JSU notebook: Clark pleased by OVC football officials coordinator's comments
by Al Muskewitz
Sep 16, 2013 | 2568 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State coach Bill Clark was pleased by comments made by the Ohio Valley Conference’s head football official regarding the calling of Saturday night’s game.

The Gamecocks were hit with a Division I-era school-record 17 penalties in their 24-21 win over North Alabama on Saturday. There were 30 penalties between the two teams — about double last year’s average for an OVC game — for 240 yards in walk-offs.

Clark said Sunday he was “very frustrated” by “way too many” penalties in the game. Some were easily seen on film, others were deemed questionable.

OVC coordinator of officials Jim Jackson said he was “concerned” about the quality of officiating and the league would “evaluate and try to improve.” He said the number of flags “left a bad taste” in the mouths of everyone involved.

“I think that’s the thing any of us want to see, that concerns from coaches are listened to and addressed,” Clark said Monday. “That’s a big deal to me. It wasn’t no — it’s we’re going to look at them when we see issues and we will address them. The problem for a coach is once it’s over, it’s over. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen again … and you care enough to listen and that we’re not crazy. I saw that from Jim.”

NATIONAL HONORS: JSU senior kicker Griffin Thomas collected two national honors for his school-record five field goals Saturday night.

He was named National Special Teams Player of the Week by The Sports Network and College Football Performance National Kicker of the Week.

Griffin kicked field goals of 50, 42, 44 yards and 26 and 20 in overtime. He also had a 50-yarder blocked.

Griffin shared OVC special teams player of the week with Murray State’s Walter Powell.

INJURY REPORT: Clark said all the key players who got hurt in Saturday’s game were “headed in the right direction” with their rehab and he appeared confident in their status for Saturday’s game.

Quarterback Max Shortell warmed up but was held out because of a muscle injury. Receiver Markis Merrill was laid out by a vicious hit in the first quarter. And running back Damarcus James hurt his ankle early in the game. James was seen on campus Monday wearing a protective boot.

“I think we’re seeing those guys respond to treatment the way we hoped,” Clark said. “Let’s knock on whatever wood we can find.”

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