Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anniston Star - Little Big Man Despite diminutive size Jamal Young has been ‘difference maker’ for JSU

Great article from the Star on Jacksonville State running back, Jamal Young.

Anniston Star - Little Big Man Despite diminutive size Jamal Young has been ‘difference maker’ for JSU

Potential FBS opponent?

Let's get a game with these guys

Jacksonville State University - Green Adds Schuberth To Gamecock Hoops Staff

Jax State basketball adds high quality assistant. Read about it here.

Jacksonville State University - Green Adds Schuberth To Gamecock Hoops Staff

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Murray Will Use 2 QBs


Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with A J Davis

A great article from the Jacksonville News on Awesome Jet Davis. We had a q & a w/ A.J. right before the season, search the Player Profiles if you are interested.

Jacksonville News - Up close and personal with A J Davis

Anniston Star - Racers living up to their name

The Anniston Star Scouts Murray State

Anniston Star - Racers living up to their name

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick Notes on Murray

*Murray is 1-3 this season, but two of their losses were in tight games to SEMO and Central Arkansas. They were beaten fairly handily by FBS opponent, Kent. What makes them scary this weekend is their dominant performance againt UTM.

*No sympathy from the Gamecocks who have suffered more than their fair share of injuries, but Murray's leading receiver Daniel Ard will miss the game. Ard had 28 catches on the year averaging about 70 a game.

*Murray has not played the run particularly well this year giving up about 4.6 yards per run play. This may bode well for the Gamecocks who appear to be rushing the ball better. Hopefully, Middleton will return to action on Saturday.

*By contrast, Murray had not run the ball well until the UTM game. However, they appear to have found a running back in Mike Harris who had 119 yards against UTM. The Tulsa product rushed for over 2,000 yards his senior year in high school.

*Murray will play a Mike Leach style Texas Tech offense. Coach Crowe says that they are the quickest team the Gamecocks have faced, including Ole Miss. One plus, however, is that for the first time this season (because of various reasons), the Gamecocks have a sense of certainty about what their opposition will do on defense. This game will be a test for the Gamecock secondary and demand good pass coverage from the linebackers.

*Murray recruited Coty Blanchard really hard. Coach Hatcher says he sat at two or three Cherokee County basketball games attempting to convince Coty to renege on his committment to Jacksonville State.

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

Here is a link to Coach Crowe's press conference yesterday.

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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Observations After Week 4

As everyone knows, its been a crazy four weeks. The bottom line is its great to be 4 and 0. We would love to hear thoughts from our readers, here are a few random observations:

*The first two weeks of the season were unbelievable- a historic win over an SEC foe, followed by the largest, most vibrant crowd in Jacksonville State history.

*While the Gamecocks may not be winning with style points, it is important to note that three of the wins have come on the road. Usually, only good teams win on the road.

*With each week that passes, Marques Ivory seems to play better and better. A first quarter interception against EIU aside, he has been unbelievably efficient the last two weeks. Coty is providing a spark every week. It does seem like Coty's running is more of a threat when the other team fears he might pass it as well. It was great to see Coty get a couple of throws against EIU, he barely missed hooking up with Kevyn Cooper on a long pass.

*The offensive line seems to be coming together after suffering two devastating pre-season injuries (2 yr. starter Matt Jones and All-American Tylor Chambers). The line protected Ivory and Blanchard all day long and the Gamecocks ran it well.

*Hats off to Coach Wannebo on the play of the receivers. After a few drops in the 3rd quarter against Ole Miss, they have caught everything thrown their way. Ivory seems to have found a comfort zone with John Houston Whiddon, who is leading the team in catches after sitting out with an injury last year. Don't know the status of La Ray Williams who has sat out the last couple of weeks with an undisclosed injury.

*The Gamecocks are really utilizing the tight end on offense. Freeman and Justin Howard are both getting open and catching a lot of balls.

*Not having Calvin Middleton the last couple of weeks has been tough. He is a back capable of wearing the opposition down; however, Jamal Young has been the man playing remarkably well after the fumble against UTC. While Tig hasn't broken one yet, its only a matter of time before he busts up the middle for a long one.

*Speaking of UTC, that is shaping up to be a really nice win for Jacksonville State. After losing tight games to Jacksonville State and Appalachian, the Mocs have reeled off wins against Eastern Kentucky and Western Carolina. If the Gamecocks can run the table (and that's a big if), the wins over Ole Miss and UTC will really help for post-season seeding purposes.

*With all of the good about the offense, red zone inefficiency is what has caused the last two games to be tight. The Cocks had 3 trips inside EIU's 30 which resulted in no points.

*Defensively, Jacksonville State is an enigma. At times we look dominant (see UTC), other times not so much (see Georgia State). His teammates rave about his athletic ability, but Monte Lewis has been relatively quiet so far. Perhaps, other teams are doubling him. One mystery is where is Eric Russell? The talented linebacker played a ton last year. Likewise, we thought the linebacking corps would get a lot of help from Rashad Smith and Mike Whittier, but neither has played much (Whittier may have eligibility issues after transferring from South Dakota). On offense, Jahron Brown, a talented fullback from Paudling County, is still MIA.

