Friday, October 30, 2009

5 Keys to the Austin Peay Game

1- Get off to a good start. Get points early. Last week, after giving up a long drive and then losing an onside kick, it took the Gamecocks a while to get going. A long drive or a quick strike to start the game will set the tone.

2- Improvement in all facets of the kicking game. Kickoff coverage is key, as you can lose momentum that was just gained.

3- Win the turnover battle. More importantly, don't turn the ball over. Field position can make the defense even stronger, and putting their backs to the goal line puts all the pressure on them.

4- Passing game. Good pass protection and sharp passes will put JSU on the winning side of this game. Peay has had their struggles against the pass this season. Perrilloux should be able to continue achieving great numbers against the OVC.

5- Stop Peay's running game. They have had some success and a strong running game. Shutting them down early will force them to get out of their comfort zone.

Go Cocks!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jax State Super Fans

Follow the link below to the Jacksonville State super fans featured in SI's website.

Going to Peay

JSU is headed to Austin Peay this weekend. A win would keep JSU in a tie for first in the Best Team in the OVC standings. A loss would be disastrous.

Peay appears to be somewhat improved, they are 3-4 on the year and are riding a 2 game winning streak. If JSU was overconfident, it need not look any further than Peay's game against EIU. Peay lost by 10, JSU lost by 8. Peay also had a shocking upset over EKU last weekend, but were heavily aided by turnovers. I'm not sure this is your Daddy's EKU team however, as EKU also lost to Tennessee State.

Peay also defeated Division 2 Newberry and hapless SEMO, not exactly enough to earn a BCS at large berth. Their losses have come against Youngstown, Illinois State, EIU and Tenn. Tech.

Peay's defense may be a weak spot. They have given up 30+ points in four games this year,including a 38-7 shellacking by Illinois State. That is the same Illinois State team that EIU defeated 31-6.

If you stop the run, you stop Peay. They are led by Ryan White, 113 yards per game, and Terrence Holt, 80 yards per game. Peay averages 187 yards per game on the ground. It will be an interesting matchup as the Cocks yield only 127 yards per game and if you take out the Georgia Tech game, that number is much better.

Another interesting matchup will be when JSU passes. JSU averages 259 yards per game passing (again a deceptive number considering JSU played two BCS teams) and Peay gives up 219 yards per game.

All in all, this appears to be a game that JSU should jump on Peay early and take them out of their comfort zone. Perrilloux should throw for 300+ yards. Prediction: JSU 41 - Peay 10.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disruptive Plays - an update

Back on July 30th, we blogged about a statistic called Disruptive Plays. You can see the article HERE. In short, the Disruptive Play stat, or DP's, is a measure that is a cumulative total of key defensive stats. In the previous article, you can see that over the past 5 seasons, Devin Phillips had the highest total with 36 in 2007.

Here is an update this year with the top 4 so far:

TJ Heath - 29
Kevin Dix - 12.5
Brandt Thomas - 11.5
Josh Cain - 10

It looks like Heath has a great shot at putting up a huge number this year that will easily be the highest in several years.

Handicapping the Payton

It looks like 7 players are seperating themselves from the pack to win the Payton Award. Here is how we rate them:

1. Ryan Perrilloux. QB- Jacksonville State. Ryan has the best qb rating by far- 185.3. He has accounted for 20 touchdowns and only had 2 ints. He is throwing for 252 yards per game. It should also be noted that Perrilloux has done all of this in six games.

2. Deji Karim. RB - Southern Illinois. Not on the original watchlist. This running back is averaging an incredible 7.4 yards per carry and has rushed for 1026 yards already this year.

3. Terrell Hudgins. WR - Elon. This wide reciever averages 127 receiving yards per game. His average yards per catch is 12.5 and he has 10 TDs.

4. Armanti Edwards. QB - App. State. This former Payton winner has a qb rating of 167.3 which is aided by the fact that he only has one interception this season. He averages 246 yards per game throwing and is a running threat as well averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Edwards has accounted for 16 touchdowns.

5. Dom Randolph. QB - Holy Cross. Dom averages an incredible 321 yards per game throwing the ball and has 27 TDs. However, his qb rating is only 153.3 and he has thrown 9 interceptions.

6. Pat Grace. QB- Northern Iowa. Grace has a 161.9 QB rating, has 23 touchdowns and averages 238 yards per game throwing the ball.

7. Pat Devlin. QB Delaware. 17 TDs and only one interception. He averages 237 yards per game and has a 155.4 quarterback rating.

Random Observations from the EIU Game

*JSU is not invincible. When I asked about the blowouts leading to this game, a JSU coach told me - I'll just take a win. The bottom line is that JSU was playing a much better team than it has played since Florida State.

*EIU is a talented team. Year in and year out EIU is in the upper division of the OVC. They had two solid out of conference wins against FCS teams to start the season. Their quarterback was a 4 star recruit that started for Iowa last season. They have two running backs that were 4 star recruits for Florida.

*EIU's kicker is unbelievable. Coach Crowe commented before the game that he was leading the country in touchbacks. Can you imagine the SEC teams that would love to have this guy.

*JSU effectively did not get the ball in the first quarter. EIU had a long drive to start the game, then had another drive set up by a recovered on-sides kick. When JSU finally got the ball, they had it on the 3 yard line effectively eliminating that drive.

*As has been well documented, special teams were the difference. JSU outgained EIU on offense and completely shut down EIU's running game. EIU basically got 14 points off special teams. While a fan's first tendency is to criticize the area that went bad, JSU's special teams have been very good all year long. Perhaps the best thing to do is give credit to EIU.

*Lost in the loss was a great performance by the JSU defense in the second half. It seemed like we held them about 7 straight times. Unfortunately, a fumbled punt return eliminated one JSU drive and untimely penalties hurt the rest.

*There were some great individual performances. It was great to see Jamison Wadley out there battling again. The future of our defensive line is bright with players like Wadley, Torrey Davis and Monte Lewis all returning.

*Congrats to Keg Harris on getting his first pick.

*Justin Howard and James Wilkerson had big days catching the ball.

*Has Jamal Young become the clear #1 back? All of the carries went to Young and Middleton. I thought we might see more of Brandon George and Drec Lindley. My understanding is that these guys were co-#1s coming into this season.

*I'm as down about this loss as anyone, but isn't it great that we have expectations every year of winning every game in the league. I am glad that JSU has a program that sets its goals on excellence.

*JSU had another great crowd. We are getting the people there, if someone could figure out a way to get them more vocal that would be great.

*We have a lot of readers that follow this program closely- would love to hear your observations about this game.


