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Tag:Jerrel Jernigan
Posted on: May 24, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Troy loses four players to academics, five total

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With quarterback Corey Robinson back after a smashing freshman season and (as always) the Sun Belt's best top-to-bottom collection of talent, not even the loss of five players in one fell swoop should be enough to dislodge Troy from their perch as conference favorites.

But could it be enough to damage the Trojans' chances of actually following through on those expectations? As the Dothan Eagle reports, the four players declared academically ineligible and fifth dismissed for team rules violations include several expected to be major contributors:
Wide receivers Jamel Johnson and Chip Reeves, along with cornerback KeJuan Phillips and linebacker Mark Wilson are academically ineligible, while defensive end R.J. Roberts was dismissed for a violation of team rules.

Johnson and Reeves were projected starters. Phillips has starting experience and was a starter at one cornerback spot coming out of spring practice.
The stats back those projections up: Reeves and Johnson were the team's fourth and fifth-leading receivers a year ago, and with third-round draft pick Jerrel Jernigan off to the NFL, there's going to be plenty of receptions out there for the Trojans' receiving corps. Despite his role as part-time starter and nickelback, Phillips finished ninth on the team in tackles.

Head coach Larry Blakeney summed up the causes behind the departures in his typically folksy Southern fashion:
“You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t force them to drink it,” Blakeney said.
Certainly, it's nothing like losing Robinson or leading pass rusher Jonathan Massaqoui (12.5 sacks in 2010, fourth nationally) would be for the Trojans. To extend Blakeley's metaphor, there's still no reason to think he can't lead his team to the brink of yet another Sun Belt title.

But can they drink from that final championship cup again? Saying good-bye to players like Johnson, Reeves, and Phillips won't help.

Posted on: December 20, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: December 20, 2010 11:18 am
 

NIU's Matukewicz needs a permanent mic

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the lopsided nature of the three games, there weren't too many instant stars born on the first Saturday of bowl competition: BYU quarterback-of-the-future Jake Heaps, maybe, future NFL receiver Jerrel Jernigan of Troy, the Trojans' bearded punter-slash-internet sensation Will Goggans. And from the coaching ranks, there was Northern Illinois interim head coach Tom Matukewicz, A.K.A. "Coach Tuke," who led the Huskies to a dominating victory over Fresno State in the absence of Jerry Kill, off to take over at Minnesota.

But what Humanitarian Bowl viewers are most likely to remember about Matukewicz isn't the win so much as his bold-yet-witty sideline interviews, delivered directly into the camera for maximum impact. When asked about his (successful) decision to ice Fresno kicker Kevin Goessling just before halftime, "Coach Tuke" responded that he just wanted the game to last a little bit longer.

His postgame interviews showed his one day as college football's leading quote machine wasn't done there, though. A sampling :

"He meant everything to us," quarterback Chandler Harnish said. "I loved how the team came together, how he rallied the troops."

Matukewicz's reply: "Just for that, you're getting double Chick-fil-A tonight."
When he walked into the postgame news conference, he told the media, "You all need to get comfortable, because when I get back to DeKalb, I'm no longer the head coach. So I'm going to milk this thing out."
On celebrating the bowl win: "I'm going to find out how much gas is in that jet because I'm not going to land it. We're just going to circle around and celebrate."
"You know what I said at halftime to the guys?" Matukewicz said. "I said, 'If you haven't had fun, that's your fault. You can't slap the smile off me.' "
As he himself pointed out, Matukewicz won't be delivering his zingers on a full-time basis just yet; he's staying in DeKalb for the time being as part of new Huskie head man Dave Doeren's staff. But if the comfort he showed in the head position this weekend -- both coaching his football team and in front of the press --is any indication, it won't be too long until we see him in charge of his own program somewhere.

And if there's got any more quotes where Saturday's came from, we'll all be better for it once he is.



Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:18 am
 

Bowl Grades: New Orleans Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Final score: Troy 48, Ohio 21

Troy

Offense: How good was the Troy offense? QB Corey Robinson was 21-27 for 262 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Um, that was at the half. Troy led at the break 38-7, and scored on every possession until the fourth quarter. Jerrel Jernigan and Tebiarus Gill combined for all five of Troy's touchdowns, and eventually combined for 144 yards from scrimmage. The Trojans would eventually register 602 yards from scrimmage, even after the reserves found their way onto the field. This is an easier A than Geology 101. Grade: A+

Defense: The Trojans did give up 21 points, but allowed only 99 yards on 30 rushes and four first downs on 12 third down conversion attempts. Ohio's offense was mostly stifled while the game was in any semblance of doubt. An interception by Jimmy Anderson in Troy territory set the tone for the game, and the Trojans never looked back. Grade: B

Coaching: Larry Blankeny put his team in a position to win by playing to his team's strengths. The Trojan offense is fast-paced and designed to highlight Robinson's accuracy, and the playcalling put the ball in Jernigan's hands in a variety of ways; Jernigan's first touchdown came out of a keeper from the Wildcat formation, and Jernigan would finish with three rushes on the day. Blankeny had his team fired up for the game, and the difference in effort was readily apparent throughout the first half -- at which point the game was pretty well decided. Grade: A

Ohio

Offense: The Ohio offense features a two-headed attack at quarterback; Boo Jackson is the better passer, while Phil Bates is the more athletic ball-carrier. Bates, in fact, threw one pass for the entire game; it was the Anderson interception on Ohio's second play from scrimmage mentioned earlier. So while Jackson threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns, almost none of it came in a first half that saw precisely one possession achieve a first down. Grade: D

Defense: The Bobcats did not play defense. Grade: INCOMPLETE

Coaching: What Frank Solich was thinking by staying conservative in the first half, even as Troy was running the Bobcats out of the Superdome, is beyond us. During the first two plays of each of the Bobcats' first half possessions, the Bobcats ran on 10 of 13 plays (the final drive of the half was one play long); those 10 rushes resulted in 10 yards and no first downs. Sure, the passing was 1-3 for six yards and an interception, but the message from Solich was clear: he had a formula, and he was sticking to it. It was a very ill-advised message to send, as it put Ohio out of any position to win. Grade: F

Final Grade

It would be unfair to give a failing grade to a game that featured such a well-functioning offense in the first three quarters AND a surprise giant manbeard courtesy of punter Will Goggans (above) in the fourth. There were aspects of the game that were fun to watch, even though the endgame drama had been sucked out of the Superdome by the end of the Trojans' fourth possession. Jerrel Jernigan is going to get a chance to succeed in the NFL, and we hope he makes the most of it; embarrassing the Ohio defense isn't exactly difficult to do, but he was the most athletic player on the field all the same, and some of the moves he made in stride were Sunday-worthy. It's just a shame that between the television audience and the laughably sparse Superdome crowd, probably under 100,000 people actually got to watch him. Still, this game was as anti-climactic as the first two, so we must grade sternly so as to send a message to the rest of the bowls: this will not do. Grade: D-

 
 
 
 
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