*This is a huge week for the Gamecocks. Murray State comes to town. Murray destroyed UT Martin last week and appears much improved under first year coach, Chris Hatcher. Hopefully, a big crowd will be there to support the Gamecocks.

Anniston Star - JSU plays down to the wire this season

An article from the Star on Jax State's last minute finishes.

Anniston Star - JSU plays down to the wire this season

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gamecocks Win 28-23

Friday, September 24, 2010

EIU Coach Calls Out the Gamecock Secondary

Here is an article from the Daily Eastern News. According to the article, one of the EIU coaches says their defensive backs are better than the Gamecocks.

Bazigos, Panthers won't back down - Sports

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Case of the Missing Video

Following their upset of Jacksonville State last year, EIU posted a video of hilights of the game on youtube. The hilights featured a celebratory lockerroom with their Coach saying something about Jacksonville State that had to be deleted. Mysteriously, the video is nowhere to be found on the internet now even though you can find hilights of other EIU victories. If you search for it now it says: "video removed by the user." Interesting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Must-Win for Eastern Illinois: an article from The Sports Network

For Eastern Illinois, a 'must-win' comes early
By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It seems funny to say a football team is facing a must-win in September, especially one that entered the season as a defending conference champion and holding a No. 18 national ranking.

Yet that describes Eastern Illinois' predicament this week. The Panthers, who went to the playoffs last year for the fourth time in the last five seasons, have had the most disappointing start of any team in the Football Championship Subdivision. They are 0-3 for the first time since 1999, losing at Iowa as expected and then to Central Arkansas, 37-7, and at UT Martin, 20-10, in their Ohio Valley Conference opener.

On Saturday, EIU desperately wants to change the script. The Panthers host Jacksonville State in Charleston, hoping to jump-start a season whose battery has been dead. The visiting Gamecocks, whom EIU was expected to battle for the OVC title, will roll into town with a No. 4 national ranking and a 3-0 record, which features the thrilling double-overtime upset of Ole Miss.

An EIU victory not only will change a lot for the Panthers, it would open up the OVC race to incredible possibilities.

But the Gamecocks, who have lost four of the last five meetings against EIU, likely see blood in the water as they prepare to take on the Panthers' injury- riddled lineup.

"We're struggling. The bottom line is we haven't played well enough to win," EIU coaching legend Bob Spoo said. "Our defense has kept us in games, they're doing their job. Offensively, we've really struggled. We've got to get better there, be competitive. But we haven't been in these first three games. That's why we're 0-3."

It says a lot that EIU's team trainer has been busier than some of the Panthers' all-conference talent.

Tailback Mon Williams isn't at full strength after missing the first two games with a strained knee and then having an ineffective season debut last Saturday at UT Martin.

And that's the good injury update.

On the offensive line, standout center Willie Henderson hasn't played since the opener because of back issues and won't play against Jacksonville State. A head injury has put starting tackle Ryan Grossman on the sideline. Possible starting tackle Mike Garrity is out for the year with an ACL injury. Even right guard Alex Pierce was banged up at UT Martin and is listed as probable for Saturday's game.

Plus, redshirt sophomore Brandon Large has struggled to replace last year's quarterback, Jake Christensen. The Panthers haven't found consistency in the pistol offense, an abbreviated shotgun system (run famously by the University of Nevada) in which the quarterback and running back are staggered in the backfield.

It all adds up to one of the lowest-ranked offenses in the FCS - one that hasn't scored in the second half of four straight games dating to last year's playoff loss to Southern Illinois.

"There's a long way to go yet and the league is really solid from top to bottom, so there's all kind of possibilities yet. You gotta continue to hope that you get a little bit better," said Spoo, whose program hasn't begun a season with four straight losses since 1977.

Spoo's counterpart, Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe, isn't buying into anything less than the usual tough game against EIU. His Gamecocks have won their last seven road games - the longest streak in the FCS - but have developed their own injury problem. Standout tailback Calvin Middleton missed last Saturday's overtime win at Georgia State with a bruised foot and might remain sidelined again this week.

"They got our film, we got their film," Crowe said. "I still see Eastern Illinois and they still see the same kind of Jacksonville State football team that they've managed to whip more than we've been able to whip them.

"Eastern Illinois' defense (led by senior outside linebacker Nick Nasti) is something that will give us a lot of trouble. They always have. I can't remember having a really good day - we've have a couple good halves against 'em - over time."

Five of the OVC's nine teams received votes in the conference's preseason poll and none is among the three atop the early standings at 1-0 - Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri and UT Martin.

Southeast Missouri's 24-21 win at Missouri Valley Football Conference power Southern Illinois, then ranked fifth nationally, was nearly as impressive as Jacksonville State taking down Ole Miss. The Redhawks, who beat Murray State in their OVC opener, go for another conference win Saturday at home against Tennessee Tech.

