LISTEN: Joey Jones talks South Alabama indoor facility
MOBILE, AL (WNSP) — For the second time in four years, South Alabama is going bowling.
Head coach Joey Jones joined Monday’s Opening Kickoff to talk about the game, which pits the Jags against Air Force, as well as the recently-announced indoor football practice facility and Saturday’s win over New Mexico State.
Jones stressed that the weather was the biggest factor behind the decision to build the facility.
“Well, you know, everybody knows that Mobile is the rainiest city in the country, and there’s a lot of times we’ve gotta go inside, we’ve missed practice, that type thing,” Jones said. “We have nowhere to really go other than a gym to do a walkthrough. Administration here at South put it all together. It’s been talked about for years, and man, do we need it.
“It’s not only gonna help football, but it’s gonna help every sport that needs to use it.”
Lee asked what turned around Saturday’s game against New Mexico State. South Alabama clinched bowl eligibility with its 35-28 victory.
“All week, I told the guys, ‘we ain’t gonna let these guys beat us,'” Jones said. “I said, ‘whatever we gotta do to win, we gotta get it done. I think they just took that attitude in the fourth quarter. You just see the look in their eyes when (the score) was 21-14, and we scored 21 straight points and beat them.”
Jones said he told the team the story of the 2014 Jaguars, where the Jags’ bid for bowl eligibility came down to the Texas State game. The Bobcats themselves were were playing for a bowl game, but the Jags won 24-20.
Jones said he learned the team was going to the Arizona bowl Saturday night after the game.
“We didn’t know who we were playing at that point,” he said. “We knew it may be Air Force or Colorado State, but at that point pretty much we knew where we were going. I had to kinda keep it hush-hush.”
Bob Baumhower, former Alabama defensive tackle, asked Jones, himself a former member of the Crimson Tide, how he looked at bowl game opportunities.
“I think the whole emphasis has to be on us winning,” Jones said. “You start there, and you make your decisions from there. Now, what does that mean? That doesn’t mean go out there and beat the heck out of them, make them scrimmage for 15 days.
“It just means we’ve got to prepare and have a plan from now until the game.”
The game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 and the game will be broadcast on American Sports Network and UTV-44.
Listen to the full interview below.
For more, check out the Opening Kickoff with Mark and Lee weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.