Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

FOOTBALL 2011: A Look Ahead – The Defense

The Gamecocks defense was a little down this year compared to 2009 giving up 25 p/p/g compared to 19 per game the previous year. They will look to rebound under new Defensive Coordinator Chris Boone with assistance from resident genius, Brother Oliver. Boone employed multiple defensive looks at UT Martin and he will likely bring that strategy to JSU. Here is a look at what Boone will have to work with as he attempts to bring a championship to Burgess-Snow.


Key Losses:

Tim McGee. The Memphis transfer was here for only one year, but provided a big body and was a great run stopper. The coaches really liked the progress he made during the year and McGee may get an opportunity to play professionally. Note- the Gamecocks also lost Kevin Dix, but we have him as a linebacker although he frequently lined up with a hand on the ground much more like a defensive end.

Outlook for 2011:

The Gamecock 2011 defensive line will be a blend of youth and experience. A lot of the experience will come from Jamison Wadley who will be a senior bringing a ton of career starts to the table. Wadley, a Southern Miss transfer, has a motor that doesn’t stop and scored a touchdown on a turnover against Ole Miss.

A wildcard on the defensive line is Michael Ellis, a 300+ pound noseguard. Ellis played dozens of snaps early in the year starting most games, but may have been moved back to offensive line at the end of the season. If anyone knows the current plan for the Clay County product, let us know.

Dimetrio Tyson, Marquis George, and Monte’ Lewis (an all OVC performer) will be back as Defensive Ends, although Lewis could be moved to his more natural position of outside linebacker. Either way, look for Lewis to be in the opponents backfield more next season. Another player who will likely provide an immediate impact is junior college transfer Tanner Robertson. Robertson had 17 tackles for a loss for his junior college team last year.

The Gamecocks also have a bevy of young defensive linemen who will surely be given an opportunity to step up in the spring. Among them are Barry Stafford, Armani Williams, David Maness, Michael “Moosolini” Lewis, Bryant Hawkins and Shawn McAlister. Stafford, from Chamblee, and Hawkins, a Guntersville product, got some playing time this year as freshmen and therefore may have the edge on contributing even more in 2011.

Overall, there are certainly some players here, but the Gamecocks could use some help in 2011. In 09', they added Florida transfer Torrey Davis. In 2010, it was McGee. Is there a big body out there that could help the Gamecocks in 2011?


Key Losses: Antonio Bonner (All OVC), Morrell Jones, Kevin Dix. This is three huge losses for the Gamecocks. These three players accounted for 167 tackles last year. Bonner was an all conference performer and Dix made a ton of plays before missing the second half of the season with injuries. Finding able replacements for Dix, Jones and Bonner will be a key for the Gamecocks in 2011.

Outlook for 2011:

The cupboard is certainly not bear, however. Moving Monte’ Lewis to linebacker might fill one position. Almost every JSU player will tell you that Lewis is probably the most dominant defensive player on the Gamecock roster. It would be exciting to see what he could do in space.

Also, Rodney “BigTexas” Garrott will be back, and should be an early candidate for All-OVC as he is already on the All-American team for 2011. Garrott led the 2010 team in Tackles for Loss with 13 on the season and 6 Forced Fumbles.

An inside player that will likely fill one of the spots vacated by Jones and Bonner is Brannan Byrd. Byrd, a JUCO transfer, was one of the biggest hitters on the Gamecock defense in 2010. He had 45 tackles even though playing only a reserve role. Byrd is a dark horse all conference player for 2011.

Behind Lewis, Garrott and Byrd, the Gamecocks have several players that share several traits: they are young, can really run and have the potential to be great.

It starts with James Powell. Powell, from Mill Creek (Ga.) high school, got playing time in a regular rotation at linebacker as a true freshman making 25 tackles in the process. He should be better next season simply because of the learning curve.

Another player to watch is Rashad “Spiderman” Smith. Spiderman originally committed to N.C. State out of high school after earning player of the year accollades on the Florida Gulf Coast. Smith has the potential to do big things at Jax State.

Yet another runner and hitter is Anniston product, Brent Tolson. Tolson got playing time as a redshirt freshman and finished with 29 tackles.

Wildcards at linebacker are Eric Russell and Mike Whittier. Russell, a Prichard, Alabama product burst on to the scene in 2009 with 45 tackles, but sat out last year to concentrate on academics. If he returns in 2011, he will likely battle for a starting postion. Likewise, Whittier, a transfer is a great athlete who played quarterback last Spring. We need to confirm, however, that Whittier is still with the Gamecocks.

Yet another linebacker who showed promise in 2010 was Jewon Williams. Finally, although he hasn't played yet, watch out for Chase Williams, a 2 Star player from Boaz that redshirted in 2010.

In sum, the Gamecocks are 2 Deep at Linebacker and it should be a position of strength in 2011.


The Gamecocks will surely look to improve their pass defense in 2011. They gave up almost 700 more yards in the air in 2010 than they did in 2009.

Key Losses: TJ Heath. The Preseason All-American TJ Heath didn’t have the year he had hoped for after missing the Spring with an injury and suffering a serious automobile accident in the summer. Nevertheless, the Gamecocks will miss the Alexandria product who made tons of plays during his time at JSU.

Outlook for 2011:

Even without Heath, the Gamecocks will have two senior corners returing in Jawaan Booker and AJ “Awesome Jet” Davis. Francis Duncan, a rising junior from Cartersville, Georgia appears to be next in the rotation.

Aside from Duncan, the Gamecocks have almost no known depth at corner. Tiger Williams, from Lincoln, Alabama may be a candidate to play and it was rumored that Rayce Whiddon, might move from cornerback to safety. Finally, Darian Thomas, a transfer from Florida International is a wildcard. He would have likely helped in 2010, but an injury forced him to miss the season. We are unsure if he is still on the team. Cornerback is one of the real need positions the Gamecocks must address in recruiting this year.

In contrast, the Gamecocks will be loaded at safety. Starters Keginald Harris (All OVC) and Jason Horton will both be back. Harris, led the 2010 team in interceptions with 5 and Horton was third on the team in tackles. Horton and Harris have the potential to sweep all conference honors in 2011.

Amazingly, the Gamecocks also return all of their reserves at safety as well. Brooks Robinson, Rob Gray and Nick Johnson, all of whom made significant contributions in 2010 are all returning. Robinson, a converted quarterback, thrived in his first year playing safety. Gray, is a physical player from Collinsville that the coaches were raving about in the Spring.

Overall, the Gamecocks appear set at linebacker and safety heading into the 2011 campaign. Hopefully, recruting and transfers will add some talent and depth at corner and defensive line.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taylor Warner Commits to JSU

It was reported earlier this month that Taylor Warner, an offensive lineman from Jacksonville High School has committed to play for the Gamecocks. Warner, a 3 Star rated prospect, had interest from a host of bigger schools but chose to stay close to home. Cut and paste the link above to your browser and it should take you to a video interview w/ Warner by TV24.

Tanner Roberston Coming to JSU

The Star reports that JSU has landed a mid-year transfer in Tanner Robertson from Holmes Ms. Community College. Robertson, a defensive end, had 69 tackles last year, 17 for a loss. It appears that he was offered by Army out of high school and took an official visit to Ole Miss. This was a need position for the Gamecocks as Kevin Dix is out of eligibility.

Jacksonville State University - Chris Boone Named Jax State Defensive Coordinator

Jacksonville State University - Chris Boone Named Jax State Defensive Coordinator

Anniston Star - Local News, Business, Sports, Events, Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Anniston Star - Local News, Business, Sports, Events, Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Anniston Star - Local News, Business, Sports, Events, Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Anniston Star - Local News, Business, Sports, Events, Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lady Gamecocks get OVC Win

The Lady Gamecocks got another one in the win column today at home against SEMO. SEMO was 4-6 overall, but 1-1 in conference play coming in. Our team gave a great effort on both ends of the court. It's encouraging to see great defense rewarded with easy transition baskets on the other end of the court, and that's what we got to see today. Zenobia Pitts led the Gamecocks on defense with 7 steals.

On offense, Brittany Wiley led the team with 16 points, and the team shot 44% from the floor, which is the highest field goal percentage for any of their games this season. The effort has been there all season, the shots haven't always bounced the right way. Today, they did - and the result was a Gamecock win.

Great job today ladies!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Good Line From a Bad Loss

Where are you Keith McKeller?

Its been a while since JSU basketball had much to celebrate and this has been a tough season to date. We loved this subtle line from's recap about the officiating in JSU's overtime loss to Presbyterian College earlier this week:

"The Blue Hose used a 77 percent outing in their 30 free throw attempts to make the difference in the game and almost quit committing fouls at the 10-minute mark of the second half. They were whistled for seven in the half's first 10 minutes and were only charged with two over the game's final 15 minutes. JSU shot 67 percent from the line but only got 15 attempts."

Go to for the full article.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Football 2011: A Look Ahead - The Offense


9-3 with wins over Ole Miss, UTC and a home playoff game. We all wanted an OVC and a national title, but this was still a season to remember. Here is an early look at next year.