Should EIU topple Jacksonville State in the Gamecocks' conference opener, would it ever create one of the nation's more intriguing title races.

"Us coaches that have been here a few years, we've been saying that every year that this league is getting better, more competitive," Southeast Missouri coach Tony Samuel said. "This is not something overnight."

Taking a look at Eastern Illinois

This is a big game this weekend. Never mind that JSU is 3-0 and Eastern Illinois is 0-3. The records will not matter on Saturday. Both teams know what's on the line. The winner of this game has gone on to win the OVC or make the playoffs in 6 of the previous 7 meetings. JSU was the favored team last season and played at Paul Snow Stadium. Eastern Illinois came in and upset the Gamecocks. Here's what to look for this weekend.

Eastern Illinois is a desperate team. They are 0-3, but more importantly, 0-1 in the OVC. A loss this Saturday to JSU would give the Panthers an 0-2 conference record, and make it almost certain that the conference title is out of reach for them. If they lose, JSU would have to lose 3 conference games to open the door again for the Panthers.

Eastern Illinois offense has struggled. They haven’t scored in the second half all season. EIU did get Florida transfer, RB Mon Williams, back from injury recently, and he is expected to see more action this week, giving them a boost to their running game. Also at RB/WR is senior Jimmy Potempa, a Michigan transfer. Potempa loves to run an end around type play out of EIU's pistol formation. In the passing game, look for them to go to WR Erik Lora, who caught 11 passes for 102 yards last week vs. UT-Martin.

On defense, watch out for linebacker Nick Nasti. He’s leading the team in tackles, and has a pretty cool name for a linebacker. When the two teams played last season, Nasti led EIU in tackles that afternoon with 9.

Gamecock Illustrated sees two “keys to the game”. First – third down conversions. Eastern Illinois is only 5-of-37 on converting 3rd down to 1st down this season. The JSU defense must keep them at that low conversion rate. Last week, Ga State showed some success in converting on 3rd down. Expect EIU to change some things as they look for success. Our defense must step up on 3rd down and as Coach Stewart preaches: "Get off the field!"

Second – special teams. Last year, JSU had some young guys on the kicking teams, and it hurt. EIU successfully pulled off an onside kick to start the second half. JSU fumbled a punt return. EIU returned a kickoff for a touchdown. On top of that, the Gamecocks missed an extra point. Watch out for Lorence Ricks, EIU’s kick returner. He is second in the conference right now, averaging 28.7 yards per return, and had a 69 yard return vs. Central Arkansas.

Third, both teams have had lots of injuries to their offensive lines. A key to the game will be which team can overcome adversity and establish a running game. JSU is missing two, maybe three projected starters, and EIU is missing two starting offensive linemen. Depth may be an issue, and we’ll be watching to see who adjusts best.

In sum, if the Gamecocks can put pressure on their QB, it could be a long day for EIU. Conversely, if special teams play goes again in their favor, it may be a long day for JSU. Don’t let the records fool you, Jacksonville State must do more than just show up this week. Paraphrasing former Alabama coach Mike Dubose: "This game presents a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity." Go get em Gamecocks.

Ex-Northside standouts right at home in Dome - Sports -

Good article from the Macon, Georgia paper about Marques Ivory and Kevyn Cooper. The two teamed up to bring a championship to Northside. Lets hope they can do the same thing for Jax State this year.

Ex-Northside standouts right at home in Dome - Sports -

Jacksonville State Freshman Coty Blanchard Becoming Huge Playmaker - WHNT

A nice article on playmaker, Coty Blanchard. As outstanding as Coty has been in his QB role, his punting has been great too. The options that he gives Jax State punting probably make it difficult for other teams to set up a return.

Jacksonville State Freshman Coty Blanchard Becoming Huge Playmaker - WHNT

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anniston Star - Gamecocks take on first OVC foe with Eastern Illinois

Interesting article from the Star previewing EIU and looking back at Georgia State.

Anniston Star - Gamecocks take on first OVC foe with Eastern Illinois

Monday, September 20, 2010

Column: Some hope still remains for season - Sports

A look at the upcoming game from the EIU perspective.

Column: Some hope still remains for season - Sports

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Was It As Bad As It Looked

Injuries aside, Saturday's win was not the type of performance that the Gamecocks were anticipating. On further review, maybe the Gamecocks are not as far from clicking as it seems.

Discounting a one play drive right before the half and overtime, the Gamecocks scored 5 of the 9 times they had the ball. On two of these scores, Jacksonville State was forced to kick field goals from the 3 and 10 yard lines. Once, they were forced to kick a field goal after a touchdown was called back because of a penalty.

Lets look at the other four drives. On two of the drives, Georgia State flat out stopped the Gamecocks. However, on one of the other non-scoring drives, our tight end fumbled inside the Georgia State 20 on a play that looked like it might go for a touchdown. On the last drive of regulation, the Gamecocks were moving the ball great, but ran out of time and were denied the opportunity to kick a field goal because of poor timekeeping and execution.