Quotes from Coach Crowe's Press Conference

Courtesy of


On Last Week’s Eastern Illinois Game
“We are recovering emotionally from a disappointing loss. I really don’t expect us not to recover. If we are what I think we are, we will come back stronger than before. The loss was a result of clearly one phase and that’s the kicking game. Some of it was our miscues and some of it was a result of plays made by Eastern Illinois that they deserve full credit for. They recover an onside kick after scoring. They blocked a punt. They returned a kickoff. EIU’s Lorence Ricks, if there was a better special teams player in the country I would be surprised. I didn’t think we played as good as we could play anywhere, but I thought we played good enough to win on offense and defense. But we didn’t do what it took to win in the fourth quarter, particularly on offense. We didn’t finish the game. We had four possessions in the fourth quarter and we failed to convert on a third and four and a third and five and then we threw an interception. We lost the ability to have a fourth possession because we fumbled a punt return, which was another kicking game miscue. I am giving full credit to Eastern Illinois. Coach (Bob) Spoo is a great coach and they were ready to play. They played somewhat of the underdog role and played it very well. They used the kicking game to position their offense on a short field. Their average starting field position was the minus-44 yard line. Our average starting field position was about 20 yards less than that. Those are statistics that will offset any kind of athletic advantage you got. As far as the responsibility for the mistakes that were made, I don’t think the open week helped particularly when you separate our team out in terms of maturity. For example on the punt block instead of a two-yard spacing between the center and guard there was almost a three-yard spacing. It is just attention to detail. But, you still have to give (Lorence) Ricks a lot of credit. He came around an edge with a lot of speed. It took a really quality athlete to do that and he got there with plenty of time too. And then in the coverage of the kickoff, which was Ricks again, we had some people that just did not separate from blocks very well. That is two weeks in a row for our kickoff coverage team. Obviously, there will be some adjustments in personnel and there will be some more experienced players covering kickoffs. I give credit to EIU’s quarterback. Jake Christianson is a quality player. I think we controlled him, but he did a lot things that were very impressive.”

On This Week’s Game At Austin Peay
“Austin Peay is a dangerous football team for anybody to play. In their last contest, which was Eastern Kentucky, they won the football game. Eastern Kentucky made some mistakes, but they did not give them the football game. Of the top six rushing games in the OVC this year, Austin Peay has all six of them with two different people. Ryan White there starting running back has three of them and their backup Terrance Holt has the other three. Both of them have had 100-yard rushing days. Holt is leading the nation in all-purpose yardage and is a great kick returner, who gave us fits last year. This is a team that positions itself to win. It will take a great effort. I think we are very capable, defensively, of handling the challenge, but I think we are going to have to get back on our game. We didn’t play poorly last week, defensively, but we could have played better obviously, and we have got to play better this week.

“Offensively, we continue to throw for more yards than we run for which is a Ryan Perrilloux affect. I thought Ryan had a good game but did not have his best game. I expect his game to improve and I expect us to get more out of our running game. Right now, we are a team that knows it is talented. We started off the year knowing the efficiency requirements of a talented team and have been on top of those efficiencies pretty well. But the last couple of games some of those things are starting to slip and we going to change our practice schedule to accommodate more intense practices in certain areas. I still have a lot of confidence in our team. I think we are fully capable of being a dominate team but you can not be, offensively and defensively, what we are and have the result of that productivity and lose the kicking game. I don’t expect if to happen again to be honest with you.

“If I could go back and do something different, I would probably go back and work differently during our time off. We would have done things for that group to continue to improve. We have got to come to a point in this program where we have 18-22 seniors every year. When you start seeing that happen this stuff won’t happen. It has been happening on regular basis. It is not enough from keeping us from being a credible team, but it is enough from keeping us from being a great football team.”

Gadsden Times Previews the Peay Game

A nice writeup from the Gadsden Times previewing JSU's game against Austin Peay

JSU prepares for Austin Peay

By Jimmy Smothers
Times Sports Editor Emeritus

Published: Monday, October 26, 2009 at 8:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 26, 2009 at 8:28 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE --- When Jacksonville State travels to Clarksville, Tenn., to play Austin Peay Saturday afternoon, the teams will be coming from opposite directions.

The Gamecocks will be coming off a rare homecoming loss — 28-20 — to Eastern Illinois and the Governors are coming off a big homecoming win over Eastern Kentucky.

The defeat dropped Jacksonville State’s record to 4-3 and from 12th to 20th in the Coaches’ poll. But the loss, due largely to mistakes by special teams, did not take away the team’s spirit nor its goal to wind up as the highest ranked Ohio Valley Conference team.

Coach Jack Crowe said at his Monday press conference the players are recovering emotionally from a disappointing loss.

“I really don’t expect us not to recover. If we are what I think we are, we will come back stronger than before,” Crowe said. “The loss was a result of clearly one phase and that’s the kicking game. Some of it was our miscues and some of it was a result of plays made by Eastern Illinois that they deserve full credit for. They recover an onside kick after scoring. They blocked a punt. They returned a kickoff.”

Crowe added that Eastern Illinois’ Lorence Ricks may be the best special teams’ player in the country.

Austin Peay’s win was its second in a row, snapping a four game losing streak. The Governors are now 3-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Jacksonville State has won the past two years and has a10-6-3 lead in the overall series.

“Austin Peay is a dangerous football team for anybody to play. In their last contest, which was Eastern Kentucky, they won the football game. Eastern Kentucky made some mistakes, but they did not give them the football game,” Crowe said. “Of the top six rushing games in the OVC this year, Austin Peay has all six of them with two different people. Ryan White, their starting running back, has three of them and his backup, Terrance Holt, has the other three. Both of them have had 100-yard rushing days.”

Holt is leading the nation in all-purpose yardage and is a solid kick returner.

“This is a team that positions itself to win,” Crowe continued. “It will take a great effort. I think we are very capable, defensively, of handling the challenge, but I think we are going to have to get back on our game. We didn’t play poorly last week, defensively, but we could have played better obviously, and we have got to play better this week.

“Offensively, we continue to throw for more yards than we run for, which is a Ryan Perrilloux affect. I thought Ryan had a good game but did not have his best game. I expect his game to improve and I expect us to get more out of our running game. Right now we are a team that knows it is talented.

“I still have a lot of confidence in our team. I think we are fully capable of being a dominate team but we cannot be, offensively and defensively, what we are and have the result of that productivity and lose the kicking game. I don’t expect it to happen again to be honest with you,” Crowe added.

