Dolphins face tall test at #1 Appalachian State

After an impressive second half performance at Savannah State, the JU football team faces the biggest test in school history on Saturday.

The Dolphins travel to face the three-time defending FCS champions and current No. 1 team in the country - Appalachian State.

"We have so much respect for their program and what they have built there," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "This is a great opportunity for our program to face one of the top teams in the country and test ourselves against the best."

JU (1-0) is coming off a 20-7 win in the season opener at Savannah State, in which all the scoring came in the second half.

True freshman Josh McGregor came off the bench and guided the Dolphins to three straight scoring drives en route to a 17-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

With his performance, McGregor may have opened up a quarterback competition entering this week's game against Mountaineers.

"We've got two guys that we have a lot of faith in and we're going to evaluate them in practice this week," Bell said.

The Dolphins' defense faces a bigger test this week as they go against one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Armanti Edwards. In one of the major bright spots of Saturday's season-opening win, the JU defense forced seven 3-and-out possessions and had two turnovers.

One of the keys to that success was the improved play of the defensive line. Junior lineman Austin Knipp led the team with seven tackles while Nixon Maitre held clog the interior of the line as well - allowing the linebackers to step up and make plays.

"The defense was flying around all night," Bell said. "They did a great job of keeping them off the scoreboard and keeping us in the game in the first half."

Saturday's kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., with the game airing on 1010XL.