Friday, December 30, 2011

Record-setting year - The Daily Sentinel: Sports

Record-setting year - The Daily Sentinel: Sports: Here’s a look at The Daily Sentinel’s top local sports stories
No.’s 1-5 of 2011.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recruiting Update Part 2

Nick Johnson, OL Dadeville HS, 6-2, 250 lbs. Johnson had recruiting interest from Southern Miss, Arkansas State and Vandy. named him to their preseason All State team for all classifications. After one of their recruiting combines, Scout. com said that Johnson outperfomed all of the linemen with BCS offers and added: "Johnson has an offer from Jacksonville State, but he is a BCS-caliber player. The only player who gave him trouble was his teammate, Rod Crayton. Johnson was outstanding throughout the event. He is a smart player and has great technique. He will play on the inside on the next level(6-foot-2, 260)." They went on to add that he might be the best sleeper prospect in the State. Status: Committed.

Rocky Hayes, RB, CB Heflin HS. Don't know whether the Gamecocks are projecting Hayes as a corner or running back, but he would be a huge pickup either way. He was selected to the prestigous Ala. - Ms. All Star Game following a senior campaign where he rushed for 1312 yards on just 152 carries. Hayes has offers by USA, Troy and UAB and is rated a 2 Star player by 24/

Michael Lindsey, RB, Elba HS. Lindsey would be another great running back to add to the 2012 class. Hailing from the same high school as current Gamecock Dimetrio Tyson, Lindsey led Elba to an undefeated season and a state championship at the 2A level. Living up to the old mantra of big time players make big time plays in big time games, Lindsey rushed for 175 yards in the championship game and was named MVP. At one point he was a Troy State commitment but his recruitment now appears to be open. In 2010 Lindsey rused for 1586 yards including one game where he went for 243 yards on just 14 carries. The Gamecocks would love to have Lindsey.

Nick Martin, Ath., Dothan HS. Martin has not generated as much publicity as some of the other Gamecock recruits but he runs a 4.4 forty. We'll take him. Status: Committed.

Eli Jenkins, QB, 6-2, 190. Parker HS. It is imperative that the Gamecocks sign a good quarterback this year and they may have found one in Parker. described him as follows: "A very competitive QB that has a powerful arm with accuracy. A tough nosed kid willing to learn." Status: Committed.

Burger Bytes: JSU Band Heads To London

Burger Bytes: JSU Band Heads To London

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Todd Hornsby Named Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American by Collegiate Baseball

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Todd Hornsby Named Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American by Collegiate Baseball

Searching For Former Gamecock Quarterbacks

A distinguished JSU graduate is getting all former Gamecock quarterbacks to sign a JSU helmet. It will include great names of the past like Lett, Perrilloux and Patterson and will be auctioned before the Charlie Pell Golf Tournament. We need your help locating two former qbs:

Fred Casey, who played for the Gamecocks in 1955; and

Arland Carter, who played in 1961-62.

If anyone can give us any leads, it would be most appreciated.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Early Look at 2012 Recruiting - Part 1

While it will be hard to top the great years JSU had in 2010 and 2011, there is good momentum for the 2012. As there is a lot of information, we will probably do three spots. The focus is on players that we believe Jacksonville State is recruiting hard. There are probably other players that will come in and out of the mix.

Dushonta Broughton. DB, 5-11, 160, 23 ACT, Lovejoy High School. Broughton is one of three Lovejoy products rumored to be committed to JSU. These guys led their team to the State Championship Game in Georgia.

Jamal Covington, DL, 6-4, 270, Lovejoy High School. Covington drew recruiting interest from BC, Duke, La. Tech and apparently had an offer from the Naval Academy. The Clayton Daily News named him to their All Star team in 2010, commenting: "Dominant run blocker with great pass blocking skills." He's dominating in one area and great in another, what else is there?

Jermaine "Junior" Hough, ATH, 5-10, 180, Lovejoy High School. Drew recruiting interest from Miami, NC and South Carolina and was offered by the Air Force Academy. One JSU fan saw him play in the State Championship game and commented that it seemed like he had about 20 tackles.

Desmond Brown. S, Cherokee County High School (Clemson). There is still some work to do to get Brown eligible, but he would be a huge pickup for JSU where he would join high school teammates Coty Blanchard and Country Chambers. Brown was rated a 3 Star prospect out of high school by both Rivals and Scout.

Troymaine "Buster" Pope. 5-9, 188, 4.5 40, Anniston High School. AL.Com had this to say about the Anniston product: "At 5’10” 188lbs, Pope utilizes a rare combination of speed and power; he either runs around defenders or runs over them. When it comes to “measurables” Troymaine definitely has them, as he has been clocked at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, bench presses 315lbs, and squats upwards of 500lbs." Troymaine has been heavily recruited by big schools and FCS schools including Clemson, Miss. St., Samford and Clemson.

Calvin Baker. OL, 6-4, 285, 32 ACT, Oxford High School. had this to say about Baker: "Baker is a tremendous competitor who finishes every block and does not quit until the whistle has blown. Playing at the 6A level will only help Baker develop into an even more well-rounded offensive lineman. In addition to his athletic prowess, Calvin also boasts a 4.1 GPA and a score of 32 on the ACT… definitely a qualifier. We fully expect Calvin Baker to emerge from the 2011 campaign as a highly-sought-after prospect with offers from numerous big-time programs." The Gamecocks are really battling Samford for Baker's services. Baker will have to decide whether he wants to play in front of 20,000 passionate fans at JSU or 1,100 at Samford.

Josh Barge, Athl. 6-1, Carrolton High School. Barge is a very talented player from a Carrolton program that is rich with talent. He is a good student- National Honor Society member. His father was a Coach at Carrolton and passed away before his junior season. Barge has six siblings and is very motivated to get a football scholarship in order to help out financially.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crowe to Boone: "Send in the Wolfe"

There is speculation that JSU has a commitment from JUCO LB/DL, Ketrick Wolfe. Wolfe is matriculating from Pearl River Community College. Out of high school he drew serious interest from Southern Miss, Louisville and Arkansas State. Unconfirmed that its the right Ketrick Wolfe, but here's the kicker- when Wolfe was in high school he ran into a burning house to rescue his aunt.

Here is a related clip from one of the greatest movies of all time, Pulp Fiction. WARNING- DO NOT WATCH IF FOUL LANGUAGE OFFENDS YOU.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lovejoy DBs Commit to Jacksonville State

Here is an article about two of our 2011 commitments:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Keep It Down Home Cuz

Anniston Star reports that running back Troymaine Pope of Anniston High is seriously considering JSU. With the departure of Middleton and Ealey only having one more year of eligibility, the Gamecocks could certainly use a big time back.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marching Southerners 2011: Year in Review (HD)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jacksonville State Lady Gamecocks Whup Troy!

Jacksonville State University - Gamecocks Pick Up Third Straight Home Win, Discards Troy, 65-54

Freelon Starring for Delta State

The following is an excerpt from an article in the Natchez Democrat about former Gamecock Richard Freelon:

CLEVELAND — Richard Freelon rushed for three touchdowns to lead the No. 8 ranked Delta State Statesmen to a 28-23 win Saturday over No. 20 North Greenville to advance to the National Semi-Finals as Super Region 2 Champions.

Freelon rushed for 130 yards on 23 carries, along with the three scores.

The sophomore transfer from Jacksonville State tied for third in Statesmen (11-2) playoff history with the three touchdowns and had the third highest rushing total in Statesmen playoff history.

“He had some awesome runs,” said head coach Ron Roberts. “He is a powerful back that came up big for us today. We always look for that player who is going to step up big in these types of games and Richard did a great job.”

“The great thing about having a lot of backs is that you can look and see who has the hot hand. Richard established that early on and we went with him in the second half. He showed his speed and power and did a tremendous job going into the whole the offensive line gave him.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

George Smith: In all the memories of Charley Pell

George Smith: In all the memories of Charley Pell: George Smith's column for Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Link: A Look Back at UTM's Season

It sounds like UTM will be tough next season. They are returning their quarterback, best wide receiver and two very good running backs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Breakdown of All OVC Players by School

The All OVC awards came out recently. Here is a breakdown of the number of player by school:

Eastern Kentucky: 14

Murray State: 8

Tenn. State: 8

Tennessee Tech: 7

Jacksonville State: 6

Martin: 6

EIU: 4


Austin Peay: 2

Jacksonville State University - Demon Surge Leads to 66-61 Overtime Win Over Gamecocks

Jacksonville State University - Demon Surge Leads to 66-61 Overtime Win Over Gamecocks

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is Desmond Brown Headed to Jax State?

Rumors are circulating that Desmond Brown may be transferring to Jacksonville State from Clemson. Brown, a safety, was a 3 Star Scout prospect in high school who also had offers from Arkansas and South Carolina. Brown redshirted his freshman year and played on the scout team this year prior to being dismissed from the team for the classic "violation of team rules." If Brown indeed comes to JSU, he would join fellow Cherokee County products, Country Chambers and some guy named Blanchard.

Here is what Andrew Bone of had to say about Brown out of high school:

"Brown is a prospect who continues to improve and plays a lot bigger than his size. He is an aggressive player who likes to knock players down to the ground and plays through the whistle. He has good ball skills and does well in coverage."

Brown would add to a talented group of up and coming safetys for the Gamecocks. Pierre Warren started much of the season as a freshman and capped it off with 98yard td return in the finale against Tennessee State. The coaches are also very positive about Jamaal Johnson a very talented player out of Piedmont that signed with the Gamecocks in 2010. The Gamecocks also return Rob Gray and Brooks Robinson, a starter, who was plagued with injuries during his junior campaign.

RIP Joe Haynie- A Great Gamecock

The Gamecocks lost a great one with the passing of former quarterback, Joe Haynie. Former Gamecock Fran Blanchard wrote this about Mr. Haynie's passing on the Gamecock message board and gave us permission to republish it:

"The Gamecock Nation lost an amazing Man and Great Quarterback this past weekend to cancer. My dear friend, Joe Haynie, fought an amazing fight for many years against this terrible disease. He battled it like only a true Gamecock would...till the last breath.