Austin Peay is coached by Rick Christopher, who is 12-7 in his third year at his alma mater, where he was a quarterback. He was an assistant coach for 11 years at UAB. During that time UAB went 3-1 against Jacksonville State.

Jacksonville State running back Calvin Middleton and linebacker Ricky Thomas of Austin Peay were high school teammates at North Cobb High School in Acworth, Ga.

Saturday’s game is set for a 4 p.m. kickoff.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Football and Basketball on Homecoming

[Chris Yow, former web editor of the Chanticleer and huge Gamecock fan, is now contributing to our Blog. Below is his first piece. You should also check Chris out on where he is a regular contributor. Thanks, Chris.]

Parades, Cocky, Southerners--football and basketball--all in one glorious Homecoming day. What an adventurous day this could be for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

If you are not a college student and you normally are awake before noon, get up and head to Jacksonville on Saturday morning. Make sure you have all the necessary tools handy, as well. Be sure not to forget your coat, the rain is bringing an awful cold spell with it. Also, do not forget the sun block, this is Alabama after all.

Get to Pete Matthews Colisseum about eight in the morning and catch the first action of the 2009-10 basketball season and the homecoming festivities!

James Green and his mighty force of jumping Gamecocks will be holding a scrimmage that is open to the public at 8:15 a.m. and will kick off the day for the crowd of those coming home to the friendliest campus.

Come check out Jeremy Bynum, the local hot shot point guard and see how much improved Amadou Mbodji is this year. Get your first look at the new kids, Hunstville native and Nebraska transfer Jay-R Stowbridge, junior college transfers Trenton Marshall [all world recruit] and Dominique Shellman, and 6'7" junor transfer Sean Thurston.

Green has been laying the foundation for this team for a full year now and is ready to show off the talented bunch of basketball players.

So before Cocky struts his stuff down the street and the Southerners blow out Fight On! make sure you stop by the Pete and catch a small glimpse of the upcoming basketball season that will be getting underway in just under a month!

Are you ready to get fired up?

Watch this awesome video of the hilights from the Murray game.

10 Things We'd Like to See On Saturday

1. A 53-3 Win. Penn State beat EIU 52-3. JSU needs to beat them by one point more.

2. A great day from Perrilloux. Football is a team game, but I want Ryan to get the Payton award. He has the best stats in FCS right now, hopefully that can continue. Memo to football fans: If you want to see the best college quarterback in America he is playing in Calhoun County tomorrow, not Starkville (Tebow) or Austin (McCoy).

3. A pick for T.J. Heath. This corner is putting together a dominant year. How about another pick or 2 to cement his all conference status.

4. 2 sacks for sackmaster Kevin Dix. But watch out Kevin, Santez Mays is eyeing the Sackmaster title.

5. A 150 yard rushing performance for at least one back. Its been somewhat of tailback by committee. It would be great to see at least one back have a breakout game. I have a hunch Drec Lindley, who has been a sideline leader for the Gamecocks, might be back. Feed the Stud. Whoever is hot-(George, Middleton, Lindley, Young) get them the ball. Memo to Gamecock fans: All of these guys are back next year, plus the redshirt will come off phenom Richard Freelon.

6. A touchdown by Brandt Thomas. Brandt Thomas is having a great year and it will be no surprise if he gets an NFL look. Wouldn't it be great if Coach Letson gave him the ball in a goal line situation. He showed he could do it in the Spring game.

7. A breakout game by Greg Smith. Its impossible to find someone with a bad thing to say about this guy. He's due for a 100 yard receiving game. Don't forget about James Wilkerson, the silent assasin, though. My favorite thing about Wilkerson is he catches everything in sight, then looks to punish a db. He kind of has a fullback mentality in a wide receiver's body.

8. More of Brooks Robinson. This guy is talented. Hopefully, JSU can find a way to get him involved.

9. 15 tackles by Zander. Alexander Henderson is a tackling machine. It would be great to see him add to his team leading tackles with another big day.

10. A loud crowd. UTM was a start. Wasn't it great to see a packed house, a student section dressed in red (I heard at least one "Loo" chant), at least one fraternity sitting as a group and as always- the incomparable Southerners. Remember - any third down situation- urge the Gamecock D to: "GET OFF THE FIELD!"

Football: Time to decide top-tier team - Sports

The Daily Eastern News weighs in on JSU versus EIU.

Football: Time to decide top-tier team - Sports

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Article from the Journal Gazette on the JSU -EIU Game


CHARLESTON -- Two decades ago Cleveland State’s basketball program went so far as to make up a “Let’s Pretend League.”

That outfit even put a banner on a wall that was pictured in the following year’s media guide.

NCAA violations had coach Kevin Mackey’s Cleveland State team ineligible for the postseason basketball tournament so it was not included in standings of the old Mid-Continent Conference when Eastern Illinois was a member.

As far as we know Jacksonville State has not concocted a “Let’s Pretend League.”

But the Gamecocks are still taking the football field on Saturdays despite being ineligible for the NCAA playoffs or Ohio Valley Conference championship because of an Academic Progress Report penalty.

Not only are they playing their OVC schedule but with two wins they are the only team that has not lost in league play.

For opponents, games against this team ranked 12th and 13th in Football Championship Subdivision national polls count in the OVC standings and if you had Cleveland State tendencies to pretend, you could easily see where the Gamecocks would stand.

“They know they can win the conference unofficially,” Charles Graves said.

Unofficially, the Gamecocks stand 2-0 in the OVC and a for real 4-2 with losses to Football Bowl Subdivision teams while preparing to play host to Eastern, 5-2 overall and an actual 3-1 in the OVC, in a 1 p.m. Saturday game at Jacksonville, Ala.

“They are arguably the best team in the OVC until someone proves otherwise,” EIU coach Bob Spoo said. “They guys who get on the plane have to believe we can go down there and win.”

Rather than giving a team a warning about the talents of an opponent as done some weeks, Eastern coaches might be trying to make sure their players don’t consider this Jacksonville State team invincible.

Since letting a near upset slip away in the game’s final minute of a 19-9 loss at Florida State, the Gamecocks have routed Alabama A&M 45-13, Nicholls State 60-10, UT Martin 52-7 and Murray State 41-7 racking up statistics that have them atop the OVC lists in almost every category.

Last week’s bye week might have provided as much of a challenge.

EIU coaches probably have pointed out to their players that those four FCS teams that have lost to Jacksonville State are just a combined 9-17.

“I don’t think we’re intimidated,” Graves said. “I’d say we’re excited.”

This might be a scaled-down version of the opportunity two weeks ago to visit Penn State, now ranked 12th in the Football Bowl Championship Subdivision.