Key losses: None.

Outlook for 2011:

There is no position at JSU with more depth. Marques Ivory had a great season. If he could lose 20 pounds and get a little quicker as a runner, the sky is the limit.

Coty Blanchard, the OVC freshman of the year and former Alabama Mr. Football, will certainly push Ivory for the starting job in 2011. It seemed like as the season wore on, other teams knew what plays JSU was going to run with Coty. He is a gifted runner and passer, hopefully with another year under his belt the Gamecocks can open up the playbook for Blanchard.

Insiders say redshirt freshman Steven Coates is a very talented player as well. Finally, Thomas Darrah will be a senior. He might have the strongest arm of the bunch. While it was only limited duty against Austin Peay, Darrah certainly looked impressive.


Key losses: Jamal Young. Jamal Young was a tremendous player for the Gamecocks. His pass catching ability out of the backfield was missed after he was injured against SEMO.

Outlook for 2011:

Even without Young though, the Gamecocks are loaded at running back in 2011. Calvin Middleton will be back for his senior season. Middleton battled foot problems all year long, but was very effective every time he played. If he stays healthy, he is easily capable of rushing for 1,000 yards.

Middleton will be pushed by Tig Barksdale and Richard Freelon. Tig, who was playing safety at Ole Miss, seemed to get better every single game. If he can start breaking some more tackles, he might rewrite the record books at JSU.

Another promising player is Richard Freelon. Several insiders have told us that Freelon has the talent to do great things at JSU. He showed some glimpses late in the year. Hopefully, the Gamecocks can sign one more player to add some depth to this spot.

While Freelon and Barksdale are gifted runners, both must master the playbook and improve on pass blocking. All in all, the Gamecocks are loaded at running back for 2011; however, it would be nice to sign one more player at a position where injuries frequently occur.


Key losses: Alphonso Freeney. #46 in your program, but #1 in your heart. Freeney was a great fullback and a great leader. I wish we could have gotten the ball more to him this year because other teams had a hard time bringing him down. In addition to his physical skills, Freeney's leadership will be missed.

Outlook for 2011:

There is still reason to be optimistic about the fullback spot though. Lequintez Reynolds will return. He is a smaller, but faster version of Freeney who plays with a lot of heart. Also returning is Jahron Brown who sat out this year to concentrate on academics. Brown, a former Arkansas commitment, put up some big numbers in high school and played a lot as a true freshman. Again, however, this seems to be a position the Gamecocks need to address depth wise in recruiting.


Key Losses: Curt Porter, Justin Kay and Tyler Ogletree. We said earlier this year "Smouse for President." The reason was that it was amazing how well the offensive line performed after losing All Conference level players in Tyler Chambers and Matt Jones. But, a lot of guys stepped up. Tyler Ogletree went from being a reserve to a real team leader. He pancaked a few guys at Wofford. One bit of good news, we haven't seen the last of Curt Porter. He will be playing on Sundays next year.

Outlook for 2011:

With only Odie Rush and Tori Mobley returning, the Gamecocks have the unenviable task of replacing 3 of 5 starters on the offensive line; however, Matt Jones, a redshirt junior from Hoover is certain to fill one of those spots. Jones brings a wealth of experience after starting his freshman and sophmore seasons and completing spring practice in 2010. Thus, the Gamecocks realistically will be looking to find two new starters. Perhaps the Gamecocks will look for an FBS transfer to fill some immediate needs as no other returning player on the roster has significant experience.

However, there is an amazing stockpile of untested talent on the roster. Candidates to emerge from the pack and grab one of the spots include: Tristan Hardin (3* recruit); Ricky Clemons (2* recruit from Michigan); Tree Johnstone (Georgia Southern Transfer); Preston Hatcher (2* recruit); Colt Kennedy (a mammoth tackle from Douglas, Georgia); Max Holcombe from Tuscaloosa; Chad Hampton; Johnny Ubi, Jr., Ronald Johnson and Terrence Pendleton. Coach Crowe was bragging on Pendleton earlier this year and the coaches were very excited when Johnstone transferred from Ga. Southern. One wildcard, it looked like Monte Ellis had moved to offensive line (where he previously played). If that's the case, The Gamecocks could actually start an offensive line with four upperclassmen.

In sum, on offense, the offensive line is the biggest question mark heading in to the offseason.

Wide Receiver:

Key Losses: John Houston Whiddon, Jeff Cameron and La Ray Williams.

The Gamecocks are losing three talented receivers. Cameron, who had a breakout game against EKU, really emerged as a big play threat as the season progressed. Williams was slowed by injuries, but still contributed. He would have likely had a TD against Wofford but for being held by the defender in an amazing non-call by the referree.

Outlook for 2011: James Shaw, Alan Bonner and Kevyn Cooper are all back. All three of these guys had game winning catches this year: (Cooper- Ole Miss; Shaw- UTC; Bonner- SEMO). GI heard that Rayce Whiddon may move to cornerback.

The name to watch however, is Gabriel (a/k/a "TouchDown" "Country" "G4)Chambers. The cousin of Gamecock legend Maurice Dupree has the ability to do things after the catch that will really help the 2011 Gamecocks. Even counting Chambers, however, this is only four wide receivers unless highly regarded recruit Jeremy Nicholson is going to play wide receiver. One stop gap solution might be to play A.J. Davis some at wide receiver. He is probably the fastest player on the team and played the position in high school.

Tight End:

Key Loss: Cory Freeman

Every offensive coach we've spoken with has great things to say about Cory. He was a tough blocker, in fact, during one game, he even play played at guard because of injuries. While Cory only caught 12 passes for 100 yards, those numbers don't reflect the leadership Cory provided.

Outlook for 2011:

Justin Howard will be a senior. He caught 12 passes on the season. Denzel Cheeks switched to TE after playing defensive end as a freshman and really came on strong. Cheeks, at 6'6", is a big target and he can be a challenge to cover. Coach Crowe intimated that Cheeks might have next level ability. Run blocking is still a key to this position in JSU's offense. The Gamecocks will be looking to add depth to this position before 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

JSU's Walker Russell Getting It Done

Here is an article from Heidi Busch about the recent success of Jax Stat grad Walker Russell:

Heidi Busch - Mad Ants Media Relations
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Walker Russell of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Nov. 29.

A 6-0, 175-pound guard out of Jacksonville State who has been in training camp with the New York Knicks, Russell led Fort Wayne to a 2-0 record for the week, averaging 24.5 points, 12.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in the Mad Ants’ road victories at Maine and Springfield over the weekend.

On Friday, Russell had 18 points and 12 assists to lead Fort Wayne to a 105-99 victory over the Red Claws. In the Mad Ants’ 130-124 win at Springfield on Saturday, Russell shot 12-for-16 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line for a team-high 31 points, and added a game-high 13 assists.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lady Gamecocks Basketball Showing Great Progress and Effort

The 79-63 loss to Tennessee Tech doesn't really reflect how well the Lady Gamecocks played last night. We saw the Gamecocks playing hard, getting good shots, and fighting for a win. Coach Annette Watts has our ladies playing hard, and it shows.

Coming up on the short end last night came down to missing shots, not lack of effort. Many shots from the paint bounced off the rim or went in and out. Danielle Beneby, Danielle Vaughn, and Brittany Manning shot at 50% or better, but as a team, we shot at 40% for the night.

That's really all the bad news though...just getting the shots to drop. This team needs to keep doing what they are doing. They are getting the right shots, they are playing tough defense, and fignting for rebounds. Consistent shooting will bring wins. This team has the heart and the effort to bring our program to prominence.

Keep fighting, ladies. We're proud of the effort. We're looking forward to seeing you play more this season, and know that the wins will come.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To win this game, we need...

Not exactly a "keys to the game" article. Just some thoughts on what it may take to win. Both teams have played some exciting games, and it may come down to a something like going for it on 4th down or a long field goal to win. We've completed the next sentence in 5 different ways. To win the FCS playoff game this Saturday vs. Wofford, we need:

1- to win the turnover battle. These two teams are very different, but could be very evenly matched. The team with the fewest turnovers has a great chance to come out on top.

2- the defense to stay disciplined. Playing against a "wingbone" offense is much like playing a team like Ga Tech, whom we've played the last 2 years. Missing a defensive assignment can mean giving up very big plays.

3- playmakers to make plays. This is on both sides of the ball. Monte' Lewis, Brannon Byrd, Tim McGee and Antonio Bonner must be able to slow down the running game. Big Texas Garrot needs to do what he told us earlier this year - show Wofford that he works harder than them every day. On offense, Ivory, Cameron, Whiddon, Allen Bonner and Calvin Middleton have to keep their defense off balance.

4- control both lines of scrimmage. Use our size advantage.

5- win time of possession. Keep the ball out of their hands. This may end up being the real key.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Wofford Game

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Wofford Game

10 Things To Know About Wofford

1) Wofford tied for the Southern Conference championship despite losing head to head against Appalachian State.