I have known Joe for 31 years and I was always star struck by his presence. I actually played a few flag football games with him after my senior year of college. He could throw the fire out of a football. You always knew who was in control of that huddle, even during a flag football game.

Joe served as our J Club President for two years and was tireless in his efforts to make JSU what it is today. His vision was amazing and he had the ability to make people see past the small picture and on to bigger things.

I saw Joe during the EKU game and he looked wonderful. He told me then that he was going to lick this disease if it killed him! He was funny all the way to the end.

I took it for granted that I would be seeing Joe again before Christmas. I had an idea to get ALL of the JSU Quarterbacks to sign a helmet, and then raffle it off during the golf tournament. I am compiling addresses now in order to get this helmet to each of them. There will only be 1 helmet and Joe was going to be my first signature. It pains me to finish this post as it makes me very emotional as I know Joe loved this idea. I am very sorry that this helmet will be without our 1964 Gamecock Q.B.

I love you Joe!! You were, are and will always be my idol my dear friend. Heaven just got a new Quarterback to run their offense...they got a GREAT ONE!

I will post the arrangements as soon as I get them for all of you that know Joe. Please keep his family in your prayers and I urge you to call an old friend today and tell them you love them- you may not have tomorrow.

My love to ALL the Gamecock Nation and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving."

Sincerely, Fran

Team Horseshoe Continues Their Trend With a Playoff Bid

EKU is living right. After a season filled with some fortuitous bounces, their final regular season win over UTM was set up when UTM missed a go ahead extra point with 2:43 left in the game. UTM stopped EKU and then proceeded to fumble deep in their own territory on the next drive. The Colonels luck continued when they received an unanticipated playoff bid. But, as they say in golf, its not how you drive its how you arrive. Good luck to EKU in their first round playoff game.

OVC FOOTBALL: Colonels motivated by critics who think they shouldn’t be in the playoffs

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Gaines Named OVC Newcomer of the Week

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Gaines Named OVC Newcomer of the Week

Washaun Ealey Gets 1,000

One of the questions heading into the week was whether Washaun Ealey would play as he injured a hamstring and missed the SEMO game. He had 999 yards going into the game so at least one carry seemed likely. Ealey played and played well, scoring a touchdown on his first run from scrimmage. That gave Ealey over 1,000 yards for the year.

Lets hope Ealey returns for his senior year (no reason to believe he won't). Ealey appeared to get better every game this year and seemed to be more supportive of his teammates as the year progressed. If he does return, it should be a big year for Ealey as JSU's offensive line should be really good next year.

The only player the Gamecocks lose off of the line will be Michael Ellis. With Odie Rush returning, the Gamecocks could have as many as three senior offensive line starters next year with Rush, Tori Mobley and Matt Jones. In addition to these veterans, a slew of underclassmen who played a lot this year will return including starting center, Max Holcombe, starting tackle, Tarik Milner, Preston Hatcher and Blake Burks.

Hard Luck Mocs

Is there anything more painful than giving up a 24 point lead in the fourth quarter? UTC might say yes. On Saturday, they lost their third game of the season by a 28-27 margin. The losses came to Georgia Southern, Wofford and the Citadel.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

JSU Football- OVC Champions

Its a shared championship, but a championship nonetheless. Congrats Gamecocks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Max Holcombe: Football is in the genes

Max Holcombe: Football is in the genes: Max Holcombe knew from a very early age that football was what he wanted to do. After all, he grew up listening to stories his father Danny would tell of what it was like to be on a team coached by...

Jason Horton: A tackling machine

Jason Horton: A tackling machine: When opposing runners face Jacksonville State University they know there is one player they definitely want to avoid, Gamecock safety Jason Horton.

Jason Horton: A tackling machine

Jason Horton: A tackling machine: When opposing runners face Jacksonville State University they know there is one player they definitely want to avoid, Gamecock safety Jason Horton.

Monday, November 14, 2011


One of the best links ever on "playoffs."

Here is what we understand the scenario to be for the Gamecocks.

GAMECOCKS WIN AND EKU AND T. TECH BOTH LOSE: JSU is undisputed conference champion and goes to the playoffs. EKU could easily lose to Martin, but it is hard to imagine Tech losing to Peay.

GAMECOCKS WIN AND EITHER TECH OR EKU LOSE: If this happens and the OVC gets two teams in to the playoffs, the Gamecocks would get a bid. Last year two OVC teams got bids.

GAMECOCKS, EKU AND TECH ALL WIN: If this occurs, our guess is that JSU would be on the outside looking in. Not sure what the selection committee looks at, but EKU and Tennessee Tech both have head to head advantage over the Gamecocks.

A Look at Tennessee State

Barring Tech and EKU both losing, JSU needs to beat Tennessee State to claim a share of the conference title. At one point, this looked to be a game the Gamecocks could win easily. TSU was absolutely destroyed by Murray State and Air Force to start the season and also lost to OVC cellar dweller, Austin Peay.

However, it has been a tale of two seasons for the Tigers. They have won four of their last five games with their only loss coming to EKU. Included in those results are victories over the T. Tech team that defeated JSU and an absolute blowout of the same SEMO team that JSU narrowly defeated. The Tigers are powered by running back Trabis Ward who has eclipsed 100 yards in five games this season.

Hopefully, the Gamecocks will be back at full strength next weekend after missing several key players in the SEMO game. It appears they will need it to take out the Tigers.

Football - Schedule/Results - Tennessee State Tigers Athletics

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gamecocks break out after half to down SEMO 22-21

Gamecocks break out after half to down SEMO 22-21: Calvin Middleton rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns, helping Jacksonville State rally for a 22-21 win Saturday over Southeast Missouri State.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gamecocks Win!

A great win today for the football team. In no logical order, here are thoughts and observations:

1) Clarence Jackson is suspended for the season. Immense potential that will probably never be realized.

2) Washaun Ealey missed the game with a hamstring injury. Who steps in but everybody's favorite Gamecock, Calvin Middleton, who ran for about 160 on the game.

3) Coty missed the first quarter with back spasms. Coach Crowe sang Coach Skidmore's praises in getting him ready to go.

4) In addition to the injuries, JSU overcame four fumbles and two missed PATs. Esco did hit a big field goal in tough conditions. Every point mattered.

5) The defense stepped up big in the second half shutting SEMO out. It has to be a huge confidence builder for this unit after the EKU nightmare.

6) Offensive tackle T. Mobley missed at least some of the game. JSU is essentially playing with an almost entirely freshman line. Hopefully, this bodes well for the future.

7) EKU lost, so at a minimum the Gamecocks play for a ring next weekend. It may not mean a playoff birth even if they win, but it still means a lot.

8) Dimetrio Tyson had a pick. Coach Crowe described him as a "freak" after the game.

9) Rashod Byers played meaningfully as a running back. It would be neat to see him go both ways next week.

10) Props to punter Jake Scott who booted a 40+ punt in the first half while Coty was out. Coty had a 40+ punt late in the game that made all of the difference in the world.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

SEMO's Scheible nears mark for yardage

SEMO's Scheible nears mark for yardage

Pisgah softball standout Denes signs with Jacksonville State - The Daily Sentinel: Sports

Pisgah softball standout Denes signs with Jacksonville State - The Daily Sentinel: Sports: During
her last fall softball tournament of 2010, Pisgah's Ella Denes was
in one of those hitting slumps that softball players sometimes go

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gamecocks struggle near goal

Gamecocks struggle near goal: JACKSONVILLE — Scoring in the red zone used to be virtually automatic for the Jacksonville State offense. Not so much anymore.

Burlington Central’s Bohne headed to Jacksonville State - Elgin Courier News

Burlington Central’s Bohne headed to Jacksonville State - Elgin Courier News

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Keep Hope Alive

It didn't seem like there could be a more painful loss than Tennessee Tech last year. There is. While it was not this team's ultimate goal or its fans' expectation, there is still a reasonable chance that that Gamecocks could share in the conference title. Obviously, the Gamecocks would have to win its remaining road games against Tennessee State and SEMO. Aside from that, all that needs to happen is for EKU to lose to either Tech or Martin. If there is a Santa Clause, that will happen and then Tech will lose its final game to Peay. Haven't done all of the math, but we believe that would make JSU conference champion.

A few observations about the game:

*JSU has to learn to close teams out. Even in games the Gamecocks win, the killer instinct seems to be missing. If you go back to last season, the Gamecocks let leads collapse against Martin, EIU and Tennessee Tech. In contrast, JSU is a great comeback team.

*Watched the game from down near the sideline. AJ was hurt and getting worked on by the trainers. We will never know if he could have made the play on the final TD or not if he would have been 100%.

*Inability to defend the deep ball has been the achilles heel of this team. When they moved Keginald Harris to linebacker, it seemed like a great move to combat all of the spread teams in the OVC; however, his picks at the safety spot have been missed.

*The line between glory and failure in sports is unbelievably thin. Give the Gamecocks one first down against Tech last year or against EKU this year and we are in all likelihood celebrating consecutive conference titles. Unfortunately, almost does not count.

*A young player that really stands out is Caleb Lawrence, a defensive tackle from the Opelika. He made a great 4th down stop in the red zone against EKU. He will be an all conference player before its done.

*On the other side of the ball, Blake Burks is really making progress as a true freshman offensive guard. Everybody is tired of talking about "next year" including this website, but the future looks bright for the Gamecocks offensive line. They started three freshman or redshirt freshman (Max Holcombe, Burks and Milner). They really need to get Thomas Williams eligible.

*Washaun Ealey is 100% as good as advertised. GI hopes he hangs around one more year. If he does, he should be a Payton award candidate.

*He may be banged up, but its otherwise hard to understand how you keep Gabriel Chambers off of the field.

*Earlier in the year the Gamecocks were pinning teams deep with kickoffs. It would be good if we could start doing that again. Also, it sure does seem like it would be nice if JSU could bring in a full time punter to take some of the pressure off Coty. He is incredible, but even Superman needs a break every now and then. One positive- we don't kick many field goals, but it doesn't seem like we have missed a field goal or an extra point this year (haven't checked the stats). Good job James Esco.