All in all, Jax State, playing behind a patchwork offensive line, was in scoring position on 7 of 9 drives. To only come away with 2 TD's and 2 field goals, kept the game close.


3 plays haunt the Gamecocks. First, somebody did not stay home and Georgia State broke a long run on a reverse for a touchdown. In the second half, a Georgia State runner seemed to get lost at the line of scrimmage and busted a 40+ yard TD. Aside from those two plays, JSU shut down the Georgia State running game. Then, on Georgia State's last drive, Heath had an interception in his hands but was unable to come up with the catch. While giving up 27 to Georgia State was not good, it seems that the mistakes that were made can be corrected.

Finally, perhaps a little more credit is due the defense for the first two games. They held Ole Miss to 3 points in the second half. The next week, UTC only had 323 yards of offense and scored just 10 points against the Gamecocks defense (remember 7 was on a fumble for a touchdown), despite the fact that the Gamecocks turned it over 4 times in the first half. Note- this is the same UTC team that scored 42 points on 548 yards of offense against EKU and 41 points on 492 yards of offense against Appalachian State.

All in all, devastating injuries aside, the non-conference slate has been a success. Hopefully, the Gamecocks can bring everything together and play a complete game against EIU this weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

"We keep living like this, we will be dead."

Jack Crowe - following Jacksonville State's overtime victory over Georgia State.


*Marques Ivory easily had his best game of the season, completing 24 of 32 passes for 283 yards;

*Senior John Houston Whiddon continues to provide leadership, catching 6 passes for 69 yards;

*Jamal Young provided the Gamecocks the burst they needed at then end of the game and had a good day running the ball (9 carries - 64 yards).

*Big Texas Garrott was all over the field;

*Antonio Bonner had 7 tackles.

*the Gamecocks had 450 yards of offense;

*James Esco was perfect on the day, including converting 2 field goals. A miss on either and JSU might have lost the game.

*Keggie Harris got another pick and had two other pass breakups.

*Tig Barksdale got his first extended action and popped a couple of runs.

*The Gamecocks showed a lot of resiliency winning the game despite the absence of Calvin Middleton, La Ray Williams, Matt Jones, Tylor Chambers, Cory Freeman (missed second half) and Justin Kay (injured in 4th quarter). It is tough to be cohesive when you are missing half your starters.


*Jacksonville State struggled to get off the field on third down as Georgia State converted 7 of 15 third down attempts.

*Pass break ups. Georgia State's quarterback completed almost 2/3 of his passes;

*The Gamecocks kick coverage continues to provide a challenge to the defense. Georgia State seemed to start most drives on their 40.

*The Gamecocks did not have their best day in the red zone. Justin Howard fumbled around the ten on one play. On two other occassions, the Gamecocks were forced to settle for field goals. 6 points on 3 trips inside the red zone will keep the other team in the game.

*Poor officiating aside, the Gamecocks had too many penalties. On the day, it was 13 or 14 penalties for over 100 yards.

The Ugly.

*The CAA officials did their best to keep Georgia State in the game. The referee that said there was 1 second on the clock at the end of regulation was promptly overruled. The disparity in calls was troubling. Towards the end, many JSU fans were complaining that the refs were giving Georgia State an extra yard on almost every play.

*JSU's last play in regulation was not a thing of beauty and the Gamecocks were lucky the ball was not intercepted and returned. As a result (and because the 4th quarter only lasted 14:59) the Gamecocks were unable to attempt a game winning field goal, albeit one from 40+ yards.

Conference play starts next week. There appears to be a lot to work on, but the Gamecocks are undefeated!

Georgia State's opponent also a recruiting rival  |

From the AJC.

Georgia State's opponent also a recruiting rival  |

The view from Jacksonville

Letson Speaks.

The view from Jacksonville

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cleburne News - John Alred It was long overdue

An article about Burgess Field.

Cleburne News - John Alred It was long overdue

Anniston Star - Middle man

A good article about John Houston Whiddon's performance last Saturday.

Anniston Star - Middle man

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ga State planning to play 3 QB's this Saturday

Star Jackson to get his first playing time of the year against Jacksonville State
Star Jackson to play Saturday for Georgia State  |

Quotes from Coach Crowe's OVC Press Conference

On any quarterback controversy:

"People have inserted their opinions into it; they need to save their breath. I recruited both of them. I love both of them. I'm going to do the right thing for both of them and first I'm going to do the right thing for our football team. . . . The rotation is going to be what I say on Saturday."

On Marques Ivory:

"A great game manager that knows how to win." Crowe also praised Marques on the 97 yard drive he directed against UTC and his play in the 4th quarter.

On Coty Blanchard:

"A young man that's as dynamic of a playmaker as I've been around . . . He's a baller."