When losing a 52-3 money-making game at Penn State, the Panthers did not lose any ground in the OVC and probably much consideration for a FCS playoff berth.

Saturday’s game could do such damage for an Eastern team currently 24th and 25th in FCS polls.

“It’s a huge game for us,” Graves said. “It means everything right now.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From the Journal-Gazette in Illinois

This article starts with some comments on TN State, follow by some good comments about JSU. Here is a link, but you can just read it below.

No comment (hint, hint) from Tennessee State coach

By BRIAN NIELSEN, Sports Editor

At least coach James Webster appears to have avoided a suspension after his Tennessee State football team fell from atop the Ohio Valley Conference.

“First of all I thought coach (Matt) Griffin and his coaching staff did a very good job preparing his team,” Webster said three days after losing to Griffin’s Murray State team 9-6. “Other than that I don’t have any comments and I won’t comment because any comments I make will not be acceptable to the OVC.”

Reprimanded three years ago by the OVC for publicly criticizing officials, Webster lets us guess about his implications this time.

“The team that was on the field was not the same team we had on the field at Eastern Kentucky,” Webster said. “We had some issues going on last week that we couldn’t control.”

One week after knocking off nationally ranked and preseason OVC favorite Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee State lost quarterback Carl McNairl to an injury and fell from the league’s unbeaten ranks by losing to a Murray State team that entered the game 0-2 in the conference.

Eastern Kentucky regained its spot atop the league at 4-1 by edging UT Martin 31-25, Eastern Illinois moved into second place at 3-1 by holding off a Tennessee Tech comeback bid for a 23-15 win and Tennessee State fell to 2-1.

“We had a great opportunity and now we are down with everyone else,” Webster said.

Three other teams are still in contention with two losses each. Murray State, maybe turning into contention in the fourth year of Griffin’s rebuilding project, is one of them.

“I haven’t even looked at it,” the Racers coach said. “To be real honest with you, I haven’t looked at the standings in a couple of weeks.”

Anyone looking at standings sees several teams bunched together as one reporter called it in Tuesday’s OVC teleconference.

“Bunched all together is the best way to put it,” Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood said. “You watch everybody on tape and nobody is beating the tar out of anybody except for Jacksonville State. Everybody else it’s one play one way or the other.”

That might be encouraging news for everyone except for Eastern Illinois, which has a 1 p.m. Saturday game at Jacksonville State.

Jacksonville State would be atop the OVC standings at 2-0 but the Gamecocks are ineligible for the league title or an NCAA playoff berth this year because of an Academic Progress Report penalty.

The Gamecocks still have No. 12 and No. 13 national rankings in Football Championship Subdivision polls, standing 4-2 after starting the season with losses to Football Bowl Subdivision teams Georgia Tech and Florida State.

Featuring FCS passing efficiency leader Ryan Perrilloux, the Gamecocks lead the OVC in scoring offense (37.3 points per game), scoring defense (15.5 ppg), total offense (434.8 yards per game), total defense (307.0 ypg), passing offense (263.3 ypg), passing defense (169.7 ypg), passing efficiency (173.5 rating) and passing defense efficiency (108.2).

Oh yeah, they lead the whole nation averaging 26.6 yards per kickoff return.

“They’re an exceptional football team in all of those areas,” Eastern Illinois coach Bob Spoo said. “I don’t know that they have a weakness. They play very well in every category.”

Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe denies any ideas of being invincible in the OVC.

“We’ve got plenty of weaknesses,” he said. “The head coach may be the biggest one. by the way. We’ve tried to organize ourselves. You have an open week, you look at yourselves. We understand what we have done poorly. There are things that concern me. I’m not going to say those and give Bob a scouting report, not that he needs a scouting report. He knows what he’s doing.”

Contact Brian Nielsen at or 238-6856.


Here are the updated standings, which include conference games only.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wins against the so-called Big Boys

As JSU's athletic program continues to climb to new heights, we thought it would be interesting to see which programs have had wins against the so called Big Boys of college sports in the last season that they played. Here is a breakdown:

Softball - Tennessee (twice), Memphis, Indiana State, Ole Miss, Nebraska ;

Volleyball - Auburn, Alabama, Wake Forest ;

Basketball - Umass - technically in 2008 (08-09 season) ;

Baseball - Indiana , Georgia (ranked #1 at the time) and Georgia again.

Football - Florida State- our computer went down with one minute left in the game.

Rifle - A dominant program. Won the Ole Miss invitational last year. There were 13 teams there. I don't have the list, but I'm sure Ole Miss would have been there. This team has countless wins over larger schools.

Tennis - No signature win over a large school, but went to the NCAA's last year and gave FSU a tough match.

Good job JSU!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Coach Crowe's 10-13 OVC Press Conference

Selected quotes from Coach Crowe's OVC press conference on Tuesday:

On the Murray Game:

"We had a good football game against a football team that always impresses me. . . . We [showed] an ability to sustain the ball on offense. . . . We made a lot of things happen with our defensive front and played pretty good football."

On the EIU game after an off week:

"We have a tremendous challenge waiting for us against Eastern Illinois. Our biggest challenge is to maintain a mentality that we have to be better every time we play and we have to be better at the end of the game than we were when we started. . . I'm very impressed with this football team. They are a very good football team. They have managed to find a very unique mentality for guys as talented as they are. We will see if they can keep it going."

On Ryan Perrilloux:

"There is a big gap between the perception and reality of Ryan Perrilloux. I promise you I would not be trusting him with my football team if those perceptions were right. . . . Having said that, I can't believe there is a better player in FCS football. I've never seen one since I've been at this level. In fact, other than Bo I don't have a comparable at any level I've ever coached. . . . If there's anybody that thinks that this guy wouldn't be the best player if he was in another SEC championship game, they can quit thinking it because it would be the same thing."

On TJ Heath:

"TJ is a guy that has played ever since he's been here. He's shown he's a player. He'd probably be our best wide out if he was on offense. I think that is what it takes to be a really truly outstanding corner, you have to sort of want the ball . . ."

Is the bye week coming at a good time:

"We can use this to get better and we are beat up. . . . It does create some challenges for us, but I honestly think we . . . will be better off for having had it. . . We can still play better football- we have to realize that higher goal to be the best you can be."

On the playoff snub last year and how it impacted the conference:

"We were the second place team in the OVC last year and we were not picked to go to the playoffs. They picked a team in Maine. . . . My feelings are still hurt about that. And if everybody in the OVC didn't get their feelings hurt about that, wait until there the 2nd place team and see how they feel. . . [The selection committee] slighted Jacksonville State, Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky and everybody else in this league. If we don't get mad about it, strap it on and do something about it, I think it will stay the same way."