*Alan Bonner had a huge game at receiver.

*There's a lot of venom in the Gamecock nation right now. If you want to make a comment about an observation from the game, we will print it. We are not printing comments about fire this person or fire that person or personal attacks on anyone. There are other forums available for that.

*We are going to miss Calvin Middleton next year. 100% every play, not a complainer and does everything he is asked. Calvin is destined for success.

*There is an old saying that adversity build character. If that's the case, the Gamecock football team should have all the character it can stand. Beat SEMO.

Who Is This Rinaldo Mafra?

The JC transfer from Brazil had a double, double last night. Here is a youtube hilight. Caution: there is some offensive language in the background music.

Two In a Row

Two exhibition wins in a row for Gamecock basketball.

Jacksonville State University - Late Gamecock Run Downs Oakwood in Final Exhibition

Monday, November 7, 2011

Congrats to Chelsea.

Another award for a great Gamecock, Chelsea Pelletier. Chelsea has been a great soccer player, but more importantly a great representative of student athletes at JSU. Side note- she is engaged to JSU baseball player, Daniel Watts.

Jacksonville State University - JSU' s Pelletier Earns CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors

Newcomers aid JSU in exhibition

Newcomers aid JSU in exhibition: JACKSONVILLE — The game might not have counted in the standings or on his official log as a Division I player, but for Darion Rackley, his first college game was “more than I expected.” The true f...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

JSU seniors to play final regular-season home game

JSU seniors to play final regular-season home game: Times were a lot different around the Jacksonville State football program when safety Jason Horton was being recruited by the Gamecocks’ coaching staff. And it wasn’t that long ago. There was no n...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Murray State vs EKU Highlights

Gamecock Illustrated Will Buy The D Dinner at Buffet of Their Choice If We Hold Denham to Less Than 75 Yards

As the article below indicates, EKU running back Matt Denham is one of the top rushers in the FCS. He buys his offensive line dinner every time he goes for over 100 yards. Assuming we can get approval that its not an NCAA violation, Gamecock Illustrated will buy the entire starting defense dinner at the buffet of their choice if we hold Denham to under 75 yards rushing and win the game.

Click Here for link to article

EKU FOOTBALL: EKU’s Denham takes over OVC rushing lead

Lots of interesting notes on EKU including that their qb, historically fairly mobile, has turf toe.

EKU FOOTBALL: EKU’s Denham takes over OVC rushing lead

UAB's New Stadium Gets Nixed

Interesting article on UAB's efforts to build an on campus stadium
Click Here for link to article

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Have Some Fun Gamecocks!!

Week in and week out, the Gamecocks keep things fairly level from an emotional standpoint. That may work for a long season, but with a championship on the line this weekend its time to let it all hang out. The coaches know what works best, but from a fan perspective, we'd love to see the following:

1) The players run, not trot, out on the field, huddle up as a team and get fired up right before the game. We've all seen FBS teams do this dozens of times. Send EKU a message - you might beat the Gamecocks, but we are not coming out flat. We guarantee it would get the fans into the game early as well.

2) Congratulate your teammates after big plays. The Gamecocks are a cohesive team, but we'd love to see more emotion out on the field. If Calvin Middleton makes a big run, Washuan Ealey needs to be the first one over congratulating him. If Jack Jackson makes a big tackle, Big Texas Garrott should be getting him up off the ground. Simply put, lets celebrate success.

3) Do something crazy. Have the Gamecocks run a trick play this year? How about a halfback pass from Ealey, a flea flicker or let Blanchard fake a punt?

4) Get the crowd involved! A great moment from earlier this year was when Big Texas, Spiderman Smith and Dimetrio Tyson all encouraged the crowd to make some noise in the closing moments of the EIU game. The crowd responded. Lets see some more of this on Saturday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Eastern Kentucky Game

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Press Conference Quotes - The Eastern Kentucky Game

TTU FOOTBALL: Golden Eagles in the driver's seat after win over Jacksonville State

TTU FOOTBALL: Golden Eagles in the driver's seat after win over Jacksonville State: JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- It had been 10 years since the last time Tennessee Tech beat Jacksonville State on the road. In football terms, that's a long time ago. It was also a year since the Golden E...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Morning After

Devastating loss for the Gamecocks yesterday. Here is what the remaining schedule looks like for the 3 primary OVC contenders:

Jacksonville State:

EKU- always a tough game for the Gamecocks. The Colonels nearly defeated Kansas State in the first week of the season and then proceeded to lose to Austin Peay. Go figure.

@ SEMO- SEMO has struggled this year and lost their leading running back to injury. Nothing is ever easy for the Gamecocks though.

@ Tennessee State- JSU played really well against TSU last year. TSU has not been very good defensively this year. However, before we put it in the W column, remember that TSU defeated Tennessee Tech.

Tennessee Tech

Murray State- Murray is probably the scariest team in the league. It will be interesting to see if Tech is emotionally ready after their big win over the Gamecocks.

@EKU- Depending on the outcome of the JSU - EKU game and several other factors, this could be a de facto conference championship game.

Austin Peay- the OVC is unpredictable, but it would be difficult to imagine Tech losing to Peay.



Tn. Tech

UTM- assuming EKU makes it by JSU and Tech, a really tough Martin team awaits them. But for a couple of heartbreaking losses earlier in the year, UTM might be playing for the conference title.

CONCLUSION: Of the 3 contenders, JSU may have the most favorable schedule. However, it controlled its own destiny this time yesterday. Now it does not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tech Beat Writer Picks JSU To Win

OVC NOTEBOOK: JSU-Tech matchup the week's highlight: While the conference's attention has been focused on basketball these last couple of days, it's still football season in the Ohio Valley, and there's several intriguing matchups on tap for this wee...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Favorable Matchup

Jacksonville State is at or near the top of the OVC standings in rushing the ball. That may bode well for the Gamecocks in a critical OVC matchup this weekend as Tenn. Tech has struggled stopping the run. Tennessee State averaged 4.3 yards per carry in their upset of the Golden Eagles two weeks ago. Prior to that, Tech surrendered 233 yards (4.5 per carry) to Martin and a whopping 320 yards (6.5 per carry) to SEMO.

Not that the opponent matters, because it is who we are anyway, but look for the Gamecocks to pound the ball this weekend.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rashad Smith Shines at Kentucky

As the ESPN announcers recognized, JSU linebacker Rashad Smith had a huge game on Saturday. Smith had nine tackles and appears to have the speed to run down most wide receivers. If he continues to play at that level, he may be playing on the next level.

Jacksonville State's Gabriel Chambers 99 Yard Kickoff Return Against Ken...

Gamecocks leave Kentucky with injuries, concern

Gamecocks leave Kentucky with injuries, concern: JACKSONVILLE — The best things a team can get out of playing up like Jacksonville State did over the weekend — besides winning, of course — is the sense of coming out better than when it went in an...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

6 Reasons Jacksonville State Might Beat Kentucky

Last year we called the upset with: "5 Reasons Why Jacksonville State Might Upset Ole Miss." The post was linked to several Ole Miss websites and generated a ton of hits and even more hate mail. Its now time to do it again. Here are 6 Reasons why Jacksonville State might beat Kentucky:

1) Washaun Ealey has scored more touchdowns in Commonwealth Stadium than any current member of the Wildcats. No, we didn't actually do any research to verify this, but Ealey had five touchdowns against the Wildcats last year. Has Kentucky scored 5 Touchdowns this season?.

2) Spiderman beats Joker every day of the week. One of the Gamecocks' top linebackers is Rashad "Spiderman" Smith. Kentucky's coach is "Joker" Phillips. Everyone knows that Spiderman would whup the Joker's a**.

3) The revenge factor favors the Gamecocks. Kentucky ran up the score in a 91-48 basketball victory over the Gamecocks a few years back. 91-48 is all over the Gamecocks' locker room. Elephants and fighting roosters have long memories.

4) Jacksonville State has more motivation to win.. While this game is very important to Kentucky as they are attempting to maintain their FBS football status, it is even more important to the Gamecocks. Rumors are circulating that if Jacksonville State beats Kentucky, SEC Commissioner Slive will invite JSU to fill that league's open 14th spot. It makes sense. If JSU wins, it will mark two in a row over the vaunted SEC, not to mention the Gamecocks knocking UT-Knoxville out of the NCAA softball tournament a couple of years ago. Commissioner Slive was quoted as saying: "If you can't beat them, have them join you."

5) Kentucky could not practice on Tuesday.. In a news item that has remarkably gone unreported by the mainstream media, Kentucky was forced to cancel football practice earlier this week. Unfortunately, Coach Calipari needed the football practice field for three legged races and such as he hosted a "family fun day" for members of the Wildcat basketball auxillary staff.

6) Joker Phillips has had two weeks to prepare.

Former JSU, Valley Cub star added to NFL roster

Former JSU, Valley Cub star added to NFL roster: T.J. Heath never stopped believing he’d make the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 53-man roster before the end of his rookie season and his faith was rewarded Tuesday when the team announced the Alexandria pr...

Jacksonville State University - Former Gamecock T.J. Heath Promoted to Jacksonville Jaguars Active NFL Roster

Jacksonville State University - Former Gamecock T.J. Heath Promoted to Jacksonville Jaguars Active NFL Roster

Courier - Journal: Watch Out for Danny Trevathan

Here is an excerpt of an article by Kyle Tucker from the Lexington Courier-Journal about Kentucky linebacker, Danny Trevathan:

"The University of Kentucky football team has been a disappointment in the first half of this season, stumbling to a 2-4 start, 0-3 in the Southeastern Conference. But senior linebacker Danny Trevathan remains one of the best players in the country.

He leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the FBS with 72 tackles. He also has six tackles for loss, three pass breakups, two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. He was named a third-team All-American in Phil Steele’s College Football midseason awards.
“He’s had a great year,” UK defensive coordinator Rick Minter said. “He’s kind of the heart and soul right now. He’s living up to the reputation that preceded him — or that I found out about when I got here. He’s a leader. He works hard. He’s a playmaker. He’s a producer. Never been disappointed in the way he brings it.”
Head coach Joker Phillips described Trevathan’s season so far as “unbelievable” and said he has become much more comfortable in a leadership role. In turn, Trevathan has rubbed off on safety Winston Guy and linebackers Ridge Wilson and Ronnie Sneed. The four of them have become arguably the best players on the team." - UK getting back on its feet? - UK getting back on its feet?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

UK not real underdog, but should it be?

Apparently, Danny Sheridan mistakenly making JSU a 9 point favorite has caused quite a ruckus in the Bluegrass State. In the same article, Joker Phillips refers to Coty Blanchard as a "crafty little guy."

UK not real underdog, but should it be?

Gamecocks Pre Kentucky Press Conference

Some interesting comments at the press conference yesterday that featured Coach Crowe, Brooks Robinson, Monte Lewis and Coty Blanchard. Note- comments are paraphrased unless otherwise noted.

On Playing Kentucky, An SEC Team:

*Coach Crowe emphasized that the Gamecocks must get off to a good start and not get down early.

*Coach Crowe said that some of Kentucky's offensive problems have been caused by inconsistency on the line of scrimmage.

*Coach Crowe: "Can we beat them? Yes, we can beat them." . . . "We have a handful of players as good or better than [Kentucky players]. We have some players that will be overmatched."

*Monte Lewis: "We have to have the mindset that we are going to go in there and get the job done."

Crowe on the improved defense:

Against Austin Peay, we were doing what we wanted to do on defense. Creating pressure with our front four and playing tight coverage. We are finally starting to see during games what we have been seeing in practice.

Crowe on the conference race:

"We have a chance to play the final four games and determine who is going to wear the ring on their finger."

Crowe on Coty Blanchard:

"Coty's best football is next week and the week after . . . He's still going thru spring training. . . . Coty is getting better every time he goes out there" Coach Crowe was also very complimentary of offensive coordinator Ronnie Letson in the manner that he has adjusted JSU's offense to compliment Coty's skills and compensate for offensive line injuries.

Crowe on Washaun Ealey:

Crowe did not bring him to the press conference because he did not want him to be the focus given his previous success against Kentucky (5 tds last year). Crowe noted that it has been a transition for Ealey coming to this level and that he left a lot of plays out on the field when he first started, but then stated: "His will and heart has become that of ours. He is a really special talent." Crowe also noted that Ealey is very analytical when it comes to the Gamecocks offense.

Crowe on Safety, Pierre Warren:

Pierre Warren is talented. He is so talented that we had to move an all conference safety [Keginald Harris] to linebacker.

Without element of surprise, Gamecocks prep for Kentucky, put matchup in perspective

Without element of surprise, Gamecocks prep
for Kentucky, put matchup in perspective
: If anyone thinks Jacksonville State is going to sneak up on Kentucky this weekend, you can forget it. That notion went out the window last year when the Gamecocks stunned Ole Miss and the entire c...

Kentucky Paper Rates the Wildcats At Every Position

Despite Loss, Tennessee Tech Still Fired Up to Play the Gamecocks

TTU FOOTBALL: Despite setback, Tech still in OVC race: COOKEVILLE -- The Tennessee Tech football team may have suffered a setback Saturday night in its 42-40 loss to Tennessee State, but the fight is only just beginning.

Locals shine on defense in JSU win

Locals shine on defense
in JSU win
: Shoutouts are in order for two of The Star’s coverage area’s finest football players in recent years. Ben Endress and Jamaal Johnson, from Clay County and Piedmont respectively, each made impact...

Gadsden Times Article on JSU's Prep. For Kentucky

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Post-Peay Thoughts

This game was just what the Gamecocks needed. A comfortable conference win where the Gamecocks were able to play a lot of young players. Here are a few post-game observations:

*Are the Bandits back? The Gamecocks' D seems to get more accustomed to the new system every week. Its hard to believe this was the same defense that struggled so mightily against Martin and UTC.

*Bye Bye Bye Jinx. The Gamecocks ended their struggles coming off a bye week.

*6-3- No, its not a baseball score. Peay had six turnovers. The Gamecocks had three.

*His greatest ability is his flexibility. Lequintez Reynolds is ready to go on either side of the ball. He has apparently moved back to fullback the position he originally was playing for JSU prior to moving to linebacker.

*Ealey is streaking. Washaun went for over 100 yards again. That's 3 straight (Peay, Murray, EIU).

*JSU has the biggest #27 in the Country. Defensive lineman Sean Watson,a transfer from Baylor, is now wearing #27.

*We Were Only Freshmen. What a night for some freshman for the Gamecocks:

1) Blake Burks, an offensive lineman from Hoover, played just about the whole game. He primarily played in place of Matt Jones, another offensive lineman from Hoover. According to the radio team, Jones is o.k., the coaches are just being cautious with him.

2) DaMarcus a/k/a Coot a/k/a Heavy D James, got a heavy dose of playing time tonight rushing for almost fifty yards- all in one drive.

3) Steven Coates, a quarterback from SW Dekalb in Atlanta, had a lot of snaps and completed his first pass as a Gamecock.

4) Ben Endress, a walkon linebacker from Clay County, continued his great play this season with an interception for a touchdown.

5) Jamaal Johnson, a safety from Piedmont, also had an interception for a touchdown.

Here's to you, Mr. Robinson: Brooks Robinson returned a fumble for a touchdown. He has now scored on both side of the ball for the Gamecocks. It would be interesting to know how many guys have done that in the history of JSU football.

Friday, October 14, 2011

OVC Football Previews - Week 7 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Not a super exciting weekend in the OVC, but it will still be interesting to see where things stand Sunday morning.

EKU hosts SEMO. SEMO was blown out last weekend (losing their best running back in the process) and EKU destroyed EIU. It was a nice rebound for EKU after a disastrous loss to Peay. EKU is heavily favored, but if they lose they will be essentially eliminated from the conference race.

Tn. Tech hosts Tn. State. Again, Tech will be heavily favored. However, TSU destroyed SEMO last weekend 55-3 so an upset is not out of the question. If Tech loses and JSU wins, JSU would be in sole possession of first place.

UTM at South Alabama. Not a conference game, but it will be interesting to see how a very good OVC team stacks up against FBS bound USA.

OVC Football Previews - Week 7 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Howard has knack for turning catches to points

Howard has knack for turning catches to points: Justin Howard hasn’t touched the football a whole lot this season, or in his four-year Jacksonville State career for that matter, but he sure knows what to do with it when he does. Tight end may b...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

G- Times Previews JSU v. Austin Peay

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lies, Darn Lies and Statistics

With the season about 1/2 over, here is a look at how the Gamecocks shape up statistically in the conference:

Scoring Offense, Scoring Defense, Total Offense and Total Defense: The Gamecocks are 5th in all categories.

Red Zone Efficiency: The Gamecocks are second, scoring an amazing 18 of 19 times in the red zone. The good news is 14 of those are touchdowns.

Rushing Offense: The Gamecocks are 2nd.

Rushing Defense: The Gamecocks are 1st.

An old coaching axiom is great teams run, stop the run and win the turnover battle. If this is true, the Gamecocks might be on their way to a good season. These two stats go hand in hand with time of possession which the Gamecocks are ranked 1st.

Passing offense: The Gamecocks are 8th in passing offense, but here is what is interesting- they are 3rd in passing efficiency. The Gamecocks are not throwing it a lot, but when they do, they do it well.

Passing defense: The Gamecocks are 8th. This stat may be skewed by facing pass happy Murray, but JSU must improve in this area. In particular, on deep balls it appears the Gamecock defenders don't know where the ball is. The good news is the defense looks a little better every week. Coach Boone will get us there.

4th down conversions: JSU is first in the conference converting 5 of 6 4th down opportunities. Kudos to the improving offensive line.

Kickoff coverage: The Gamecocks are 1st. This may not sound like a big stat, but a few years back it seemed like opponents started every drive on the 40.

Field Goals: The Gamecocks are 1st in % at 4-4. Notably, our kickers have only missed one extra point.

Individual Statistics:

The Gamecocks are playing as a team and very few players are at the top of the individual list. Notable exceptions are Washaun Ealey who is 2nd in rushing and Spiderman Smith, who is one of the leading tacklers in the conference. Jack Jackson would probably be on that list, but he missed the first two games.

Gamecocks hoping bye week history adds fuel vs. Austin Peay

Gamecocks hoping bye week history adds fuel vs. Austin Peay: JACKSONVILLE — There was a definitive reason coach Jack Crowe invited quarterback Coty Blanchard and linebacker Clarence Jackson to share the dais at his weekly news conference Monday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Former Gamecocks Find that Delta (State) Is Ready

Two former Gamecocks, Richard Freelon and Armani Williams, have found a home with JSU's former Gulf South Rival, Delta State. Freelon is the Statesmen's second leading rusher and averages over five yards per carry. Williams has nine tackles on the year. Its good to see these former Gamecocks doing well.

"Big Heart, Nerves of Steel and the Confidence of a Wild West Gunfighter."

The Gadsden Times brings it this morning with a great feature on punt returner/wide receiver Alan Bonner.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gadsden Times: Gamecocks Gear Up For the Second Half

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Congrats to Coach Stewart

Longtime Gamecock DC, Greg Stewart, is off ot a good start in the same position at La. Lafayette. The Cajuns defeated Stewart's alma mater Troy tonight to improve to 4-1.

Greg Stewart Bio -—Official Web site of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Athletics

Football Recaps - Oct. 8 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

A wild day in the OVC.

Murray represents the conference well in a battle of teams defeated by Jacksonville State.

Martin, a hard luck case w/ two close losses, perhaps proves that upstart Peay is not for real.

EKU, who always gives the Gamecocks fits, shellaks (sp?) EIU. This is the same EKU team that lost to Peay, but that's there only conference loss.

Tennessee State who lost by about 100 to Murray clobbers SEMO.