2) Wofford returned 20 starters from its 2009 team. The 2009 team was plagued by injuries and went 3-8.

3) Wofford running back Eric Breitenstien is all So-Con and has 1,359 rushing yards on the season. If the Gamecocks can stop him, they should win the game.

4) Wofford QB Mitch Allen has only completed 29 passes this year.

5) Wofford DE Ameet Pall was the So Con Defensive player of the year. As we have previously written, it is going to be great to watch him go up against Curt Porter.

6) Wofford has the top ranked rushing offense in the nation.

7) Wofford is ranked 8th in the nation in total defense.

8) Wofford has never had an upset win like Ole Miss, but nearly upset South Carolina in 2006 falling 27-20. In 2008, Wofford only lost to USC 23-12.

9) One area the Gamecocks may have an advantage is special teams. JSU is ranked 40th in the nation in punt returns, compared to 115 for Wofford. JSU is ranked 16 in the nation in kick returns, compared to 34 for Wofford. JSU is ranked 24th in the nation in punting, compared to 62 for Wofford.

10) Wofford played much better at home than on the road. Noise helps JSU. It will be a great help to the team to make sure we have a rowdy, loud, JSU atmosphere at this game. When JSU is on defense, be as loud as you can be.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

10 Things We Are Thankful For Today

There are many things in life way more important than football, but since this is a sports blog we thought we'd list some things that we are thankful for relating to JSU football:

1. We are thankful that this team has an opportunity for redemption after the Tennessee Tech game, not only that the opportunity comes in the first ever home (edited) FCS playoff game for the Gamecocks;

2. We are thankful to LeAnn Crowe and Patty Hobbs who did an incredible amount of ground work to help organize and create a student section for the Gamecocks.

3. We are thankful for the students for making Burgess Snow Stadium a tough place to play.

4. We are thankful for the Southerners and Band Director Ken Bodiford. Number one in the country, no questions asked.

5. We are thankful that Coty Blanchard stayed home, turning down 40-50 scholarship offers in the process.

6. We are thankful every time Marques Ivory steps out on the field when we need a touchdown with two minutes to go.

7. We are thankful for Calvin Middleton, a workhorse running back that does not get near the publicity he deserves;

8. We are thankful to be fans of a team that has won 25 of its last 33 games and the hard work our coaches put in to get us there.

9. We are thankful that Big Texas Garrott plays every game like its his last.

10. We are thankful we beat Ole Miss.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Matchup to Watch: Ameet Pall v. Curt Porter

There are several big time individual matchups in this game, but perhaps none more intriguing than Wofford defensive lineman Ameet Pall versus Jacksonville State offensive tackle, Curt Porter. Pall, a Canadian, is only 250 pounds but has had an incredible season. He is a Buchanan award nominee with 47 tackles on the season. Not that big of a deal? Look again. Of those 47 tackles, an incredible 19.5 were for a loss including 12.5 sacks.

In all likelihood, Pall will be lined up against Curt Porter, possibly the best lineman ever to play at Jacksonville State. Porter, an All-OVC player is 6-7 and 315pounds and a prime reason that Jacksonville State has given up very few sacks this year. His play has not gone unnoticed, NFLDRAFTSCOUT.Com reates him as the 14th best tackle in all of college football and a 5th round pick.

GATA Curt.

Position Switch - Michael Ellis

Before the collapse, one of the more intriguing aspects of the game was that defensive lineman, Michael Ellis, had changed numbers and was playing offensive line. (We think- if we got the numbers messed up- never mind). The Gamecocks are thin on the offensive line, but unless someone else goes down I hope Ellis plays BOTH WAYS against Wofford. If we lose, there will be nine months to rest after the game.


Our understanding is that Kevin Dix will be back for the playoffs. Maybe this is what the doctor ordered for a Gamecock defense that has suffered since he went down. Dix is a player that is athletic enough to return kicks, but strong enough to play defensive line. Hopefully, Kevin Dix will take it as a personal challenge to lead the Gamecock defense in his return to action.

Anniston Star - Gamecocks get home playoff game

Anniston Star - Gamecocks get home playoff game

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wofford's Results

Wofford's results are below. They appear to be a formidable, but not unbeatable opponent. After dropping their season opener at Ohio, they won 9 of their next 10 with their only loss coming to Appalachian State. As far as common opponents go, they manhandled UTC, a team that the Gamecocks narrowly defeated.

Last night's disappointment aside, lets remember that our Gamecocks: 1) beat Ole Miss; 2) were undefeated at home; 3) didn't play any NAIA or D2 schools, picking up 3solid nonconference wins; 4) beat a SEMO team that was undefeated at the FCS level and 5) overcame some devastating injuries. Here are Wofford's results:

9/4/2010 7:00 pm Ohio University Athens, Ohio L 10-33
9/11/2010 1:30 pm Charleston Southern North Charleston, S.C. W 34-23
9/18/2010 7:00 pm Union (Ky.) Spartanburg, S.C. W 48-10
10/2/2010 1:30 pm * Furman Spartanburg, S.C. W 38-17
10/9/2010 6:00 pm * Georgia Southern University Statesboro, Ga. W 33-31
10/16/2010 1:30 pm * Western Carolina Spartanburg, S.C. W 45-14
10/23/2010 1:30 pm * Elon Elon, N.C. W 28-21
10/30/2010 1:30 pm * The Citadel Spartanburg, S.C. W 35-0
11/6/2010 3:00 pm * Samford Birmingham, Ala. W 10-3
/13/2010 3:00 pm * Appalachian State University Boone, N.C. L 13-43
11/20/2010 3:00 pm * Chattanooga Spartanburg, S.C. W 45-14 SoCon Champions

Jacksonville State vs. Wofford

Last night was a tough pill to swallow. However, after being left out of the playoffs for the past two years with teams that deserved to go, the Gamecocks received a nice draw. They will host a 9-2 Wofford team. The Gamecocks aren't going to get that OVC ring, but are still in the hunt for an even better ring.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Update on Playoff Tickets

We've had a couple of questions about playoff tickets and we wanted to take a moment to address them.

As we stated before - there are no comp tickets for the playoffs. That is a rule the NCAA has in place. The question came up about tickets for player's parents. The tickets have to be purchased, per the NCAA. The JSU Athletic Department will buy these tickets and give them to the player's parents.

If you are a club level or suite ticket holder, you should have received a letter in the mail detailing how to renew your tickets for the playoffs. Club level members - your tickets are $35, which includes food. Suite holders - tickets are $20 for each seat in the suite.

Student tickets will be $5. That is the minimum amount that the NCAA allows. All other seats in the stadium will be $20.

We'll find out in a few days about the playoff schedule. Meanwhile, let's support the team as they travel to Cookeville to play Tn Tech. Who's going?

Go Gamecocks!

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Antonio Bonner

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Antonio Bonner

Anniston Star - TTU spike not fooling Gamecocks

Anniston Star - TTU spike not fooling Gamecocks

Pisgah's Holley Signs With JSU


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jamal Young Update

The only negative on the great win Saturday night was the knee injury to Senior tailback, Jamal Young. As we've said many times on this blog, he is pound for pound the toughest running back in college football. While Young has not received a lot of publicity, without his efforts the Gamecocks may have dropped a couple of games this year.

Coach Crowe provided a general update in his OVC press conference today. Young is definitely out this week. There is a chance that his season is over; however, there appears to also be a chance that he could return sometime late in the playoffs. Lets hope its the latter.

Anniston Star - Gamecocks need one more win to be ‘true’ OVC champs

Anniston Star - Gamecocks need one more win to be ‘true’ OVC champs

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Tenn Tech Game

Press Conference featuring Coach Crowe, Jason Horton, Curt Porter, Marques Ivory and James Esco.

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Tenn Tech Game

You Don't Have To Get All Mad About It

A good article from the SEMO paper about the game followed by some funny comments about the officiating. It just goes to show you that different fans have different perspectives. Many JSU fans thought we were jobbed by the officiating.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Three thoughts after the SEMO win


One thing a successful coach will do it put his playmakers in a position to make plays. As JSU improved their record to 9-1, we got a chance to see playmakers in action last night. On defense, you had Jason Horton and Jamison Wadley making big plays all afternoon. Keginald Harris, TJ Heath, and Rodney Garrott also got in on the action and made things happen for us on D. On offense, we have to start with Marques “Cool Hand” Ivory when talking about playmakers. Marques stayed cool under pressure on the last drive. In fact, Ivory had a Redhawk defender holding his ankle as he made the winning touchdown pass.

On the winning play, you can’t leave out Alan Bonner who made a huge catch just inbounds in the end zone. Many could debate which was better; the pass or the catch. But that play never happens without a huge 29-yard catch from Jeff Cameron on 2nd and 31 with less than 2 minutes left.


