup on Senior Wide Receiver, James Wilkerson, from his hometown paper the Crestview Bulletin. Wilkerson had a phenomenan season catching passes and returning kicks in addition to being an outstanding downfield blocker.

Wilkerson made the most of his opportunity at JSU
December 01, 2009 4:30 PM
Randy Dickson |
Former Crestview wide receiver James Wilkerson finished up his college football career Nov. 21 as Jacksonville State beat Eastern Kentucky.

Along the way the former Bulldog etched his name along with the best pass catchers in Gamecock history.

Wilkerson finished his career with 100 receptions, and is the sixth player to do that at JSU. His 1,780 yards that go with those 100 catches ranks third all time for the Gamecocks.

The icing on the cake for Wilkerson was being named All Ohio Valley Conference.

There can be no denying that Wilkerson made the most of his opportunity for the Football Championship Subdivision (the old Division I-AA) school.

Wilkerson wasn’t one of the most sought after players in the country when he came out of high school, but when given the opportunity to play for the Gamecocks, as the numbers indicate, Wilkerson played well.

Every high school player dreams of playing at a Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee or Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Most kids know all about the big time programs that travel by plane and play in front of 80,000 plus fans.

And there’s nothing wrong about dreaming of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 or the Southeastern Conference. But there are countless players that have accepted their fate and moved forward and enjoyed great success away from the network TV cameras and cult-like following that is major college football.

I know that many, if not most, college players at every level, dream of playing professional football one day. And while it’s easier to get recognized playing at a Florida or Florida State, the kid at Jacksonville State, if he’s good enough, will get a shot at the pros.

Most of the local football players that I’ve tracked each week this fall are playing for the love of the game.

Wilkerson might get a shot at the NFL. Time will tell if former Bulldog offensive lineman Matt Sanders, who is a redshirt freshman at Clemson, will have an opportunity to play on Sunday.

David Langston, Joe Thigpen and Cameron Domangue are doing well at Birmingham-Southern. And Tyler Reeves continues to plug along at Huntingdon College.

Players in Division III play strictly for the love of the game. Most of these kids performed in front of larger crowds in high school than they do at the small college level. But they prepare just as hard each week as their peers at the larger schools.

And on Saturday the bus that takes them from the motel to the stadium for an away game is probably the same bus that will carry them back to their home campus.

Yes, kids dream about their favorite school, but in the end, they just want to continue playing ball at a college level.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a kid tell me that unless he can play for a certain school or at a certain level they won’t play college ball. All the players I’ve known have said they don’t care where they play as long as they can keep playing.

James Wilkerson was one of those kids who was happy with the chance to play college football.

Congratulations to him for having a good run.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"They are a decent team."

That's Florida A&M's view of JSU's volleyball team- regular season and OVC tournament champs. Here is's article on the upcoming NCAA tournament bracket involving FSU, A&M and JSU.

NCAA brackets were being announced, Florida A&M volleyball coach Tony Trifonov stood amazed. He was a little taken aback by the fact the University of Florida was in a bracket without the Rattlers.

"Wow," he said, staring at the television inside The Moon where the team watches the announcements. "We're not going to Florida."

No. And actually FAMU isn't going anywhere farther than across town for their ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament. FSU will also will stay home. Both teams, along with Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State will play at Tully Gym for the first-round matches beginning Saturday.

The Seminoles are the top seed here and No. 3 overall in the tournament, following their remarkable ACC championship season. FSU (28-2) is making its first tournament appearance since 2002.

"I think getting the opportunity to host the opening rounds is going to give us a little bit of comfort initially," said FSU coach Chris Poole. "We don't have to go out on the road first so it's going to give our players a chance to get the butterflies out and go out play."

FAMU (17-9) faces Jacksonville State (26-7) in the first match at 2 p.m. FSU and Alabama A&M (18-10) meet at 5 p.m. with both winners moving on to play Sunday at a time to be determined. The winner will advance to Minneapolis for that regional.

Within a few hours after finding out their opponent, FAMU was on the practice court. It has lost both of its previous games against the Gamecocks, but this will be the two teams' first matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

"They're a decent team," Trifonov said. "They've had some success in recent years but they've not been ranked in the Top 25. We are a little bit surprised that we didn't get one of the top teams in the country, which has been the case in the last three or four years."

Since hosting a first round in 2004, FAMU has opened postseason play against the Gators four times in the past nine years.

As many trips as they've made to the tournament, FAMU's only first-round win came in 2003 over Winthrop. FAMU, however, likes its chances going early against a Division I-AA team such as Jacksonville State.

"You've got to put your mind to it," said middle hitter Chelsea Pennick." We just have to step up to the plate.

"We have not gotten past the first round the past couple years that I've been here. Now that we've got the opportunity, we've got to get mentally prepared. We can't get big a head about anything."

Indeed, overconfidence is a concern, especially with the comfort of playing with the advantage of being at home.

"We need to focus because we want this," said senior outside hitter Maria Gomez. "We want this really bad. The only thing we could do is keep practicing hard and when we get out there just play our game.

"We're going to go for it. We are actually going to try to do our best."
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Scouting Report on The UTC Game.