Football Recaps - Oct. 8 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Friday, October 7, 2011

Walk-on enjoying success

Walk-on enjoying success: Talk to almost any Jacksonville State football player about what they like to do in their off time and you will get a standard answer…play video games. Every now and then you also will hear that th...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Notes from Coach Crowe's OVC Teleconference

You can go to and hear the whole thing, but here are some of the main points from Coach Crowe's teleconference with the media:

*Coach Crowe was complimentary of the Gamecocks' play along the line of scrimmage;

*Coach Crowe alluded to some problems the Gamecocks have had coming off of off weeks in the past. Apparently because of that, the Gamecocks plan to keep the intensity high in practice this week but the players will get an extra off day. Coach Crowe said he plans to keep working the team hard until we get good at what we are doing.

*The Gamecocks are in good shape injury wise. Washaun Ealey and AJ Davis are banged up, but both should be back for the Peay game.

*Coach Crowe was very complimentary of Ealey describing him as a "major intellect" or something to that effect. Crowe also commented that Ealey's hard running style takes a toll on his body.

*Coach Crowe said that UTM and Austin Peay were very similar and had high praise for the job Coach Cristophel has doen with the Governors. Coach Crowe didn't say this, but we think UTM will handle Peay fairly easily. Martin is a hair away from being undefeated after a very tough early schedule, narrowly losing games to Tennessee Tech and JSU.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Clarence Jackson Named National Defensive Player of the Week

Jacksonville State University - JSU's Clarence Jackson Named National Defensive Player of the Week

TTU FOOTBALL: Tech beats Martin, now 3-0 in OVC

JSU's main competition for the league title is Tennessee Tech. Here is a story on their game against Martin.

TTU FOOTBALL: Tech beats Martin, now 3-0 in OVC: MARTIN -- Tennessee Tech's luck hasn't run out just yet. It almost did, but the Golden Eagles made the plays at just the right time, and took advantage of big UT Martin penalties on Tech's last fu...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Great Win At Murray

Its a great night to be a Gamecock! Here are a few observations from a cloudy OVC feed:

*So that's why you were the #1 back in Georgia! Washaun Ealey is now officially the player we thought he would be when he transferred to JSU. Good gracious, near 150 yards tonight and no personal fouls. It seems like he is buying in to the team.

*Pick your poison: If you are a defensive coordinator, it has to be tough to get ready for the Gamecocks. They pound it, run some option, hit you with some play action. If you key on Ealey, here comes Calvin and Coty. At some point, they need to let big Coot get a carry.

*Debut of the Slota Cat: The Gamecocks brought in all purpose bull in a china shop Jerry Slota three times tonight and he delivered three times. Before the end of the season, Slota needs to hit Coty with a pass.

*The Most Improved Award Goes to . . .: The Gamecock offensive line. After struggling early in the season, they are now blowing other teams off the ball. Tarik Milner, Max Holcombe and Spanky Ellis are much improved and we knew Mobley and Jones were good.

*Missing AJ: This was not a game where you wanted to be without a starting cornerback, but the Gamecocks were missing AJ Davis who tweaked an ankle in practice this week. Thankfully, JSU's other starting cornerback, Jawaan Booker was medically cleared to play earlier in the week.

*Bringing the Heat: Did the Gamecocks bring in Joe Lee Dunn as a consultant? They appeared to blitz on just about every play. While Murray certainly hit on a lot of plays, the constant pressure led to some stops by the Gamecocks. We are giddy right now, but if JSU can just eliminate the big plays they might become a dominant defense. They made Murray a one dimensional team only giving up 7 yards on the ground to an offense that included all OVC running back, Mike Harris.

*A pretty good trio: Trey Smith, Alan Bonner and James Shaw all turned in big games for the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks aren't throwing it much, but when they do this trio is producing.

*Who Are These Guys? After today's games, the teams joining JSU at the top of the conference standings are Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay. Tech beat UTM in a close one. JSU goes on the road to Peay in two weeks. UTM, Murray and EIU- all have two league losses.

Jacksonville State University - No. 13 Gamecocks Unleash Offense, Hold Off Murray State

Jacksonville State University - No. 13 Gamecocks Unleash Offense, Hold Off Murray State

Friday, September 30, 2011

TTU FOOTBALL: Martin exceeding predictions

TTU FOOTBALL: Martin exceeding predictions: MARTIN -- Who needs preseason prognostications anyway? As the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll was released, UT Martin was projected to finish sixth in the conference, one spot below Ten...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Information Overload Jacksonville State Versus Murray State

The Jacksonville State - Murray State matchup is a big game in all respects. Here is a little background on each team followed by who has the edge in matchups.

Murray State's Season To Date: The Racers season started out with a relatively close loss (9-21) to FBS Louisville. They followed that with two blowout wins over less than formidable opponents, Tennessee State and Mississippi Valley State. The TSU game in particular was impressive, however, with Murray racking up 707 yards of total offense. Then, last Thursday night Murray was shocked by rival UT Martin. Martin jumped on the Racers 28-0 and never looked back. One statistic from that game that may bode well for the Gamecocks-- Murray allowed two UTM rushers to eclipse the 100 yard mark.

Jacksonville State's Season to Date: The Gamecocks opened up with a narrow victory over Martin in a performance that disappointed most fans at the time but looks quite a bit better in hindsight. In the Gamecocks second game, they were soundly defeated by Chattanooga. A disappointing loss, but UTC may end up winning the Southern Conference. The Gamecocks followed the UTC loss with two solid performances against Georgia State and Eastern Illinois, neither of whom are world beaters but both gave JSU closer games last year. While it may have something to do with the quality of opposition, the Gamecocks have looked markedly better on both sides of the ball. On the offensive side in particular, the Gamecocks look better having gained over 400 yards in each of their last two games.

Here's a look at the matchups:

Jacksonville State running game versus Murray's run defense:

The Gamecocks are averaging 176 yards per game on the ground whereas Murray gives up 164.5 rushing yards per game. As mentioned above, Murray struggled mightily stopping the run against Martin. Conversely, JSU's running game appears to be getting better and better as the offensive line improves and Ealey adapts to the Gamecock system. Against EIU, Ealey went for over 150 yards and Middleton only missed eclipsing the century mark by 2 yards. The key for the Gamecocks running attack is to keep pounding the ball and avoid penalties. If they do, Murray, which is more of a finesse team, may not hold up well. Memo to Ealey: Please don't get any personal fouls.

Advantage: Jacksonville State.

Jacksonville State passing game versus Murray's pass defense:

The Gamecocks are a run first team this year particularly after starting quarterback Marques Ivory went down in the first game. However, Ivory's backup Coty Blanchard has proven to be an effective passer completing 62% of his passes. Murray's pass defense has been mediocre. They have given up over 200 yards in the air in 3 of their 4 games, but never over 300 yards. The major problem for Murray, however, is one of their starting corners and his backup are both out with injuries. When an FCS team gets down to their third stringer, it may present problems.

Advantage: Jacksonville State (based on injuries).


This is scary. Against FCS opponents, Murray has thrown for 265, 630 and 240 yards respectively. Murray's passing attack is led by pre-season All OVC QB Casey Brockman. He will likely be missing one of his favorite targets in WR, Pat Robertson, but the Racers have a talented trio of receivers in Hannibal Beauford (19 recpts), Walter Powell (18) and Arthur Brackett (11).

In contrast to the Racers stellar pass offense, the Gamecocks have been very vulnerable to the pass, giving up a whopping 261 yards per game. A lot of these yards have come as a result of blown assignments as the Gamecocks acclimate to a new defensive scheme. Need one more reason to worry about this matchup, last year, Coach Boone was at Martin and UTM gave up 60+ points to the Racers so it may be a bad scheme matchup.

Insider tip: While we favor the Racers in this matchup, watch for Gamecock Defensive End, Monte Lewis to put pressure on Brockman. He was banged up earlier in the year and is now healthy.

Insider tip #2: The Gamecocks may play running back Rashod Byers some at corner against the Racers. Byers can fly and could really add an exciting element to the Gamecock pass defense.

Advantage: Murray State.

Murray State Running Game Versus Jacksonville State Run Defense.

While due respect to Ealey and Middleton, right now the top running back in the OVC is Murray's Mike Harris. Harris has gone for 100+ yards in three of four games this year. TSU, who did not play any other defense against Murray, did hold Harris to 13 yards on seven carries. Murray does not have any other rushers that are much of a threat.

To date, the Gamecock run defense has been only marginally better than their pass defense. However, it must be noted that Ole Miss transfer Jack Jackson missed the first two games of the season and the Gamecocks have gotten much tougher since he was declared eligible. Also, converted safety Keginald Harris has transitioned to linebacker making the Gamecocks a quicker unit.

Advantage: Even.


Murray is likely without kick and punt returner, Pat Robertson. Hopefully, the Gamecocks will give Gabriel Chambers some chances to work his majic. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Murray averages 41.1 yards per punt against the Gamecocks' 35.7 average (Blanchard's average is probably a little low because of the number of times JSU has tried to pin their opponents deep). Murray has blocked two punts and been close on several more. The Gamecocks have one block.

Neither team has tried many field goals, but Murray has Kienan Cullen a Pre-Season All OVC kicker who has made 5 field goals this year. JSU counters with James Esco who is 3 for 3 on the year.



Several intangbiles favor Murray:

*Murray is at home and got two extra days to prepare after playing on a Thursday against UTM. Their crowd may be a little down, however, as Murray is on fall break.

*The Gamecocks have not played well on the road in quite some time dropping games against Tenn. Tech and EKU at the end of last season followed by the UTC loss this season. In particular, the Gamecocks have not played well in the second half on the road since the Ole Miss game last year.

On the other hand:

*The Gamecocks beat UTM who soundly defeated Murray.

*Murray will be missing some key playmakers. The Gamecocks are too, but are now used to playing without Odie Rush and Marques Ivory.

*The Gamecocks may have some confidence against Murray after defeating them last year and having a 7-1 series advantage over the Racers.


Overall, this one looks like it could be a shootout. Since the name of this blog is Gamecock Illustrated (not Racer Illustrated), we will predict JSU 45 - 31.

"Who's on them blogs?"