On in-state rivals:

"Samford won't play us anymore."

Other notes:

*Calvin Middleton is banged up and may not be able to play this weekend. Crowe said the next option would be Jamal Young.

*Crowe said we will be at full strength on defense against Ga. State for the first time this season.

*A key early season test for the Gamecocks is EIU. They play Martin this weekend and will be without three starting offensive linemen.

Next for Georgia State: Jacksonville St.  |

The AJC previews the Georgia State v. Jacksonville State game.

Next for Georgia State: Jacksonville St.  |

Cherokee County Herald - Blanchard mania continues with fan made action figure on ebay


Cherokee County Herald - Blanchard mania continues with fan made action figure on ebay

Monday, September 13, 2010

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

Link to the press conference today. Be sure to listen to Alphonso Freeney's quotes about what the crowd support meant to the players.

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

Lambuth offensive and defensive lines doom Georgia State football - Atlanta Georgia State Panthers |

Jacksonville State plays Georgia State next week. Here is a link to an article reviewing their loss to Lambuth.

Lambuth offensive and defensive lines doom Georgia State football - Atlanta Georgia State Panthers |

6 Outstanding Performances

When you win a game that starts with three interceptions followed by a fumble returned for a touchdown, you are lucky, have a good football team or both. Here are 6 players that turned in outstanding performances on Saturday night:

Alphonso Freeney, fullback. The one play UTC couldn't stop was Freeney up the middle. He rushed 7 times for 54 yards. By the way, Lequintez Reynolds is getting the second team snaps. Where is Jahron Brown?

John Houston Whiddon, wide receiver. Whiddon led the Gamecock receivers with 7 catches totalling 54 yards including one spectacular catch over the middle. Whiddon shows no signs of apprehension in making the tough catch after suffering a back injury against Georgia Tech last year.

Coty Blanchard, Punter, qb. Coty had 3 punts, averaging 39 yards, pinning UTC inside the 20 twice. As the back-up qb, Blanchard ran for one td and threw for another.

Michael Ellis and Jamison Wadley. You won't find these guys among the statistical leaders, but both of them turned in outstanding efforts as they were forced to play what seemed like almost every down. The Gamecocks were missing two key defensive linemen: 1) Tim McGee, who had an outstanding game against Ole Miss; and 2) Trio Tyson, who has been hurt all year but is expected to return against Georgia State.

Brannon Byrd, Linebacker. Byrd had 8 tackles and some really good hits. The JUCO transfer is making an immediate impact for the Gamecocks.

Friday, September 10, 2010

UTC relying on young corners -

UTC will be playing two freshman cornerbacks against the Gamecocks.

UTC relying on young corners -

USA Today Article on Jacksonville State

USA Today Article on the Gamecocks:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Veres shows promise as Mocs kicker -

UTC will have a wide receiver kicking field goals. Also, from the linked article it appears their defensive line is banged up.

Veres shows promise as Mocs kicker -

Mocs receivers confident after big opener -

The Chattanooga Times Free Press has an article about UTC's receivers.

Mocs receivers confident after big opener -

Anniston Star - Swap clutch JSU’s linemen take initiative provide groundwork for win

A great article from the Anniston Star about Tyler Ogletree and Justin Kay deciding to switch postions mid-game. Want to know more about Tyler? Go to the Player Profiles section at the top of the screen. had an interview with him earlier this summer.

Anniston Star - Swap clutch JSU’s linemen take initiative provide groundwork for win

Bill Byrant: "Crowe Gets Some Closure."

Here is a link to a great piece by Bill Byrant of the Huntsville Times which talks about Coach Crowe's days at Arkansas.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 Keys to the UTC Game

5 Keys to the UTC game.

1) Focus – After a big upset, sometimes a celebration lasts too long. How many teams lose a game after winning a close, emotional game? The fans have celebrated the win over Ole Miss for days. Lets hope the team has its feet firmly on the ground and all attention is on UTC perhaps the best team remaining on Jax State's schedule. Coach Crowe has pledged that if there is "an ounce of arrogance" on the team, he would work it out this week.

2) Stop B.J. Coleman – The UTC quaterback, a Tennessee transfer, is a great player (removing any doubt that Lane Kiffin is an idiot). Coleman, continuing his fine play from last season, put up some big numbers against App State completing 23 passes for 343 yards. Remarkably, Coleman was not sacked in UTC's last five games last year. Thus, the onus of slowing Coleman down will likely fall on JSU's secondary. While Jawaan Booker and Francis Duncan played admirably at Ole Miss, hopefully potential all-Conference player "Awesome Jet" Davis will return from injury against UTC. If the secondary can make Coleman hold the ball a little longer, perhaps it will open up some opportunities for Wadley, Monte Lewis, Big Texas Garrott and Kevin Dix to get some sacks.