The atmosphere of this game was electric. SEMO brought a bus with their fans to the game. They came really fired up, hoping to win an outright conference championship on Burgess-Snow Field. JSU players and fans were determined that wasn't going to happen. As the video says "This is OUR house". The Southerners worked hard all week getting ready for the game, then on game day must have loaded up on power bars and energy drinks, because they really showed up for the game. They played in the stands the entire game. The student section was rowdy. I hope no one sat in the student section expecting to sit down during the game. Our students have done a great job this year, and took it to the next level yesterday.

Winning the conference championship

Yesterday’s win was a great win, but doesn’t mean we’ve won the OVC. JSU has to win next week to reach their goal of the OVC championship. If you’ve been thinking of attending a road game, this is it. We should have a good crowd there. If we see that there will be a good number of Gamecock fans traveling to the game, we may try to get an organized effort to cheer on the team before the game. Stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jacksonville State University - No. 6 Gamecocks Use Another Comeback to Down No. 7 Redhawks

JSU's official recap of the game.

Jacksonville State University - No. 6 Gamecocks Use Another Comeback to Down No. 7 Redhawks

Gamecocks Win!!!

We will have more later, but five quick observations:

1) there is not a cooler quarterback under pressure in the country than Marques Ivory;

2) Tig had a coming out party tonight;

3) Can you believe A. Bonner is just a soph;

4) this team never quits and never stops believing; and

5) a great vocal, home crowd tonight.

Lets take over Cookeville, Tn. next weekend. WAY TO GO GAMECOCKS!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick Notes from the Radio Show on Monday


-Coach Max Thurmond was there and talked about the defense
-We are healthy except for Kevin Dix. We are hoping he will be back for the Tn Tech game
-The team loves the interaction the band brings to the stadium. They bring a lot of energy, and so do the fans. Great job by the students this year.
-SGA President Tim Long announced that the spirit contest will be extended to the first home game of the playoffs (should there be a home playoff game – we’re counting on the football team for that)
-Also from Coach Thurmond – We’ve got to be ready to stop the run. We need our d-line and linebackers to be ready to hit and tackle.
-Semo’s smallest starting offensive lineman is 305. They try to push you out of the way.


-Coach Green and Coach Watts spoke about their basketball teams
-Coach Green talked about the exhibition game. He saw good things coming from his younger players. They started out slow, but got better as the game went along.
-Coach Watts talked about their exhibition game as well. They are a work in progress, but are getting better every day. This team will compete.
-Coach Watts also talked about developing her players as leaders on and off the court. Whenever she speaks, she takes what players are available with her. They get a chance to hear her speak of the team, brag on them, and gives them a chance to meet people in the community. We’ve already heard the impression this team has made on campus. Yesterday, in the cafeteria, I heard someone talking about Coach Watts addressing the crowd after the game on Sunday, then having the players go up into the stands and introduce themselves. This was a great move that was well-received.


-Ken Bodiford talked about the Southerers at the football games, HardCorps (Pep Band) at the basketball games, and the Southerners upcoming trip to London.
-The Southerners are preparing themselves to play this weekend like never before. Not only is it the Southerners Reunion, but the band said they will play as much as they can during the game this weekend. They are as committed to win the conference as the football team is.
-The HardCorps will bring the energy level up at the basketball games this year. The basketball coaches are even looking forward to it.
-The Southerners will be leading the Queen's New Years Parade in January 2012. It's an honor to be in the parade, but an incredible honor to lead the parade. You should be proud of your Southerners!


-Did you know you could sign up for the bus trip to the Tn Tech game? $60 include the ride and the ticket. Call the Athletic Office for more details.
-Do you know anyone not planning to be at the game this Saturday? Call and invite them. Be loud. Wear red. Go Gamecocks!

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Tyler Ogletree

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Tyler Ogletree

Monday, November 8, 2010

Catching Up With Gabriel Chambers.

In 2010, Jacksonville State probably had its best signing class in school history. There were several elite players in the group, including Coty Blanchard (Mr. Football in Alabama), highly rated offensive linemen Tristan Hardin and Preston Hatcher, JUCO All Stars Marquis George and Brannon Byrd, speedster Jeremy Nicholson and Mr. Mississippi football, Tig Barksdale. All of these players are either contributing right now or redshirting. However, one of the brightest stars of the 2010 class was Gabriel Chambers, a wide receiver from Cherokee County high school in Centre, Alabama. Unfortunately, because of NCAA clearinghouse issues, Chambers is not eligible this year and cannot practice with the team. However, he is enrolled at JSU and working hard for next year.

Gamecock fans have a lot to look forward to when Chambers is eligible to play in 2011. "Touchdown" or "Country" as he is known to friends, was part of the 2009 Cherokee County state championship team and put up some mind boggling stats. He had almost 1200 receiving yards, combined with over 190 rushing yards on just ll carries. His gridiron performance led to several post-season honors, including All-State, "Dirty Dozen" and being a member of Alabama's team in an elite 7 on 7 competition. Chambers also excelled in track, finishing second in the State in the 100 meter dash in Class 4A. Coach Fran Blanchard described Chambers as a player that "has the potential to score on almost every play."

Chambers took a break from his studies and his self-directed workouts to talk to about his recruitment, first year at JSU and goals for the future:

Q: What is your preferred nickname:

A: My main two nicknames are "Country" and "Touchdown."

Q: Who gave you the nickname Touchdown?

A: Coach Fran [Blanchard] always called me Touchdown. He coached me since I was little.

Q: Has it pretty much always been Coty at QB and you at receiver?

A: Basically, . . . [aside from a short time when Chambers played running back] its been all years him being quarterback and I've been receiver.

Q: Who is faster you or Coty?

A: [Laughing] Coty might have me. I used to run a 4.3, now I'm down to a 4.37. I'm trying to knock it down though.

Q: Why do you think your time has gone up just a bit?

A: I'm training hard every day, but I'm not able to practice every day. I'm just not consistent right now. On a bad day, . . . I will run like a 4.42, but on a good day I will run [in the 4.3s].

Q: You were part of an Elite 7 on 7 Team representing Alabama. Tell us about some of the guys you played against in that?

A: Da' Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Georgia [UT player] and Solomon Patton [Florida]. . . . We actually had only about three days to practice and [then we] went to Florida. It was a lot of talented receivers. I was put to the test because they were taller than me. Da' Rick is like 6-3 and I am only 5-8 so I had to prove that I could still do the same stuff he could do even though he is taller than me.

Q: How did you match up with Da' Rick?

A: I matched up pretty good. The only thing he has me on is the body size . . . and the height.

Q: Lets talk about your recruitment to Jacksonville State. Who are some other schools that recruited you?

A: Arkansas State. . . . I just jumped on them first, but JSU has always been there for me. My family went to JSU. . . . My top three came down to JSU, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee.

Q: What Coach recruited you to Jacksonville State?

A: Coach Ogle was on me the most. But, Coach Wannebo, Coach Letson and Coach Crowe [also recruited me] . . . . During the recruiting stage, all of the coaches were right there showing me and Coty support.

Q: Are you excited to work with Gamecocks' receivers coach, Matt Wannebo?

A: I am blessed to get to work with Coach Wannebo. . . I still get to learn something every time I talk with him.

Q: How do you like Jacksonville State so far?

A: I love it. . . . Everybody here knows me. If someone sees me walking, I will hear someone say "Country" and I just throw my hand up!

Q: I am sure it is frustrating sitting out this year. What do you do on gameday?

A: I'm right there in the stands cheering the team on.

Q: What was it like to see your life long friend have such a great game at Ole Miss?

A: I grew up with Coty. I know when it's crunch time he's going to perform, he's not going to back down. He was in this situation before, in the state championship game, down to the last minute, Coty made a tremendous play. Its just like he repeats things he's already done, but just in a better way. He can do it [at] any level. . . I think he can do it on the next level too.

Q: We hear you made a great play in the State Championship game as well. Do you know what we are referring to?

A: [Yes, in the last minute of the game] We had just received a holding call [and it moved us back]. At the beginning of the play, I remember Coty was looking at me. When he looked at me a certain way, I know that he just wanted to chunk it and I was supposed to go out there and get it. I ran the fade route, it was not the best fade route I could run, . . . [the player on the other team grabbed the ball] but I knew I had to do it for my team . . . so I just took the ball from him and I kept my foot in bounds. That play set Coty up for the touchdown.

Q: How excited have you been about the Gamecocks' success this year?

A: I'm excited, but its also killing me because I'm supposed to be out there. . . . But, maybe it’s a good thing I'm sitting out because I have a chance to get faster, stronger and bigger.

Q: Tell us what you do since you are not permitted to practice with the team this year?

A: I am learning the playbook, so I can [compete] for the starting lineup next year. . . . When I'm not there, I work. I'm either in the weight room, doing some kind of conditioning drill, working on my speed, catching the ball. I have someone throw me like 100 balls a day. My cousin, Maurice Dupree [former Gamecock great] comes on Wednesdays and I throw and catch on Wednesday.

Q: What is Maurice doing now?

A: He just signed a contract to play Arena football.

Q: Has he given you advice on what it takes to succeed at the college level?