Chattanooga Travels to Jacksonville State on Tuesday
Release: 11/30/2009

Game Notes - Jacksonville State

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- A grueling collection of games culminates in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team travelling to Jacksonville State (2-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 1, for an 8 p.m. (ET) tipoff in the Mathews Coliseum. Chattanooga (3-3) is playing its fifth game in 10 days.

The Mocs are coming off a 74-70 win over Longwood wrapping up the South Padre Island Invitational. The first three games were losses at Richmond (75-49), at Missouri (99-56) and in South Padre Island to Texas-Pan American (61-50).

Sophomore Ricky Taylor scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half comeback over the Lancers including nine of the final 11 points of the game for the Mocs. Two of Chattanooga's three wins are over a 2009 NCAA Tournament team in East Tennessee State and a 17-win team from last season in Longwood.

Jacksonville State is 2-3, 2-1 in the Mathews Coliseum. Most recently, the Gamecocks lost by three points, 67-64, JSU's two wins are over West Alabama (93-64) and an impressive 22-point win over Georgia Southern (89-67).

Junior forward Ridge McKeither leads the Mocs with averages of 12.8 and 7.5 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Josh Odem adds 10.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest.

WHO: Keegan Bell. The Alabama native returns to his home state for the first time in a Mocs uniform. Bell is coming off an 11-assist performance in the Chattanooga win over Longwood.

WHAT: Chattanooga (3-3) at Jacksonville State (2-3). The first of at least two games, possibly three, against OVC schools this season.

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m. (EST) in the Mathews Coliseum (5,500)

WHERE: The game will be broadcast on the Mocs Sports Network with Jim Reynolds calling the play-by-play. It can be listened to locally on ESPN 105.1 FM and worldwide on

HOW: This is the final game in a five-game, 10-day road trip which began with the odyssey that was the South Padre Island Invitational. It began with a 75-49 loss on Sunday at Richmond and followed Tuesday with a 99-56 loss at Missouri. After arriving on South Padre Island, the Mocs lost 61-50 to Texas-Pan American before righting the ship with a 74-70 win over Longwood. All-in-all, the Chattanooga basketball program will have travelled more than 4,000 miles over the 10-day period following the game with Jacksonville State.

SERIES: This will be the 19th meeting between the schools with Chattanooga holding a 14-4 lead. The Mocs are 4-3 at Jacksonville and have won the last six games in series and 14 of the last 15.

QUOTABLE: "We need to keep learning and keep getting better. We've played a couple of good games and a couple of bad ones. We need to become more consistent in our effort and our execution which is typical of young teams. Jacksonville State beat Georgia Southern by 22, lost to Georgia by three and plays very well at home." - Head Coach John Shulman

PROBABLE STARTERS: F - Ricky Taylor, So. (9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg); F - Ridge McKeither, Jr. (12.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg); C - Jeremy Saffore, Jr. (7.2ppg, 4.3 rpg); G - Keegan Bell, So. (8.5 ppg, 5.7 apg); G - Josh Odem, Fr. (10.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg). is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page,, or on Twitter,

Chattanooga Grinds Out 74-70 Win over Longwood

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Josh Cain Named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Football Team


Jacksonville State senior defensive back Josh Cain and Tennessee Tech junior offensive lineman Taylor Askew have been named to the prestigious ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football Team as selected by CoSIDA. Cain was a first-team selection while Askew was a second-team pick.

Overall the OVC has had 182 student-athletes earn Academic All-America honors since 1970, including 12 during the 2008-09 school year. Cain and Askew are the second and third OVC student-athletes to earn the honor this season (following volleyball student-athlete Molly Davis who earned the honor on Monday).

There have been 28 football players named Academic All-Americas, including 14 first-team selections. Cain and Askew are the first OVC football student-athletes to earn the award since the 2005 season.

Cain ranked second on the JSU team with 67 tackles this season. Cain, who was also named to the AFC Good Works Team, is very active in numerous organizations. His off-the-field contributions include working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) as a team huddle leader, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, a counselor for the Kanakuk Sports Kamps and he also has spent last summer with a medical missionary team in Tanzania, Africa.

The Wetumpka, Ala., native also has excelled in the classroom, earning his degree in Computer Science this past summer with a 3.89 grade point average. He has also rolled up numerous academic honors, including being named to the President's List, Dean's List and the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll. He has also been awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Academic Medal of Honor, while being a representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society.

Askew, a junior from Knoxville, owns a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in political science, and has been a starter for the Golden Eagles in every game the last two seasons. He is part of an offensive line that ranks among national FCS leaders in fewest sacks allowed, and helped the Golden Eagles bring home the 2009 Sgt. York Trophy by going 3-0 against the league's in-state schools. This season Tech finished second in the OVC standings and were 6-5 overall, the program's first winning season since 2004.

Askew has been named to the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll all six of his semesters. The winner of the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for posting the highest GPA in the league among all conference football players each of the past two years, Askew was also named to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll the last two seasons. A 2006 graduate of The Webb School in Knoxville, Askew helped his high school team to the TSSAA state playoffs and a runnerup finish in 2005. A verstile prep athlete, he also lettered in track & field, wrestling and lacrosse, and was was captain of both the football and lacrosse teams.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was named the University Division Football Academic All-America of the Year. Overall there were 24 players named to the Academic All-America first-team and 25 players named to the second-team. The ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football University Division first-team has three Scholar-Athletes with perfect 4.0 G.P.A.'s. There are six graduate students, 14 seniors and four juniors on the first team. The 24 members of the first team have an average G.P.A. of 3.79.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

ESPN The Magazine - winner of the 2006 and 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence - is a provocative and innovative sports publication. Full of insight, analysis, impact and wit, the oversized biweekly with a circulation of 1.9 million looks ahead to give fans a unique perspective on the world of sports.