3) Special Teams – Going back to last year, the loss to Eastern Illinois can be attributed in large part to special teams. Kickoff returns, punt returns, and turnovers can turn momentum in an instant. Jacksonville State had a heck of a time kicking off against Ole Miss- it seemed like Ole Miss was routinely starting on about the 45 yard line. Things don't get any easier this week as UTC has a fine returner.
The other parts of Jacksonville State's special teams looked great. The Gamecocks converted all of their field goals and extra points. (In contrast, UTC struggled mightily in that area missing several p.a.t.'s that probably cost them the game.) Also, Jamal Young had a couple of good kick returns. Finally, All American Gamecock punt returner, Alan Bonner, did not get many chances against Ole Miss, but he is dangerous every time he touches the ball.

4) Alphonso Freeney vs. Ryan Consiglio. In the App. State game, UTC's All Conference linebacker, Ryan Consiglio, was all over the field disrupting plays. In all likelihood, it will be up to JSU Senior fullback, Alphonso Freeney, to make sure the same thing does not happen this week. If Freeney and the offensive line can do the job, JSU appears to have the chance to run the ball well. Last week, Calvin Middleton make some big runs (17 carries, 67 yds) and got stronger as the game went along. Likewise, while he did not play much, Ole Miss transfer Darius “Tig” Barksdale (6 carries, 27 yards) was impressive. Prediction: Middleton will pound UTC for 100+ yards and Tig will break a long one for a touchdown.

5) Exploit the fact that Buster Skrine is out. UTC will be missing one of their best players, and an emotional leader, in cornerback Buster Skrine. (The Mocs will not get any sympathy from JSU as we are without two starting guards, a linebacker and maybe a cornerback). Perhaps Skrine's absence will open up opportunities for JSU's talented group of receivers to continue to make plays. Look for Jeff Cameron, in particular, to break out against UTC.

Hey- these are's keys to the game. If you have other ideas or disagree, please comment. We would love to hear from you.

Go Gamecocks!!

Murray State/OVC Tipsheet - September 8 - Paducah Murray State Racers |

Here is a great collection of articles relating to the OVC teams compiled by the Examiner.Com which is in Paducah, Kentucky near Murray State.

Murray State/OVC Tipsheet - September 8 - Paducah Murray State Racers |

Mr. College Football Writes About Jax State

Tony Barnhart, writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has an excellent column about the game. Here is the link:

Anniston Star - Swap clutch JSU’s linemen take initiative provide groundwork for win

A great article from the Star on the offensive line.

Anniston Star - Swap clutch JSU’s linemen take initiative provide groundwork for win

Mocs Look Ahead to New Challenge at No. 5 Jacksonville State - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Official Athletics Site

Everything you could want to know about UTC from

Mocs Look Ahead to New Challenge at No. 5 Jacksonville State - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Official Athletics Site

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bonner part of historical comeback for Jax State - The Times-Herald

A nice article from Newnan, GA on wide receiver Alan Bonner in the Ole Miss game.

Bonner part of historical comeback for Jax State - The Times-Herald

Big Texas Goes Ham on Ole Miss

Lost in the hoopla Saturday was a knockout performance by Gamecock Defender, Rodney "Big Texas" Garrott. Here is what AL.Com had to say:

"Garrott, who went to Sparkman High School, played every snap against the Rebels. He had 13 tackles and forced a fumble, which was returned for a TD.

"I started cramping in the first overtime," he said, "but I figured I'm probably not going to be in too many games like this, so I might as well stay in there.""

Anniston Star - Not prove Gamecocks must show upset was not a fluke

Anniston Star - Not prove Gamecocks must show upset was not a fluke

Quote of the Day

“They (Jacksonville State) wanted it more than us,” junior running back Brandon Bolden said. “That’s point blank what it came down to. We couldn’t get to their level.”

Saturday Down South recaps the game.

Our friends at Saturday Down South recap JSU vs. Ole Miss reviews UTC- App. State

The has a very good review of the UTC - App. State game. It sounds like UTC should have won the game. Saturday is going to be a big time game.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Smouse For President

There has been a lot of coverage about the JSU vs. Ole Miss game, but barely a mention of one of the most amazing aspects of the game. Jacksonville State lost TWO STARTING Offensive linemen this summer to season ending injuries, Tylor Chambers and Matt Jones. Jones, from Hoover high school, started as a true freshman for the Gamecocks against Georgia Tech. Chambers was a pre-season All OVC selection. Both of these players would have been key contributors this year. In addition to these unexpected losses, Reggie Wade (center) was lost to graduation.

Thus, the Gamecocks were forced to totally rebuild their offensive line against an Ole Miss team with one of the best interior defensive lines in the country. Offensive Line Coach, Scott Smouse, adjusted. All OVC tackle, Curt Porter, manned one of the guard positions for the first time in his career. Another converted tackle, Justin Kay, played right guard. Tyler Ogletree, who has been a key reserve in the past, played center. Both of JSU's tackles were making their first career start, JUCO transfer Odie Rush and Columbus, Georgia product Tori Mobley.