A: Coach Crowe told me . . . that Maurice said [that I was better than him]. That gave me expectations that I have to be better than him. I have set goals to break [some of Maurice's records] at Jacksonville State.

Q: What is your style of play as a wide receiver?

A: My style of play is [to get the defender] leaning one way and go the opposite way. I try to outrun people, I don't try to run people over that much [because of my size]. . . . I am constantly working to get better and better.

Q: I know you wore #4 in high school or you going to ask James Shaw to let you have it next year?

A: I had #4 since I was little. But, after something big like winning a state championship I was talking with my Mom and I was [saying] I think its time to give up [number 4]. I did pretty well with it in high school [winning a state championship]. So I think I'm going to switch to number 1.

Q: What are your personal goals for next year?

A: My first goal is to not let my teammates get down and to help them whenever they need my help. To be a leader. . . . Even though I will be a freshman next year, I don't want to go downhill. I want to always go forwards, not go backwards. I want to set goals. I want to beat Maurice's [records]. If I can't get it my first year, I want to do it before I get out of college.

Q: Last question, who would win a game of 2 on 2 basketball if you and Coty, the Cherokee County boys, played Marques Ivory and Kevyn Cooper, the Warner Robins boys?

A: [Laughing] Definitely, its going to be me and Coty! We have been playing with each other since we were little. We know where each other is going to be on the court. Coty is a pure shooter so I can just pass it. . . . So, of course, me and Coty would would win.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

EKU Post Mortem

Its tough when you win so much that any loss comes as a shock. A few thoughts on the loss:

*EKU is a different team when they are at home. They are undefeated at home this year and winless on the road;

*The Gamecocks loss came as a result of 7 plays: 4 long passes by EKU, a failed fake punt, an EKU kick return for a touchdown and an EKU fumble return for a touchdown.

*EKU only completed 6 passes, but 4 of those accounted for over 200 yards. One receiver had 205 of their 244 receiving yards.

*On 2 or 3 critical occassions, the Gamecocks just could not stop EKU on 3rd and 4th down conversions.

*The Gamecocks were really missing Kevin Dix. His ability to pressure the quarterback might have stopped 1 or 2 of those long passes.

*Overshadowed by the loss were amazing performances by Marques Ivory and the receivers, particularly Jeff Cameron. Ivory was 30-49 for 449 yards. Cameron had 10 catches for 190 yards.

*The Gamecocks running backs only carried it 12 times, but when you are having as much success as JSU was passing- why run. Calvin Middleton only had 1 carry. Lets hope he's healthy against SEMO.

*Next weekend is one of the biggest games in the last ten years for the Gamecocks. Everything is on the line: 1) a conference championship (JSU would still need to beat Tn. Tech); 2) playoff invititations, seeding and a possible bye week; and 3) pride. Invite your friends, family and everybody you know. Lets give the Gamecocks a 12th man on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Keginald Harris

A good article from the Jax Nexs on Keggie "Tru" Harris.

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Keginald Harris

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Notes from the Gamecock Huddle Radio Show last night

Last night’s radio show featured Coach Ronnie Letson and JSU’s quarterbacks. We heard from all four; Marques Ivory, Coty Blanchard, Thomas Darrah, and Stephen Coates. We also heard from legendary Gamecock quarterback, Ed Lett.

Letson had a couple of lines about each quarterback as he introduced them. We’ve paraphrased his response here.

Ivory – Marques is in his first year as the full-time starter, but he’s had playing time before now. Marques is smart. He’s like having a coach on the field. He has great leadership skills and is respected by his teammates. He makes adjustments that keep us out of bad plays. Last week, Marques was 10-12 passing. One of those passes was dropped.

Blanchard – Coty has one of the highest passing efficiencies in the nation. He may not have enough pass attempts to qualify as a leader nationally, but he does everything we ask him. Last week, he completed all four pass attempts. Only one game, UT Martin, did Coty complete less than 60% of his passes. Coty keeps getting better each week.

Darrah – Thomas has made great strides this year. He had shoulder surgery shortly after arriving here and the healing process kept him out of spring drills. He’s feeling a lot better now. He got a chance to play a little in the past 2 games. He’s done well. It’s tough to try to get 3 quarterbacks worked into a rotation. Thomas has kept a great attitude and will contribute here. When (Stephen) Coates went down with an injury, Thomas went to the scout team to help us out. He didn’t complain and that means a lot.

Coates – Stephen was redshirted this year. When you have two freshmen quarterbacks, you have to redshirt one of them. With Blanchard being the punter, it just made sense to redshirt Stephen. He’s a great athlete. He’s grasping more and more of the offense. He will shine at JSU.

Marques on EKU…”We have to go in there focused. We have something to prove – we lost the last time we played there. We’re going to have to play hard.”

Cherokee County Herald - Jacksonville State remains No 2 in latest FCS football rankings

Cherokee County Herald - Jacksonville State remains No 2 in latest FCS football rankings

Anniston Star - The final month of the season will be key for the Gamecocks

Anniston Star - The final month of the season will be key for the Gamecocks

Monday, November 1, 2010

Playoff Tickets

Information was sent out today on playoff tickets. At 8-0, we're hoping the football team continues it's winning ways. If they do, we're sure to have playoff football at Burgess-Snow Field. How many playoff games can we have here? That's up to our football team.

Anything can happen, but the way it looks right now, we would get a bye in the first round of the playoffs, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The next Saturday, December 4th, would be a home playoff game. If we win that game, we could have one more home game before the championship game in TX.

Tickets for the home playoff games...Here is how it will work:
Since this is an NCAA Championship contest, there can be no complimentary tickets. This applies to students as well. Student tickets will be $5.

Suites - Suite owners will have use of their suite for the game. They will have to buy game tickets to use the suite. Those game tickets are $20. The same food arrangements apply to the playoff game that were in place for the regular season games. Menus will be sent to suite holders.
If you did not have a suite in the regular season, but would like one for the playoff game, game day suite packages are available. Please call the Athletic Department for more information.

Club Level - If you bought club level season tickets, you can get your club level ticket for the playoffs for $20 plus $15 for the buffet. This is sold as a package. The total is $35 per seat, up to the number of seats you had as season tickets. If you didn't have club level season tickets but would like club level seats for the playoffs, they are $125 per ticket.

All other tickets in JSU Stadium will be $20. Watch for more information on tickets. Gamecock Illustrated believes the best strategy is to get your tickets early. Avoid the long lines - Don't wait until the day of the game.

Go Cocks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

APSU's Coach on Jacksonville State

At the OVC weekly teleconference, Austin Peay Coach Rick Christophel was asked how good Jacksonville State was. Here is what he said:

"I think they are a mid-Conference USA team. There is 3, 4 or 5 teams in Conference USA they can line up and play with and beat. . . . Plus, everything they've got going there facility wise. . . . Its just amazing what they've done. That's the step they've taken forward. They've set the pace in this conference . . ."

We think the Gamecocks would beat more than 5 teams in C-USA, but quite a compliment from an opposing coach.

App. State Take on Playoff Picture

Behind the Mic with David Jackson — Oct. 27, 2010 - Appalachian State Mountaineers | Official Athletics Site

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Jamison Wadley

A great story from the Jacksonville News on Jamison Wadley!

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with Jamison Wadley

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anniston Star - No 2 Gamecocks put in extra effort on bye week

A good article from the Star on the Jacksonville State's plans for the off-week.

Anniston Star - No 2 Gamecocks put in extra effort on bye week

Monday, October 25, 2010

Radio Show talks Basketball

We had the pleasure of attending the Gamecock Huddle show tonight with the "Voice", Mike Parris and Associate Athletic Director David Farrar. We got a chance to be on air for a few minutes, hitting some highlights from the football game this weekend. Tonight's show, however, revolved around basketball. Coach James Green and Coach Annette Watts made the trip to Tennessee today for the OVC Basketball meetings. They made it back just in time for the radio show.

If it's true that a team will take on the personality of its coach, both of our teams will have what it takes to win. Coach Green and Coach Watts bring energy, discipline, and hard work to the court each day. Talk to either one of them for two minutes, and you will know it for yourself. Coach Green talked about his 5 AM practices with the men's team. Practicing at 5 AM gets his players through with practice in time for class, and gives them the rest of the day to live the life of most college students. Of course, you can't keep getting up for 5:00 practice if you stay out late.

Coach Watts talked about taking her team to run hills on 11th street east of campus. Running 25 hills showed Coach Watts what kind of character this team has. They have a treacherous schedule this year, playing teams like Florida State, Auburn, and Georgia Tech. However, our team is determined to play as hard as they can, and be in their best physical condition.

We don't know what the record will look like this year, but we are sure we are heading in the right direction.

Mens Ehibition game Nov. 4th at 7PM
Ladies Exhibition game Nov. 7th at 2PM

Anniston Star - JSU s Odie Rush has game

A good article from last week on offensive tackle, Odie Rush

Anniston Star - JSU s Odie Rush has game

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Conference Race

The OVC appears to be down to a two team race. SEMO is undefeated with only two games remaining (UTM and at JSU). The Gamecocks have three games remaining: EKU, Tennessee Tech and SEMO.