For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit

Saturday, November 21, 2009

September 4, 2010 Oxford, Mississippi

We can't wait. Here is a look at the key losses from this year's team and key returning players:

QB: Key loss: The best QB in the country at any level, Ryan Perrilloux.

Key Returning Players: M. Ivory has shown he can do it all year. He had a good showing against Tech. Brooks Robinson is also ready and is a superb athlete.

RB: Key loss: None.

Key Returning Players: Calving Middleton. He is a classis hard hitting Gamecock Runner. Jamal Young, the talented scatback gives JSU another dimension. Drec Lindley, Richard Freelon, Brandon George and Donald Prince (hopefully) will be in the mix as well.

FB: Key loss: None.

Key Returning Players: Alphonso Freeney and Jahron Brown. Brown may be the most highly recruited player to play FB for the Cocks. He showed some flashes this year. Freeney is a workhorse and very good receiver.

TE: Key Loss: None.

Key Returning Players: Freeman is a bruiser and Justin Howard had a great 2009.

Offensive Line: Key Loss: Reggie Wade, Center. Wade is a great player and will be missed. Josh Carroll (a great Gamecock)

Key Returning Players: All of the starters on the offensive line are back except Reggie Wade. Curt Porter could be a dominant left tackle. Colt Kennedy and Ricky Clemons will be coming off redshirts. Juggernaut Lashus and Devon Hayes should provide depth.

Wide Receiver: Key losses: Greg Smith, Jeff Wilkerson. Two great receivers. Wilkerson quietly became one of the top receivers in JSU history.

Key Returning Players: This is a spot loaded with playmakers: James Shaw, La Ray Williams and Alan Bonner are all back. John Houston Whiddon will return from a medical redshirt. Jeff Cameron will be back from a redshirty year. Also, Whiddon's younger brother, Rayce should be ready to contribute. I don't think it will happen, but I'd love to see T.J. Heath and A.J. Davis get some work next year on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensive Line: Key losses: Brandt Thomas (one of the best in Gamecock history); Santez Mays (a great Gamecock).

Key Returning Players: Kevin Dix (NFL talent); Torrey Davis (NFL talent); Texas Garrott, Monte Lewis (could be the best to play the position at JSU); Jamison Wadley (playmaker); Michael Ellis, Demitrio Tyson. If everybody does what they need to do academically, this will be an absolute strength for the Gamecocks in 2009.

Linebackers: Key losses: The tackling machine, Alexander Henderson. One of the greatest to play the position at JSU.

Key Returning Players: Certified Bonecrusher, Morrell Jones, Andrew Ridgeway (started about 48 games already), Eric Russell. JSU developed some depth this year with Chris Finley, Nick Johnson and Jason Horton. These guys will need to play bigger roles in 2010.

Corners: Key losses: None.
Key Returning Players: I'll take Booker, AJ Davis and TJ Heath as my corners any day of the week. JSU needs some young guys to step up and provide depth.

Safety: Key losses: Josh Cain (2nd leading tackler), Cleezy Clark (pre-season All American) Michael Owens. It will be tough to replace these guys.

Key Returning Players: Keginald Harris. Keg showed he could play when Clark went out with an injury. It looks like we will really be searching to find a second safety.


And the basketball team blows out Georgia Southern. Its a Great Day to be a Gamecock. Memo to Coach Hood at EKU: Next time don't run your mouth before the game.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking ahead to the EKU game

This week’s game against Eastern Kentucky is our last game of the season. It’s the last game as a Gamecock for some wonderful seniors and great team leaders. Here are a few thoughts on the upcoming game.

It’s been well documented this week that Eastern Kentucky needs a win this weekend in order to have a winning season for the 32nd consecutive season. Look for EKU to try for a fast start.

Last year, Ryan Perrilloux uncharacteristically had 5 interceptions against EKU. This year, EKU sophomore Jeremy Caldwell leads their team with 7 interceptions on the season. JSU must take care of the ball this year to stay on top. Perrilloux only has 2 interceptions this year and is the top passer in FCS football.

Eastern Kentucky has had a very up and down year. They played a great game in beating Eastern Illinois. They had a very down game last week against Western Carolina, scoring only 7 points.

EKU has an unbelievable 10 blocked kicks this season. EKU Junior DT Andrew Soucy leads the team with 5 blocks.

For what it is worth, Eastern Kentucky was picked in the preseason to win the OVC.

Redshirt Freshman QB TJ Pryor hasn’t thrown a touchdown in the last 4 games.

Watch for Garnett Phelps at WR. With 653 receiving yards, he is second in the OVC. He has 53 receptions on the season.

Cody Watts was the starting QB for their first 3 games. He now plays WR and has 34 receptions for the year.

Watch for JSU to stop the run, force them into passing situations, and put a lot of pressure on their QB with Dix, Davis, and Garrott chasing him.

