TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2010
Football will travel to Appalachian State in 2010
In 2008, the JU football team faced two-time defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Appalachian State for the first time. That game was a jumping off point as the Dolphins went on to win their first Pioneer Football League title.
The Dolphins will be making the trip to face the nationally ranked Mountaineers again, on Sept. 11, 2010, as announced by JU director of athletics Alan Verlander on Tuesday.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Appalachian State and the success their program has seen over the past few years,” Verlander said. “Coach Bell and I have a vision for our football program to become a nationally ranked power and this is a great test for our team against one of the top teams in the country.”
Jacksonville is coming off its second straight winning season, racking up a 7-4 record while finishing in second place in the PFL standings – racking up back-to-back winning season for the first time in the program’s short history.
“My vision for our program is to be one of the best in the country and we’re excited to get the opportunity to face a national power like Appalachian State,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “Appalachian State is the gold standard and we look forward to the challenge this upcoming fall.”
The Dolphins are expected to return 11 of a possible 12 starters on offense, with six starters returning on the defensive side. The offense will be led by record setting junior quarterback Josh McGregor, senior running back Rudell Small and sophomore wide receiver Josh Philpart.
Appalachian State is coming off an appearance in the national semifinals, falling on the road to Montana. The Mountaineers, who won three straight national titles from 2005 through 2007, have led the Football Championship Subdivision in attendance the last three years and averaged 25,969 fans last season.
This will be the second meeting all time in the series. ASU took home a 56-7 win in the first meeting, with Elliott Finkley making his presence known with a 63 yard punt return for a touchdown – the first of his career.
“The experience at ASU two years ago was beneficial to our team because we wouldn’t face a team better than them the rest of the year,” Bell said. “A lot of the guys on the team went with us two years ago and they will be better prepared for the game having that experience.”