If our math is right, even if SEMO was to lose next week to UTM, it could still win the conference outright by beating Jacksonville State. Likewise, JSU could drop a game against either EKU or Tech and still win the conference by beating SEMO.

Tennessee Tech may still be in it- we are not sure. It is possible that JSU, Tennessee Tech and SEMO could all have 2 losses, but highly unlikely.

The cure for all of this figurin is for JSU to win every game. Not only does that guaranty an OVC Title, JSU would get a bye in the 1st round of the playoffs and likely home field advantage at least in one game.

If we've got it wrong, someone let us know.

Devon Hayes!!!

Who was that big body playing left guard for the Gamecocks on Saturday? None other than Devon Hayes, the big lineman from Lineville, Alabama. With an injury to the Vestavian Nightmare, Justin Kay, Hayes received his first career start (and to our knowledge first significant playing time). We don't know how Hayes graded out, but the Gamecocks ran the ball at will on Peay so he must have done pretty well.

Congrats to Devon Hayes for sticking with it and stepping up when his name was called.

Its been mentioned before, but the offensive line this year is an amazing story. On Saturday, the Gamecocks were minus THREE PRE-SEASON STARTERS (Chambers, M. Jones and Kay), yet still dominated. Somebody is doing some coaching.

Anniston Star - Gamecocks throttle Austin Peay

Anniston Star - Gamecocks throttle Austin Peay

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"The Four-Headed Hydra"

Here's a link to an article on JSU from

For those of you that will not click on a link, I've posted it below.

Govs focus on slowing JSU's multi-headed attack
No. 3 Gamecocks doubly solid at QB and RB

The potential trouble gets bigger as the number grows smaller.

Austin Peay had to worry about a two-headed monster in running back Henry Harris and quarterback Matt Scheible when it faced No. 13 Southeast Missouri last week.
Now the Govs (2-2, 1-3 OVC) have to focus stopping the four-headed hydra that leads No. 3 Jacksonville State in quarterbacks Marques Ivory and Coty Blanchard and running backs Calvin Middleton and Jamal Young.

"It's definitely going to be a great challenge because they have great quarterbacks and great running backs," defensive end Preston Keck said. "They have great players and really are a great solid team. It's going to be tremendous challenge for us to go out there and compete with them. We're going to try our best and especially on defense, but we need to stop the run."

The quartet allows the third-ranked Gamecocks (6-0, 3-0 OVC) to be a very balanced team.
Jacksonville State is averaging 161.0 rushing yards a game with 12 rushing touchdowns and is passing for 189.4 average yards a game with 15 passing scores.
Middleton leads JSU with 306 rushing yards on 62 attempts with three TDs and Young has 305 yards on 50 carries with four scores and both have started three games each.
"We've got a really good field manager in Marques Ivory," JSU coach Jack Crowe said. "He's putting us in the right plays and executing the critical parts that belong to him. If there is balance it's because of his mental consistency and his consistency of getting us into the right play. We are a run-pass balance team right now and it's puzzling, because I think we've struggled running the ball a little bit. But what's close to me and how I believe you win a championship is by running the ball. But right now the consistency of the running game isn't as consistent as the passing game."

But it's the quarterback tandem that makes the Gamecocks really special.
Ivory is the unquestioned starter and has thrown for 1,076 yards on 91-of-157 passing with 9 touchdowns, five interceptions and a quarterback rating of 127.27 in seven starts.

He was at the helm and threw the two touchdown passes that tied Ole Miss at the end of the fourth quarter and the end of the first overtime in Jax State's eventual 49-48 two-overtime victory.
Coty, also a highly-regarded pitcher and JSU's punter, has played in every game and performed admirably all season as the No. 2 signal caller, even though he's only passed for 250 yards, connected on 20-out-of-33 with six touchdowns and two interceptions.
He was responsible for the touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion that sealed the deal against the Rebels.

So both guys have shined bright in the spotlight and it shows with JSU's undefeated record and high national ranking. But it must make it difficult to game plan for the pair?

"You just have to play against their offense no matter who is in there," Govs coach Rick Christophel said. "Marques Ivory is a really good football player and is a senior with a lot of playing experience and Blanchard is good, too. There's isn't one phase of their offense they can't run. So you have to prepare for the entire offense and hopefully we'll have the right people on the field. Maybe we'll put 14 out there to see if we can stop them."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marques Ivory Post Game Comments

Here are comments from Junior QB, Marques Ivory following the win over Tennessee State:

Assessing his performance:

"I didn't play that good today, but I felt pretty comfortable. I did throw an interception- a little miscommunication. I didn't practice this week, but really one day so I was just off on that. I think this week I will be better."

How does the rotation impact you:

"It doesn't really bother me. I know [the coaches] have a plan and we work on the plan in practice. That's really not a problem at all. Coty has some things that he does really, really good."

Your movement seems better- do you feel that way:

"Yes, I do a little bit. I have been doing a little extra running trying to lose some weight."

How nice is it to have so many talented receivers to utilize:

"Its real nice. They can't focus on just shutting down one guy, they have to play all of them. I can go anywhere on the field at any time."

How special was it for the two Warner Robbins players (WR Kevyn Cooper caught the long pass in OT) to have such a big impact on the Ole Miss game:

"It was real special. A lot of people back home have been calling us and writing us about it. I'm glad [Kevyn] got to do something great, he is my cousin."

What's it like being 7-0:

"I expected it. I'm not really surprised by it. We talked about it before coming into the season that we thought we had a really good team and if we just stayed out of trouble, [avoided grade issues] and did what the coaches told us to do [we would have success]."

Any danger of this team losing focus or getting cocky being 7-0:

"No. We are not going to let it happen. The leaders on this team are not going to let that happen. Especially the seniors, . . . they know the importance of not letting that happen."

Gadsden Times Looks Back at the 1970 Team and The Origins of Cocky

Anniston Star - Jack don’t know but appreciates

A great article from the Star on the increased school spirit at JSU.

Anniston Star - Jack don’t know but appreciates

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Austin Peay Game

Monday press conference featuring Keginald Harris, Odie Rush, Marques Ivory and Coach Crowe.

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Austin Peay Game

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Middleton: "We are hungry and we are going to keep eating until we get it."

The Gamecocks had a big boost getting feature running back Calvin Middleton back in the mix on more than a limited basis. The Junior from Cobb County has been slowed by a foot injury since the Murray game, but has come back strong the last two weeks. Middleton is the type of back that turns a two yard game into a 5 yard one and is also capable of taking it to the house as evidenced by his TD runs in each of the last two games. Against Tn. State, Middleton rushed for 88 yards on just 12 carries, narrowly missing 100 yards for the second straight week. Here is what he had to say following the Gamecocks shutout of the Tigers:

Q: How is the foot and how does it feel to be getting back out there:

A: The foot is getting better. It was great to be back out there with the team and help them out when its needed. Hopefully, by the end of the season I will be back to 100%. For right now, its doing pretty good.

Q: What did it mean to you the way Jamal Young stepped up in the games that you missed with injury:

A: When I come out I really don’t get upset about it because I know that Jamal is just as good as me and he can get the job done as well and so can our other running backs. So when I come out of the game you don’t see me get upset about it.

Q: After the fake punt, you took it around the edge for a td run- break that play down for us:

A: The offensive line. That’s all I have to say. They blocked it out perfect. The receivers on the outside blocked. All I had was one man to beat and I beat him. It was blocked out perfect.

Q: How big of a deal was it having all of the starters back on the offensive line:

A: It was a big deal because we had Tyler Ogletree back healthy. The chemistry was a lot better out there. Having Tyler back out there and having Cory [Freeman] back at tight end it felt great.

Q: What is the team’ thought process right now in terms of the conference race:

A: We would love to win out, but we are taking it one game at a time. Our mindset is to get the conference championship. Nobody is going to stop us from our goal. I can tell you that.

Q: How does it feel to be back in the playoff hunt after being ineligbile last year:

A: It feels great. We have been waiting for it for two years. When we found out [about being ineligible] last year all the way until this year. It feels good. We are hungry and we are going to keep eating until we get it.

Big Texas: "Sometimes People Don't Like Getting Hit In the Mouth."


If you need a good quote after the game, go to Rodney “Big Texas” Garrott, the junior from Sparkman High School is never at a loss for words. But, more importantly, his words are matched by actions. Garrott never takes a play off and plays with an all-out intensity a la Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. Here is what he had to say after the dominant performance against Tennessee State:

Comments on the shutout:

“You can’t really plan for it-- to shut a team out. But when it happens it is something special. That is what we are working for. We would love to shut out every team [but its hard to do] but sometimes everything just works in the right way.”

“We watched film and they are a running team. All practice we said we were going to stop the run, that’s our main priority. We came out and stopped the run. We made them go to something they were less comfortable with and it showed. They were not able to stretch the field. . . .”