See you at the game. Let’s support this Gamecock team and the seniors in the last game of 2009!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Tackling Machine - Alexander Henderson

Next weekend will be Alexander Henderson's last game in a Gamecock uniform. Hopefully, it won't be his last football game. There is no doubt the Mobile native has the skill, desire and passion to take his talent to the next level. If an NFL team wants a winner, he will get the chance.

Henderson took a non-traditional route to JSU. His only scholarship offers were to very small schools, but JSU coach Matt Wannebo encouraged him to walk-on with the promise of a scholarship if he showed he could play. Obviously, a good call by Wannebo and needless to say Zander is now on scholarship. He really burst on the scene last year leading the team with over 100 tackles despite missing the Tech game. He had two 20+ tackle games and earned all OVC honors.

Henderson picked up where he left off last year and already has over 100 tackles. After yet another big day against Tennessee Tech, Henderson sat down with to reflect on his career, JSU and his plans for the future.

Q: What's your best memory playing at JSU?

A: Even with all of the [success we have had], I would have to say it was my first play against Furman my redshirt freshman year. It was a great feeling because I had worked so hard to get to that spot. I had been told that I couldn't play D1 football. That was my best moment because it really solidified me as one of the players out there.

Q: To what do you attribute your success in leading the team in tackles two years in a row?

A: Just a great defense. Playing with great D-lineman, Brandt Thomas, Jamison Wadley, Santez Mays all those guys. They work hard for me. I have a "want" to get to the ball, but those guys really do a lot for me by stopping the offensive linemen from getting back there to the second level. I give them a lot of respect for that and credit a lot of my success to that.

Q: The Gamecock defense was good last year, but it was dominant this year. What has been the difference?

A: We have become close so as a D spending time together. We are kind of competitive on who does what. We don't want to let each other down because we have a certain bond. We don't want to let each other down because we are so close. I credit our closeness as to why we have been so successful.

Q: Lets talk about some of your teammates. Tell me about the Certified Bonecrusher, Morrell Jones?

A: Morrell Jones is going to be a great player some day. He has [already] been playing great. I think he could be one of the next leading tacklers. He's fast. If you haven't noticed yet, he's fast, he's good.

Q: How about Andrew Ridgeway, it seems like he's been at JSU for about 12 years?

A: We are very close. He is my friend. I feel like he is leaving with me, but he has another year. Andrew is very smart [on the field]. He has a "want to" to get to that ball. He plays with an edge that gravitates to the whole D. We love Ridge being out there. He is a good player.

Q: What about Kevin Dix?

A: I'm at a loss for words. I didn't know he was going to be this good. When he gets close to getting to the quarterback, he has a motor like I've never seen before.

Q: Does he have an opportunity to play in the NFL?

A: I really do. I think he has a very good chance. I don't see why a team would not look at him because he is a great player.

Q: What about young Eric Russell, who has really come on this year?

A: Out of all of the linebackers, . . . he has the best athletic talent out of all of us. He is an amazing athlete. He can jump, run fast, makes tackles. He is a good inside linebacker, don't get me wrong, but when we find that right spot for him that he can learn he is going to flourish and be really good.

Q: Coach Crowe said you were the best player on the team for either team after the FSU game- what did that mean to you?

A: It really meant a lot to me. He recognized that I had the ability to play with those guys and that Coach was showing me a lot of love that I didn't know was there for me as a [former] walk on behind the scenes guy.

Q: What was your emotions coming out of that game?

A: I was hurt but I was also happy because my teammates played their heart out. Everybody played hard. I wish we could have gotten the win, that's why I was so hurt but I was so happy to be out their with my teammates.

Q: What's it like watching FSU and Tech on TV after being on the field with them earlier in the year?

A: We watched the Georgia Tech game on the bus last week. It was kind of surreal being that we were just in the stadium playing those guys. I felt like we were close to playing on the same level with them.

Q: How do you feel about getting an opportunity to avenge your loss to EKU last year?

A: This is my last chance to get back at EKU so we are going to give them everything we have. This is the last game of the year so we are going to have to come with it and send the seniors off in a great manner.

Q: Is the NFL in your future?

A: I hope. I pray on it all the time.

Q: Do you think you have a chance to get drafted or more likely a free agent?

A: I leave it up to [the decision makers]. Either way, I will give any team that takes a chance on me everything I have.

Q: Are you on schedule to graduate/what will you do after graduation?

A: I'm scheduled to graduate this fall. I major in sociology. Right after the season I will go work with a trainer [in the hopes of improving draft status].

Q: What is your forty time?

A: Last time I was timed it was like a 4.6.

Q: What is your dream NFL team to play for?

A: The New Orleans Saints. I know its far fetched, but that's been my team for the longest time. I am from Mobile and that's the closest team.

Q: If the NFL doesn't work, what are your plans?

A: To get my masters degree in business. Hopefully, try to do something in the business world and do something entreprenurial. I would love to do something related to football, just to be around it. I have been around football my whole life since I was 3.

It Was a Good Twenty Minutes

JSU Hoops fan and Special Commentator, Chris Yow, provides this outstanding account of the JSU versus UAB game last night:

For 20 minutes last night, the Jacksonville State men's basketball team stood toe-to-toe with the possibly the state's best basketball team. But after the second 20 minutes, the UAB Blazers had doubled up the Gamecocks and took home an 87-62 win in front of a great crowd of 4,218 fans.