These guys did an awesome job holding up for the entire game against an SEC defense. The most impressive part was as the game went on, the line got stronger. Gamecock Illustrated is still in a daze, but we only remember one sack in the fourth quarter and the 2 headed monster (Ivory/Blanchard) was given time to throw even when Ole Miss knew JSU had to pass.

Injury wise, things were only slightly better on the Defensive side of the ball. The Gamecocks were missing corner phenom, Awesome Jet Davis, and an outstanding defensive lineman, Trio Tyson. It is truly amazing that the Gamecocks held the Rebels to three second half points with these key players out of the game.

The no excuses attitude of this team makes a great win even sweeter. Now you know the rest of the story!

From Kyle Buffolino (Ole Miss Fan)

We had fun last week with contributor Kyle Buffolino. He goes way beyond the call of duty and posts an apology letter to Jacksonville State fans. You can see it by clicking this link.

Kyle, I was there Saturday and regret not meeting you. Good luck the rest of the season. Thanks for all the hospitality from the Ole Miss fans!

Marques Ivory Leads "The Drive"

In NFL circles, "The Drive" refers to a playoff game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos in January 1987. John Elway led the Broncos on a 98 yard drive, lasting just over 5 minutes, to tie the game with 23 seconds left - a game that the Broncos won in overtime. For more details, you can click here.

Just as Elway led the Broncos that day, Marques Ivory, whom we have called "Cool Hand" Ivory, showed great leadership and ability against a defense that knew what he would be doing: passing the ball and looking for a touchdown. After a kickoff return by Jamal Young, Ivory led the team out to the huddle with 2:49 left on the game clock, 71 yards away from the end zone. The next 9 plays were passes from Ivory, who indeed stayed cool under the pressure. Out of the 9 passes, 7 were completed to 5 different receivers.

Two huge plays Ivory connected on should be on the highlight reel for this game. First - a 4th down and 11 play from midfield, where Ivory found La'Ray Williams for 12 yards. Credit also goes to La'Ray on this one. We needed 11, and he got us 12. The second huge play was the pass to Alan Bonner that found the end zone. Great pass from "Cool Hand" Ivory - great catch and score from Bonner.

After the score, JSU has to go for 2 to tie the game. Ivory finds La'Ray Williams in the back of the end zone with the pass to tie the score. With that play, Ivory was 8 for 10 in passing, against a defense that KNEW he would be passing. Very impressive.

Of course by now, you know the rest of the story. So now, we have "The JSU Drive", thanks to Marques Ivory leading the way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

5 Reasons JSU Beat Ole Miss

Last week it was 5 reasons JSU Might upset Ole Miss. Now that the game is over, I think we should look at 5 reasons JSU beat Ole Miss.

1. JSU is the better team. - No explanation needed, we settled it on the field.

2. Preparation - While Ole Miss spent the week worrying about whether Masoli would play and what is written on the internet, JSU spent the week preparing to play Ole Miss.

3. Determination - The example here is Alan Bonner's touchdown - With less than a minute left, Alan Bonner looked like he would be stopped at the 2-yard line after making a reception on a great pass from Marques Ivory. Bonner made a spin move and fell just across the goal line for a touchdown.

4. Presence - Coty Blanchard in two situations - 4th and 15 touchdown pass to Kevyn Cooper, and the 2-point conversion toss to Calvin Middleton. Both plays showed great game presence and talent for the true freshman.

5. Character - This team does not quit. Down at halftime, they came out a different team in the second half.

Let's all enjoy it tonight! Great job Gamecocks!

Who's coming to the first home game? These guys deserve all of our support!

Gotta go welcome back the team bus...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

5 Questions about Ole Miss and have been in communication over the last week or so for some good-natured fun pointing to this weekend's game with Jacksonville State and Ole Miss. Earlier in the week, they asked us 5 questions about JSU, and in turn, offered to answer 5 questions about Ole Miss.

You can see their questions and our answers by clicking this link.

Our questions and their answers about Ole Miss are below.

1) JSU certainly got blasted for taking Perrilloux- what percentage of the Ole Miss fan base do you believe was in favor of taking Masoli? Do you think he will be rusty if he does play against JSU?

I’d guess that 90% of our fan base was in favor of taking Masoli. We recently lost a backup quarterback and saw a need there. The coaches looked to Masoli to fill that void, and he appeared to do so. He was really coming along in practice, challenging Nathan Stanley for the starting job. Then… then the NCAA messed everything up. It infuriated the fan base when they denied Masoli’s waiver out of the blue. It’s just a shame that they’ve figured out a way to suspend players, something they were never designed to do.
No… I don’t think he’ll play against Jacksonville State.

2) Was the decision to dismiss Tig from Nutt or the University? Do you think he will have any extra motivation running the ball against his old teammates?