On the lack of playoffs this year:

"We have sort of gotten over it. We had our pity party. It didn't last long. There is something that can be accomplished by how we play, but it won't be in the playoffs. . . [This team] has an extremely high APR by the way. . . . This is not an APR problem team. That's historic - those guys aren't here any longer. We . . . use the mentality . . . that what we accomplish this year will spill over until we are [back in the playoff picture]."

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Q & A with Wide Receivers Coach Matt Wannebo

Following the blow-out of Tn. Martin,, sat down with wide receievers coach Matt Wannebo. Wannebo, a former college quarterback, is a nine year veteran of the Gamecock staff, but is in his first year coaching wide receivers.

Q: How has the transition from defensive coach to wide receivers coach been for you?

A: Its been really good. It started in the Spring. Coach Crowe asked me to do it. I figured you ask the players to switch positions and expect them to do it . . . for the team because you think its going to work out best. So- I took a players approach and [decided] I was going to do what's best for the team and what's best for the program. The transition has been good because we had older kids at the [wide receiver] position. Jeff did a good job last year. So I said [to the players] if something is being done different and you like the way it was before let me know.

Q: Does going up against JSU's outstanding corners in practice help our wide receivers?

A: Absolutely. [It gives our guys a chance to see if certain new things are going to work because its against good competition.] Also, you don't have to push them or tell them to give effort because [when our wide receivers go against our defensive backs] they know that they are going to be embarrassed if they don't do as well as they can ...

Q: We have really shared the wealth this year among the receivers. How is the chemistry?

A: Its really good because we have good kids at the position that are very unselfish, they don't complain and they don't worry about certain things. [For instance, against] Alabama A & M, Greg Smith was open a couple of times. Greg never came back and said "throw me the ball, I'm open." Before that, we were playing Georgia Tech, [James] Wilkerson was open a couple of times and never complained about the ball not being thrown to him. So when you have older guys that are setting that example, . . . it makes things a little bit easier.

Also, Ryan Perrilloux does such a nice job of sharing the ball and moving the ball around and making sure they are doing the right things. It helps you as a coach and helps you as an offense. Its like I told them- [Ryan] is like a point guard in basketball, everybody better run their route and get their head around because you don't know where the ball is going to go. He can throw every pass and he can thow to every spot so you better be ready. [The receivers] know that if they don't do the route or drop the ball, next time out its going to someone else. He goes to who he trusts and who does things right.

Q: Comment on James Wilkerson (22 catches/4tds in 09):

A: His experience pays off real well for him. He is low keyed about things. He doesn't like you to think he is as good of a player as he is. He likes to sneak up on you and surprise you how well he can do things. [Just when you don't respect him] he will hit you. . . . He likes to kind of lay back and low key it and then just jump all over you. He has very good skills, hand set skills catching the ball. He is a very good receiver, very good blocker. [Coming into the season], I didn't know he was that good of a player.

Q: Tell us about James Shaw, a wide receiver that has really come into his own this year (14 catches, 2TDs):

A: It was a matter of putting him in the right spot [after multiple position changes] and leaving him there. . . We have kind of filled him in [spots] as needed, which might have been a little bit [difficult for] him but it goes back to [our] guys being unselfish. Wherever James was needed, he went ahead and did it. Now he is playing one position and able to concentrate on that.

Q: How about another guy that has emerged, La Ray Williams (9 catches/21.9 yards per catch):

A: He is getting the opportunity. We always talk about the third year in the program, get your feet underneath you, get some experience some of the seniors graduate now its his chance to go ahead and play. . . .

Q: What about the freshman sensation Alan Bonner, a guy that was highly recruited, how did you all land him and what are your thoughts as his position coach:

A: That was Ronnie Letson that recruited him and did a nice job of finding him. [Sometimes you can't tell everything on tape], after Ronnie saw him in person he made it a priority that [Bonner] was someone we were going to go after. . . . Ronnie did a really nice job of moving in and going ahead and talking to him and getting him to come here and visit and the timing was right. . .

[Alan] is just another added dimension. You try to get as many good players as you can at a position. At a freshman, he just adds another good player to our [wide receiver] position.

Q: Is Jeff Cameron (23 catches in 08' redshirting this year) still in the program?

A: Yes. He is sitting out right now. . . But the coaches on defense keep coming over and saying he is doing a great job of practicing against them.

Q: Are you excited about having him, John Houston Whiddon and all the young guys that will be coming back next year:

A: The nice thing about it is you have three seniors [La Ray will be the third one] that the younger guys learning in can learn from the seniors how to do things right, how to play the game the right way, how to work the right way and do things that you are supposed to do. That's a little bit of what Greg Smith brings to the program [this year] he's been there before and done that and people see that, but he's such a sharing person that makes sure he does things the way they are supposed to be done. Everybody sees that .. . that they learn that they should be unselfish and play the game the same way he plays it.

Q: Is it hard to keep this team grounded given the way you have dominated FCS opponents?

A: When they are around us, they do the right things and say the right things. [However,] when they leave us and get on campus, . . . whenever everybody starts patting them on the back, . . .you wonder if they are going to stay grounded. But [these guys] have such a good work ethic when they come over here . . . they figure if they prepare right and practice well they ought to do well.

Q: Tell us about Ryan Perrilloux:

A: I tell the scouts that [despite being the #1 recruit in America and MVP of the SEC Championship Game], he came into the program here and didn't have any sense of entitlement. He did not demand or expect anything. He treats everybody on the team, whether you are walk-on, scholarship, equipment man, trainer, whatever- he treats everybody the same way. He has a great personality. He keeps everybody involved, he keeps everybody going. He has the days when he is in a bad mood, . . but the thing that . . . people don't realize, [is despite all of his laurels], he is great with everybody on the team no matter who you are.

Thanks Coach Wannebo.

Monday, October 12, 2009


This includes conference games only...

Payton Award Candidates- A Statistical Comparison

Ryan Perrilloux is having a great season. The Sports Network listed 12 pre-season candidates for the Payton award and Ryan was one of them. While anything could still happen, it is arguable that 5 players have seperated themselves from the pack. Click below for a spreadsheet looking at the performance to date of these five players.

Click Here for a look at the comparison.

