Previewing South Alabama

South Alabama (1-1) comes to Raleigh looking to upset NC State in a huge game for the Jaguars.

South Alabama Depth Chart


South Alabama Quotables

Head coach Joey Jones
Opening statement:

"We're glad for the win this past weekend. I thought we played extremely well on defense, and kind of played conservative offensively. But a win is a win – it's a team win whether offense, defense or special teams does well. I think our kids were glad to get it, and we were excited to get the win."

On North Carolina State:
"We look forward to ballgames like this. Last year, N.C. State was our first [Football Bowl Subdivision] game. We went up there and played a really good football game. They are very good opponent, obviously well-coached and have good players. I thought we went out there [last season] and went toe-to-toe with them. Our kids are very competitive and want to be in these type of situations. You want to get into an atmosphere like you see in Raleigh [N.C.]. I'll never forget walking out onto the field last year and how exciting it was to be in that atmosphere. Our kids are looking forward to it.

"I think they [N.C. State] are better defensively this year. Their defensive front seems more active. They lost a couple of NFL guys at linebacker, but they replaced them with a couple of good ones. They are very well-coached and do a good job with their schemes. Offensively, it starts with their quarterback Mike Glennon. He's 6-foot-6 and will probably be in the NFL next year. He's a very efficient quarterback, and they do a good job moving the ball down the field and are patient with their play calls. Our defense is looking forward to the challenge of playing them. They do a good job with the run-pass balance. They can throw the ball underneath and downfield, and they can run the football. They put some pressure on you defensively to make sure you cover all parts of the field."

On how it helps to have experienced the atmosphere in Raleigh (last season):
"I think it will help, the fact that we did play there last year. But I always say that it doesn't matter where you play, you play between the lines. Our kids will be ready to play no matter what, and that's one thing we pride ourselves on. One thing we can control is ourselves – how hard and how well we play. I thought we walked out last year as confident as a team could be. It wasn't a deal where we were star struck by the lights or the fact that it was our first FBS opponent. Our kids came to play – that's what I like about our team – and I expect them to play well this year."

On offensive production in the red zone:
"We have to do a better job, and I do as well, of adjusting at halftime to something new. They [Nicholls State] ran a new defensive front that we weren't expecting, and we did a good job and played hard. We got a little conservative in the second half. The defense was playing so well that we didn't want to make a mistake, but we have to punch it in down in the red zone. That's one thing we talked about as a staff."

Running back Demetre Baker
On his performance so far and expectations of North Carolina State game:

"At this point in the season, I have done OK. I'm not where I want to be. There are things that I can work on. There's more time I can put in the fieldhouse watching more film. Our first two opponents were tough teams; they weren't pushovers. They came out and were ready to play. I look forward to doing more studying and practicing harder this week and can give it all I can for N.C. State."

On if playing in an ACC environment increases the excitement level:
"It is, one reason is because of the crowd – being in that atmosphere when it's loud with 40,000-plus people. I'm wishing and hoping we can get there here one day, so we can get used to it. I don't think it'll be a problem for us – it motivates us and gets us really pumped up for the game."

On the offensive performance last week and bouncing back:
"I'm not disappointed at all. I think we just have to put everything together. We have what it takes – we have the offense and we certainly have the plays to do what it takes to get in the red zone. We just have to finish up, do a little more polishing and practice harder and put one in. When we score that touchdown it will be exciting for us because we know we did everything we could to get in the red zone and score."

Defensive back Tyrell Pearson
On his performance so far and expectations of North Carolina State game:

"I feel that on the defensive side of the ball, as a unit we're tough. The first game we didn't come out fast in the first half, but in the second half we came out with fire and intensity. That carried over to the second game against Nicholls State. As you can see, we did very well with that. I'm not sure what we held them to in total yardage, but we did pretty well. Going in to North Carolina State, I feel like we're going to do the same. I feel we'll step up to the challenge on defense, especially in the secondary."

On facing (N.C. State quarterback) Mike Glennon:
"[Cornerback] Darrius Morrow and I have been talking about this the whole week. It's going to be a big game for both of us. Playing at junior college, we expect to be playing against big competition and big-time quarterbacks. Our slogan is ‘Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games.'"

South Alabama Game Notes

Michel Chapuseaux accounted for all of USA's scoring in its 9-3 win over Nicholls State, converting on a career-high three field goals from 19, 21 and 34 yards out. His field goal with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter gave the Jags the lead for good, and he doubled that advantage with his longest kick of the day with nine minutes left in the contest.