Not a ton of news out there so thought we'd give you a link to this. This guy is best known for his cats/dogs interview, but this one hit close to home for us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Murray State- JSU Injury Report

Coach Hatcher stated that Murray will be missing, or possibly missing, some key players in Saturday's game against the Gamecocks. The players he mentioned are as follows:

Patrick Robertson, WR, Out. Robertson had started every game for the Racers this year. He was also listed as their #1 kick and punt returner for the Martin game.

Darian Skinner, CB, Out. Skinner had started every game at corner for the Racers this year.

Lamar Hall, CB, Out. Hall was Skinner's backup, but Coach Hatcher indicated he will be out as well.

Javonte Trotter, WR, Questionable. Trotter is not a starter but had put up some big numbers in the Racers first three games.

On the Gamecocks side of the ball:

Jawaan Booker, CB, Questionable. Coach Crowe has been very circumspect on whether he will play. Book is a warrior. We predict he will be on the field.

Also, Middleton and Matt Jones have also appeared banged up from time to time. However, no official word that they are injured.

Of course, the Gamecocks are missing All OVC players Marques Ivory and Odie Rush, but that is well known.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Emergency Plan at Corner

Per the press conference today, CB Jawaan Booker is injured. It is unclear whether he will play against Murray. If he can't play, the Gamecocks will use running back Rashod Byers (#8)on an emergency basis. Byers is a great athlete that has some experience at that position.

Per EIU Coach- Coty Is the Best Athlete in the Conference


Sunday, September 25, 2011

EIU Post Game Observations

Rarely do the Gamecocks make it easy, but 2-0 in conference play is very good. A few post game observations:

New Number, New Name- Same Player: Tight end Justin Howard has apparently changed his name to Justin Hall. Compounding the confusion, he wore #19. Regardless, he had another huge game. The staff continues to find ways to get him wide open.

2nd Week of Great Running: For the second straight week, the Gamecock rushing trio of Middleton, Ealey and Blanchard were dominant on the ground. Ealey let the way wit 155 yards and Middleton only needed 2 more to get 100. The Gamecocks keep pounding the ball and eventually break the will of the opposition.

What is the NCAA Record for Personal Fouls? Whatever it is, Ealey may break it. It seemed like he had at least two last night and he was known to get a few at Georgia. Ealey plays with great effort, but if he could just channel that emotion it would be even better.

Marquis George Gets Recognized: All year long, DE Marquis George has been making plays. It was great to see that effort recognized last night with a start.

Texas Gets The Crowd Fired Up: Late in the game, EIU took over at midfield with a chance to tie. Rodney "Big Texas" Garrott got the whole crowd fired up. Best of all, the defense responded with a dominating 3 and out.

Defense Getting Better: Each week, it seems like the Gamecock defense is slowly getting better. If they could figure out a way to eliminate those early scoring drives by the other team, it would be great. After that, though the Gamecocks really bowed up only giving up two more scores. One came on a short field after the Gamecocks fumbled on the 14. The other appeared to be the result of a blown coverage by the very talented freshman, Pierre Warren.

Bad News: Apparently, Mike Parris announced that pre-season All OVC tackle, Odie Rush is out for the year. Rush will redshirt and be back next year.

Turn Country loose: Gabriel Chambers may be the most electrifying kick returner in the OVC. He had two more great returns (one negated by a penalty). This guy is dangerous every time he touches the ball.

Francis Duncan- Hitter. An unheralded member of the Gamecock secondary is #38, Francis Duncan. That may not last long. He really hits people.

Big Game Next Week: Despite Murray's loss to UTM, the Gamecocks face a huge challenge at Murray next week. It is the ultimate contrast in styles, the Gamecocks play smash mouth football. Murray is more akin to flag football, but they can put some #s up.

Football Recaps - Sept. 24 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Major Upset in the OVC - Peay Beats EKU.

Football is a hard game to figure out. EKU had Kansas State beat in week 1. That same Kansas State team defeated Miami yesterday. EKU in turn lost to Austin Peay who had not shown much life this year.

Football Recaps - Sept. 24 -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

JSU ‘D’ f inally arrives

JSU ‘D’ f inally arrives: Critical stops gives Gamecocks win over EIU

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gamecock Soccer Undefeated . . .

in conference play. Congrats to the Gamecocks soccer team for getting a big win on the ROAD in thei conference opener against SIUE. Keep it going.

Jacksonville State University - Gamecocks Blank SIUE In OVC Opener, 1-0

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Column: Play or not to play? - Sports

Column: Play or not to play? - Sports

JSU’s Crowe finds similarities in pastime, job

JSU’s Crowe finds similarities in pastime, job: Most people look out across at a football field and simply see a wide expanse of green grass. Jack Crowe sees a chess board.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

EIU's Beat Writer With a Good OVC Story


Crowe Quotes on Jack Jackson

*From the OVC teleconference:

"He's agile, mobile and . . . hostile."

"He's the most talented kid we've ever had at linebacker."

Meet the Gamecocks: Clarence Jackson

Meet the Gamecocks: Clarence Jackson: Clarence Jackson was at the Ole Miss-Jacksonville State game last year, but standing on the wrong sideline. He watched as his then team, Ole Miss, went down in defeat to the Gamecocks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Eastern Stories


Ricks Is Questionable

EIU's best player is receiver Lorence Ricks. He is listed as questionable for the Panthers contest against the Gamecocks.


Article On JSU Punter Jake Scott

The Post Online - Ivory's bad luck may be a break for Jake Scott - Jacksonville State football

Big Game This Thursday In the OVC

Murray State and UT Martin meet up with each other this Thursday night in a key OVC matchup. So far, Murray has looked very good. They destroyed Tennessee State and played respectably in a loss to Louisville. Martin lost narrowly to the Gamecocks and defeated a small college.

A Murray win moves them to 2-0 in the conference and all but eliminates UTM from conference title hopes. A Murray loss would put a serious damper on their title hopes with tough games remaining against Jacksonville State, Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky and inject UTM back into the title mix.

An interesting side note. Murray State fans have claimed that the game was originally scheduled on a Thursday with the understanding that both teams would be working on four days rest. Allegedly, Martin then went out and moved their Union College game up to give them extra time to prepare. Things might get a little feisty on Thursday night.

Eastern Illinois University - EIU Faces Road Test At Jacksonville State

Eastern Illinois University - EIU Faces Road Test At Jacksonville State

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Post Georgia State Observations

*A Happy Crowe: Coach Crowe loves to run the football and control the game with the run. The Gamecocks ran it 58 times on Saturday with three separate players getting over 10 carries.

*Mr. All Purpose: The holes have not been big for the Gamecocks running attack this year, but when Ealey gets in the open field he is punishing and dangerous. On Saturday, he had over 80 yards rushing, but also had over 70 yards receiving. His best play, however, may have been a complete and utter demolition of a Georgia State defender on a block that freed Coty up for a score. A Gamecock insider said that when Ealey first arrived his blocking was far ahead of his running.

*AJ runs em' down: Despite a somewhat disappointing overall start this year, special teams have been pretty good. The Gamecocks did let Georgia State break a long kickoff return, but it was great to see Awesome Jet Davis close the gap on the returner.

*Free Country: Shaw and Bonner are great return men, but after his performance against Martin what does Gabriel "Country" Chambers have to do to get a shot as the kickoff return man.

*Jackson and Johnson (not the presidents, the linebackers): It did not take Jack Jackson long to make his impact felt, getting a tackle on the opening kickoff, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown and leading the team in tackles. It was also great to see linebacker Nick Johnson, a starter who has missed time because of injury, back out there. Johnson was second on the team in tackles. Indeed, there were new linebackers everywhere with pre-season All OVC safety Keginald Harris getting his first start of the season -- at linebacker. The teams that will threaten JSU in the OVC this year do not pound the ball. Using Harris, even though he might be undersized at linebacker, makes the whole team faster.

*The Butcher Block: Every time he is in the game, Defensive Tackle Barry "the Butcher" Stafford (they call him the butcher because he used to work as a meat cutter) just makes plays. This time the Butcher blocked a Georgia State punt from a short formation which led to the Jack Jackson touchdown.

*Colt Kennedy Comes out Firing: Things were looking scary when Matt Jones appeared hobbled with an injury after the first half. However, Colt Kennedy, from Douglas, Georgia started the second half and the Gamecocks never looked back. When asked about the big holes in the second half, a Gamecock coach said that's what happens when you keep pounding the ball.

*They were only freshmen: There are a lot of freshmen and new players working in to regular rotations. This should bode well for the Gamecocks as the season progresses as true depth is built. Among the true or redshirt freshman making significant contributrions are WR Country Chambers, RB Rashod Byers, RB Coot James, Safety Jamaal Johnson, DT Caleb Lawrence, and CB Denzell Bynum. When you add in other "new" players like Ealey, Jack Jackson, Tarik Milner, Jerry Slota, Jeremy Nicholson, Tanner Robinson all making an impact, things are hopefully looking up for the Gamecocks.

*New Look Gamecocks: The Gamecocks showed a lot of new looks this weekend. Several times the Gamecocks came out with Calvin Middleton, Ealey and Coot lined up right next to each other. Also, Letson and company seemed to show some new wrinkles on some option plays which emphasized Blanchard's dual threat capabilities.

A Look Ahead to Next Week's Opponent

Eastern Illinois University - EIU Rally Falls Short Against Tennessee Tech

Same issues plague Georgia State in loss  |

Same issues plague Georgia State in loss  |

Georgia State-Jacksonville State notebook  |

Some information on the game from a Georgia State perspective

Georgia State-Jacksonville State notebook  |

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Washaun Ealey and Dexter Moody

More coverage leading up to the Ga State - Jax State game in the here.

Here Comes the Headhunter

Jack Jackson is eligible to play this Saturday. Its been a long path for Jackson to get a chance to suit it up for the Gamecocks. I'm reminded of the words which I will paraphrase to an old Kenny Rogers' song: "twenty years of rage, was bottled up inside him!" Lets hope Jackson takes out his frustration on the Panthers.

