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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

4th and Inches highlights

We know we're playing Murray State this weekend and not SEMO, but we love this video from last year...

Quotes From Around Campus This Week

"I'll have my nitroglycerin pills at the game this weekend just in case my heart needs them."

"I think we'll beat Murray State, just hope it doesn't have to come down to the last play."

"I'll be there wearing red."

"Jamal Young looked great last Saturday."

"BigTexas Garrott may be more focused this season than anyone."

"I hope Calvin Middleton is back this week. That'll really help our running game."

"We've got to hit their quarterback some. I think that's how to slow the Racers down."

"Jax State by 14."

"Murray will throw short passes. Our linebackers better be ready."

"I'll be loud at the game. Hope no one minds."

We've got to make more noise on 3rd down."

"Fall softball starts Friday. Coach McGinnis will put together another good team."

"Who's on first?"