After falling behind 14-4 early, mostly due to the early work of Blazers' forward Elijah Millsap, Jax State head coach James Green called time out and rallied his team at the bench.

Green must have said something that lit a fire under the Gamecocks, as the team slowly chipped away at the big lead and overtook the Blazers 25-24 with 8:30 remaining in the first half with a Nick Murphy three-point basket.

The lead would swap hands numerous times before the two teams would go to the locker rooms knotted up at 37.

UAB played very tough on the inside throughout the night, but Jax State was not an easy opponent to say the least. The Gamecocks were physical and made the Blazers work for inside opportunities.

The second half was all about UAB and their ability to score at will, however.

UAB shot a deadly 62.1% from the field in the second half to Jax State's dreadful 25.8%. Those numbers led to 50 second half points by the Blazers and just 25 for the Gamecocks.

Five Blazers scored in double figures. Millsap led all scorers with 18 points, he completed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Blazers' talented point guard Aaron Johnson added 17 points, including going eight-for-eight from the charity stripe.

Jax State put four players in double figures. The most valuable player for the Gamecocks seemed to be Birmingham native Stephen Hall. Hall led the Gamecocks in scoring, along with Trenton Marshall. Both players dropped 14 points on the Blazers defense, but Hall also grabbed 15 boards in the game to lead that statistical category.

Jeremy Bynum added 12 points, making two long balls, including the go-ahead shot in the first half.

Jay-R Stowbridge rounds out the Gamecocks in double figures with 11 points and five assists.

Sean Thurston was held without a rebound the entire night. The junior was not able to be a huge factor after getting into quick foul trouble, but he did add four points and a couple blocked shots on the night.

Saturday is when the men take the court again at Pete Matthews Colisseum. The Gamecocks will play host to Georgia Southern with a 4 p.m. tip-off following the Jax State football win over Eastern Kentucky. After the basketball game, check out the women's volleyball team as they claim the OVC tournament crown with first serve at 7:30 p.m. at the Pete.

Monday, November 16, 2009

JSU by the numbers against TTU

1- punt by JSU for the game
2- QB hits by Jamison Wadley
2- TD's for Greg Smith in the game
3- Passing TD's by Ryan Perrilloux
4- TD's per half for JSU
5- JSU rushing TD's for the game
6- (-6) punt return yards for TTU
7- Tackles for Loss for JSU defense
8- rushing attempts for Ryan Perrilloux for 103 yards
9- Tackles by Josh Cain
10- rushes each for Jamal Young and Drec Lindley for a combined 167 yards
11- there is no 11 exept for RP
12- tackles by The Tackle Machine, Alexander Henderson

UAB Basketball Preview

A little mini-preview on UAB is below. So far this year, they have beaten Green Bay by 12, lost to Kent by 7 on Kent's home court and defeated the mighty Samford Bulldogs by 3.




Head Coach: Mike Davis, 4th season at UAB - 60-39

2008-2009: 22-12, 11-5 Conference USA, NIT – 1st Round

Outlook: will press and trap for the whole game, complete opposite of Samford, coached by Mike Davis – the last time KSU fans saw Davis was in the 2002 Elite 8 when he was the coach at Indiana, three lettermen returning while losing seven lettermen, lose approximately 90% of scoring and rebounding from a year ago, lose three double digit, 1,000 point career scorers from a year in Robert Vaden, Paul Delaney III and Lawrence Kinnard, have established a nice tradion by going to the 2004 Sweet 16, six postseasons in the last seven years, including three NCAA appearances in the last six years

Sunday, November 15, 2009

JSU Basketball Gets It Going

An excellent win to start the season yesterday before a modest but enthusiastic crowd.

Don't be fooled by the fact that the Cocks were playing a D-2 Opponent, West Alabama. They are tough and took mighty Troy to overtime as well as giving La. Lafayette a tough game.

The game was tight until midway into the second half when JSU totally took over the game. The Cocks were led by Stephen Hall with 19 point.

The Gamecocks have a lot of players that can shoot the basketball and are very quick. Juco Transfer Dominique Shellman and Nebraska Transfer Jay-R Stowbridge were both effective pushing and distributing the ball.

JUCO Superstar Trenton Marshall had 17. Not only is he the most talented player on the court you can tell that he is a real leader of the team- constantly encouraging his teammates to get in the right position to make the plays.

It was also a special night for the Senegal Sensation, Amadou "Do" Mbodji. He became the Gamecocks all time leading shot blocker.

Finally- two little things that reaffirm that the hiring of James Green was one of the best hires in twenty years at JSU:

1- After the game, the players were getting ready to do some sort of celebration at half court. Coach Green barely whispered no- and that was the end of it. He is an old school disciplinarian that is going to lead the players to success on and off the court.

2- The players went around the stands shaking hands with the fans and thanking them for their support. Wow. This is the type of little thing that is going to bring basketball back at JSU.

We have a mega game at home Tuesday night against UAB. Get out there and support the Gamecocks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Put Me in the Game on 4th and Inches"

The hilight video from the SEMO game is up on Youtube. Here is the link:

If it doesn't work, just go to youtube and type in Jacksonville State Semo hilights.