It was the first time since the program's debut against Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy on Sept. 5, 2009, that the senior has converted multiple field goals in the same contest, as he has already matched his previous season high of four set that same fall.

USA's 14 tackles for loss set a school game standard, while the six sacks of Colonel quarterback Landry Klann were the most against an NCAA Division I foe and the second-highest total ever in a game. That effort helped the Jaguars limit the Colonel's to just 118 yards of total off ense, the fewest allowed by the unit since the 2010 season opener — Pikeville (Ky.) managed only 88 yards that dat while falling 56-0 — and the lowest total ever posted against USA by an NCAA Division I opponent.

Making his first career start, DE/OLB Pat Moore was credited with a school-game record 3½ tackles for loss among his five total stops in helping the Jaguars to a 9-3 victory over Nicholls State; he would finish with 2½ sacks — another USA game standard — and a pass break up as well.

In the second half, all of Moore's tackles were behind the line of scrimmage, with an assist on a sack to end the Colonel's initial drive of the third quarter, and a pair of sacks after NSU moved into the red zone in the fourth quarter.

Junior Scott Garber averaged 43.6 yards per kick while tying a career high with seven punts in the NSU contest, the fourth time in the last nine outings dating back to last year that he has posted a figure of 43 yards per punt or higher.

That total included his first two punts downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line this fall, with the first coming on a career-long 69-yard eff ort midway through the opening quarter.

Senior ILB Jake Johnson paced the Jags for the second straight week with eight total tackles; it's the first time he has led the squad in back-to-back outings since accomplishing the feat in four straight contests from Sept. 10-Oct. 8, 2011.

He was credited with 2½ stops behind the line of scrimmage — an assist away from tying a career high — while posting his first sack since last year's game at Texas-San Antonio on Oct. 8.

The only other change in the lineup on defense for the NSU contest came at free safety, where Terrell Brigham also made his first career start. The sophomore matched a career high with three total tackles, was credited with his first-ever stop for loss and picked off his first pass midway through the fourth quarter to help the Jags preserve their six-point lead.

DL Montavious Williams was credited with a career-best 1½ tackles for loss among his three stops last time out — the junior has collected at least one stop behind the line of scrimmage in six of the last seven games dating back to USA's win over Tennessee-Martin on Oct. 15 last fall.

Williams also came up with a fumble recovery in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter after NSU had advanced into the red zone, his first since the Jaguars defeated Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy on Oct. 31, 2009.

After finishing with a game-high 75 yards on 20 carries, Demetre Baker ended up as the Jags' leading rusher for the second straight game to open the season. It's the first time since transferring to the program prior to the start of the 2011 campaign that Baker has paced the USA ground attack in consecutive contests, and the 20 attempts equalled a career high first set against HSU last October.

Sophomore T.J. Glover has proven to be a threat in three ways while racking up a team-leading 218 all-purpose yards in the fi rst two games of the year.

The wideout ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference in both kick (39 ypr) and punt (15 ypr) returns, and has caught five passes for an additional 68 yards. Glover's 29-yard reception from Ross Metheny early in the fourth quarter was the Jaguars' longest play from scrimmage against NSU, and it helped set up Chapuseaux's final field goal to clinch the victory.

With C.J. Bennett and Metheny splitting time running the Jag offense in the win over the Colonels last weekend, it was the first time two quarterbacks have seen significant action since USA defeated UC Davis 24-21 on the road on Oct. 23, 2010 (Bennett was 7-of-13 for 105 yards that day, and Brennan Sim completed 13-of-18 attempts for 116 yards). Bennett led the two with 111 yards on 11-of-20 passing against the Colonels, while Metheny threw for 58 yards and guided the team's fi nal scoring drive.

USA has not allowed its opponents to reach the end zone on five trips to the red zone so far this year after NSU converted just one field goal on three visits inside the USA-20. Actually, three of the Jaguars' last four opponents have not scored a touchdown after advancing into the red zone, while USA has not surrendered multiple scores inside its own 20-yard line five times in the last eight outings.

The Jags improved to 15-0 all-time when finishing with fewer turnovers than the opposition after posting a plus-one margin in last weekend's victory.

It's the first time the Jaguars have won the turnover battle since recording a school-record seven takeaways in a 28-3 victory over Henderson (Ark.) State on Oct. 29 last season; USA had forced four turnovers total in the last three outings combined before the Colonels lost the ball on three occasions Saturday.

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