On the intensity and extracurricular activity between the teams:

"It’s a physical game. Sometimes people don’t like getting hit in the mouth. Its hard from their point of view and I think they got a little frustrated by it. A little talking never hurt anybody."

The team’s focus:

"You can’t look past an opponent. We are taking it one game at a time. Every game is our OVC Championship. . . If we keep that approach we are going to win it all. That’s how we are going at it."

Antonio Bonner Breaks It Down


Antonio Bonner, a senior linebacker from McEachern High School in Marietta, Georgia, had another fine game leading the Gamecocks with 7 tackles. Here is what he had to say after the game:

His expectations coming into the game:

“Tennessee State was a good team on film. Good running backs. We thought it was going to be a tough game today so we had to have a lot of focus coming into today, give it everything we had.”

The Defenses’ feelings at half -time after leading 17-0:

“Everybody got real serious. There wasn’t any laughing or playing around. We had a goal [to get] a goosegg.”

When did he sense a shutout might happen:

“I’d say about the third quarter because I felt like they started to give up.”

On the intensity increasing when Tn. State, threatened:

“Every play . . . Somebody would say ‘turn it up’ [or] ‘turn it to another level.’ Everybody knows what we can do out there when we play together.”

His reaction to the shutout:

“Real psyched. We worked hard every day in practice preaching about getting a shutout. Every day. Coach preached to us ‘run to the ball.’ That’s what helped us, running to the ball.”

“We were real satisfied [getting a shutout]. We worked all summer long, practice, two a days, preaching about getting a goose egg, shutting a team out. We want to make sure we get another one.”

On some of the young linebackers stepping up:

“James Powell has stepped up a lot. Coming into the year, Coach was kind of iffy about him, but I knew deep down inside he had it. I preach at him every day in practice: ‘Go hard, Go hard!” It feels good, he is starting to show up now.”

On JUCO transfer Brannon Byrd:

“Brannon Byrd is a tough player. He is going to get in there and make his plays. When we get tired, we don’t have to worry about anything. Brannon Byrd is going to get in there and make that play.”

The Team’s Goals:

11-0. That’s one of our main goals to go undefeated in the conference so we can get in the playoffs and have it here. . . . We embrace it every day in practice. We break it down: ‘OVC Champs, 11-0.”

Jack Crowe Post Tn State Comments


The Gamecocks had their most convincing win of the season, but in his post-game comments, Coach Crowe seemed anything but happy about it. I think Coach Crowe senses this team can do something special and is taking the intensity up a notch.

On Where the team is:

“We are a work in progress.” . . .[But] We still lack the ability to put people away. . . . We are a resourceful group of football players and we can do about anything, but we lack the ability to control a game late.”

“Right now, SEMO would beat us by 10 points. . . . Its because we can’t run the ball when we have to run the ball.”

On Whether the Gamecocks were able to improve execution by keeping it simple:

“I don’t think that we were actually able to [do that] from the looks of it. We still had missed assignments and inconsistencies.”

On the Defensive effort:

“I think they benefited from [field position]. What we say is every possession [for the other team] that starts inside the 30 there is a 1 in 8 chance that somebody can drive the ball on us. But, the defense did a good job on the one turnover [on our side of the field]. I’m proud of our defense. Shutouts are hard to [come by].”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Mess With (Big) Texas

Right about the time we started doing this blog, spring football practice was about to start in the spring of 2009. We went to the spring scrimmages to see players like Santez Mays, Brandt Thomas, Carnell Clark, and Ryan Perrilloux. Throughout the scrimmage, the player wearing #77 on defense kept getting our attention. Quite often, players aren’t wearing their regular season numbers in spring practice, so we had no idea who the player was. Curt Porter wears #77, but he plays offensive line. We just knew 77 in the red jersey (defensive team) was in the offensive backfield on almost every play. He made it really difficult for the offense to get in sync. After the scrimmage, we asked one of the coaches if he could tell us who this guy is. As it turns out, he’s the same guy that was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week after the Ole Miss game…Rodney “BigTexas” Garrott.

After watching him creating mayhem for opposing teams for several weeks, we got an opportunity to get to know the junior linebacker a little better.

Below are pictures from that spring scrimmage...

Q: How did you get the name Big Texas?

A: I was born in Illinois, but raised in TX. I lived there most of my life. When we moved to AL from Texas, the name just stuck with me.

Q: Tell us a little about the road you took to get to JSU.

A: I was recruited by several schools; UAB, Southern Miss, Memphis…some Conference USA schools. When I made a visit to JSU, I really liked it here and liked the defensive coach. That made a difference.

Q: The Ole Miss game this year is unforgettable. Describe how you felt after that game.

A: The first thing I thought was about how tired I was. I played every play of the game, and it went into double overtime, so I was real tired. Afterwards though, it was a great feeling. It was great to be there with my teammates.

Q: What defensive adjustments were made at halftime of the Ole Miss game? They only scored 3 during the second half (not counting the overtime).

A: No real adjustments. We needed the time to catch our breath. We knew we could play better defensively. We raised our level of focus and cut our mental errors. That was really the key.

Q: Were you surprised with the number of people that met the busses when the team got back to JSU?

A: Well, we heard there were a lot of people waiting. (You can spread the word pretty fast with facebook and texts these days) Still, it felt really good that so many people came out. We were all impressed.

Q: A couple of weeks after the Ole Miss game, we played Ga State. They played us a lot closer than most people expected. What happened there?

A: We’re a target for just about everyone we play now. We get everyone’s best shot. We can watch film, and see teams miss plays, miss blocks, make mistakes. Then we get on the field with them, and they give more effort. They make those plays against us – they give it their best. That’s what happens – not just with Ga State, but with everyone we play.

Q: You are motivated and focused every week. What do you do to keep that focus week after week?

A: I love football. I have a real passion for it. I take it serious. I'm blessed with the opportunity to play football. I always challenge myself to play a game like it’s my last one.

Q: When you are getting after the quarterback, how do you explain your ability to get by the offensive linemen and disrupt plays in the backfield? You seem to do that at will.

A: Sometimes I’m in pass coverage from a linebacker position and sometimes I line up as an end and rush the passer. I played d-end when I first got to JSU, and have kept the “tools” I learned there. I’ve been told that in situations like that, where I want to get into the backfield, and the o-lineman is trying to block me, that 90% of it is just who wants it more. You’ve got to want it more. I’m thinking “does he work harder than me?” No. I want it more.

Q: Who is an influence on you?

A: Everyone on the team right now, especially the defensive players. We spend a lot of time together. Our seniors really inspire me to work hard. On another level, I think Ray Lewis (LB for the Baltimore Ravens) inspires me. He’s just so intense.

Q: Calvin Middleton was hurt for a while. How is he doing?

A: Calvin is getting better every day. I don’t know how far away he is from 100%, but I saw him today and he looks better all the time. He doesn’t have to be 100% to help this team.

Q: Do you notice any of the younger guys showing out on the scout team?

A: (Fullback) Jahron Brown. He’s really putting in the work and will be a good player for JSU. We have a few receivers out there that look really good. We have some good young players at all positions.

Q: What would you say to a young guy considering playing football at JSU?

A: First, I’d tell him “I hope you’re in shape. We run all over the field here.” Seriously, I’d tell him to come to JSU with great expectations. I’d ask him if he wants greatness for himself. We want to dare to be great.

Q: Brannon Byrd, one of your teammates on defense, has been making quite a few plays. What would you say about him?

A: He’s a juco transfer. I’d say Brannon is exactly what coaches look for in a juco player – a player that can come in and make plays and be a leader.

Q: You go against our offense often in practice. Who do you enjoy competing against on our offense?

A: I’d say Cory Freeman. He deserves credit for my success. Cory makes we work hard and earn it every day.

Q: While we’ve won all of our games, most people will say that some of the games have been closer than they should have been. How close are we to becoming a dominant football team?

A: We’re not dominant yet. We’re still far from where we can be, but not that far from being dominant. It’s no further that a game away.

Q: What are your plans after college?

A: Well, getting a job would be a priority. I am seriously considering going to graduate school. Of course, I’d love to play football at the next level. I’ll give that all I can, but if it doesn’t work out, grad school is a great option.

Q: Thanks for your time tonight. Before we go, is there anything you’d like to say to the Gamecock Nation?

A: Atmosphere is a big deal. I got here in 2007. I’ve seen small crowds and big ones. It’s a lot easier to get up for a game when there’s a big crowd. Come out to the game and make some noise. JSU is a great atmosphere. I love it!

Thanks Big Texas. Good luck this week. Go Gamecocks!

Brooks Robinson Becoming Special Teams impact Player

Each week all of the OVC coaches do a teleconference. Here are some interesting notes from Coach Crowe's conference:

*Crowe talked about Darrell Prater (sorry if misspelled) who played in the early 2000s as being one of the few guys that "the bus would wait on" because of his amazing special teams ability. Crowe said that this team has another player that may fit that mold, defensive back Brooks Robinson. Robinson, a converted quarterback, is making play after play on special teams for the Gamecocks. He also had the game saving interception against EIU.