Pictures from Murray State

Thanks again to Linda Carroll and LC Photography for the pictures. Click Here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quick Hits from the Murray Game

*Watching a game on the computer must be a lot like the early days of TV. Its better than nothing though;

*Favorite play of the game: fake punt by Rod Byrd. Rod lowered his shoulder at the end of the play on a Murray defender;

*What was Murray thinking when they went for it on 4th and 1 from on their own 40. Torrey Davis blew up the middle and there were about 4 Gamecocks, includling Alexander Henderson, in the Murray backfield;

*It was great to see Brandon George in action. George had about seven carries and caught the ball out of the backfield. He is a hybrid between the speed of Jamal Young and the power of Calvin Middleton. I can't wait for Drec Lindley to get back. Surely he will be ready after the off week.

*Murray tried a reverse. Trio Tyson stayed home and made the tackle just like he did against FSU;

*What's the record for picks in a season? TJ Heath has 5 now. He has a personal goal of one every game. Josh Cain also grabbed his first pick of the season. Good quote from Cain in the Star: "There's just a focus on this defense that I've never seen before and it just kind of feeds.";

*Ryan Perrilloux had a career day passing. If he's not on the short list for the Payton, there is a problem. I like Ryan's quote in the Star: "This wasn't all flowers and strawberries." It was great to see Ivory come in and lead the team to a touchdown. The future is bright.

*Tight End Justin Howard had another TD. What is the record for TD catches in a season by a JSU tight end?

*Sackmaster Kevin Dix added half a sack, but Santez Mays got in on the action as well. If things go well, we will have a Q&A with Tez this week;

*Greg Smith and James Shaw had big games catching the ball. Smith has been patient waiting on his chances this year. Shaw may be the best JSU receiver at getting yards after the catch. We will have an interview with Wide Receivers Coach Matt Wannebo later this week;

*JSU will probably still not be in the Top 10 after this game. If there are 10 teams in FCS better than the Cocks, I'll eat my hat. EIU lost to Penn State 52-3. Maybe JSU can beat them 53-3.

Friday, October 9, 2009

UT Martin Highlight Film from Youtube

Another awesome here

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Keys to the Murray State game

1) Don't be over confident. You can't take any team too lightly. There have been times in the OVC that JSU has fallen victim to the upset. Play hard on every play and take care of business.

2) Pass Defense. Murray State hasn't run the ball very well this season, so look for them to go to the air. Can TJ Heath have another game like he had last week? Can Jawan Booker or AJ Davis get in on the action?

3) Murray State's Austen Lane comes in at 6'7", 270 lbs, and has 4 sacks on the year at DE. He is a preseason All American and the preseason OVC Defensive Player of the Year. Curt Porter must match up with him and give RP time to throw.

4) Jump on them early. Murray hasn't done much this year and in all likelihood has a fragile psyche. If JSU can dominate early, Murray might collapse.

5) ????- We can't come up with another key. Anyone else have some ideas?

From the OVC Notebook

You can link to it here...or just read the excert below by James D. Horne.

IS HE THAT GOOD?: Jacksonville State senior quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was named the OVC Player of the Week again this week, making it the fourth straight week he's done that.

It also made the LaPlace, La., native the first player in OVC history to accomplish that feat.
So that means Perrilloux has to be pretty good, doesn't it?

"I don't think there's any doubt outside of Bo Jackson he's the best player I've ever seen play," JSU coach Jack Crowe said. "And I'm talking about a great athlete who can play at a very high level."

And what's been the biggest key to Perrilloux's success?

"He's playing consistently," Crowe said. "I think everything was there last year. But he just didn't play with consistency game after game. That consistency has been there to this point, and I think there's never really been a question to how good he is. He was the No. 1-recruited player coming out of high school. So that covers a lot of ground."

Nice article about a volleyball recruit.

Northwest Herald | Heredia to take skills to Jacksonville State

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This is conference games only:

Eastern KY. 3-0
JSU 1-0
Tn. St. 1-0
UTM 1-1
EIU 1-1
Tn. Tech 1-1
Peay 0-2
Murray 0-1
SEMO 0-3

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tight End Report

Following the UTM game, tight ends coach, Adam Ross, gave us an update on how the tight ends were performing and some other interesting information about the Gamecocks.

Q: Corey Freeman and Justin Howard both play a lot- is there a starter between them or is just situations?

A: Corey starts it off. He is my bruiser. He gets after it, he plays hard. He is the leader of the group. There both from the same home town, they compete every week, get along great and lead the group. [In addition to being from the same hometown and playing the same position, Howard and Freeman are roommates at JSU].

Q: Give me a run down of how Justin Howard is doing?

A: He is playing real well. He is making plays. That's what we talk about all of the time. He makes the plays in practice, but then he has to do it where it counts on Saturday. He did that last week- scoring two touchdowns and he played good ball today so he is really developing as a complete player.

Q: Have you been satisified with the way these guys have responded to taking Eric Johns place?

A: They've stepped up big. I told them from the get go- its yall's time . . .its time to get it done. And they have.

Q: How about your true freshman Denzel Cheeks?

A: Cheeks has really stepped in and done a great job. He is going to be a really good player one day. He is getting used to catching the ball and not rushing the passer all of the time. He is really developing, he is learning every day- he works hard. I've been real impressed with Cheeks.

Q: How is the staff keeping the Gamecocks grounded given the complete domination of our opponents?

A: Our focus is one game at a time. We go out there, play good ball, [remain] humble and take it one game at a time.

Q: What makes this team so much better than last year- we lost to Martin by a point last year- this year the game was over in the first quarter?

A: They have a look in their eyes that they want to dominate every snap, every play. Thats what their goal is-- to dominate every time they go out on the field.

Q: Let me ask you about some of our new players. How is Running Back Richard Freelon doing?

A: He is doing a great job. He is one of the reasons why our defense is playing as well as they are because he really runs the ball hard [in practice]. He has a good burst and is a really good player. He is going to add a lot to our offense [next year].

Q: How about the big bookend tackles Colt Kennedy and Ricky Clemons?

A: We are looking at redshirting both of those guys. Both of those guys are going to be good players and add a lot to our football team.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Is That a Byrd? No, its . . .

Randon Tidbits From the Martin Game

One of the neat plays of the game, was reserve linebacker Rod Byrd punting the ball in the third quarter. If Tatum ever goes down, it appears the Gamecocks have a credible backup. Byrd boomed the punt 52 yards for a touchback.

Another memorable play was TJ Heath running over pre-season OVC Player of the Year, Cade Thompson, on his first int return for a touchdown. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Congrats to Calvin Middleton on being the first Gamecock runner to go for over 100 yards this season. Calvin carried it 13 times for 121 yards. Crowe indicated post game that Middleton could be a 1500 yard per year back. To paraphrase the legendary Larry Munson, he's just a sophomore.