2 Newcomers to Watch In Basketball

Tomorrow will be a great day to be a Gamecock. Football early in the day and if you bring your ticket, free admission to the basketball game. I long for the days in the late 80s when JSU averaged about 3,000 a game for basketball and it got really loud. Coach Green is the man that can bring us back to that.

There are 2 new players on the team this year that Gamecock fans should be excited to see. The first is Trenton Marshall, a 6-5 player from Perrilloux's hometown. He averaged over 25 ppg in JUCO and it has been reported that he chose JSU over basketball powers like Ole Miss, Memphis and LSU. Some say he has the potential to play at the next level.

Another exciting newcomer is guard, Jay-R Stowbridge. Jay-R is a former starter at Nebraska, is known for his 3 point shooting ability and defensive intensity.

JSU has some good players returning as well and it should be exciting. The only downside was Geddes Robinson and Brendan Crawford transferring out of the program. Does anyone know why these guys left?

45 Minutes From Atlanta

Here is a great article about a shooting guard that is coming to JSU next year. The article talks about how JSU is only 45 minutes from Atlanta. It reminds me of a story from the 80s'- JSU signed a player from Michigan, he arrived on campus and immediately wanted to know where the beach was.

KCKCC star signs scholarship with Division I program
Posted by on November 12, 2009 - 12:01pm
Tagged in College Basketball Derick Denny KCKCC Sports
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Flanked by (from left) coaches Mike Sylvara, Jon Oler and Bill Sloan (right), Kansas City Kansas Community College scoring leader Derick Denny signed a letter of intent Wednesday to attend Jacksonville State, a Division I member in Jacksonville, Ala. Also on hand were teammates (standing from left) Andre Metoyer, Chad Bailey, Scott Fruehling, Dennis Tinnon and Kevin Lysaught. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)

By ALAN HOSKINS, Kansan Contributor

Deadly shooting guard Derick Denny is headed for Jacksonville State University ater he finishes what could be a record-setting scoring career at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

A 6-4 sophomore from Green Bay, Wis., Denny signed a letter of intent awarding him a full scholarship in front of family, friends and teammates Wednesday, Nov. 11.

With 15 three-point goals in 29 attempts (.517) in the Blue Devils’ first three games this season, Denny is on pace to set KCKCC records for three-point goals in a season (161) and career (190) and shooting percentage from three-point (.465).

His 108 three-point goals last season are third on the all-time list and No. 8 on the career list and his three-point percentage of .450 as a frosh is second all-time.

He’s also No. 2 on the list for shooting percentage for a single game, hitting 7 of 8 three-point shots against Haskell for 87.5 percent. Denny followed up the 7 of 8 performance with a career high 29 points in a 75-67 win over North Arkansas which included 7 of 14 three-pointers.

The Blue Devil scoring leader at 19.7 this season, Denny also led last year at 13.3 and finished the 2008-09 season with 55 three-point goals in his final 11 games despite double and triple-teaming by the talent-loaded Kansas Jayhawk Conference.

“He’s the best shooter I’ve coached,” said Blue Devil mentor Jon Oler. “I’ve had some good shooters but he’s far and away the best at getting off his shot. He really moves hard off screens and has the ability to cut to get open. Even the other night when North Ark knew he would be shooting threes, he got off 14 shots.”

Despite getting mounting inquiries from other Division I colleges, Denny decided to sign early in order to concentrate on the upcoming season.

“It was a security thing. They’re going to take care of me and my family with room, board and tuition and I really felt comfortable there,” said Denny, who has a 2-year-old son, Greg, with longtime significant other, Dahlia Munoz, who is also attending KCKCC. “Also, it’s in a good location close to Atlanta.”

A Division I university located in Jacksonville, Ala., about 45 minutes from Atlanta, Jacksonville State is coached by Jerry Green, who is in his second season as head coach after taking Mississippi State to the NCAA Division I tournament in 2008. “They run a lot of picks and screens to set up good shots like we do here,” said Denny.

“Ever since he was in eighth grade, he’s wanted to play Division I basketball and may have had a chance out of high school had he not got hurt,” said his father, Matthew Denny.

A torn ACL cost Denny most of his junior year at Seymour High School in Green Bay and he reinjured it before his senior year and missed half of that season.

A Native American, Denny is a member of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. His sister, Mariea Denny, was a student at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence when Denny was seeking a place to play basketball.

Learning of KCKCC, he was given a look by the Blue Devil coaching staff which immediately offered him a scholarship.

Denny’s signing at KCKCC proved a double bonus for the Blue Devil men’s program.

Dennis Tinnon, a 6-7 forward who played against Denny in high school at Green Bay East, joined his former rival this fall and leads the Blue Devils in rebounds (10.0) and is second in scoring (19.3).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keys to the Tennessee Tech game

Before we get to the keys of the game, we want to make sure you know about the chance to see JSU football and basketball on Saturday. JSU has a great promotion...Go to the football game, then bring your football ticket stub and get a free general admission ticket to the men's basketball game. A great opportunity to see Coach Green's team in the season opener!

1- Pressure their Quarterback. TN Tech is averaging almost 200 yds per game passing. Sweeney has a passing efficiency score of 125+. Bring the pressure and don't let him get comfortable. They are averaging less than 100 yds per game rushing, so I don't think they'll be able to run for much against us.

