Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hallford hurting

JACKSONVILLE — Gavin Hallford’s sore right leg has JSU coach Jack Crowe contemplating going back to the drawing board when it comes to kickoffs.
The Gamecocks used all three kickers to do the job Saturday. They’re reluctant to have punter Zach Walden in the spot because it hurts his effectiveness there, but freshman Al Chamanzad hasn’t been an effective option and opponents have enjoyed good field position.
“I don’t know where we’re going with that,” Crowe said. “We may have to go back to the players. We’re going to look at a possibility we haven’t seen yet. There hasn’t been anybody (else) working it.”
Crowe said he was swayed by Hallford’s insistence he was ready when he sent the kicker to attempt a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter — after he had been relieved of kicking off. The attempt was low, ending a string of seven consecutive makes.
“I’ve got to quit talking to Gavin; if I say ‘Can you jump over the Empire State Building?,’ he’d say he could,” Crowe said. “I don’t think he needed to be kicking that.”
• IVORY WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON: The Gamecocks were reluctant to use backup quarterback Marques Ivory Saturday night, but Crowe said the freshman should be available this week.
Ivory had been experiencing what Crowe called an “elbow issue,” but went into the game with 3:01 left and played in JSU’s final two possessions. Crowe said it’s “highly probable” the cycle of exercise and medication will give the quarterback a chance to be ready this week.
“We need him to be ready to play,” Crowe said.
— Al Muskewitz

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Board to hear about stadium project

The Jacksonville State board of trustees will meet this morning to get an update on the Paul Snow Stadium/dormitory project. Money and manure are expected to be the major topics.
The school is looking to expand the stadium’s seating capacity to accommodate a possible move to the Football Bowl Subdivision. The renovation also is to include space for 400 dorm rooms as the school moves closer to its goal of 10,000 students.
University president Bill Meehan told the faculty senate Monday the project now is likely to cost around $40 million, about an $8 million increase in the initial estimate.
He called the figure “doable.”
Another potential snag is the fact Jacksonville’s city sewage system isn’t likely to be capable of handling the increased waste.
“I don’t think any problem is insurmountable,” board president Jim Bennett said Thursday.
The biggest problem, however, may be funding. A recent study indicated that many favored the idea of expanding the stadium, but a majority of respondents were not in favor of paying for it.
“If you looked at the marketing study, I don’t know who’s going to pay for it; the way they’re going to come up with this money,” faculty senator Paul Beezley said. “The dorm need to be built, there’s no doubt about that … but I feel like we’re being told we can’t have one without the other.
“The marketing study said 57 percent of the people supported it, but practically nobody talked about giving money or expressing an issue in doing it. It appears it’s widely held that this is a vanity project and it’s designed specifically so that when the (NCAA) moratorium is over we can move up. It’s al being driven by moving up.”
University officials continue to maintain the improvement to their athletic facilities will occur whether the school decides to move the football program up or not.
Despite all the mixed signals, Bennett is confident the project will become a reality.
“This project is a go from the outset,” Bennett said. “It’s a work in progress.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Polling: It's curiouser and curiouser

What do the coaches know that the media doesn’t? The Gamecocks haven’t cracked either of the two major Football Championship Subdivision polls yet, but there’s something curious if you look at them closely.

Eastern Illinois remains the only Ohio Valley Conference teams in both polls — No. 22 in The Sports Network’s poll of media and publicists and No. 20 in the coaches poll.

But here’s the curiosity: Undefeated Tennessee State is No. 25 in the TSN poll, while Jax State is the next OVC team receiving votes (49 points). In the coaches poll, however, the Gamecocks hold a nine-point edge over TSU (19-10) among “others receiving votes.”

Apparently, going 3-0 against the struggling SWAC doesn’t hold much weight with the coaches.

It doesn’t matter much anyway. The best team in the OVC will be decided on the field, right now it seems in JSU’s first and last conference games of the season.

The Gamecocks open their OVC schedule next week at Eastern Illinois – once again making their conference opener a veritable elimination game for the league title – and wrap it up at home Nov. 15 against TSU.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A running problem

The old saying goes misery loves company. Well, Jacksonville State and Alabama A&M may be able to commiserate after Saturday night's game.

Looks like the Bulldogs are having just as much trouble on the ground as the Gamecocks are ...

Here's the story