Tackling machine Zander Henderson had 11 tackles on the day, 36 on the year. This guy is an All-American. I had the pleasure of sitting by his parents at the A&M game. They are good people and have a lot to be proud about based on the play of this former walk-on who will likely have a chance to play professional football.

Sackmaster Kevin Dix continues to dominate. He had two on the day, bringing his total on the year to 5. What is the JSU record?

Jamison Wadley and Brandon George were both in street clothes. These guys are both young, but are emotional leaders of the team that play hard. Lets hope they are back in action soon.

Justin Kay and Tyler Ogletree are both seeing a lot of action on the offensive line this season. They both looked good against UTM.

Finally, is there a more improved player on the roster than wide receiver James Wilkerson. Wilkerson had 6 catches for 138 yards and 2 TDs. James is just a humble kid that catches everything thrown to him and plays with a physicality (as Coach Crowe might say) that reminds one of Hines Ward. He has to be an all OVC candidate. Be on the lookout in the upcoming weeks for an interesting interview with James' position coach, Matt Wannebo.

Good News Doesn't Sell

If Ryan Perrilloux got a parking ticket this morning, no doubt it would be national news and running on the ESPN ticker. Yet, when the guy plays 3 flawless games, not a word is said in the national media. Consider these stats over the last 3 games against teams that play in the same division as JSU: 41-58 passing for 748 yards. O interceptions. 14 touchdowns. Also, he went 14-16 against UTM. The two incompletions were catchable balls.

Coach Ogle Reports on the Running Backs Post UTM

Coach Jimmy Ogle addresed the running back play following the win over UTM.

Q: Overall assessment of the running backs play:

A: I think we played hard and fought hard. I was a little upset that we turned it over one time, but I'll take [reponsibility] for that because we have a goal of 200 yards every week. Sometimes we have to learn the difference between more and enough.

Q: When will Drec Lindley be back?

A: As soon as he can! What Andrecus practices in and what he has to wear on his hand for the game is a little different. We are trying to get him back and get him involved because he is going to help us. When we do get him back we expect great things from him.

Q: Have you ever seen a tougher pound for pound runner than Jamal Young?

A: No. He is a mature player. Here is the neat thing about not just Jamal but our whole team. They are not ever satisfied. They want to be great. They do everything we ask them to. That is what is making our football team go right now.

Q: How are you keeping the team grounded?

A: Like I said, all they [the team] want to do is get better. Its about us. Even though we are playing quality opponents, most of the time we tell them when things don't go well its because of something that we do. When the guys don't do it the way they want to do it, they are not fully satisfied because they have great expectations for themselves and for the team. And, we as their coaches, have great expectations for them as well.

A note from Thanks to Coach Ogle for taking the time to talk with us following the game. There is no staff in America working harder or doing a better job than this coaching staff. When you saw some of the plays that were made against FSU, a team with more highly recruited athletes (not necessarily better) at almost every position, it was not an accident. Our staff is watching film every night until 1 or 2 in the morning figuring out ways to put our guys in postion to be successful. They worked just as hard for the Martin game- and it showed. The thank you that we can give to them is to be enthusiastic supporters of this football team.

Pictures from the UT Martin game

Courtesy of Linda Carroll and LC Photography
Thank you Linda.
Here is the link

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jacksonville St v. UTM - Post Game Talk With Coach Stewart

Defensive Coordinator Greg Stewart was kind enough to give us some comments following the dominating performance over UTM.

Q: What were your overall thought on how the Defense played today?

A: We thought this would be one of the best running teams we played this year including Florida State, so we really stressed playing old fashioned football - stopping the run. We did a pretty good job of accepting the challenge. [Our] guys play so hard. Every day at practice they bust their tails. They've figured it out- you do it all during the week good things will happen to you on Saturday. They've done a good job- they've got six to go, but we are very pleased with whats happened.

Q: Did you do anything special to shut down all OVC Wr Michael Hicks?

A: He hurt us last year. We knew he was a really good player. Basically, [while it was not specially designed for Hicks] we told them just don't let them throw it over our head . . . we called coverages to keep them from throwing the ball deep. We played 3 deep a lot, we played the corners deep and if they threw it underneath we said lets just go tackle them.

Q: How did TJ do today [on Hicks and others]?

[Hicks] had a couple of plays on TJ last year. TJ did not ever say this, but I know TJ had a personal vendetta today- he wanted to do good and he did. [Heath had 3 picks, 2 returned for TDs. Coach Stewart recalled former NFL All Pro Eric Davis having a similar performance against Martin in the early 90s].

Q: Did you take pride in the way you shut down UTM QB Cade Thompson?

A: Last year he [played really well] against us. Today- we got a little pressure on him. . . . When we did that we were successful.

Q: What are the keys to why this team is so successful so far?

A: I don't know if I can answer that. I just know that every day [the team] practices really hard. We have Monte Lewis, he pukes every day in practice he practices so hsrd. The guys want to win. They are playing hard. We are just going to keep trying to keep it going.

Q: Tell me a little about Kevin Dix who is really bringing some pressure off the edge?

A: He's [originally] from Georgia, he came to us from a junior college out in Kansas. He's been spectacular. He [has the] work ethic. He' a great kid to be around, he's good people and we are fortunate to have him.

Q: Tell us about #35 Eric Russell it seems like he has really burst on the scene at linebacker.

A: He has. He's just a sophomore. [He is very good on special teams]. He has great speed. He loves the game. He is a young guy that has a very bright future at Jacksonville State.

Q: Is it a challenge to keep these guys grounded?

A: The kids we have right now . . . the way they approach every day, the way they practice . . . I don't think it will be a problem with these guys. They are pretty grounded and Coach Crowe does a good job of keeping them grounded.

Q: What's next for you guys?

A: We go to Murray, Kentucky. We take one play at a time, one game at a time. That's how we are going to do it.

Congrats to Coach Stewart and the Gamecock D on a great defensive performance against a very talented team!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The T Stands for Transfer

UTM's roster is loaded with transfers. As always seems to be the case, however, its a mixed bag on what contribution they are receiving. Here is a rundown:

QB - Cade Thompson - So. Car. - superstar
RB - Brandyn Young - So. Car. - pre-season OVC, but has been hurt
RB - Miguel Barnes - Memphis - having a great year
WR - Rhett Hambrick - USF - not on depth chart
WR - Mike Hicks - Ole Miss - dinged up, but an all OVC player
RG - Mike Bryant - Vandy - 2nd string
S - Eddie Morgan - Duke - 2nd string
DT - Derrius Dowell - Vandy - 3rd String
S - Bryant Mulligan - Marshall - not starting

It's too good not to link to it...