Tuesday morning links

Gamecocks football practice to change - click here

Gamecocks prepare for Ga State - click here

Ga State practice notes - click here

Georgia State's Center Is Out

The AJC reports that Georgia State's starting center will not play on Saturday. Hopefully, Dimetrio Tyson and company will take full advantage of the situation.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Link to In Depth Recap of Georgia State's Loss Last Weekend

Hopefully, Help Is On the Way

GI was told before this game that UTC might be the best team the Gamecocks played this year. It sure looked like it. The way Coleman executed which opened up other parts of the game for them reminds one of how the Gamecocks executed when we had Perrilloux.

JSU should get a decision on whether Ole Miss transfer Jack Jackson will be eligible this week. If he is eligible, his lateral speed should help.

Likewise, the original diagnosis on preseason All-OVC tackle, Odie Russ was that he would be back by mid-season. Hopefully, he is improving. The Gamecocks have some good running backs, but they need a little more room to run.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville St. Preview |

Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville St. Preview |

Quote of the Day from Ealey

From an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

"This is a different environment than UGA ... but I'm adjusting to it pretty well," Ealey said. "Everybody puts their pants on the same way, and I don't think I'm better than anybody else because I come from an SEC school."

That's an attitude that will win some championships. Man, if the offensive line can continue its improvement from the second half against Martin, Ealey, Coot, Calvin and Rashod could have a big night.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Perrilloux on Giants Practice Squad

Congrats to Ryan Perrilloux for making the New York Giants practice squad. As previously reported, TJ Heath made the Jaguars practice squad.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Links from Chattanooga

Chattanooga newspaper article: Mocs prepare for Coty Blanchard

Linebackers a strength for UTC - click here

Recap of OVC Foe Tn. Tech's Performance Against Iowa

FAST BREAK: Performance at Iowa a good sign for Tech: After soaking in (pun not intended) Tennessee Tech football's season-opening 34-7 loss at Iowa, I'm feeling pretty good about the Tennessee Tech football team. No matter who it came against on the...

Cubs’ Heath retained, ready to refine skills in NFL

Cubs’ Heath retained, ready to refine skills in NFL: T.J. Heath saw “The Turk” visit a lot of players while he was in Jacksonville Jaguars’ camp this summer, but the reaper who knocks on doors and tells NFL hopefuls, “Coach wants to see you — and bri...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

JSU Postgame vs. UT Martin (9/1/11)

No holiday rest for Gamecocks

No holiday rest for Gamecocks: JACKSONVILLE — Once the season starts, Mondays are typically off-the-field academic days for the Jacksonville State football team, but on this Labor Day, the Gamecocks were, well, laboring.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chambers and Other Bright Spots From the Martin Game

Here are a few bright spots from the Martin game:

*Gabriel Chambers. Making his much anticipated debut, Chambers had kick returns of 42, 24 and 38 yards. He was one broken tackle away from taking at least one of those for a touchdown.

*Rashad Smith. Smith, a linebacker from Florida, must play a more prominent role for the Gamecocks. He had a good start Thursday with nine tackles.

*Texas Garrott and Marquis George. These two defensive ends made several solo tackles and tackles for loss.

*JSU's second half offense. After doing nothing for most of the game, the Gamecocks had three straight 50 yard plus drives. Perhaps that indicates that the offensive line was meshing together late in the game.

*Conversely, after allowing UTM a td to open the second half, the Gamecock defense held the Skyhawks to two field goals on their next seven possessions. Most of those possessions were relatively short. The Gamecocks gave some yards up on the last drive, but presumably were attempting to make UTM burn clock.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

If There Was A Line, UTC Would Be Favored

The UTC Mocs may be JSU's biggest competition this year. If there was a line, I believe they would be a 7 point favorite. They did a lot of good things against a very good Nebraska team.

The Gamecocks defensive line needs to match the hype, the offensive line must play way better than they did against Martin and the secondary must fix the missed assignments. It will probably take a near perfect game by JSU to win.

Big plays push Nebraska past Mocs |

WAITING GAME: Gamecocks’ LB Jackson still not cleared by NCAA

WAITING GAME: Gamecocks’ LB Jackson still not cleared by NCAA: JACKSONVILLE — It sounds simple, but whether linebacker Clarence Jackson gets to play a down for Jacksonville State anytime soon remains a matter of interpretation. The question is whose interpret...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

JSU quarterback Ivory has season-ending surgery

JSU quarterback Ivory has season-ending surgery: JACKSONVILLE — Losing a veteran starting quarterback the way Jacksonville State did in its season opener Thursday night can be devastating to a season, but the head coach and offensive coordinator ...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Offensive Line- What Was Our Expectation?

We all wanted to win 49-0 last night, but the folks here at will take a win anytime we can get it. By the way, it says here that at the end of the season UTM will be in the top 1/3 of the OVC standings.

In any event, before we jump off a bridge because things weren't as pretty as we hoped, consider this:

Left Tackle, Tarik Milner - starting his first college game;
Left Guard, Matt Jones- had not played a game in over a year because of injury;
Center, Max Holcombe- starting his first college game;
Right Guard, Michael- "Big Spank Dogg" Ellis- played defensive line last year;
Right Tackle, T. Mobley- the only guy that has played a ton uninterrupted by injury.

The Gamecocks have talent on the offensive line. It may just take a little while to get it back. The good news is that by the time we get back in the conference schedule, Odie Rush a heck of a tackle may be ready to return.

Answers to the 12 Pre-Game Questions

In no particular order, here are 12 questions we will answer tomorrow.

1) Are the Gamecocks as good as we think they are?

Based on the performance last night, they are not. The defense in general was anything but dominant. Numerous blown coverages, apparently by the safetys. No sacks by All American Monte Lewis. Big Texas was very active, particularly in the first half. Also, kudos to the defense for holding UTM after one of the Gamecocks wasn't paying attention and got hit with a punt at the 3.

2) Is Washaun Ealey going to dominate the OVC?

No, particulary not if our offensive line does not come together. Ealey ran hard and appeared to get better as the game progressed. Beautiful pass and catch on the TD from Blanchard. Also, Ealey has got to stop getting into it with the other team after about 1/2 of the plays. It will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at least once this year.

3) Is DeMarcus a/k/a Coot, a/k/a Heavy D James as good as the hype?

He would have to carry the ball to make this determination, but he appeared to make some good blocks as the lead back on several plays.

4) Will Rashod Byers break a long one?

He would have to carry the ball to make this determination, but I think he had one good run when I went to the bathroom.

5) Will the lighter Marques Ivory be more of a playmaker?

Devastating injury to a great guy and great player. I hope Ivory can take a redshirt and be back next year.

6) Can Coty match his game one heroics from last year?

Awesome game by Blanchard, although he got careless with the ball once or twice. He was playing with a bum ankle and still dominated the game late.

7) Is the revamped offensive line going to perform?

It looked ugly at first, but Coty said the line was starting to dominate as the game progressed.

8) Is Alan Bonner ready to be a full time starter at wide receiver?

Bonner has great potential, but he did not appear to impact the game last night.

9) Will Trey Smith follow up his dominant performance in the Spring Game with a good performance in a real game?

T. Smith had a couple of catches and one drop. He can really be a weapon as the year progresses.

10) Is Head Hunter Jack Jackson going to show out at linebacker?

Jackson was declared ineligible the day of the game. How the heck did this happen? Coach Crowe commented that his replacement, Endress, was battling turf toe. One player does not mean everything, but having Jackson's speed out there would have been a great cure for some of the things UTM was doing.

11) Our defensive line is getting a massive amount of hype. Will their play match the hype?

Bottom line, they did not live up to the pre-season hype. There is still a lot of football left to play.

12) Most intriguing player- Jerry Slota. Will he make an impact?

Never saw Slota on offense, so he did not make an impact on this game.

UT Martin - Post Game Quotes

Blanchard on the comeback:

"UT-Martin's d-line starting getting tired and our offensive line was dominating the line of scrimmage," Blanchard said. "They stepped it up a notch."

Crowe on Jack Jackson being ruled ineligible the day of the game:

"That sort of started the day," said Crowe, who will appeal the waiver next week. "He had really been as dynamic as anybody on defense."

Ealey on the slow start:

"First-game jitters," Ealey shrugged. "We didn't expect them to be as good as they were. They came out and beat us for a whole half."

Ealey on the TD pass from Blanchard:

"Coty threw a great ball," said Ealey, who in one pass play surpassed his entire rushing total (41 yards on 13 carries). "All I had to do was concentrate."

UTM coach Jason Simpson on the loss:

"I am surprised we lost this game,” Simpson said. “Jacksonville State is a good football team, but so are we.”

Jacksonville State University - Gamecocks Rally in Closing Minute for 24-23 Win in OVC Opener

Jacksonville State University - Gamecocks Rally in Closing Minute for 24-23 Win in OVC Opener

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tweet of the Day

From former Gamecock,Kevin Dix: "I might not know much, but I do know one thing. My boys going in for the kill at 6:00 p.m."

TTU FOOTBALL: Iowa not looking past Tech

TTU FOOTBALL: Iowa not looking past Tech: IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz spoke during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, he certainly wasn't taking this weekend's opener against Tennessee Tech lightly.

A Dozen Questions We Will Answer Tomorrow.

In no particular order, here are 12 questions we will answer tomorrow.

1) Are the Gamecocks as good as we think they are?

2) Is Washaun Ealey going to dominate the OVC?

3) Is DeMarcus a/k/a Coot, a/k/a Heavy D James as good as the hype?

4) Will Rashod Byers break a long one?

5) Will the lighter Marques Ivory be more of a playmaker?

6) Can Coty match his game one heroics from last year?

7) Is the revamped offensive line going to perform?

8) Is Alan Bonner ready to be a full time starter at wide receiver?

9) Will Trey Smith follow up his dominant performance in the Spring Game with a good performance in a real game?

10) Is Head Hunter Jack Jackson going to show out at linebacker?

11) Our defensive line is getting a massive amount of hype. Will their play match the hype?

12) Most intriguing player- Jerry Slota. Will he make an impact?