2- Staying with the passing game, our corners should be watching for the sophomore WR Tim Benford. He hasn't found the end zone much this year, but has been their most consistent receiver.

3- TN Tech has a respectable defense and has 10 interceptions on the season. Protect the ball. They'll be looking to make an interception and take the momentum away early in the game. A good strong running game with some timely passes ensure success.

4- Kicking game and special teams...see last week's keys. Same here.

5- Home crowd. We have two chances left to see Greg Smith, James Wilkerson, Ryan Perrilloux, Josh Cain, Carnell Clark, Michael Owens, Santez Mays, Alexander Henderson, Josh Carroll, Reggie Wade, and Brandt Thomas. These seniors have endured, played hard, and made us proud to be Gamecocks. Let's give them and the team support these next two weeks. Come out and make some noise.

Go Cocks!

Notes from TN Tech

Here are a few notes from the Tn Tech football website...

Want an early indication that the Golden Eagles will win the game? Check the score at halftime. Tech is 5-1 this season when leading at the half. The Golden Eagles are 4-0 this year when scoring at least 21 points. (I don't expect JSU to be behind at halftime, and I don't expect Tech to score 21. Speaking of halftime, I'm looking forward to seeing the Southerners in Paul Snow Stadium again.)

So far this season Lee Sweeney has established new Tech career records for most passes attempted, most passes completed, most touchdown passes, most touchdowns responsible for, most passing yards and most yards of total offense. (Although UGA sacked him 6 times, he hasn't been sacked much before that game. He gets rid of the ball early.)

Junior Charlie Seivers was named to the preseason all-OVC team. (He is a combination LB/DE on defense)

Tim Benford broke one school record and tied another in his freshman season. He set the record for most receptions in a season (68), and tied the mark with 10 TD receptions [also held by Larry Shipp (2007) and Derek Lee (2002)]. His 782 receiving yards ranked as the seventh highest season in school history.

Sophomore receiver Tim Benford was named co-Offensive Player of the Week after accounting for 122 of Tech’s 265 yards of total offense against Tennessee State (Oct. 31). Benford had five catches, including the game-winner with a 28-yard TD against double coverage with three minutes remaining. It was Benford’s third career 100-yard receiving game, and second of this season. (Looking forward to seeing him match up with our DB's)

NO PASSING ZONE - The Golden Eagles rank 28th nationally and second in the Ohio Valley Conference in passing defense, allowing 170.1 yards per game through the air. (not many yards allowed passing. I know Wilkerson left last week's game early. Any word on how he is doing? It would be great to have all of our weapons available)

After getting six interceptions all of last season, the Golden Eagles have 14 interceptions in the first nine games this year. Tech ranks second in the OVC and 11th nationally in interceptions per game.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Herald Citizen Weighs in on JSU v. T. Tech

JSU aims to play spoiler
Thomas Corhern
Herald-Citizen Assistant Sports Editor
Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009
Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux is tackled by Tennessee Tech defensive back Maurice Smith during last year’s game against the Gamecocks. Contributed Photo/Michael Vigeant
COOKEVILLE — One team in Saturday's tilt between Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech is looking for a championship. The other is looking to play spoiler. Guess which one the Golden Eagles fall under.

Tech (5-4, 4-2 Ohio Valley Conference) enters the contest just one game back in the standings behind Eastern Illinois. At 5-1 and with a tiebreaker against the Golden Eagles, Tech would have to win out and the Panthers would have to lose against UT Martin and Tennessee State to give the Golden Eagles sole possession of their first OVC title since 1975.

But a tie is certainly not out of the question and the Golden Eagles are going to do their best to make sure they can claim their share. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks are trying to make a statement after being held out of championship contention, penalized for missing the NCAA's minimum score for the third straight year on their Annual Progress Report. With a 6-3 overall record, 4-1 in the OVC, the Gamecocks would be tied for first place in the league.

Either way, JSU is not going to be an easy win by any stretch of the imagination. Early on this season, the Gamecocks were steamrolling their competition, until JSU ran afoul of Eastern Illinois, who defeated the Gamecocks 28-20. Since then, the games haven't been as big of blowouts, but the Gamecocks are still coming up with big wins.

"I don't really think these guys have really lost a step," said Tech coach Watson Brown. "They're still winning. Their offense is still moving the ball and leading just about every category. Their defense isn't allowing a lot of points. Honestly, they have the best offense in the league and they have the best defense in the league."

Of course, it gets a lot easier when your defense is allowing an average of 11 points per game. In their league games, only Eastern Illinois and Austin Peay have managed to score in double digits.

"Nobody is scoring on these guys," Brown said. "If you take away the returned kicks that Austin Peay and Eastern Illinois had, they're really just allowing seven points. If we're going to win, we have to find ways to put points on the board. We need at least 20, but they're going to make us work for every point we get."

A tough task indeed as the Gamecocks' defense has not allowed a touchdown in its last nine quarters -- 154 minutes and 35 seconds, as a matter of fact. The Panthers were the last team to find the end zone back on Oct. 24.

Offensively, former LSU quarterback-turned-Gamecock Ryan Perrilloux is the cornerstone of the team, and he has been a one-man wrecking crew in the league.

"He's the best offensive player in this conference," Brown said. "It all starts with him. He's made big plays all season and the challenge is going to be on us to find ways to stop him."

