TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2008
With milestone win, JU faces another big test at Butler
With the monumental win on Saturday in the rearview mirror, the JU football team continues its quest for the Pioneer Football League title at Butler.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-0 PFL) are the surprise team in the league after being picked to finish in seventh place by the league’s coaches.
Jacksonville (5-3, 3-1 PFL) officially threw its hat into the PFL title race with its thrilling 30-29 win over three-time defending champion San Diego.
“The one thing that we’ve stressed to our guys is that if we don’t continue to work hard and play hard, then last week’s win was for nothing,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “They know that every game gets bigger the deeper we go in the season.”
The two teams are riding extensive winning streaks heading into the game. JU has won three in a row while Butler has won five in a row. The Dolphins are looking for a fourth straight win which would tie the 2001 squad for the longest winning streak in school history.
JU’s winning streak has seen major contributions in every facet of the game – offense, defense and special teams.
The offense has increased its production, racking up more than 400 yards and at least 20 first downs in the last four games. The defense has held the last two opponents to less than 100 yards rushing.
Special teams has been a major factor in field position, as Elliott Finkley continues to lead the PFL in punt return average and is ranked 10th nationally at 15.1 yards per return.
Throw in the renaissance of Donovan Curry as the placekicker and you have the recipe for JU’s three-game winning streak.
“We are playing as a team, with everyone making big contributions for us,” Bell said. “Everyone knows that you have to be ready for whenever your number is called. We had some guys come off the bench and make some big plays last Saturday and we’re going to need that throughout the rest of the season.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for Noon. The game will be broadcast on 1010XL, with Bono’s pregame show starting at 11:30 a.m.