JSU v. Nichols St highlight video.

Make some noise tomorrow!

Whiddon to Redshirt

Unofficial sources report that JSU wide receiver, John Houston Whiddon, has received a medical redshirt following an injury in the Georgia Tech Game. While I'm sure he is missing playing this year, this may turn out to be a long term positive for the Gamecocks. They will lose Greg Smith and James Wilkerson after this year. Having the talented and speedy Whiddon back next year will be huge. Hopefully, he will be joined by Jeff Cameron, a former key player, who also redshirted this year. Finally, it will make for a neat storyline as John's brother true freshman, Rayce Whiddon, will also be playing a lot next year.

As a sidenote, it is a little bit of poetic justice if Whiddon receives another year. He had a key role in his first year at Florida International, but after a coaching change was only on the field long enough his second year to waste a redshirt year. Its great to see this guy get another opportunity to shine.

Get to know Josh Cain - Sports

Here is a nice article from the Chanticleer on JSU Starting Safety, Josh Cain

Get to know Josh Cain - Sports

Keys to the UT Martin Game

1. Nuetralize Cade Thompson. While not as good as Ryan Perrilloux, UTM QB Cade Thompson is the OVC preseason player of the year. He is not easily rattled, as evidenced by his outstanding performance in a rainstorm last year. Defensive pressure from JSU is a must. Dix, Garrot and Mays need to get some hits on Thompson. The other players must play assignment football or Thompson will pick us apart.

2. Limit the production of UTM's receivers. Hicks gets all the press coverage. The former starter from Ole Miss may be nicked up, but can still hurt you. But don't be fooled, UTM has a plethora of talented receivers and JSU must watch out for their possession receivers (fullbacks and tightends) keeping drives alive. UTM's Simpson is a smart coach, he will look for JSU's defensive tendencies and try to take advantage of them. This would be an excellent game to pick up our first interception of the year.

3. Our running game. We need Middleton to continue to get his power yardage, but it would be awesome to see Brandon George or Drec Lindley (if he's healthy) bring the speed element into the mix. This would be a nice boost to the diminutive, but powerful Jamal Young who is making the most of every opportunity he is given. If you haven't seen it yet, go to youtube and see Young knock the helmet off of a player in the Nichols State game.

4. Home Field - The crowd needs to make some NOISE and let the team know we are there. Be LOUD on UTM's third downs. JSU's defensive coaches love to shout: "Get off the field" in practice. Lets let em hear it from the stands. Also, the Gamecock players leave the Gamecock Center around 10:30 and walk across the Gamecock field to the stadium. If you can do it, give them some support. There are many reasons to be excited about this team, the direction of the program, etc. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT- its contagious.

5. Consistent Offensive Execution. Crowe has alluded to the fact that at times we've been inconsistent on offense this year. It all starts with RP, when he's calm, cool and collected, there is noone better in the college game. The offense must avoid 3 and outs, sloppy play and turnovers.


I wanted to be sure to give credit to someone that is way overdue. Some of the pictures on our homepage were taken by Steve Latham. Steve does a great job for the University. The picture here of Cocky, the overhead shot of the stadium, and of the players with Ridgeway in the middle were all taken by Steve.
Thank you Steve, for the job you do.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quotes from Crowe and Simpson from OVC Press Conference

No bulletin board material, but the following are selected quotes from Coach Crowe and Coach Simpson leading into the big matchup between Jax State and UT Martin.



We feel very good about winning on the road having won the last two on the road. We feel good about coming home. . . . The last game we played I thought we really had a complete game in the kicking game and on the offensive and defensive side of the ball we accomplished some of our primary objectives and that's the first time we have done that.


We are dinged up. So we probably have some people that are going to be slow to get there, but I think they're all going to be there for this game.


We certainly have our hands full with Tennessee Martin. Martin has beaten us 2 out of the last 3 years. The time we did beat them we beat them on the last play of the game or right at it. They've got quality players. The names of [their] all conference players are all over the place. It starts at quarterback, they have the pre-season conference player of the year in Cade Thompson. I think their offense is playing now better than anybody. Our defense is going to have an enormous challenge.
Our offense has to continue to become a complete offense. We make plays but we have not been consistent against a defense that really forces inconsistency. We have an enormous challenge there. But, we are excited about the opportunity. Nothing like playing at home and being challenged by somebody you have great respect for to possibly bring out our best. It will take our best effort to win against a really quality UT Martin team.


We have a lot of pride. . . I don't think it would mean any more if we were playing for the conference championship. . . . We have established a pattern of winning in this league and that pattern is very important to us. . . . We are playing at home in front of our fans. We have invested a lot in winning football games . . .


He is a developing player. His development has continued into this season. It should be the best year he's ever had. He gives every appearance of making full use of the games he has . . . to play. He is what he is- I mean the guy was recruited as the #1 player in America and that wasn't a mistake. He is a great player. [There are scouts from the NFL here every day].



A good college football game. A fourth quarter game. Both teams played hard. Southeast Missouri is very sound, very physical on defense. They tackle really well. I'm very impressed with their team and the quarterbacks giving them a spark. Offensively they did some good things against us.

We are not doing things tradition that we've done in the past. . . . Penalty wise we had twelve again this week. We put ourselves in a lot of situations . . . Its going to catch up to us if we don't get that fixed. Obviously, we play a pretty strong this week, on the road. . . Its definitely an unbelievable task for us this week.


I don't think either team thinks about it. We are playing a team that had Florida State beat until the last few seconds. Florida State was very fortunate to come out of there with a win. We play a team that just hung 60 on a quality opponent and has as much or more talent as anyone in the league. . . . Whoever Jacksonville State plays is a marquee game because I'm not so sure they're not the best team in the conference.


His name is on [the OVC Player of the week] about 8 times in the last two years and deservedly so. He's a great player and its fun to watch him, not necessarily against your team but against other teams. He's fun to watch.


Its different not having Hicks full speed. He played a little bit last week. He can't practice. That's why he only caught one ball last week. . . . We do have some guys growing up a little bit and making some plays. It was good to see Dexter Anoka finally make the transition and make some plays. . . . We may not have one guy that's going to make a bunch of catches but that's ok . . . its kind of a long year until we can get it together.

ON HIS RUSHING GAME (preseason OVC RB Young has been injured but Miguel Barnes has had back to back 100 yard games)

I think we are getting better. I thought we got better offensive line play this week even though we had a starter out this week. . . . We are a run play action team so if we can't run the football its hard to get those play actions going. I'm pleased with the effort and the tempo and the physicality that the running backs are playing with right now.