JSU's Four Forcemen

JSU's Four Forcemen: What’s in a name? In sports, it’s defining. Every great defensive line of its generation has had a nickname that’s made them instantly recognizable.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FCS Blogger talks about Ealey, UTC and others writer Matt Elder discusses who to watch in FCS football this year. Click here for the link. JSU RB Washaun Ealey, UTC QB BJ Coleman and others are mentioned.

We agree that Ealey should put up big numbers. However, the biggest challenge for Ealey may come from within the team with Coot James and Rashod Byers. These two talented backs will get carries. How many may depend on who has the hot hand.

Caleb Lawrence Did Not Get the Memo

One of the least heralded members of the Gamecocks' 2011 recruiting class was defensive lineman, Caleb Lawrence, from Opelika, Alabama. Conventional wisdom was that he would redshirt. Apparently, Lawrence decided to let his play do the talking and earned a spot on the UTM depth chart as the #3 noseguard, behind Dimetrio Tyson and Barry "the Butcher" Stafford. JSU doesn't list three players at many spots so Lawrence's inclusion is conspicuous.

On a related note, look for a big game out of Tyson. He has promised to go "ham" after finding some old school Lil' John to listen to before the game.

Shake Up At Safety

JSU released its depth chart for the UTM game earlier this week. There were not a ton of surprises except for the safety position. It appears that Robert Gray and Brooks Robinson have supplanted Keginald Harris and Jason Horton as the starting safetys. Indeed, Pierre Warren, a sensational freshman from Marbury, Alabama is listed as the #2 safety at one spot.

We don't know whether this was a by-product of camp injuries or whether Gray/Robinson just beat the other guys out. We knew Gray and Robinson were good, if they are good enough to flat beat out the talented Harris and Horton, JSU's defense might be scary this year.

Crowe crowing about this year’s Gamecocks

Crowe crowing about this year’s Gamecocks: JACKSONVILLE — Jack Crowe is an old coach, but he doesn’t play from the old coach’s press-conference playbook.

First-time Gamecock starters have same high expectations as veterans

First-time Gamecock starters have same high expectations as veterans: JACKSONVILLE — Max Holcombe is a little nervous about making his first college start Thursday night but otherwise confident in his ability to take care of his business on the Jacksonville State off...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wadley a family, football man

Wadley a family, football man: JACKSONVILLE — You say there’s just not enough hours in the day to manage all that’s on your plate? Consider all the balls Jamison Wadley has to keep in the air.

JSU quarterback wants Gamecocks’ offense to step it up

JSU quarterback wants Gamecocks’ offense to step it up: JACKSONVILLE — Marques Ivory says he won’t mind digging deep into his pockets for his teammates this season if it means the Jacksonville State offense getting back to the dominating style upon whic...

Monday, August 29, 2011


As summer camp has evolved, two names have been consistently mentioned as newcomers to watch: running back, Coot James, and wide receiver, Gabriel "Country" Chambers. Chambers is no stranger to playing championship football, having won a title his senior year of high school at Cherokee County along with fellow Gamecock Coty Blanchard.

Blanchard followed his high school glory with an amazing performance in his first college game, helping to lead JSU to an improbable upset over Ole Miss. Chambers, however, has had to be a little more patient in getting his opportunity to shine after sitting out his first year to concentrate on admission issues. Indeed, Chambers was not even allowed to practice with the team. Undeterred, he kept working on his skills and appears to be ready to contribute to the Gamecocks this season. Chambers is the consummate Gamecock, confident in his own ability, but quick to praise teammates. While Chambers has great physical ability, his strongest attribute may be a sheer love for the game of football.

On the eve of the 2011 season, we sat down with Chambers to get his thoughts on being back on the field, his fellow wide receivers and some other new Gamecocks that are turning heads.

On Returning to Football After Sitting Out For the Year

Q: How excited are you to be out on the field again after sitting out for a year?
A: I'm very excited. When you sit out, you have to have the confidence to get yourself back into the pads.

Q: Was it strange getting into the live contact after sitting out?
A: The first day we started out it felt kind of weird because I had not been hit for a while, but I'm getting used to it.

Q: Who laid that first hit on you?
A: Robert Gray [a safety from Collinsville] probably laid the first big lick on me. It was like a hit I got in the state championship game.

Q: Speaking of the state championship, JSU has a big contingent of fans from Cherokee county. When you go out on the field on September 1 do you feel like you will be representing Cherokee County?
A: Yes, sir. I am representing Centre, but I am also out there doing whatever I can to help my team win. The coaches say you have to get out of high school mode, so I am definitely not forgetting where I came from, but I'm also looking towards my future at JSU.

Q: Have you and your former high school teammate Coty Blanchard hooked up much in preseason workouts?
A: Yes, sir. When we had the week off to go back home, me, Coty and DJ Fife [former Cherokee County running back] all met up and we threw back at the high school. . . . Me and Coty have been throwing and connecting here lately.

Q: Coach Crowe has sung your praises here in the pre-season, how does that make you feel?
A: I don't take that for granted. It means a lot for the head coach to say something about me. He knows that I won't let him down. I've got to go out there and I've got to do my job. I have a great group or receivers that are helping me. Right now, I am still in a learning experience but once I get used to the learning curve I will be ready to rock and roll.

Q: Who are some of the receiving corps veterans that have taken you under their wing?
A: I have a great group of guys to help me. I have Alan Bonner, James Shaw and we have a new transfer, Trey Smith, he has helped me out a lot. We are like a family out there. We help each other out and look out for each other. A lot of the guys help make sure we are in the right spot at the right time.

Q: Has it been difficult adjusting to the speed of the college game versus high school?
A: Not really, the main thing I have to get used to is not making that many cuts, but just turn it up and get north and south because the big guys might be coming! Every time I get the ball, I'll run for my life . . . because there are bigger guys out there and they are way faster than they were in high school.

Q: You try to stay away from Monte Lewis in practice?
A: Yes, sir. I try to stay away from him and Big Texas [JSU Defensive End Rodney Garrott].

Q: You look like you have bulked up some since arriving at JSU?
A: Yes, sir. I have gained some weight. Coach Austin [JSU's strength coach] does a good job [with us] in the weight room. When I first started [this year] I wasn't in top shape because I had to take the year off . . . but Coach Austin has gone a great job getting me back in shape. We are in the best shape that we have ever been. We are going to be pretty good. I hate it for teams that are going to have to go against us.

Q: Are you ready for 2 a days to be done?
A: We are ready, but then if you love the game . . you still want football to be always there.


Q: Trey Smith, the wide receiver transfer from Western Michigan, had a big Spring Game. Has he carried that over to summer practice?
A: Yes, sir. He is one of those guys you can throw to [when you need a first down]. He is a tall, physical person. He says he is going to open it up one day; I'm just waiting to see him open it up.

Q: What is your first impression of Georgia transfer, running back Washaun Ealey?
A: Ealey is a great back. I've never seen someone that is that big, but can run like that. [Editor's note: Chambers was quick to mention that he views Calvin Middleton as a great running back as well].

Q: How about Jack Jackson, the linebacker transfer from Ole Miss?
A: Jack is a headhunter. He is an athletic player. . . . He is one of those players that likes to get around the ball.


Q: I keep hearing JSU might be going more to the running game. Are the receivers taking it as a challenge to play so well that Coach Letson [JSU's offensive coordinator] doesn't have any choice but to throw it to you?
A: We are just going to have to do what receivers do. If they want to go to the running game, we are going to have to block for them. As long as we are winning, we aren't going to complain. We are going to try and get the running game back, anybody can stop the pass, but its hard to stop the run. That's the main thing for defenses, stop the run. The passing game is going to be there.

Q: How is QB Marques Ivory playing after losing so much weight?
A: Ques' and I talked the other night. He is one of those guys on the team that gives me leadership. He was determined to lose weight. He felt like in the games we lost last year, he could have made more plays. This year we will see more of Ques' like he was in high school, more like a running quarterback. He can throw and run. It is exciting what he can bring to the table this year, so I am ready to see it.


Q: How tough is it in practice going up against our veteran corners, AJ Davis and Jawaan Booker?
A: They are tough. Book and I worked out in the summer. He is a smart player. He really stays on me about my release.
AJ is a speed and lockdown corner, Book is the same way. I'm glad that I have people like that to compete with every day to make me better. [Both of these guys] show me leadership and tell me about stuff they learned when they were freshmen. It is helping me out so that I can learn more and more about the game so I can be ready before UT Martin.

Q: I also hear some good things about our freshman corners, Denzell Bynum and Brandon Bender?
A: Denzell is one of those quick guys. I played against Denzell in high school. He is a great defensive player and from what I see in camp he should be able to get playing time. But, we have so many great corners its just going to be a competitive group this year.
Brandon Bender is athletic. He can play any spot [in the backfield], he can play corner, he can play safety. We have a lot of athletic people that just love the game.

Q: A long time ago, you told us to watch out for safety Pierre Warren from Marbury, Alabama. Is he still a player to watch?
A: Pierre is a ball hawk. Every time he goes up he tries to take it away from us, so I call him a ball hawk. He makes plays on defense. He is going to be a great safety for us.


Q: We heard Kicker, Griffin Thomas, tackled you on a break away return. Is that true?
A: I was tired! It was one of those things where I was trying to make a cut back field. Griffin was there. I thought that he was going to try to tackle me up high but he tackled me down low. But, Griffin is a great, athletic guy so I am not going to take anything away from him. But, it’s not going to happen again during the season.

Q: Are you ready for UTM, they are a good team?
A: Coach Crowe says there are some things we have to do, but we are physically and mentally ready.

Q: Any more thoughts about the season?
A: We plan on taking it to the next level and it starts with UT Martin. There is going to be some bumpy roads, but we are going to try and finish it. . . . Its going to be a great, exciting season for everybody and I hope everyone can come out and watch us and give us fan support. I promise you that we are not going to let you down. . . . We have great backs, we have great players. We can go deep in the playoffs. We are planning on winning the OVC and we are planning on going deep in the playoffs this year.

*******The above picture is from James takes great pictures at all JSU athletic events. Please see his pictures at his website.************