Nutt decided it was better for Tig to not play football at Ole Miss. I guess he could have stayed at Ole Miss as a student, but he didn’t have a scholarship to do so.
Tig was a fantastic high school player. He helped South Panola, recently ranked the #1 high school program nationally by, to three state championships and only one loss in four years. Our fans were very excited when he signed with us. Then he went to Hargrave. Then he was suspended for a year. Basically, we all lost hope that he would ever contribute. It’s great that he has found a spot at Jacksonville State. He may have extra motivation, but he wasn’t dominant at Ole Miss. I don’t think our defense is that concerned with him.
Recently, one of you said he was the best running back in Ole Miss history. That’s not even close to the case. He was fifth string at Ole Miss during his short time here.

3) What do you believe is the weakest area on Ole Miss' team (we promise not to tell the JSU coaches)?

The interior of the offensive line could be quite bad. We graduated all three interior starters last year and aren’t replacing them with much experience. RG Rishaw Johnson has started a decent number of games and looks good again this year. At center, we’re constantly flipping between two freshmen, both of whom have struggled with snaps. At left guard, we start Alex Washington, a player who hasn’t done much during his three years at Ole Miss. He’s a big body though, and we hope that with his size comes strength.
If any of our starters on the OL (outside of center) get hurt, we’re in real, real trouble.

4) Ole Miss has had a lot of success in recent years. Any chance that they will be overlooking the Gamecocks?

I guess that it’s possible, but I don’t see it happening. This team has spent eight months hearing about how bad they’ll be this year. I don’t think they have it in their minds that they can overlook anyone. Our defense is really strong, and they get pumped up regardless of their opponent.
The only two things I could see happening that would affect our psyche as the recent denial of Masoli’s waiver and the potential health issues of all-SEC DE Kentrell Lockett. If the team is downtrodden after those two pieces of news, they might not be fired up for the game.

5) We have a lot of fans coming over to the game. What are some of the sights and sounds in Oxford that they should be sure to catch.
The entirety of Oxford centers around “The Square.” There is a litany of restaurants and bars all over the area. I personally enjoy Parrish’s Pub right off the square, but a favorite of our blog is City Grocery. They have great food and a good bar scene.
William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, is a nice place to go during the day, but I would assume you’ll spend the day in the Grove on campus, our world-famous tailgating area. If you decide to go to the Nobel prize winner’s home, be sure to have time to really walk around the grounds and take it all in.
As for the grove, if you approach a tent with humility and grace, I can assure you that you will probably be met with free food and maybe a drink or two.

Trenton Is Gone and I Don't Feel So Good Myself

The Anniston Star Reports that Trenton Marshall is no longer with the Gamecock Basketball team. Trenton was perhaps the most highly recruited basktetball player JSU ever had and certainly lived up to the hype. This set back aside, Coach Green is an old school coach that is going to lead the Gamecocks back to the promised land.

Phil Steele Breaks Down Jax State Versus Ole Miss

If you are a serious college football fan, your next bookmark after should be Here is Phil's take on the Jacksonville State versus Ole Miss game (we think in haste he may have juxtaposed the final score):


"This game features two former Arkansas HC’s as Jacksonville St HC Jack Crowe coached the Razorbacks from 1990-91 (1 game in 92) and Mississippi HC Houston Nutt from 1998-2007. Jacksonville St is one of our favorites in the Ohio Valley Conference as they return 13 starters from last year’s 8-3 squad that lost two games to FBS schools in Georgia Tech (37-17) and Florida St (19-9) a game in which Jacksonville St actually led late until FSU scored 2 TD’s in the final :35. This year they do lose OVC OPOY QB Ryan Perriloux (LSU Transfer) who threw for 2,350 yds (58.5%, 23-2!) and two other all-OVC players but do return their top two rushers and a couple of All-Conf OL. Defensively, they allowed just 17.1 ppg LY but do lose their top two tacklers. Ole Miss returns just 10 starters from LY’s 9-4 team but do bring in former Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli. On defense, the Rebels return just 4 starters but 2 of their top 3 tacklers are back and NT Jerrell Powe is one of the top DT’s in the country. Ole Miss is 12-3 in home openers and 6-0 vs FCS schools the L/5 yrs. Excluding LY’s 52-6 win over SE Louisiana, the Rebels have not been dominant in the other games vs FCS tms winning by an avg of 33-14. On the other side Jacksonville St has been competitive vs the FBS losing by an avg of 33-16. With new starters at several key positions look for the Rebels to struggle early before pulling away late."


Anniston Star - Nearing a decade in the 3 4 scheme Gamecocks making outside speed their signature

Excellent read from the Anniston Star about the 3-4 defense.

Anniston Star - Nearing a decade in the 3 4 scheme Gamecocks making outside speed their signature

Anniston Star - Crowe says Barksdale will play Saturday

Great Article from The Anniston Star on Tig Barksdale

Anniston Star - Crowe says Barksdale will play Saturday

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

10 Things To Watch vs. Jacksonville State

Here is a link to an article that has some good information on the Ole Miss - JSU game this weekend, giving a little "pub" to some of our players. Click here for the article.