Gamecocks coach Jack Crowe has a lot of respect for the up-and-coming Tech program and knows Saturday's game is going to mean a lot to the Golden Eagles.

"We are challenged coming into this week's game against Tech," Crowe said during his weekly press conference on Monday. "This is a team that is playing for at least a tie for the championship. They've been a very efficient football team. As you look at them statistically, you don't see a strength and weakness category. They are right there in everything in a median area. They are really playing good football. ... They are where they need to be, when they are supposed to be there on offense and defense, and they are making the plays. They are a very sound team, which is a sign of good coaching."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Austin Peay Hilights

Follow the link below for some great hilights of JSU's victory over Austin Peay. If there are two more athletic corners in FCS than T.J. and A.J. I'd love to know who they are. These videos are great. I wish they would use Pacino's speech from Any Given Sunday as the background one time- it may be the best speech in sports movie history.

Gadsden Times Previews JSU v. Tenn. Tech

Here is an excerpt. For the rest of the article go to

JSU hosts Tennessee Tech

By Jimmy Smothers
TimesSports Editor Emeritus

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State will play the first of two home games that wrap up its season when the Gamecocks host Tennessee Tech Saturday.

The final game of the season will be the following week against Eastern Kentucky. Both games are set to kick off at noon.

The Gamecocks (6-3, 4-1) are on a two-game winning streak and are looking to close out the remainder of the season by doubling it. But rather than going into Saturday’s game on a high note, head coach Jack Crowe said at his Monday press conference there wasn’t a “whole lot of satisfaction” at the end of last week’s game, despite a 28-3 win over Southeast Missouri.

“We really have to step back a little bit and look at it in its entirety,” Crowe said. “We just didn’t finish the game very well.”

The Herald Citizen on Tennessee Tech

Tennessee Tech is coming off a shellacking at Georgia. Here is what their hometown paper had to say.

TTU FOOTBALL: Tech optimistic after UGA loss
Thomas Corhern
Herald-Citizen Assistant Sports Editor
Monday, Nov 09, 2009
click to view gallery
ATHENS, Ga. -- After Saturday's 38-0 loss to Georgia, the Tennessee Tech football team is ready to be back on its own turf as it prepares for a crucial Ohio Valley Conference matchup this Saturday at Jacksonville State.

And while the Golden Eagles were shut out, there's no hard feelings between the two programs.

"I wish the best for Mark (Richt) and his team the rest of the way," said Golden Eagles coach Watson Brown. "I know that this is good for college football. The fans and everybody sometimes wonder why you do these things, but the dollars we get out of this is huge. The memories the kids get out of these games will be with them for the rest of their lives. They'll all say I played at Georgia, at Auburn, at Arkansas or wherever else we're headed.

"The dollars are important to us and I think it helps the Georgias of the world where they don't have an open date and they have a game and they get to play a lot of people and get a little fresher. He's got some very important games that he's got to get ready for too. Both of us leave this game and we gain something from it because we've both still got a lot left on the table."

The game also gave Brown the opportunity to put a few players in who haven't had a lot of playing time, including Georgia native and Tech backup quarterback Tre Lamb.

Lamb threw for 37 yards on 3-for-6 passing in the contest as he took over the Tech offense in the second half.

Brown was asked during the postgame interview whether Lamb would be the Golden Eagles' quarterback of the future.

"There's three of them, and there may be a fourth," Brown said. "They'll all fight it out in the spring. Lee Sweeney's been our guy for three years, so it will be a totally different offensive bunch. We'll get back to things that I really like to do -- run the option, throw the ball, spread it out. There's three quarterbacks on our campus now that will fight it out and I'll probably bring in a fourth one. We've got all but nine guys back on this team, and, really, all but 17 back for two more years. We're a young bunch and we're going to need a quarterback to come through for us in the future."

Current QB starter Sweeney saw a lot of pressure from the Georgia defense on Saturday as he was sacked four times, and Brown was honest -- it could have been a lot worse.

"It could have been 10," Brown said. "It would have been 20 if I had called passes. They were killing us. We could not hold them out. It could have been a lot worse. That's why I tried to stay very conservative and played as many quarterbacks as I did. I had two young ones that I needed to get some reps with, partly because it was katy-bar the door back there."

When asked about the positives from Saturday's loss, Brown answered bluntly.

"Not much," the veteran coach said. "We played hard, but I don't know if I can take anything out of it, really. We were classy. We didn't drop our heads. We didn't start fussing at one another. We hung in there and we played as hard as we could play. That's a winning bunch.

"I told our kids we've played nine games and we've played two seasons. One season of playing (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams and one season of everything else. We're 5-2 in that other season and we're going home still in the conference race. We're going home in second place in the OVC with a chance to win or tie the championship. There's a lot to get out of this and hopefully we'll take it home, get our heads up and get some competitiveness about us when we play a really tough Jacksonville State team on Saturday."

A major positive, though, was even against an FBS power such as Georgia, Tech was able to hold on to the ball. The Golden Eagles improved their turnover ratio to plus-5 with an interception on Bulldog quarterback Logan Gray, while not giving the ball up themselves.

"We did a lot of things," Brown said. "We didn't have any penalties, we didn't have any turnovers. We just got whipped, dominated."