*Crowe was really excited that Tn. State was bringing their band which should make for a great atmosphere. He urged the JSU fans to get out and support the team.

*Offensive line continues to be problematic. JSU was minus 3 starters against UTM. He said that it will probably be Thursday before we know whether Tyler Ogletree can play. Not sure on this, but it sounds like the Gamecocks are attempting to save a redshirt on some guys that might could help this year.

*Crowe praised the quarterbacks and the great relationship they have with each other. On Coty Blanchard: "There's something special about this guy." Crowe alluded that the Gamecocks may utilize some new packages to take advantage of Blanchard's unique talents. Editor's note: We are just fans that support the Gamecocks 100 percent, but we'd love to see Coty air it out more to open up the running lanes.

*I liked this quote from Coach Crowe to end the press conference: "We take on each play. We play at full speed. We believe we are going to make something happen."

*He never came out and said this, but you could sense that Coach Crowe believes the Gamecocks are close to really breaking out as a football team.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gamecock Football Radio Show

Did you hear the football radio show last night? Associate Athletic Director David Farrar has used a new format this year. It's an interactive program, with live guests in the studio, featuring JSU coaches in various sports, student groups, and football players. It's hosted by Mike Parris, and is broadcast live on WLJS 91.9 FM and on WVOK.

Last night, guests included the student group Freshman Forum, Cross Country Coach Steve Ray, Tennis Coach Steve Bailey, the outside linebackers from the football team, LB coach Max Thurmond, and even Gamecock Illustrated got in on the action.

Coach Ray told some interesting stories about one of his team members getting a javelin stuck in her leg and about the team's recent trip to Chicago. Coach Bailey says our tennis team is looking good this year. We'll get into conference play in the spring. Coach Bailey also used to coach golf and women's basketball at JSU.

Coach Crowe discussed the upcoming game vs. Tn State. We'll have to be prepared to stop the run. Tn State has had a lot of success running the ball this season. They are second in the OVC in running the ball. They are first in the league in stopping the pass.

We got the chance to ask a couple of questions - With the injuries to the offensive line, we played Cory Freeman, our starting tight end, at guard last week. He is undersized at that position. Will we have enough healthy bodies so that we can avoid moving him again? Coach Crowe answered by saying that we will not know until Tuesday. On Tuesday, they will be able to evaluate players like Tyler Ogletree to see if he will be able to play this week. We also asked if there were younger players that have caught his eye that may contribute during the balance of the year. Coach Crowe mentioned Max Holcombe, an offensive lineman that has seen action already this year. Max is a freshman from Tuscaloosa who is listed on the roster at Center. With the way the o-line has been shuffled this year, Max can probably play guard too. Coach Crowe also mentioned Lequintez Reynolds, a redshirt freshman from Troy, AL. Lequintez plays fullback and has already seen some action this year both at fullback and on special teams. Another young player Coach Crowe mentioned was Denzell Cheeks. Denzell is from Swainsboro, GA and is playing Tight End. Denzell came to JSU out of high school as a Defensive End, and has made the transition to playing offense. He scored his first touchdown last weekend against Martin. Cheeks has the height (6'6") and the athleticism to make him a great player at JSU.

The radio show is very enjoyable. Coach Farrar has done an excellent job changing to this format. If you haven't tuned in yet, listen next Monday evening at 6 PM Central. If you are in the local area, you can also watch the show on TV24. It's also replayed during the week.

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Tennessee State Game

Press Conference link- comments from Coach Crowe, Ivory, Whiddon and D. Cheeks.

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Tennessee State Game

Anniston Star - Gamecocks not worried about numbers only victories

Anniston Star - Gamecocks not worried about numbers only victories

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Post Martin Thoughts

*In the history of football, has there ever been a team that is 6-0 that keeps getting outgained by their opponents? Who cares, the Cocks are 6-0.

*Likewise, has there ever been a 6-0 team that doesn't have a single offensive lineman playing the same position that they played in the Spring? This is really the story to the season. Matt Jones and Tylor Chambers suffer season ending injuries in the pre-season. Ever since then, there has been an amazing amount of shuffling. Curt Porter has seemingly played every position on the line. Today, the Gamecocks were missing criminal justice major, Tyler Ogletree. Amazingly, tight end Cory Freeman filled in for the whole game at guard.

*Coach Crowe said that Calvin Middleton may only be 80%. Look out if he ever gets to 100%. Middleton almost reached the 100 yard mark for the 2nd year against Martin and averaged over 6 yards per carry.

*Marques Ivory was having a fantastic game before going down with an injury. Crowe indicated he should be back next week. Ivory seems to get better every week.

*Tig did not get any carries today.

*While the defense gave up some yards, it was an impressive effort. Antonio Bonner, the Senior from McEachern high school in Georgia, continues to rack up the tackles. Hopefully, AJ Davis is ok after being on the receiving end of a UTM cheap shot. Keginald "Tru" Harris got his 4th pick.

*For one of the first times this year, it seemed like the defensive line had all of its horses. Its just one person's opinion, but it seems like #99 Tim McGee just disrupts opposing offenses when he is in the game. JUCO transfer Marquis George and Jameson Wadley were constantly pressuring UTM's quarterback. By the way, Murray scored 72 today so it kind of makes last week's effort look even better.

*The special teams were really special today. The hidden yardage included Coty punting for over a 40 yard average with almost no returns and putting UTM deep in their own territory twice. Likewise, JSU had several deep kickoffs with no effective returns by UTM. Conversely, James Shaw and Alan Bonner had several great kick and punt returns respectively.

*Its another big game Saturday in Jacksonville. Tennessee State comes to town. They finished 3-1 in their "classic" games and narrowly missed upsetting OVC leading SEMO. Lets sell it out on Saturday!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Morning Thoughts

Its a lot easier to go to work when you are winning. Here are some thoughts about the Murray game and the first 5 weeks of the season:

*The Gamecocks' opponents have more 1st downs, more yards rushing and more yards passing. Yet, Jacksonville State is an amazing 5 and 0. Statistically, JSU does dominate time of possession and leads on third down conversions.

*Jamal Young is turning in a season to remember. He is averaging an amazing 7 yards per carry, plus he has not fumbled since the UTC game. Against Murray, on what seemed like back to back plays he torched them for a long run, then took a short pass and turned it into a big gainer.

*There is another hidden gem in the Gamecock backfield, Alphonso Freeney. Freeney is averaging 6 yards per carry from the FULLBACK spot and is also a good receiver. Keep giving it to him until somebody stops him.

*Tig Barksdale is also looking good. It seems like the Gamecocks are a little predictable with Tig though, almost always running it up the middle. Loved the option play with him and Coty at Ole Miss, hopefully the Gamecocks will run it again this season.

*Speaking of Coty, his QB efficiency rating is 200.8. I don't know what that means, but its really good. Combined, Coty and Ivory have a 141.7 QB rating, compared to the opponents' 115.3 rating. That may be why Jax State is undefeated.

*If you looked close on special teams Saturday night, you saw 3rd string QB Thomas Darrah on the punt return team. Its tough to play 2 qbs, much less 3, but its great to know there is another talented qb on the roster.

*AJ Davis says Jeff Cameron is the Gamecocks' best receiver, but he had been pretty quiet until Saturday night. The Tupelo native took two long receptions to the house. It was also great to see Jax State stretch the field on Saturday night.

*Another player that broke out Saturday night was Alan Bonner. His kick return for a touchdown was huge.

*It followed a punt return set up by the fact that Murray seemed to know exactly where JSU was going to punt. Interestingly, on the next one, Coty punted to the left and it resulted in JSU putting Murry inside the 10.

*JSU was robbed of a safety. Go to to see the photo.

*On defense, the Gamecocks went with a quick lineup against Murray frequently playing Robert Gray in what looked like more of a linebacker spot. In what sounds like a broken record, Big Texas Garrott was flying around the field hitting people all night. Brannon Byrd, #45, was a great JUCO pickup. He really hits people. Another linebacker that stood out was Brent Tolson, the redshirt freshman from Anniston had 10 tackles.

*If anything, the Gamecocks were unpredictable against Murray. JSU tried a reverse on the opening kick-off, converted a fake punt from deep in their own territory on 4th and 14 and successfully executed an on sides kick. Late in the game, JSU threw it a couple of times when most folks were expecting a run.

*One of the biggest improvements in the Stadium is the lighting. It is so much better and just creates a big time atmosphere for the games.

*If you have not tried the club level, by a single game ticket and do so. Great food, tvs everywhere, lockers if you want a beverage and good fellowship. It is a phenomenal experience.

*Someone at Jax State deserves a lot of credit for working with the students to create a great student section. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

*One of these days the Gamecocks are going to get lucky and not have to go up against a big Alabama game on TV. Its probably keeping 2-3k away. Its a shame, but that's how it is.